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The US has nothing to teach the world about justice or politics

The impartiality of justice that America is supposed to stand for was mocked and blown to bits in the ongoing Kavanaugh confirmation circus.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Igor Ogorodnev wrote when referring to the status of dignity and honor, as well as honesty and justice, when it comes to American politics. Never has the depravity of the American political and media establishment been more easily shown than in the recent weeks concerning the confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

This process, which is stuttering along, hampered by #MeToo inspired “slam the man” sexual allegations that lack corroboration, showed the disgusting level of partisanship and dishonesty exhibited by the opposition group to the Judge – the Democrat Party of the United States of America:

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Many outside the US watched Thursday’s hearing with open-mouthed revulsion at the bad faith, lack of due process and inhumanity on display. Dysfunction in the biggest Western democracy sets a poor example to the rest of the globe.

The present does not own the monopoly on ugly scenes in Congress – the McCarthy interviews are on tape, after all. Nor do either of the parties – from Kenneth Starr’s ultimately futile humiliation of Bill Clinton, to their intransigence during Obama’s two terms, Republicans largely set the tone for the partisanship that reigns today.

But make no mistake about it: in the age of a hysterical and agenda-driven news media, and a social media that amplifies its worst aspects, the Kavanaugh and Ford testimonies marked a new low. And it is the Democrats that have guided the process into a high-stakes wrestling match in a toxic swamp.

Disagreeing with Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination on ideological grounds, and questioning his record and temperament are fine, even if it is to whip up your base before the upcoming mid-terms. This what the confirmation hearings were for (minus the choreographed interruptions from the gallery).

But to pull out a last-minute 36-year-old sexual abuse accusation that you have sat on for weeks, as Dianne Feinstein did, is a dirty trick, notwithstanding her protestations to senators on Thursday that she didn’t time the release of Ford’s testimony, or leak her name (who did then? This person acting against the wishes of a self-described abuse victim must surely be found and punished). As are the systematic stalling tactics in full evidence at the questioning – the condition-setting for the hearings, the alleged flying fears that fell apart after two questions, the “What about Mark Judge, when can we speak to him?” and the demands for an additional FBI inquiry, during which yet more allegations are sure to come out, as Michael Avenatti tap-dances around his office in anticipation. Could a single senator in the room from either party disagree, hand-on-Bible, that the Democrats are hoping to drag out the process to give themselves a better chance?

To do this, the party was prepared to turn a political attack into a personal one, and personal trauma into a political weapon. Whatever traction #MeToo had as a non-partisan campaign that concerns all women is now in question. “Believe women” has turned from an expression of sympathy to reticent victims to a battering ram for short-term political gain, deployed while faux-innocently asking “Why would any woman lie?” in the one case where the reasons to do so are glaringly obvious.

The Republicans’ scurrying to confirm their candidate is similarly blatant and unseemly. They called the accuser to speak, but how many of them would have changed their mind whatever she said? Five? Three? No one? Staging this hearing for them was as much of a charade about the optics. So polite on Thursday, by Friday Lindsey Graham was calling the accusations “garbage.”

Yet this is not what made Thursday’s proceedings tragic. Politicians in that room play their power games and have known each other for decades – but here, real people were involved. For all the disingenuous pretense that this was just a job interview (most employers don’t suddenly ask jobseekers to prove they are not a rapist to get to the next round), their entire lives were at stake over how they would come across in a single afternoon.

Christine Blasey Ford’s account might be fiction or her own truth, but here was a woman who was evidently genuinely traumatized, and having to relive the moment. And if she is telling the facts as they did happen, and she was assaulted by a drunk, violent Brett Kavanaugh, this is hardly the format that best serves to bring her justice. She said she was no pawn, but she was surrounded by politically-motivated lawyers, participating in some improvised talk show format in which smarmy praise from Democrats who regard her exactly as that chess piece, alternated with fragmented lawyerly questioning from a female prosecutor (once again all optics) looking for a “gotcha!” moment in frustrating five-minute chunks. She had been used.

Some observers said she “won” because she looked credible. The entire modern law was invented and allowed to flourish in America, that most legalistic of states, so that people wouldn’t be judged on their “credibility.” It’s fine that she turned out to be an educated, well-spoken woman, but what if she had turned out a little twitchy, or stuttered? Would that have meant that she wasn’t assaulted? After all, many viewers questioned Ford’s patchy memory, the number of times she looked down at her notes, or even her high-pitched voice.

[The] same goes for Brett Kavanaugh: Some saw a man under extreme pressure in indignant tears as he strove to save his name against allegations so vague they couldn’t even be substantively refuted. Yet his opponents online said his passion made it easy to imagine how angry he would have got before raping Ford (“and this is him sober”), while his tears – a quality supposedly demanded from modern men – merely made him too unbalanced to be a judge. Many just posted photos of unflattering facial expressions and the blotches on his face.

In any case, even if Ford provided specific details of her ordeal, this wouldn’t have changed anything. Kavanaugh would still have turned around and denied it. Thursday’s hearing was not just inadequate as a court, with its burden of proof, witnesses, evidence, judges and jury – it wasn’t even a tribunal attempting to establish the truth. Instead, it was designed to have the opposite effect, with all sides smearing each other for political gain entirely on the basis of he said/she said accounts.

In all of this, Mr. Ogorodnev completely gets the picture. What is amazing, as usual, is how much of the American press simply cannot find their way to the facts as clearly as this piece has so far summarized it. But Ogorodnev doesn’t stop here:

“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics,” said Graham as the hearing wrapped up. But even if he was right, he was not the man to say it. Both over the longer term and in the past few weeks, it is [he] and the other senators who have allowed this human baiting show to take place.

And a cruelty circus there was: the tarred human targets drew to themselves millions of vitriolic opinions, self-righteous statements, and outright lies. Thousands of women told stories of their own sexual abuse (though there is a question if one man, not proven guilty, should be punished for another man’s crime, or even for the cause of equality before the law), abortion advocates reminded viewers that Roe v. Wade was in danger, the Washington Post wrote dissections of various slang terms in Kavanaugh’s yearbook.

On the other side, Republicans spoke of vast left-wing conspiracies – a subject the prospective Supreme Court justice himself raised – and reposted talking points from the questioning and fake memes casting doubts on Ford’s sexual morals, which somewhat misses the point, as well as being slander.

If there was nuance, it got drowned under the majority of the comments that went along strict party lines. Perhaps in an existential battle for the future of America’s legal system the ends justify the means and no one cares about the collateral. More chilling than all this was the tone of callous disregard for the people involved: even if someone believes that a man or woman may only have a ten percent chance of being innocent, shouldn’t they be treated with humanity, particularly in a murky situation like this? Neither Kavanaugh nor Ford are monsters, and even if they were, what of the compassion and tolerance on which much of America prides itself?

Instead, there were two sacrificial lambs in a kangaroo court among lying, plotting, openly amoral politicians, amid a cacophony of raw noise.

This is how the world saw the US on Thursday.

Scores of countries across the world live according to constitutions modeled on the US Bill of Rights, political systems fashioned after that of the US, legal practices that treat America as the gold standard. American leaders are icons of world history, countries hang on to their every word, and many attempt to emulate and follow them (yes, even Trump).

The US revels in this role, and just this week its leader spoke of its “unique values” and how America made the world better and stood up for it. These scenes are not going to persuade Saudi Arabia that democracy is efficient. It excites not awe but laughter within the walls of the Kremlin.

The US has two choices: to fight as best it can to preserve the remaining value of its institutions – Congress, the supreme court, security agencies, and the presidency – or to continue its all-out battle against itself, where everyone is a loser, even when someone is declared the winner either on this nomination, the mid-terms, or 2020.

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PlatonJohn NolanLisa KarpovaVera Gottliebjohn vieira Recent comment authors
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Sally Snyder
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Sally Snyder

Here is an article that looks at one of the little-discussed reasons for concerns about a Kavanaugh judgeship:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/09/judge-brett-kavanaugh-and-surveillance.html

If Justice Kavanaugh had his way, mass collections of Americans’ private data would be routine in spite of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution which protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Andrew Wilson
Guest

At this point, ideologies or political preferences are not the issue. Those were debated earlier. Using the pain of real people to change the outcome of a recognised and acceptable process is wrong and the United States will suffer for having allowed it.

Don’t allow yourself to justify the witchhunt on the basis of your preferences in respect of abortion or other issues. If you do so you are a part of the problems that are making the United States a laughing stock and contributing to the increasing possibility of a breakup of the Union.

john vieira
Guest

Oh bull…that has been happening since the 1960’s in the USA. The last bill slithered through by Obama as a Christmas present in 2016 enshrined Orwell’s “1984”…

Platon
Guest
Platon

And Clinton and Obama were different… how?

Tjoe
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Tjoe

Apparently the Duran has become a partisan hack for the GOP. I voted Trump but Kavanaugh is going too far.

Sean
Guest
Sean

Why so? What happened to due process? A man is innocent until found guilty in a court of law. Have you a problem with that?

Lisa Karpova
Guest
Lisa Karpova

ameriKKKa is fascist, not a democracy, therefore you are guilty until you can prove otherwise.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Corporat Fascism to be precise.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Yah, I bet you did!

Donna
Guest
Donna

Lindsey Graham: “This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics.”

No, he wasn’t talking about the invasion of Iraq based on sham WMDs; or the invasion of Libya based on sham intel; or the invasion of Syria based on a sham civil war; or the orchestrated coup in the Ukraine based on a sham notion of democracy. He wasn’t talking about any of those minor shams. He was talking about the BIG sham — the Kavanaugh-Ford sham — only sham that counts for the US public and the US Congress.

Old Uncle Dave
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Old Uncle Dave

Emails which were released show Kavanaugh committed perjury during his 2006 hearings for a seat on the District Court. He should be impeached for that.

Platon
Guest
Platon

I do not know of a single american who does not perjure himself daily before breakfast. Do you?

Vera Gottlieb
Guest
Vera Gottlieb

And about morals, ethics, democracy…either.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Only jews should be allowed on the Bench… or in Congress… or the Senate… or as heads of Mass Media Corporations. Because only jews are fully human. Right?

John Nolan
Guest
John Nolan

Do Oceania citizens understand that the world is tired of laughing at their collective stupidity, their immoral, corrupt leadership, their demonic policies, as their political lap dogs pee on the furniture, the carpets, the public, whilst barking at reflections of themselves in a global mirror? How can any supposedly sane society tolerate the crap they are fed by their media, c.n.n., wishington pist, etc. Have the masses no access to alternate reporting of world events, or are they so brain dead, drugged and boozed into mental impoverishment, pretending all is well, and convinced that Russia is the source of all… Read more »

Platon
Guest
Platon

Destroying such a monstrosity will be doing a kindness to it.

Platon
Guest
Platon

The USA makes me want to reach for a can of Raid.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Congratulations Trotskyites! Compared to this, Stalin’s ‘show trials’ were classy affairs.
That is quite an achievement!

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Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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Second Canadian Citizen Disappears In China

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea.

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Via Zerohedge…


For a trade war that was supposed to be between the US and China, Canada has found itself increasingly in the middle of the crossfire. And so after the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in retaliation for the detention of the Huawei CFO in Vancouver, Canada said a second person has been questioned by Chinese authorities, further heightening tensions between the two countries.

The second person reached out to the Canadian government after being questioned by Chinese officials, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, at which point Canada lost contact with him. His whereabouts are currently unknown and Global Affairs Canada said they are in contact with his family.

“We haven’t been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this,” Freeland told reporters Wednesday in Ottawa. “We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we have also raised this case with Chinese authorities.”

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea. He gained fame for helping arrange a visit to Pyongyang by former NBA player Dennis Rodman, and he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on that trip, the newspaper reported. Attempts to reach Spavor on his contact number either in China, or North Korean went straight to voicemail.

Spavor’s personal Facebook page contains several images of him with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un including one of him with both Jong-un and former Dennis Rodman at an undisclosed location.

Michael P. Spavor, right, pictured here with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, second from right, and Dennis Rodman.

Another image shows the two sharing a drink on a boat.

The unexplained disappearance takes place after China’s spy agency detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing on Monday, who was on leave from the foreign service. The arrest came nine days after Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. DOJ. While Canada has asked to see the former envoy after it was informed by fax of his arrest, Canada is unaware of Kovrig current whereabouts or the charges he faces.

“Michael did not engage in illegal activities nor did he do anything that endangered Chinese national security,” Rob Malley, chief executive officer of the ICG, said in a written statement. “He was doing what all Crisis Group analysts do: undertaking objective and impartial research.”

One possibility is that Kovrig may have been caught up in recent rule changes in China that affect non-governmental organizations, according to Bloomberg. The ICG wasn’t authorized to do work in China, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said during a regular press briefing in Beijing Wednesday.

“We welcome foreign travelers. But if they engage in activities that clearly violate Chinese laws and regulations, then it is totally another story,” he said, adding he had no information on Kovrig specifically.

As Bloomberg further notes, foreign non-governmental organizations are now required to register with the Chinese authorities under a 2017 law that subjects them to stringent reporting requirements. Under the law, organizations without a representative office in China must have a government sponsor and a local cooperative partner before conducting activities. ICG said this is the first time they’ve heard such an accusation from the Chinese authorities in a decade of working with the country. The company closed its Beijing operations in December 2016 because of the new Chinese law, according to a statement. Kovrig was working out of the Hong Kong office.

Meanwhile, realizing that it is increasingly bearing the brunt of China’s retaliatory anger, Trudeau’s government distanced itself from Meng’s case, saying it can’t interfere with the courts, but is closely involved in advocating on Kovrig’s behalf.

So far Canada has declined to speculate on whether there was a connection between the Kovrig and Meng cases, with neither Freeland nor Canadian Trade Minister Jim Carr saying Wednesday that there is any indication the cases are related. Then again, it is rather obvious they are. Indeed, Guy Saint-Jacques, who served as ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016 and worked with Kovrig, says the link is clear. “There’s no coincidence with China.”

“In this case, they couldn’t grab a Canadian diplomat because this would have created a major diplomatic incident,” he said. “Going after him I think was their way to send a message to the Canadian government and to put pressure.”

Even though Meng was granted bail late Tuesday, that did not placate China, whose foreign ministry spokesman said that “The Canadian side should correct its mistakes and release Ms. Meng Wanzhou immediately.”

The tension, according to Bloomberg,  may force Canadian companies to reconsider travel to China, and executives traveling to the Asian country will need to exercise extra caution, said Andy Chan, managing partner at Miller Thomson LLP in Vaughan, Ontario.

“Canadian business needs to look at and balance the reasons for the travel’’ between the business case and the “current political environment,’’ Chan said by email. Chinese officials subject business travelers to extra screening and in some case reject them from entering, he said.

Earlier in the day, SCMP reported that Chinese high-tech researchers were told “not to travel to the US unless it’s essential.”

And so, with Meng unlikely to be released from Canada any time soon, expect even more “Chinese (non) coincidences”, until eventually China does detain someone that the US does care about.

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Multipolar World Order in the Making: Qatar Dumps OPEC

Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The decision by Qatar to abandon OPEC threatens to redefine the global energy market, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s growing difficulties and the growing influence of the Russian Federation in the OPEC+ mechanism.

In a surprising statement, Qatari energy minister Saad al-Kaabi warned OPEC on Monday December 3 that his country had sent all the necessary documentation to start the country’s withdrawal from the oil organization in January 2019. Al-Kaabi stressed that the decision had nothing to do with recent conflicts with Riyadh but was rather a strategic choice by Doha to focus on the production of LNG, which Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, is one of the largest global exporters of. Despite an annual oil extraction rate of only 1.8% of the total of OPEC countries (about 600,000 barrels a day), Qatar is one of the founding members of the organization and has always had a strong political influence on the governance of the organization. In a global context where international relations are entering a multipolar phase, things like cooperation and development become fundamental; so it should not surprise that Doha has decide to abandon OPEC. OPEC is one of the few unipolar organizations that no longer has a meaningful purpose in 2018, given the new realities governing international relations and the importance of the Russian Federation in the oil market.

Besides that, Saudi Arabia requires the organization to maintain a high level of oil production due to pressure coming from Washington to achieve a very low cost per barrel of oil. The US energy strategy targets Iranian and Russian revenue from oil exports, but it also aims to give the US a speedy economic boost. Trump often talks about the price of oil falling as his personal victory. The US imports about 10 million barrels of oil a day, which is why Trump wrongly believes that a decrease in the cost per barrel could favor a boost to the US economy. The economic reality shows a strong correlation between the price of oil and the financial growth of a country, with low prices of crude oil often synonymous of a slowing down in the economy.

It must be remembered that to keep oil prices low, OPEC countries are required to maintain a high rate of production, doubling the damage to themselves. Firstly, they take less income than expected and, secondly, they deplete their oil reserves to favor the strategy imposed by Saudi Arabia on OPEC to please the White House. It is clearly a strategy that for a country like Qatar (and perhaps Venezuela and Iran in the near future) makes little sense, given the diplomatic and commercial rupture with Riyadh stemming from tensions between the Gulf countries.

In contrast, the OPEC+ organization, which also includes other countries like the Russian Federation, Mexico and Kazakhstan, seems to now to determine oil and its cost per barrel. At the moment, OPEC and Russia have agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day, contradicting Trump’s desire for high oil output.

With this last choice Qatar sends a clear signal to the region and to traditional allies, moving to the side of OPEC+ and bringing its interests closer in line with those of the Russian Federation and its all-encompassing oil and gas strategy, two sectors in which Qatar and Russia dominate market share.

In addition, Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey (a future energy hub connecting east and west as well as north and south) and Venezuela. In this sense, the meeting between Maduro and Erdogan seems to be a prelude to further reorganization of OPEC and its members.

The declining leadership role of Saudi Arabia in the oil and financial market goes hand in hand with the increase of power that countries like Qatar and Russia in the energy sectors are enjoying. The realignment of energy and finance signals the evident decline of the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia partnership. Not a day goes by without corruption scandals in Israel, accusations against the Saudis over Khashoggi or Yemen, and Trump’s unsuccessful strategies in the commercial, financial or energy arenas. The path this doomed

trio is taking will only procure less influence and power, isolating them more and more from their opponents and even historical allies.

Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi, the Eurasian powerhouses, seem to have every intention, as seen at the trilateral summit in Buenos Aires, of developing the ideal multipolar frameworks to avoid continued US dominance of the oil market through shale revenues or submissive allies as Saudi Arabia, even though the latest spike in production is a clear signal from Riyadh to the USA. In this sense, Qatar’s decision to abandon OPEC and start a complex and historical discussion with Moscow on LNG in the format of an enlarged OPEC marks the definitive decline of Saudi Arabia as a global energy power, to be replaced by Moscow and Doha as the main players in the energy market.

Qatar’s decision is, officially speaking, unconnected to the feud triggered by Saudi Arabia against the small emirate. However, it is evident that a host of factors has led to this historic decision. The unsuccessful military campaign in Yemen has weakened Saudi Arabia on all fronts, especially militarily and economically. The self-inflicted fall in the price of oil is rapidly consuming Saudi currency reserves, now at a new low of less than 500 billion dollars. Events related to Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) have de-legitimized the role of Riyadh in the world as a reliable diplomatic interlocutor. The internal and external repression by the Kingdom has provoked NGOs and governments like Canada’s to issue public rebukes that have done little to help MBS’s precarious position.

In Syria, the victory of Damascus and her allies has consolidated the role of Moscow in the region, increased Iranian influence, and brought Turkey and Qatar to the multipolar side, with Tehran and Moscow now the main players in the Middle East. In terms of military dominance, there has been a clear regional shift from Washington to Moscow; and from an energy perspective, Doha and Moscow are turning out to be the winners, with Riyadh once again on the losing side.

As long as the Saudi royal family continues to please Donald Trump, who is prone to catering to Israeli interests in the region, the situation of the Kingdom will only get worse. The latest agreement on oil production between Moscow and Riyad signals that someone in the Saudi royal family has probably figured this out.

Countries like Turkey, India, China, Russia and Iran understand the advantages of belonging to a multipolar world, thereby providing a collective geopolitical ballast that is mutually beneficial. The energy alignment between Qatar and the Russian Federation seems to support this general direction, a sort of G2 of LNG gas that will only strengthen the position of Moscow on the global chessboard, while guaranteeing a formidable military umbrella for Doha in case of a further worsening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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