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8 reasons for Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s dispute

It isn’t about ideology, it’s about commercial matters which underpin a long history.

George Oprisko

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The peoples of Asia, in particular those of the Persian Gulf, carry within them, cultural norms, and identities that span millenia.  Persia and China have dominated the scene, with footnotes from Portugal and Britain.  Persia’s influence began with Elam in the bronze age at ~ 2700 BCE, succeeded by the Assyrians 900-700 BCE, the Medes 700-500 BCE, the Achaemenids which extended control to the south coast of the Persian Gulf by 490 BCE, and from what is now Tunisia to Xingjang Province in the PRC, southward from today’s Kzahstan to the sea, the kingdom of Alexander conquered this space, and extended their control to what is now Pakistan between 324-200 BCE.

However, it was the Parthians who incorporated the littoral territories of the southern coast of the Persian Gulf into their domain between 200-100 BCE. The Sassanides added what is now Yemen, Oman, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbijan, consolidating their control between  226-650 AD.

The arrival of Muhammad 570-632 AD, brought new energies to the peoples of the Arabian Peninsula, giving rise to Islam.   Wars of conquest, beginning about 610 AD,  built the Arabian Empire, which morphed into the Caliphate , eventually encompassing all territories from the Iberian Peninsula to China, including the north coast of africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey, Mesopotamia, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan  by 725 AD.

By 1000AD the Caliphate fractured, with the Buwayhid state controlling the territory of what became Persia, founding the Seljuq empire by 1194 AD.  The Seljuqs were succeeded by the Timurids in 1405 AD. The arrival of Ismail in 1501 ended their reign.  Ismail and his successors converted their domain from Sunni to Shia, establishing the Safavid empire, in the process laying the foundations of modern Persia by 1726 AD, including competition with the Uzbeks and Ottomans.  This period saw a profound change in trading patterns, with the Portugese conquering Hormuz by 1507, demanding tribute, and establishing a fortified trading station there.  The Portuguese were followed by european firms such as the British East India Company which established a residency in 1763 at Busher on the Persian Coast.

The Safavids were followed by the Qajars between 1794 and 1905.  Seeking to modernize their domain, they gave territorial and business concessions to various european powers. The arrival of the French in 1807 galvanized the English into ratifying a treaty with Persia in 1809, which was the foundation of Anglo-Persian relations until the arrival of Khomeni, despite Persian attempts at independence during the constitutional periods of 1905-1925 and Mossadegh in 1953.

Prior to the arrival of the  Portuguese, the trade route from Calicut in India to Tyre in Lebanon was dominated by the Chinese  beginning with the Yuan Dynasty in 1271 and expanded by the Ming dynasty after they came to power in 1368.  In 1273 Kublai Khan created the world’s first bank notes (paper money), giving rise to letters of credit and other international banking arrangements facilitating trade.  Under Chinese tutelage, Hormuz became a major trading center for goods bound westward via the Persian Gulf-Euphrates River- Syrian Desert route to Tyre on the Mediterranean Sea.  Hormuz remained the gateway to this route until the Portuguese were replaced by the Safavids who shifted the station to Bandar Abbas.   Zhung He in particular led 7 expeditions to the region for the purpose of solidifying Chinese hegemony between 1405-1433.

The Chinese concept of tribute, however, differed markedly from that practiced by the european powers.   To the Chinese, tribute signified respect, not subservience, and the Chinese reciprocated via offering their silks, teas, jade, ceramics, and technologies in exhange for goods sourced from the tributary state.  The Chinese did not interfere in the domestic affairs of tributary states, preferring to gain influence through marriage between tributary elites and concubines sent to them for that purpose.   Following completion of the grand canal and the death of Emperor Zhu Di, his successor, Zhu Zhanji, the Zhengtong Emperor commissioned a seventh and final voyage.  Confucian scholars convinced  Zhu Zhanji to scrap the navy, and to abandon international trade, just prior to the arrival of the Portuguese at Macau in 1557.  Absence of the Chinese Navy on the trade routes left them open to usurpation by the European powers, led by Portugal, followed soon thereafter by the Spanish and Dutch, with the English arriving by the late 1700s.

This situation prevailed in China until president Nixon opened china 5 centuries later in 1972, giving rise to Deng Xiaopeng,  Hu Jintao, and the One Belt One Road initiative.  In the process, China has opened itself to the world, modernized and expanded it’s economy, and become a trading center around which states array themselves.

Russia’s influence on the nations bordering the Persian Gulf began in the 19th century when a resurgent Russia found itself in conflict with Persia for lands and resources abutting the Caspian Sea.  Russia took Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbijan from Persian influence and control, together with Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  Russia competed with Britain for control of the mineral resources of Persia/Iran, going so far as to divide control of Persia with Britain during WWII.  This generated the great animosities held by the Pahlavi dynasty, Khomeini, and his successsors.  The Soviet Union added further fuel to this fire via alliances with Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Libya, most of whom disliked Iran.  Iraq relied primarily on Soviet weapons during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988, while Iran had to make do with whatever american weapons remained after the Shah was deposed.

Collapse of the Soviet Union was followed by experimentation with neo-classical macro-economic ideas promulgated by american schooled economists, primarily from Harvard and Yale.  These proved a disaster.  When Putin came to  power, Russia’s economy had shrunk to 40% of it Soviet Maximum, middle aged male suicide was at epidemic proportions, much of the populace was starving, critical infrastructure was crumbling, and NATO came closer and closer each year.  The arrival of Hu Jintao as premier of the PRC in 2002 gave rise to a personal friendship between Hu and Putin which led to profound changes in Russian macro-economics, and in the way Russia interacts with neighboring states.  Always a non-agressor state preferring diplomacy, Putin’s engagement with Hu leavened these policies with ancient Chinese policies toward tributary states.

Where the Soviet Union always sought advantage over dependent states, we now see Russia forming symbiotic relationships to mutual advantage.  This was evinced by Russia and China jointly creating the SCO.  From humble beginnings, the SCO has grown to encompass China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, India,  and Kyrgyzstan.  Mongolia and Iran are observers, with Iran slated to join next year.  Furthermore Russia and China guided the nuclear 5+1 agreement which normalized Iran’s relationship with the UN and ended UN sanctions against her.  We now see Russia forming a deep pragmatic relationship with Iran, to the point they are allies in the Proxy war between the US-Israeli-Qatari-Saudi alliance and Syria.

Chinese influence runs deep in Asia.  Originating with Ghengis Khan, spread throughout the mongol empire, the Chinese way of win-win tributary relationships, has spread from the Baltic to the Bering, from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean, and across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.   Diametrically different from the winner take all policies of the European powers and their successors, Chinese pragmatism, confounds Anglo-Zionist observers.  The Chinese are back.  Their navy is conducting exercises in the Straits of Hormuz now.  Their goods can be found in every nation on earth.  Their nationals ditto.  It is the Chinese who found a way to implement the Iran-Pakistan freedom pipeline regardless of stringent US objections.  It is they who built a gas pipeline from Gwadar Port to western china across the hindu-kush, ostensibly for LNG, routing it within 20 miles of the Iranian border where the iranian portion terminates, thence completing the missing link surreptitiously, bringing Iranian gas to market after nearly 30 years of US obstructionism.

It is probably the Chinese who suggested Iran offer Qatar access to Asian markets and the EU via Iranian pipelines after clearing it with Gazprom.  It is probably the Chinese who suggested offering some of this gas to Turkey to power it’s economy.  No less an observer than Pepe Escobar hints at this in his latest report.

 8 Key POINTS:

  1. The south coast Gulf Littoral states were part of Persia for centuries, were converted to Shia Islam by the Safavids in the 16th century, and their peoples have great cultural affinity towards Iran.
  2. Bahrain in particular was taken from Iran at the initiative of the Shah via UN resolution in
    1970, via a UN mission which was supposed to grant them independence. Following this the Al Khalifa clan assumed the throne, with Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa the current monarch.
  3. Oman in particular has had a long friendly relationship with Iran.
  4. The UAE has a grudge against Iran because the Shah took Abu Musa, and the Greater and Lesser Tumbs from her, together with vast petroleum deposits once held by Armand Hammer in what previously was the Sultanate of Sharjah
  5. For the past 6 years Qatar has been allied with KSA in their battle to market their petroleum products to the EU, via dis-memberment of Syria. It is now apparent that Syria will not be dismembered.
  6. For quite some time, Russia, Iran, and China have engaged in diplomacy with all the GCC states, the specifics of which are not known.
  7. Recently, information has leaked regarding a pipeline deal offered by Iran to Qatar,
    permitting Qatar to market it’s gas to Pakistan/India and to the EU via Iranian pipelines.
    Such an arrangement, should it exist, would leave KSA and the UAE out in the cold.
    Most likely Turkey has been offered some of this gas to run it’s economy.
  8. Though Whabbist, Qatar does not mandate the chador, and is actually quite modernist.

SUMMARY:

The row between Qatar and KSA/GCC is most likely due to capitulation by Qatar in their contest with Iran/Iraq/Syria for a route to market their petroleum products.

Capitulation to Iran’s offer of transit via Iranian pipelines to both asia and europe.

The offer to market to the EU has the blessing of Gazprom/Russia.

This offer is a pragmatic means to divide the forces funding ISIS and the other terrorist groups.

If this is indeed the case, we should see disarray among the various terrorist groups with those sponsored by KSA fighting the others, and the groups formerly sponsored by Qatar suddenly left in the lurch.

The consequence of this should be a much weakened proxy force for the R+6 to deal with.

 

 

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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