October 1, 2015

Putin knows that Isil will be strangled without more oil as price falls further

Posted in Irish Independent · 90 comments ·
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Regular readers of this column will know that we forget Russia on the global stage at our peril. Russia is still a major player in our part of the world.

 

Much of the EU lies at the end of a huge pipeline of Russian gas. Russia will heat Europe this winter. In what is now known as the ‘Middle East’, Russia has long been a presence. When Russia looks south it sees the Muslim world. When we look south we see the sea. Russia’s entire southern border is Islamic; America’s is Mexico. The Soviet Union was defeated, not by Americans, but by Muslims in Afghanistan.

As a result, Russia is always keenly aware of the region, its ethnicities, and various ancient peoples who live cheek-by-jowl whether Persians, Turks, Kurds or Arabs.

It has constantly backed Iran, which backed Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and it has stood behind Assad and his father through many Arab-Israeli conflicts. Russia, for its own geo-strategic ends, values political stability over adventurism. And, if the results of the past 10 years are anything to go by, so too should most people.

Signs of Russia’s potency and America’s decline in the region are important visits to Moscow: Assad visited recently, as did Israel’s bossman Benjamin Netanyahu and, just before both of them, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt.

On the other side is Saudi Arabia, which has been tacitly supporting Sunni groups, like Isil and, of course, there is Turkey, whose president has been happy to accommodate Islamic groups of all sorts. Traditionally, and pre-dating the Arabs, the Ottomans and Iran have been implacable enemies. So there is lots of ‘previous’ in the area.

But now it seems that the Isil threat to the regions has brought Russia and America – and perhaps Egypt and Israel, and possibly even Iran and Turkey – together, on the same side.

Why would this be? Is it understandable revulsion at the beheading of innocents, or is it the refugee crisis in south-central Europe?

No: it’s the oil. Isil undefeated is a threat to the oil regions of the Middle East, and that’s a threat to everyone. Just look at the map.

It shows where Isil is and what oil fields are within its range. You can see that the Kurdish area of northern Iraq is threatened, and so too are the Shia oilfields of southern Iraq.

Oil has been central to the Isil governing strategy from the start. As distinct from al-Qa’ida, Isil wants to create a caliphate and that costs money. If you want to run a state, then you have to finance that state. Currently around 6.5 million people live in Isil-held territory in Iraq and Syria and, quite apart from extortion, oil revenues are a significant source of cash for Isil. It’s thought that Isil gets around $8million a month for oil sales from the oilfields it controls in Syria and Iraq.

Isil sells the oil in Turkey and even in Syria at way below market value via a series of middlemen. It is also trying to operate refineries and is known to have kidnapped local engineers to try to maintain these refineries.

Isil needs cash.

Not only is Isil trying to build a caliphate, but, according to the King of Jordan, it is paying its Jihadists up to $1,000 a month, which is way above the local salary. The group is therefore burning through money at a rapid rate and the only way it can build its State and keep its troops fighting in the field is by having more and more money.

Where will it get the cash?

From oil, of course.

Here’s where the big powers get nervous because Isil, like al-Qa’ida before it, understands that the oilfields of Saudi Arabia are within striking distance, not from an invasion force from Iraq but from a locally recruited force. Remember, Saudi Arabia is the greatest source of jihadist fighters for Isil. Certain mosques in Saudi are the recruitment centres for Isil.

In 2006, al-Qa’ida was able to detonate a massive explosion just outside the Abqaiq refinery – the biggest in the world. In 2013 there was a three-day siege of Amenas gas facility in Algeria by Isil, which left 39 foreign workers dead. So we know that Isil regards oil targets as legitimate and a source of both propaganda and revenue. While Saudi fields are the richest, the main activity for Isil would still be in Iraq and what remains in Syria, where it controls territory and has its network.

Now here is where the economics becomes interesting.

Every time the price of oil falls further, it makes Isil move to capture oilfields more, not less, urgently. Isil came to prominence just when the price of oil was at its highest and, like the Scottish Nationalists and oil producers everywhere, the Isil treasury department was probably betting on oil staying above $100 a barrel.

While they have robbed banks in Mosul and other conquered towns and continue to extort money from the locals, the real on-going cash flow comes from oil. It is strange to talk about the treasury department of Isil but it is an organisation like any other – and all organisations need money. Isil’s monetary problem is that the value of its major trading commodity has fallen rapidly.

As a result, it has to re-run its budget numbers, forecast revenues and cost base. Now that the price of oil has fallen to levels that no one in the business thought possible, Isil has to get more oil just to maintain the same revenue. This need will push it further into oil-producing areas of Syria in the east, and will also force it to move westwards into Iraq. Such a proposition means that Isil will be attacking on two fronts to get its hands on new oil revenues. These attacks will weaken it militarily and this could be why the big powers have moved against it now.

The Russians know this game. They have fought many resource-poor enemies in the past. The Nazis ploughed deeper and deeper into Russia in search of what Himmler described as, “villages, peopled by German colonisers, reaping crops from the rich dark earth”. Hitler, himself with an eye on the oil fields of the Caucasus region and, knowing that Germany had no oil, declared in 1942, “If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny, then I must end the war”.

Similarly today, Russia understands that Isil will be strangled without more oil as its price continues to fall. It also knows that if it defeats Isil, Russia will be top dog in the region, with both Assad and Iran – its allies – in a strong position.

Obviously the quid pro quo for a deal with Russia in Syria is that the West won’t worry too much about Ukraine. After all, Ukraine has no oil.

All in all, not a bad week at the office for Mr Putin.


  1. SMOKEY

    Putin also knows that the Muslim in Chief is sympathetic to ISIS and will do anything to hollow out the American military and debase the United States. Putin will have the legacy of doing what America should have done long ago, wipe this slime out.

    • EugeneN

      The rest of the world knows that the aim of America and its neo-con cabal is destabilisation in the Middle East regardless of the consequences for minorities or Christians there. What matters is Israeli security. The neo-cons want a war with Iran next heightening the crisis.

      Russia realises that Assad is a necessary evil. A secularist regime with many faults but not sectarian.

    • What slime would that be Smokey – the CIA? Hahahaha.

  2. Antaine

    Subscribe :-)

  3. easun55

    Al-Qaida = the database .
    Isis & isil = the database + few shiny toyotas
    Article = horseshit prob not allowed say that “but it’s a direct quote from know my of Jordan “

      • And you are who the fuck exactly? C’mon expert boy give me your analysis now rather than hide behind your silly moniker, sneering.

        David

        • You’re on a roll David, haha!

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Sadly the internet is a bit like a knife and it attracts all and sundry – one can use the knife to prepare the ragú all bolognese or one can use it to stab someone.

          I actually think this is your most thought provoking article since the article on the Spanish gold and it deserves a better response than some pseudo-equation crowned with incomprehensible English…

          I like the fact that your article dabbles in geopolitics – and this was a part of it which attracted my attention:

          “Every time the price of oil falls further, it makes Isil move to capture oilfields more, not less, urgently”.

          I am reading about huge budget deficits that Saudi Arabia is running due to its increased oil supply (in order to show the shale producers who is the boss and, perhaps, to hit Russia, which has supported their enemy Iran – killing two birds with one stone).

          If we take all of it into account – the price of oil needed for the likes of Iran, Russia and – by the looks of it – the seemingly totally immune from price fluctuations Saudi Arabia – then I wonder if the beginning of the war on ISIL would mean returning higher oil prices next year? And what implications would it have on Ireland?

          As to the Ukraine, I am almost convinced that the Syria for the Ukraine deal is in the offing: Nordstream 2 (the German-Russian deal over Poland’s head) is the best example, although the US stance on it is unclear as President Obama has decided to strengthen Poland’s geopolitical clout by letting President Duda (who represents pro-American and pro-UK option in contrast to the outgoing Polish pro-German government) to speak second after him in UNESCO (before President Putin) and inviting him to a table with President Putin (tellingly, with the king of Jordan – who was bombing ISIL) – President Duda is the young dude on Obama’s right hand side:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BYU9J8Ow4U

          Furthermore, the next year may bring the return of war in Ukraine (the truce expires in 3 months and this time the West will be preoccupied with other issues; Mrs. Merkel never cared about the Ukrainian refugees anyway as long as they weren’t entering Germany).

          Sometimes it’s hard not to say: “crikey!” when one reads comments like the one you are referring to…

          The only consolation I can offer is that it can be ultimately boiled down to the nature of democratic mentality (which is something we inherited and we have to live with, like commuter towns in a galaxy far away); that kind of mentality was best described by Plato in “The Republic”:

          “He lives from day to day indulging the appetite of the hour, and sometimes he is lapped in drink and strains of the flute; then he becomes a water-drinker, and tries to get thin; then he takes a turn at gymnastics; sometimes idling and neglecting everything, then once more living the life of a philosopher; often he is busy with politics, and starts to his feet and says and does whatever comes into his head; and, if he is emulous of any one who is a warrior, off he is in that direction, or of men of business, once more in that. His life has neither law nor order; and this distracted existence he terms joy and bliss and freedom; and so he goes on.”

          Warm regards

          Grzegorz

          • yadayada

            So why’s she so keen on Syrian (and other!) refugees if not Ukrainian?
            You’re right about these forums though. There was a discussion about gay men giving blood on another site and some buffoon wrote that there was nothing to worry about since hospitals boil the blood.

  4. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Yadayada, she is not that keen on them anymore if she closed her border and used martin schulz to threaten eastern europe with force. Besides she knew the ukrainian refugees were genuine and that they would stay in the first country which offered them asylum – poland – and not go to germany (the so called syrians would mot even stay in denmark because sweden pays twice as much)

  5. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Basivally what I am trying to say is that the topic of the Ukrainian refugees did not even make it to the media because they dispersed themselves in the vastness of the Polish landscape finding illegal jobs or/and asylum. The reason the so called Syrian refugees who claim they lost their passports are so much in our face is because they clearly say they go to whatever country offers them more social welfare. Why Mrs. Merkel said that in first place that 800,000 should come (25,000 came to Munich alone a few days after) is puzzling indeed. Perhaps she hoped she would cherrypick the wealthiest of them ad we indeed see? And dump the rest on the other countries. Whatever the reason she has changed her mind now. I would like to remund everyone that Wardaw was destroyed after the 44 uprising in the same percentage as Nagasaki and people looking to live there had to sleep in tents and build their own homes – and they weighted half as those Pakistanis we see. Same in Germany. Same in Russia. And one mire thing – who is persecuted

  6. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    F..g smartphones :-) just wanted to point out that the most persecuted group among Syrians are Christians. Yet we do not see any Christians (displaying symbols, even thoufh the media fish so hard for women and kids amidst the hords of muscled bearded young males. We see instead Muslim symbols and devastated desacrated Catholic cemetary in Hungary, as showed in one Polish TV station (the rest is ad PC as RTE). So, considering they lost their passports (Eastern European refugees in the 80s had to undergo a year long scrutiny befire they were granted asylums). So how do we know that among them so called Syrians as well as real Syruans there are no people who tortured the genuine victims in Syria? Just think of the release of criminals from Cuba in the 80s aling with genuine refugees. It now looks like Mrs. Merkel finally agreed with Mr. Orban that there shoul be some sort of scrut

  7. Adelaide

    I wonder what the effect the inevitable failure of Isis’ Caliphate will have on the pseudo-religion Islam? After all, if Allah can not save his own Caliphate which he promises in the Koran, then will Muslims begin to question the authenticity of their belief system? My own analysis is that Islam is a dying ‘religion’ and that these jihadists are the last bark of an enfeebled dog, before it rolls over dead.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “My own analysis is that Islam is a dying ‘religion’ and that these jihadists are the last bark of an enfeebled dog, before it rolls over dead.” – that’s a somewhat unexpected bout of optimism from you which I sadly do not share. Everything – demography, mad asylum politics or, strictly speaking, lack thereof and cultural and military weakness of Europe (which has many reasons, including decades of multi-culti propaganda and total relativism as a dominant ideology in Europe – a relativism which did not lead to tolerance, but to words like “Christmas” and short skirts being banned in certain schools lest they offend the Muslim community.

      Unless you mean that there is gonna be a reaction to that in Europe (such as the emergence of far-right or far-left movements or both – historically those two were going hand in hand – i.e. Hitler would not have started WWII if commis did not train his soldiers in the Soviet Union and signed the pact with him; in 1933 local elections in Berlin the Nazis and the commis embarked on a joint campaign – and I can easily imagine movements like Podemos, the demonised in the media Front National and some neo-Nazis in Germany cooperating with each other.

      By the way: did you know that they tried to delegalise the neo-Nazi parties in Germany, but this was rejected by the Tribunal because it turned out that some of their policies were influenced by the state agents? And this does not come from a paper like Bild, this was a major news in Germany a decade ago.

      All of those houses with immigrants set on fire – Mrs. Merkel knew about it…

      That’s I wonder – is Mrs. Merkel really so irrational with inviting 800,000 to Germany and then refusing entry after too many came too soon – or was a part of her plan? And what plan could that have been (show Europe Germany is now strong enough to break the EU law and impose sanctions on Hungary, which wants to adhere to it? Trigger the national socialist movement in Germany by drifting the public opinion into an anti-immigrant stance – which is inevitable when you see how the totally non-Syrian looking immigrants behave)

  8. It would seem that our supposed allies in the middle East are complicit in funding ISIS. “An army marches on its stomach”, and as such ISIS has to fund support, feed, and maintain 8 million people, as well as fund its aggression.

    Very complex. Only ground forces will contain ISIS. Supporting Assad is a part of the solution it seems.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2014/11/14/how-does-isis-fund-its-reign-terror-282607.html

    “Grossing as much as $40 million or more over the past two years, ISIS has accepted funding from government or private sources in the oil-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait—and a large network of private donors, including Persian Gulf royalty, businessmen and wealthy families.

    Until recently, all three countries had openly given hefty sums to rebels fighting Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime, among them ISIS. Only after widespread criticism from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the international community did Saudi Arabia pass legislation in 2013 criminalizing financial support of terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and ISIS.”

  9. coldblow

    Why is the oil so cheap? I have heard different explanations, including US domestic shale investments. But they wouldn’t deliberately ruin ISIS’s income would they?

    I remember watching BBC’s Newsnight during the so-called Arab Spring. A demonstration had been called in Saudi Arabia and only one man showed up. He gave a short interview to the BBC. The reporter saw the police following him home and he couldn’t contact him by phone the next day.

    • DB4545

      coldblow

      Why is the oil so cheap? That’s a question I’ve been trying to work out and maybe try this for an explanation. I hasten to add it’s not my explanation that credit must go to a Lebanese options trader called Mr. Taleb. I mentioned a few weeks ago that conventional wisdom would suggest that gold and oil are usually the canary in the coalmine in the event of war ie prices for both commodities tend to increase when there is growing geopolitical tensions. Turns out that this is bullshit and based on poor science. One New York trader turned $300,000 into $18,000,000 dollars trading oil futures the day the US attacked Iraq in 1991 by making his bet based on experience rather than economic or pseudo scientific theories.

      Price and reality are not the same thing(as we’ve just found out with VW). One may be a function of the other but the function may be too complex to map mathemathically and this can result in wildly asymmetrical outcomes. There may be an expectation that a war could cause a rise in oil prices but not a “scheduled” war as prices adjust to expectations. In essence war has already been priced in and stock levels are at all time highs to meet this expectation. There is finite storage capacity after processing so once the world’s existing oil tanks are filled either the tap must be shut off or the ongoing “overspill” will cause a short term collapse. Theories are fine until reality means all the world’s oil tanks are full (albeit for a short period). In other words it’s not economics it’s plumbing. Isis and Isil need funds so unless and until they’re neutralized the tap can’t be shut off and the overspill will continue thus depressing or possibly further collapsing prices.

      War today is fuel efficient drones and satellite imagery. It’s moved on from fuel hungry tanks and troop transports. The US therefore has few concerns regarding oil security because of fracking in the medium term and can turn on more supply at its leisure. Lack of storage capacity linked with oversupply linked with decreased demand. If anyone has a better explanation I’d love to hear it.

      • ps200306

        That’s pretty much the explanation as I understand it too, DB4545. The best example is the EIA in the US, since there is mandatory monthly reporting on inventory levels. If you compare them to US consumption figures you can see that there is about six weeks of consumption working its ways through the system at any one time. It looks like more, but of course some of the inventory is just oil at different stages of refinement. You can’t decrease the inventory at one point in the chain without increasing it in another.

        Sometimes this leads to the markets reacting to apparent oversupply when all that has happened is a major refinery offline for maintenance or repair leading to a bottleneck at the crude storage end of the chain.

        US storage is generally between 40% and 60% utilisation. Anything outside that range is usually taken as a signal that demand is outstripping supply or vice versa. Because the buffers are relatively small, supply and demand have to be fairly tightly matched. That’s why relatively small amounts of over and under supply globally can cause such large price swings. And these are amplified of course by market expectations and speculation.

        • DB4545

          ps200306

          It seems to make sense without invoking grand theories or bad maths. Probably like a butcher’s shop without modern refrigeration. But even modern refrigeration capacity is a finite buffer . If the butcher’s previous experience hasn’t enabled him to risk assess realistic demand correctly he’s going to be left with a lot of rotting turkeys at midnight on Christmas eve.

  10. DB4545

    It’s hard to argue with that analysis David. Russia seems like the only interested party who are behaving like pragmatists. The US may have serious technology but the people in charge are like babies playing with a box of hand grenades. Some of the loony tune Jesus freaks on the US right wing are just as crazy as the crazies who want to do suicide bombings. If they’re all so keen to meet their maker why don’t they just get together and blow the fuck out of each other and leave the rest of us alone? What’s the exit strategy if this all goes tits up like Vietnam or Afghanistan?

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      “Russia seems like the only interested party who are behaving like pragmatists”

      And they have their own ways of dealing with illegal immigrants:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPJLgByj9F8

      As to ISIS, I am re-posting the link I have already posted in the past, although like I said, this is now obsolete as 4 out 5 CIA trained “terrorists/freedom fighters” switched sides (would someone please ever notice this talking about ISIS and CIA?)- a rather regular occurrence in the world history of rebellions and risings – I think both names are inaccurate, but every kind under the sun…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LSIwvE0Nvo

      Please note I am not attaching any moral point of view to the origins of these terrorist groups. CIA has been creating their own, Russia has been creating their own (the KGB trained mega-rich Mr. Arafat so beloved by President Higgins) and Israel has invented the modern terrorism, blowing up the hotel with civilians and thus facilitated President Truman’s decision…

      It’s not about morality, it never was and it never will be. It’s about growing and maintaining an empire and by the way, in one very academic geopolitical analysis they concluded that in 16 cases whereby one empire was declining (like the US now) and the other was rising (like China now), in 11 cases it led to a war…

      • DB4545

        Grzegorz

        They certainly seem to have their own ways of dealing with illegal immigrants and they also seem to have mastered the art of crowd control. Judging by the video I don’t think too many refugees will be knocking on Russian social welfare offices demanding a house and 1000 euros a month. Maybe something is being lost in translation. Perhaps the Swedish welfare department needs to employ a few Russian welfare officials to help newcomers to assimilate?

  11. ps200306

    David, I have to somewhat disagree with your assessment of ISIL’s chances of acquiring major new oil assets. ISIL may be a bunch of murdering psychopaths, and a scourge on the populations of the territories they control, but there is a reason why they are in the areas they are. It is because of Sunni sympathisers, a bit like the way the IRA flourished in certain areas of Northern Ireland even though few people were explicit supporters.

    In Iraq, Sunnis have long resented the governments in Baghdad, from the post-invasion Coalition Provisional Authority to the majority Shia coalitions that succeeded it. A semblance of control was maintained in the Sunni tribal areas — mainly Anbar province — by the Americans during the CPA era by paying tribal leaders off under the guise of anti-Al-Qu’aeda peace keepers. Under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki those payments stopped, and furthermore Maliki operated unashamedly sectarian policies that favoured Shi’ite areas over the oil-poor Anbaris.

    Remember that in Saddam’s socialist Iraq the army was one of the biggest employers and “de-Ba’athification” under the Americans had already impoverished many Sunni areas. Although the Americans eventually learned their lesson, Maliki reneged on promises to pay salaries and integrate Sunni Awakening fighters into the security forces. The upshot was that even the existing Sunni representation in the Iraqi parliament was abandoned by its own electorate, with the Sunni deputy prime minister famously chased out of Ramadi by his own rock-throwing constituents in 2013.

    It was against this backdrop that the sectarian problems festering in Syria were able to boil over and make rapid inroads in Iraq. A mishmash of tribal agitators, recalcitrant Ba’athists, and various disgruntled factions welcomed the ISIS advances. ISIS were able to expel the Iraqi army — much distrusted in Sunni areas — and maintain food, water, and oil supplies as well as setting up social services. All in all, ISIS is now well entrenched in the Sunni heartland along the Euphrates river and in the western desert.

    But, it’s chances of making further major territorial gains in Iraq are limited. It wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in the Shi’ite heartland of the south, and the oil fields around Basra are as safe as houses. North of Baghdad and in the Kurdish northwest things are more complicated, but a combination of the Iraqi army, Kurdish fighters, and Shi’ite militias have kept things at bay.

    The latter are not to be underestimated. While we have been treated to a litany of news items about ISIL beheadings and other gory deeds, we hear rather less about similar atrocities visited on Sunni communities by Shi’ites. Apart from the well-known Mahdi Army and Badr Brigade, there are dozens of militias, many of them tacitly supported by the Iraqi government or infiltrated into the paid “Facilities Protection Service”. And like ISIL itself, although they are mostly money-making machines for their bigwig overlords, there is no shortage of idealistic recruits attracted by apocalyptic Shia narratives similar to those of the ISIL caliphate.

    The Kurds up north are also a very determined bunch. Having survived Saddam’s gas attacks and his programs of Arabisation, and having wrested major concessions over oil revenue from the subsequent governments, they will not relinquish their oil territory easily to ISIL. Those oil interests have been their sole leverage within the Iraqi parliament and their hopes of continuing autonomy, if not eventual independence, are invested in them. While the world has been treated to more than a decade of news of Iraqi disintegration, the Kurds have been building their own little world apart. The regional capital of Irbil has glitzy high rise apartment and office complexes, shopping malls, a football stadium, and a busy international airport. It is a far cry from Mosul, which was a focus of Saddam’s arabisation efforts and had a largely Arab and Turkmen population. Mosul probably represents the limits of ISIL territorial gains in the north.

    N.B. Just to correct a small typo in your article — Iraq is in the east and Syria in the west.

  12. michaelcoughlan

    Hi David,

    An excellent and thought provoking article. I know next to nothing about the region but having said that would like to add my two pence worth that I am not sure that the US and Russia are on the same side;

    http://www.mintpressnews.com/migrant-crisis-syria-war-fueled-by-competing-gas-pipelines/209294/

    Your analysis of the Spanish need to invade everywhere after the gold credit collapse is most appropriate. Whether you are a Saudi Prince, a US Diplomat, Islamic militant, Israeli General, etc. etc. all are focused n two things;

    Secure the assets,

    Secure the route to market,

    and all because the worlds financial system and its derivatives bubble are demanding that the Governments do this since its impossible to fleece citizens or more loot.

    Michael.

  13. Deco

    David,
    Sorry for annoying you the other day, but I am fed up with the BS coming from the Irish media on just about everything – particularly RTE.
    And I was coming to the conclusion that you were going for housetraining like the rest.
    Please understand – dissenting opinions are helpful.

  14. cooldude

    One area that needs to be explored is the origins of ISIS and who secretly funds them. As the article states Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey have all funded and helped train these mercenaries. Going further into the murky depths we find the US and Israel also involved in the funding and training of these viscous mercenaries. The one agenda binding all of these supporters is to remove the Assad regime by any means possible. The previous attempt to do this with the so called Free Syrian Army failed in 2012 because the staged gas attack, which was supposed to give the US the pretext to attack Assad, was proven to have been staged by the mercenaries and not the government forces. I will provide this proof later.

    This current campaign to dislodge Assad is the reason ISIS was created. Israel openly support the mercenaries around the golan heights area and give them weapons and medical aid. Their agenda is to destabilize the strong states in the region and to split them up into smaller sectarian regions which they could control easier. This is also their plan for Iran and they have openly published papers advocating this approach to the region.

    This is not a civil war in Syria but an effort to introduce regime change through ruthless mercenaries against a government which has the support of over 70% of its people. On the disgusting subject of beheading innocent people Saudi Arabia indulges in this grotesque practice on a regular basis and yet they are supposed to be our ally. What a strange world we live in.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-general-we-helped-build-isis-islamic-state-obtained-weapons-from-u-s-consulate-in-benghazi-libya/5399141?utm_sourc

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      The problem (the problem for the Americans) with ISIS is that they CIA trained ISIS mercenaries switched sides:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-war-on-syria-obama-lied-when-he-said-this/5479088?utm_source=Global+Research+Newsletter&utm_campaign=0653493a94-Newsletter_01_10_1510_1_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0ec9ab057f-0653493a94-81252153&ct=t%28Newsletter_01_10_1510_1_2015%29&mc_cid=0653493a94&mc_eid=8b9a20ce53

      which does not prevent the US to buy oil from ISIS (as the Maidan coup’d etat it did not prevent President Putin from having business with Mr. Poroshenko (Poroshenko’s chocolate factory in Russia)…

      Talking of Israel:

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/1.559988

      However, when we could learn from Israel (dealing with the current wave of refugees, Mossad, army-IT connections – we do not…)

      • cooldude

        Instead of dealing with refugees we should cease our support of the creation of refugees. The west needs to stop all of this “regime change” and look after its own people. Libya had the best education and health systems in all of Africa and the west bombed the shit out of them because they wanted to be paid for their oil in different currencies. Also Syria and Iran refuse to let their central banks be run by the western elites. Suddenly they are also “threats’ and regime change and countless millions of refugees is the result.

        We the west need to stop interfering in the legitimate business of other countries. If human rights has anything to do with this regime change, and it doesn’t, then Saudi Arabia and Bahrain would be good places to start. SA recently paraded the beheaded crucifix of a journalist who questioned their unelected regime. Bahrain is another monarchy with an horrific human rights record. Also Israel is heading towards an apartheid state when it is somehow supposed to be our “ally”. Human rights must be the starting point for any serious look into these problems. These people have a right to live their lives without the west bombing the shit out of them. The refugees are just a consequence of this barbarous attitude.

        • ps200306

          “Libya had the best education and health systems in all of Africa and the west bombed the shit out of them because they wanted to be paid for their oil in different currencies.”

          Yeah, lets ignore that Gadaffi was brutally repressive, or a sponsor of international terrorism, or that he used to go to inspect those nice schools he built in order to select young girls that he then kidnapped, enslaved and raped.

          • He was no angel but he was good for his people. ( I am reminded of a family story that the Lord of the Manor in Turlough Co Mayo in the late 1700′s had an eye for the local girls. Rape and pillage was on his mind. Two days after putting out the imperial summons to a Brogan lass he was hauled off his horse at night and laid dead and buried under leaves in a ditch. Sounds like the time of the “Moonlightings” Any way it is something to tell the grandchildren) But when does anyone have the right to invade a sovereign country just because they do not like domestic policies. How many have been raped and pillaged after Gaddafi was murdered.

            Just where do you draw the line of morality? Is there an international rule of law to handle such events.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use_of_force_by_states

            Here is another account that if you read it may help you to understand that Gaddafi was widely popular and was taken down at the instigation of the western powers shortly after he proposed a Pan African currency based on the Islamic gold dinar.

            http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-destruction-of-libya-and-the-murder-of-muammar-gaddafi-nato-s-moral-defeat/27305

            Shortly after the invasion of Libya when the rebels held a small territory on the coast it was reported in the mainstream media that the rebels had asked for the formation of a central bank. That makes a lot of sense doesn’t it. 132 tonnes of gold bullion was stolen from the Libya people.

            The countries infrastructure was destroyed and it is reduce to tribal warring factions.

            However it is no longer a threat to the supremacy of the US dollar as reserve currency.

            Iraq was invaded for a similar reason. Saddam had proposed to sell Iraq’s oil in Euros. Can’t have that now can we.

            In Syria– An oil/gas pipeline running from the Middle East to Europe would cut Russian Influence a lot. Do you think Russia will sit idly by.

          • redriversix

            America is the greatest sponsor of international terror and has been for tears.

            I take no pleasure in stating this..but it’s fact

            I could go on..but really couldn’t be arsed as no one gives two flying….. !!!

            Have a nice day

            Anyone wanna play candy crush ?

          • ps200306

            Tony Brogan, it’s always interesting to hear alternative points of view, but it has to be pointed out that your source — globalresearch.ca, which I’ve been keeping an eye on for over a decade — is well-known as a conspiracy and propaganda site. Look up the Wikipedia page of its founder, Michael Chussodovsky, to find for instance that:

            -quote- In a 2006 Western Standard article by Terry O’Neill, Chossudovsky was included among “Canada’s nuttiest professors”, “whose absurdity stands head and shoulders above their colleagues” and who were “peddling half-baked or discredited theories or plain old bigotry”. Chussodovsky was said to hold that the U.S. had fore-knowledge of the September 11 attacks and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami; that Washington had weapons that could influence climate change; and that the large banking institutions are the cause of the collapse of smaller economies, characterised by O’Neill as ” more like wild-eyed conspiracy theories than serious political discourse”. – quote-

            Chussodovsky is a contributor to Russia Today and Iranian Press TV, and regularly regurgitates the propaganda from both those sites. He was an unashamed supporter of Gaddafi and former Serbian president Milosevic. He’s a recipient of a merit award from the Serbian government.

            In short, anything coming from globalresearch.ca at best should be treated as requiring independent corroboration (and not from the many sites that simply repeat its claims as gospel).

          • ps200306

            On looking further I see that half the contrarian comments on this thread are quoting globalresearch.ca. Unfortunately, you can pick any conspiracy theory you like nowadays and find any number of internet sources to back you up. This one in particularly has a scholarly tone which can easily mislead. Having read Chussodovsky for many years, I can assure that it would be generous to call him “batshit crazy” — I’m more inclined to think that his stuff is the product of malice aforethought.

      • redriversix

        Oh……and Isis or Isil or Islamic state will never run out of money….not until it suits Saudi Arabia or America. ..which is a long time away….

  15. easun55

    Isis only came into existence after the absolute embarrassing loss of foreign policy when obama tried to get US into war with Syria. Result Obama well and truly outplayed by Vputin . Next along come IS the eternal boogieman the west needs in the Middle East to secure their interventionist foreign policy.
    To say that IS are this self funding terror behemoth miss appropriating the natural resources of the region and omitting McCain and rodders intimate relationship with ISIS is crazy.
    To starkly portray US and Israel as enemies of ISIS when in reality ISIS is an enema of them both.

  16. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Mesmerised by Cooldudes link I posted acwrong link for ISIS switching dides. Can’t post it noe, but check the atlanticnews.com Everyone who talks about ISIS and the US without kniwing that 4 out 5 switched sides is at least a year behind I am afraid. It would be interesting to hear from Dave though how ISIS sells oil – and about thebrole if Turkey in this and in the refugee crisis. And thevimplications for the US Iran deal if Iran joins Russia in the anti- ISIS coalition. Especially in view of the fact that Mr. Netanyahu almost got blue in his face that the plan with Syria misfired and President Obama did nit bomb Iran…

    • coldblow

      Grzegorz

      Your iPhone makes you sound like Crabtree, the British airman stranded in France in Allo Allo:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2wfXB3CW18

      • coldblow

        Here’s another. Poles should like this series:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYGBbeile-c

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          I even like the camera work :-)

          I have found this:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQY9IvoaTgk

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADMbYB32FXk

          Some of them accents are better, some of them are worse, but Maryl Streep and Daniel Bruhl do absolutely amazing accents (respect, as Ali G would say): Maryl Streep sounds like a Polish person living in Ireland for 30 years – which is the biggest praise one can imagine) – and Daniel Bruhl sounds completely Polish. What a guy.

          The rest of them are accents are maybe not that good, some of them are really bad (sadly Sacha Baron-Cohen only says a few words in Polish and then he speaks in a language unknown to even me – and since when Polish is spoken in Kazachstan anyway? – well it has some Polish minority captured by the Soviets during and after WWII, but they do not look like that – btw, we have no money to bring that minority to Poland and yet we have to worry about the incredibly Albanians passing off as Syrians), but they are all funny.

          The funniest dialogues? The American wife who learned to speak Polish and the Polish psychopath in the horror movie who scares the bejaysus out of the social workers (they missed a few though: the evil Jewish box in The Possession speaks Polish and detective Danny Krychek has a Polish wife in the Crime Story and speaks Polish in one episode.

    • Here, Grzegorz’

      This was posted above but I’ll give you the link again. It is a comprehensive discussion and shows how ISIS is funded and likely to have more problems in future.

      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/interview-reveals-how-isis-funded-5546174

  17. Russia:

    Russian output hits post-Soviet high: The WSJ noted that Russia’s oil output in September rose to an average of 10.74M bpd, up 0.4% from August to levels not seen since the Soviet Union. It said the figures are the latest indication that Russia isn’t prepared to join OPEC in trimming production to prop up prices.

    Posted at lemetropolecafe.com

    • cont….

      US:

      Drillers bet choking wells will keep shale from going bust: Bloomberg reported a growing number of companies are restricting initial output – a process known as choking back. It said they are conceding huge up-front supplies of crude in exchange for smaller production declines over time so that the wells ultimately generate more oil. It pointed out that choke management is among a number of strategies that US drillers have used to stave off a collapse in production.
      US still produces a lot of oil in the Gulf: The WSJ noted that US oil output unexpectedly rose in July, largely due to higher output from offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico.

      • DB4545

        Tony Brogan

        Have a look at the Bloomberg article on Williston in the Bakken in North Dakota in relation to the Man Camps. I don’t see top down planning at work there Tony just a lack of cash to keep things moving. Fort McMurray can’t be much fun either at the moment. Sometimes there just is no correlation.

        • Saudi Arabia said it would continue to pump oil and/or increase volume to maintain market share. Other countries need the income and so have ramped up production to maintain revenue. Us Frack wells are cheery picking production at lower costs. Storage facilities are nearly full. russia increases volume.

          Etc.

          Price will stay down while this continues. Eventually something gives. Central planners will continue to pump and over produce rather than react to market. That is most of the world.

          Nothing is rational any longer. There is no such thing as a free market. Tech analysis is now useless.

          Economies are contracting based on electric power consumption, dry baltic index and other physical measures. The only expansion is in the volume of money bt velocity is at a crawl. Liquidity is falling.

          Stock markets are supported by bank and government activity. Economic measurement in currency is misleading as inflation is higher than so called gains making the gains negative.

          The number of people in the workforce in the US continues to fall as a percent of population. Wages have risen marginally since 2008 crash but are still several percent lower than the last high as a rate of dollars per hour. Average household income is lower too. There is no recovery.

          Lies and deceit are evident all around when one starts to question.

          You are right. Fort McMurray and Alberta are in recession. The engine of Canada has coked up and Canada as a whole is close to zero growth. The election soon has the government defending on the basis of who is best to run the economy. Both NDP and Liberals will open the flood gates to increased debt and borrowing. Conservatives are little better.

          Gold and silver are in rising trend in many currencies as inflation is a problem and currencies drop in value. Today was a bounce back of 2.25% in gold in $US and 5% plus for silver.

          Russia will secure Assad and some of the Syrian territory, then turn on ISIS. US will be forced to join with Russia or abandon the pretext of being against ISIS. As we know most the the terrorist organization are funded indirectly or directly by US agencies in the interest of regime change.

          Cooldude’s comments are exactly correct and echo my own of recent months. The US is no more interested in democracy than Paddy’s pig. The US itself is more and more authoritarian month by month. Canada too.

          It is all about power and control of the world. First control the money and then you have all else. The next currency will be the implementation of Special Drawing Rights of the IMF. It will comprise a selection of currencies and remains to be seen if gold is included. China wants in but may insist along with Russia on a gold sector.

          One world government draws closer.

          Where is the article you wish me to read?

        • I Googled it.

          http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-29/man-camp-exodus-spurs-real-estate-crisis-across-u-s-shale-towns.

          Sounds like a cheap credit fueled boom. Now the bust. Only in China did I hear you say??

  18. Ah Jaysus

    Plenty of inaccuracies in this article. Iran is not an Arabic country and Russia’s entire southern border is certainly not Islamic. Since when are Ukraine, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China Islamic?

  19. Secret handshake. Perpetual War for perpetual Peace.

    http://needtoknow.news/archives/2015-2/2015-10-02/

    Iranian ground troops in Syria

    http://ep.yimg.com/ty/cdn/realityzone/NTKiranSupportsRussiaSyria2015.html

    Not much is said in the news about Saudi Arabia invading and Fighting in Yemen.

  20. DB4545

    Tony Brogan

    I just don’t buy into the whole one world government top down theory. It can’t work anyway. I just think we live a highly complex world where for any number of reasons or inputs there are unpredictable asymmetries of outcome that can’t be mapped by grand theories or mathematical algorithims.

    Compute the following by changing the variables using the following formula.

    Inputs A + (D + BoC )+ So(O) + So(D) = Outcome GNO or PPNO

    Where A is your age,D is your date for the night,BoC is your beverage of choice So(O)is your sexual orientation and So(D) is your date’s sexual orientation.

    GNO represents a good night out and PPNO represents a piss poor night out.

    The key variables are:

    Your Date (a)Cara Delevingne (b) Joan Burton (c) Elton John.

    Beverage of choice (a)Whiskey(b) Red Wine (c) Crack Cocaine.

    If you can accurately predict the type of a night you’ll have based solely on just those six key variables inside the brackets you should consider running a hedge fund. The real world unfortunately has many more variables and wildly unpredictable asymmetries of outcomes.

    • Very constructive in understanding how you view the world.

      • DB4545

        Tony Brogan

        Sadly Tony my world view is much more conservative and boring. However there would appear to be people making decisions in financial institutions worldwide based on even more crazy algorithms and variables. We have the current mania for big data with data mining and data analytics hoping to turn random variables into gold. It’ll be interesting to see how that turns out.

  21. onq

    David,

    Where did you get the idea that ISIS needs cash? Long before they had seized any oil rich lands, ISIS trundled across Iraq in a fleet of white Toyota Pickups. Hundreds of thousands worth of vehicles. Thus they were already armed, equipped and trained before they ever turned a dollar in oil revenue into their accounts. This status did not suddenly descend on them from the firmament.

    It is widely reported that the United States, Israel and GCC actors have funded, armed and trained ISIS. It is known that Turkey has facilitated goods and oil commerce between ISIS and other actors. Israel has been exposed giving medical aid to ‘Syrian Rebels’.

    The caterpillar-eaten fig leaf used by the United States that it was only training “MODERATE REBELS” is totally bogus ‘stuff and nonsense.’ How exactly do you kill people “moderately”?

    60+ fighting personnel destined to fight for these ‘moderate rebels’ were trained in Jordan – they allegedly GAVE their weapons and equipment to ISIS for save passage. What were they trained as? Logistics experts? Political lobbyists? You send 60 guys into the field and they promptly give away their kit?

    Then there were the air drops, not of bombs but of equipment and supplies that where miraculously dropped right on ISIS positions! Astonishing bad luck. None of them was even bruised by a falling crate dropping out of the night sky when they weren’t expecting it?

    This waffle is worse than the 9-11 myth which expected people to believe that you can totally demolish three buildings using two aircraft, but I digress.

    Now Americas political footprints have disappeared into a moral quicksand. The sworn enemies of the US, Al Qaeda, are now part of these ‘moderate rebel’ groups. The loud, smacking sound you hear is the suspenders of disbelief finally giving way under this shedload of lies, half-truths and deception.

    Really, just read this.

    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/10/01/war-party-hates-putin-loves-al-qaeda/

    War Party Hates Putin – Loves al-Qaeda
    “War on terrorism” turns into cold war against Russia

  22. Maybe those that can’t handle the truth will diss CNN too

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-884508

    This is what we in the West destroyed in Libya with lies, deceit, armaments, battleships and war planes. Are you proud?

    “”Here are some Facts you probably do not know about Libya under Muammar Gaddafi:
    • There was no electricity bills in Libya; electricity is free … for all its citizens.
    • There was no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
    • If a Libyan is unable to find employment after graduation, the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
    • Should Libyans want to take up a farming career, they receive farm land, a house, equipment, seed and livestock to kick start their farms –this was all for free.
    • Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
    • A home was considered a human right in Libya. (In Qaddafi’s Green Book it states: “The house is a basic need of both the individual and the family, therefore it should not be owned by others.”)
    • All newlyweds in Libya would receive 60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start a family.
    • A portion of Libyan oil sales is or was credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
    • A mother who gives birth to a child would receive US $5,000.
    • When a Libyan buys a car, the government would subsidizes 50% of the price.
    • The price of petrol in Libya was $0.14 per liter.
    • For $ 0.15, a Libyan local could purchase 40 loaves of bread.
    • Education and medical treatments was all free in Libya. Libya can boast one of the finest health care systems in the Arab and African World. All people have access to doctors, hospitals, clinics and medicines, completely free of charge.
    • If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government would fund them to go abroad for it – not only free but they get US $2,300/month accommodation and car allowance.
    • 25% of Libyans have a university degree. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans were literate. Today the figure is 87%.
    • Libya had no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – though much of this is now frozen globally.

    Gaddafi wrote, “They want to do to Libya what they did to Iraq and what they are itching to do to Iran. They want to take back the oil, which was nationalized by these country’s revolutions. They want to re-establish military bases that were shut down by the revolutions and to install client regimes that will subordinate the country’s wealth and labor to imperialist corporate interests. All else is lies and deception.”

    Finally, the gold bullion held by the Libyan Central Bank (March 2011) was among the 25 largest reserves in the world, as reported by the Financial Times, citing the International Monetary Fund. This provided Libya a critical lifeline after billions of Libya’s assets were seized by the United States and the 27 member states of the European Union.

    Many believe the NATO-led invasion of Libya was/is about oil and a vast wealth of other natural resources. Yet another critical element that few are aware of is the fact that Gaddafi had planned to introduce a single African currency made from gold. [Of this proposed African currency] Dr James Thring stated, “It’s one of these things that you have to plan almost in secret, because as soon as you say you’re going to change over from the dollar to something else, you’re going to be targeted … There were two conferences on this, in 1986 and 2000, organized by Gaddafi. … Most countries in Africa were keen.” This would have eradicated the US Dollar and Euro as trade currencies for Africa.

      • cont..
        “People’s committees were established in such widely divergent organizations as universities, private business firms, government bureaucracies, and the broadcast media. Geographically based committees were formed at the governorate, municipal, and zone (lowest) levels. Seats on the people’s committees at the zone level were filled by direct popular election; members so elected could then be selected for service at higher levels. By mid-1973 estimates of the number of people’s committees ranged above 2,000.

        In the scope of their administrative and regulatory tasks and the method of their members’ selection, the people’s committees purportedly embodied the concept of direct democracy that Gaddafi propounded in the first volume of The Green Book, which appeared in 1976. The same concept lay behind proposals to create a new political structure composed of “people’s congresses.” The centerpiece of the new system was the General People’s Congress (GPC), a national representative body intended to replace the RCC”

      • 2. cont..

        The Libyan government stated that the Libyan Jamahiriya was a direct democracy without any political parties, governed by its populace through local popular councils and communes (named Basic People’s Congresses). Official rhetoric disdained the idea of a nation state, tribal bonds remaining primary, even within the ranks of the military of Libya.[21]

      • 3.cont..

        Continuing to revamp Libya’s political and administrative structure, Gaddafi introduced yet another element into the body politic. Beginning in 1977, “revolutionary committees” were organized and assigned the task of “absolute revolutionary supervision of people’s power”; that is, they were to guide the people’s committees, “raise the general level of political consciousness and devotion to revolutionary ideals”. In reality, the revolutionary committees were used to survey the population and repress any political opposition to Gaddafi’s autocratic rule. Reportedly 10% to 20% of Libyans worked in surveillance for these committees, a proportion of informants on par with Ba’athist Iraq or North Korea.”

      • 4.cont..

        Libya continued to be plagued with a shortage of skilled labor, which had to be imported along with a broad range of consumer goods, both paid for with petroleum income. This same oil revenue, however, made possible a substantial improvement in the lives of virtually all Libyans. During the 1970s, the government succeeded in making major improvements in the general welfare of its citizens. By the 1980s Libyans enjoyed much improved housing and education, comprehensive social welfare services, and general standards of health that were among the highest in Africa.

      • No doubt Kaddafi was involved in terrorist encouragement.
        5.cont..

        Gaddafi and international terrorism[edit]
        See also: Active measures
        File:Oil Rich Libya.ogv
        1972 newsreel including interview with Gaddafi about his support for radical groups
        In 1971 Gaddafi warned that if France opposes Libyan military occupation of Chad, he will use all weapons in the war against France including the “revolutionary weapon”.[45] On 11 June 1972, Gaddafi announced that any Arab wishing to volunteer for Palestinian terrorist groups “can register his name at any Libyan embassy will be given adequate training for combat”. He also promised financial support for attacks.[66] On 7 October 1972, Gaddafi praised the Lod Airport massacre, executed by the communist Japanese Red Army, and demanded Palestinian terrorist groups to carry out similar attacks.[66]

      • “According to the 2009 Freedom of the Press Index, Libya is the most censored country in the Middle East and North Africa.[91]“

      • UK and US partnered with Libya in spying and illegal torture

        There is indication that between the years of 2002 and 2007, Libya’s Gaddafi-era intelligence service had a partnership with western spy organizations including MI6 and the CIA, who voluntarily provided information on Libyan dissidents in the United States and Canada in exchange for using Libya as a base for extraordinary renditions. This was done despite Libya’s history of murdering dissidents abroad, and with full knowledge of Libya’s brutal mistreatment of detainees.[95][96][97]

    • Sounds like way too much government intervention in private lives to suit your tastes Tony.

    • ps200306

      “Maybe those that can’t handle the truth will diss CNN too”

      Ah c’mon Tony, a bit of basic discernment is called for. That article is not by CNN, it is by some randomer on the Internet with a big fat CNN disclaimer prefacing it. Why would you trust it any more than the item in its comments which — if frequent repetition is to be a sign of authenticity — appears on many sites and this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/notes/libya-outreach-group/myths-of-the-gaddafi-regime-explained/290695180954751

      Below, Nizar Mhani (Niz Ben-Essa) of the Free Generation Movement responds to common misconceptions relating to the Gaddafi regime (the bolded inaccurate statements are being circulated via email forward). Follow FGMovement on Facebook, and FGMovement on Twitter.

      There are no electricity bills in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
      Categorically untrue. Despite poor electricity infrastructure and poor coverage of electricity lines, even in the Capital, Libyan home owners pay monthly/quarterly (area dependant) electricity bills based on meter readings. Electricity is cut off in instances of unpaid bills. Reconnection upon payment is not instant. The electric infrastructure is weak and some areas of Libya do not have electricity available at all.

      There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at 0% interest by law.
      Categorically untrue. Banks all over Libya have been giving out loans for years and years. There is a percentage rate charge on all loans, which is comparable to an interest rate, but in the spirit of ‘islamic ethics’ it is not called interest, it is called an ‘Administrative Expense’ – Masareef Edareeya.
      A House is considered a human right in Libya ¬ Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home. Gaddafi¹s father has died while he, his wife and his mother are still living in a tent.
      Gaddafi abused this human right as much as he did other basic rights. It is well known in Libya that political opponents and successful business men/women had their homes confiscated and handed over to regime members, usually rewards for Free Officers – Dubat A7rar. Many farms and homes and businesses were confiscated during three infamous phases of Libyas dictatorial history:

      1969 – The dreaded Green Revolution. Free Officers were rewarded land, homes, and farms that sometimes belonged to other people and the original owners were not compensated or asked if this was ok.

      Late 70’s – The introduction of the law Albayt le Sakinehee – The Home Belongs to its Dwellers. As this law was passed overnight, thousands of homeowners instantly lost their homes, as tenants (those renting the homes) claimed ownership on account of being the ‘dwellers’. The law applied to homes, farms, shops, etc.

      90’s – The introduction of Purification Committees (Lejnat al Tatheer). This committee ran by the widely know slogan, ‘Min ayna laka hada?’ – “From where did you obtain this?”, a form of ultra-socialism where people’s possessions, including homes and businesses, were confiscated if seen to be ‘surplus to requirement’ or contributing to a ‘monopoly’.
      Regarding Gaddafis ‘vow’: While Gaddafi waited for ‘everyone in Libya’ to be housed, he himself lived in a sprawling 6km square compound in the centre of the capital which was home to state of the art security and an underground network of rooms and ultramodern bunkers. He also had a vast and well known farm on Airport Road in Tripoli. This, just in the capital.

      All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinar (US$ 50,000 ) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
      This is a well known rumour and a common joke in Libya. Whilst it may have been passed as official legislation, I know of not a single family who has been given this grant. The backbreaking bureaucracy associated with such grants and loans make them more or less impossible to obtain.

      Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25% of Libyans are literate. Today the figure is 83%.
      Education and Health Care – Free does not mean adequate. It is well known that Libya’s standard of health care is nothing short of appalling. It is widely known that the majority of Libyans seeking medical care leave for neighbouring countries for treatment. Our Education system is no better. It is outdated, teachers are underpaid and under-trained and libraries are largely non-existent. The syllabus was constantly being revised and reviewed under direct instruction from the former regime e.g. banning English, changing Quranic verses, etc.
      It is commonly said that Libyans would be happy to forfeit their ‘free health care’ and pay for a National Health Service if it was up to the required standard.

      Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and Livestock to kick- start their farms all for free.
      This has never happened, in addition to this many farms and homes have been confiscated by the government to build railroads, The Great Man Made River and civil roads.
      The owners of the land were only compensated if there was a covered structure on the land as the Gaddafi regime legally owned any land and the people were only allowed to build on it. When there was compensation offered it was nowhere near the actual value of the property and many waited years to receive anything if at all. This system was also rife with corruption many residents told they had to pay a bribe to receive what little they were given.

      If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need in Libya, the government funds them to go abroad for it not only free but they get $2, 300/month accommodation and car allowance.
      Categorically untrue. If this was the case, the former regime would have been in receipt of 6 million application forms – one for every man, women and child who ‘cannot find education or medical facilities they need’. This grant does not exist for the mainstream public. There is anectdotal evidence of some medical grants being given but again, the system was corrupt and opaque.

      In Libyan, if a Libyan buys a car, the government pays 50% of the price. ?The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
      There is no truth to the former Gaddafi regime paying 50% of the value of a new car.
      Whilst the price of fuel is indeed cheap, the quality of roads, the accuracy and availability of road signs, the presence of road traffic police, and all other transport infrastructure is of abysmal standard.
      The absence of an integrated and functional public transport system means that people are reliant on their cars for all movement and might end up paying more on fuel than our neighbours around the Mediterranean basin.

      Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion now frozen globally.
      Whilst our sovereign wealth is undeniable, none of it was spent on the people of Libya nor the infrastructure of the country. Basic amenities, services, and state infrastructure are either absent or of appalling standard.
      The availability of money is not tantamount to wealth or prosperity. The Arabs have a saying about Libya – “A rich nation of poor inhabitants.”

      If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
      Categorically untrue. Even basic wages are sometimes unpaid for months, for those lucky enough to be employed. Welfare for the unemployed is non-existent.

      A portion of Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
      No basis to this claim as no such case can be found.

      A mother who gave birth to a child receive US $5 ,000.
      Categorically untrue. There is a Child Benefit welfare payment in Libya – it is roughly 15-20 Libyan Dinars a month per child. No Libyan citizen was given foreign currency as compensation.

      40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15
      Bread was subsidized by the state. Whilst the price varies (marginally) from shop to shop, bread usually costs ¼ dinars for 10 baguettes (small) or roughly 500grams per dinar.

      25% of Libyans have a university degree.
      The absence of a comprehensive selection process and a corrupt entry protocol means that universities in Libya are grossly over populated and over subscribed, despite limited facilities. This results in an over inflated number of graduates, but not necessarily an adequate level of employability. There are thousands of students studying foundation year medicine in Tripoli alone.

      Gaddafi carried out the world¹s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man-Made River project, to make water readily available.
      The Jury is still out on this. The project has indeed supplied water to many towns and cities around Libya, but the cost is thought to be as stratastrophic as the time it took to complete this. Further, decades of an absence of appropriate licensing, monitoring and control has meant that wells were dug for every home, putting immense pressure on Libya’s natural and naturally replenishable water sources. This resulted in the increase of salinity in local water reserves, which lead to the need for an expansive project such as the Man Made River.

  23. DB4545

    Tony Brogan

    The decision to remove Gadaffi was ill conceived which is another example of children playing with hand grenades. Libya might be a good example of how a top down system eventually implodes. When Citizens are micromanaged and every type of welfare is provided to all social classes look what happens when those structures are suddenly withdrawn.Compare it to Lebanon which has faced constant disruption for almost the last 45 years yet has well developed social structures and an extremely robust banking system which sailed through the 2008 crisis.

    • Suddenly withdrawn actually means bombed to oblivion!! Totally destroyed.
      Not a good example but I agree with the sentiment of not agreeing with top down planning.

      Our so called democracies are in cahoots with the likes of Gaddafi whenever it suits them.

      Best government is the least government.

      • DB4545

        Tony Brogan

        We can agree on that at least. City States concern themselves with rubbish collection and commerce, Nation States focus on wars.

    • DB4545

      Tony Brogan

      I forgot to mention that the demise of Gaddafi might have been some small consolation to the family of Yvonne Fletcher the young policewoman who was gunned down by someone inside the Libyan embassy who somehow managed to evade prosecution. This was many years before the return of the high ranking Libyan official involved in the Lockerbie incident on Tony Blair’s watch possibly as a quid pro quo for a deal involving a major oil company. It’s a very messy world Tony and always will be.

      • Have a good day. Nice sunny 18C here as a late summer resumes.

        Kidney runners are still good and some nice spuds too. Cauliflower tastes great and the young kale is so…..good for you.

        We are infested with fruit flies and my vegetables are under attack from a flock of quail. Any helpful ideas welcome. :)

  24. DB4545

    Tony Brogan

    A 12 gauge for the quail then pan roast with bacon with buttered spuds and kale on the side.

    • Too many houses around for the 12 gauge. I could try a slingshot or catapult.
      Bacon, butter spuds etc. sounds delicious. Followed by late strawberries topped with Devonshire clotted cream. Royalty never ate better.

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