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19 December 2016

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JamesT

The US Dollar will remain the World Reserve Currency regardless of what Riyadh does. Anyone who is saying otherwise is repeating neocon propaganda IMO.
(This paper convinced me that it would take much more than Riyadh to knock the USD of its perch: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c6838.pdf)

Jack

"Ask MRW."

Yeah! The guy that believes government spending to infinity is the path to economic nirvana. History proves the opposite. He also claims causation between increase/decrease in government debt (spending) and GDP growth/reduction when no correlation even exists between the two data series. He has also noted he does not have the mathematical relationship between the two series. I can understand that since none exists.

However, I agree with him that the US government can never go bamkrupt since it's debt is in a currency that only the Fed prints. The debt holders purchasing power is not guaranteed.

I also agree that being the reserve currency is not an unalloyed benefit that many conspiracy theorists claim. But they are different issues. In any case what has this to do with your claim that Trump can't squeeze Saudi Arabia?

Jack

Was the mainland Chinese miltary occupying Taiwan at that time? Maybe my history is incorrect. I recall CKS was in power in Taiwan and Mao had the mainland.

JamesT

Thank you for this.

Sam Peralta

Marcus get over it. The Left lost the election. Trump does not believe in Globull Warming. His EPA will reflect that.

And as far as a middle east peace plan is concerned, I personally don't think Trump should get involved at all. That is for the belligerents to figure out. He should remain focused on destroying the Islamist terrorists in partnership with the Russians as they have the same agenda.

Sam Peralta

"PS Trump's response to Berlin was disgusting.
I believe the attack was orchestrated by Mossad,.."

When you're in tinfoil territory you should quit. Dude, one doesn't need to be a KGB analyst to know that shooter screaming AllahuAkbar while murdering the Russian ambassador in cold blood is an Islamist terrorist. Similarly, as Tyler has pointed out it is rather easy to deduce that a similarly styled attack would have been likely perpetrated by people aligned to the same group. Especially since ISIS has been urging their followers to use trucks to mow people at public Christmas gatherings.

At least Trump's deduction was logical. If that is disgusting in your eyes then how disgusting your assertion with no credible evidence that Mossad did it?

mike allen

Interesting photograph from the Russian-Iranian-Turkish meeting in Moscow. The bodyguard of Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif is focused like a hawk on the bodyguard of Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu. Is he expecting him to be another diplomatic assassin maybe.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C0IM5YaXcAAlYnZ.jpg

I think Kunuri above asked the million dollar question - who benefits from the killing of Ambassador Karlov? Who supported Altintas, the killer? There are many accusations floating around in the world press - Daesh or al Nusra, Gulenists, CIA or MI6, Gulfies, Syrian proxies of the Americans or the Turks, the Grey Wolves, or Erdogan himself?

One of the regulars for coffee and donuts at our local bakery even suggested Putin had it done so that he could put Erdogan on a leash. I discount that, and most of those above except for the proxy groups and maybe the Grey Wolves. He did not kill or take hostage anybody else so that may (or may not?) rule out the hard core Nusra and Daesh. And Gulen, doesn't he get blamed for everything? CIA is not that smart, and what is the benefit? I thought the Gulfies were on Erdogan's side, why would they put him between a rock and a hard place? And Erdogan, is he that reckless?

What about the Grey Wolves, could they pull off something like this? They certainly have the motive. They have no love for Russia, some fought with the International Brigade against the Russians in Dagestan and in the Chechen Wars. Plus they are Pan-Turkist with ties to anti-Russian groups in prior Soviet states in Central Asia. Karlov was not well liked by Turkish nationalists, especially last year after he publicly told Ankara that Russia did not consider the PKK to be a terrorist organization.
http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/19102015

Are their known Grey Wolves embedded in the Turkish Police?

Sam Peralta

Did you predict the US election result? I don't think so. And here you are pontificating with absolute certainty what President Trump will do and what he can't do.

Jack has said it better than me regarding the US dollar and reserve currency. Saudi Arabia can do didly squat financially if Trump decides to squeeze them. OK, a bunch of DC think tanks and the Clinton Foundation and even some Trump acolytes may not get paid. Who are they gonna run to protect their sorry asses?

Look, Russia's economy is the size of Italy! Get it. They spend disproportionately on their military. This is a golden opportunity for Putin to come to an understanding with the US. They may never get it again. Putin will not blow a limited rapprochement for the whole enchilada. He'll want to get the sanctions undone. Trump and Putin have a common cause to destroy the jihadists. You think May, Merkel and Hollande are going to have any veto on Trump's actions. Hollande is on his way out. Both Fillon and Marine Le Pen in France want to have better relations with Russia. So does Beppe Grillo in Italy. IMO, you are going to be surprised what happens between Russia & US and consequently with the EU.

Once he and Putin get going destroying the jihadis, he doesn't need to do anything else as far as the middle east is concerned. He can let the Arabs, Iranians and Israelis duke it out or come to a settlement. Contrary to your opinion, I believe the Iranian ayatollah will jump at any chance of being accepted by Trump as they too will know that he may be their best opportunity of coming in from the cold. Watch this space. 2017 could be very exciting for foreign policy geeks.

 jld

Well...
If Islam weren't at war with everybody else (Dar Al-Harb) may be "perceptions" could change?

LeaNder

Thanks, David. Robert Cohen looks very interesting. We seem to share some basic concerns, in my case sometimes 'new inquiry frontiers' triggered by one or the other seriously deep puzzlements while encountering my 'favorite' Hasbara on Mondoweiss in the comment section. ...

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/writingfromtheedge/author/rcohen/

the new President has very much deeper roots in American culture, and an enormously better understanding of it, than than the old.

I noticed that rootedness or roots surfaced quite frequently lately.

... To not go to deeply into the complex field of globalization/"glocialization" (Roland Robertson) versus the complexity of identity politics, or for that matter why the constant expansion of identity politics sometimes seems to irritate me ...

Degringolade

I found this article quite interesting.

I would very much appreciate other's opinions.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/12/implications-andrey-karlov-assassination-161219225337066.html

And, completely without irony: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah to all. I immensely enjoy the folks here.

Eric Newhill

Degringolade,

The article doesn't go into how Erdogan is trying to ride two different horses at the time; something that is next to impossible to do and, even if you manage to, the ride will be brief for sure.

How can he take Turkey in an Islamist direction while, simultaneously, maintain the country as a reliable ally of westernized powers? And all the while develop his fantasy of being the new Caliph?

I would think that his dilemma makes him seen as a long term risk. Couple that with the insults to Russia + a Trumpist USA seeking Russian partnership (shoot down of the jet, assassination of the ambassador, meddling on the side of IS) and the only answer I can think of is that Erdogan has to go. Probably not today, but at some point in the next couple of years. He must be replaced with someone who values secularism above all else and who will be a solid partner in the war against IS, AQ, et al.

The Beaver

The assassin of the Russian Ambassador has been part of the Sultan's security details (8 times) since the coup manqué of last July


http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/russian-envoys-killer-had-protected-erdogan-says-report-1273757114

And today the Sultan and his wife are playing Santa Claus to 7 y.o Bana Alabed and her brother:E Aleppo -supposedly Idlib - Ankara.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C0NTX8jW8AEwUKp.jpg
Rumours are that the family is not Syrian per se but Turkman
According to Erdo, Nusra is not a terrorist group since they are fighting ISIS :(

charly

CKS is mainland China. Obvious not Red but also not a Taiwan-born Chinese. The Chinese Nationalists occupied Taiwan. Only a quarter of the population were refugees from China but almost* the complete government where mainland Chinese.


almost* because i expect some excuse-Taiwanese to have been in the government. I don't know if that was true.

Babak Makkinejad

"Look, Russia's economy is the size of Italy! Get it. They spend disproportionately on their military. This is a golden opportunity for Putin to come to an understanding with the US."

As I said, you live in a dangerous fantasy world.

By the way, I never commented on the potential results of US Elections.

It is true that Iranians are always interested in settling with US but that is not in the cards.

Fortress West is not interested. In fact, in EU, they blame Iran for all Islamic militancy - from Chechnya to the Berlin attack. They are waging the Enlightenment Jihad - countries such as Iran should not exist - in their minds.

Babak Makkinejad

All right, have it your way, but US would then be following UK's path to economic ruin.

Bemused

@all

1. With regard to the probative value of shouting jihadi-type slogans when assassinating someone, Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who on 13 May 1981 tried to assassinate Pope John-Paul II, shouted pro-Palestinian slogans on the scene but those turned out to have nothing to do with anything. "Ağca himself has given multiple conflicting statements on the assassination at different times. ... Attorney Antonio Marini stated: "Ağca has manipulated all of us, telling hundreds of lies, continually changing versions, forcing us to open tens of different investigations". Originally Ağca claimed to be a member of the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), but they denied any ties to him." He does seem to have had some connection to the Grey Wolves.

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

It seems clear that the present assassin of Karlov expected to die on the spot but that might have more to do with his medical or psychiatric condition--in the sense that he might have had some reason to accept a suicide mission.

2. It does seem very odd that all these jihadi's leave their ID in the suicide truck.

Babak Makkinejad

During the Cold War, shadowy groups such as Arkane Kan (sic.) , Jitim (sic.?), Giladiv (sic. ?), and Counter Guerrilla were operating in Turkey, eliminating opponents of the government - Leftist intellectuals, Alveis, and Kurds - withe full knowledge and assistance of the government.

One definition of Freedom is Absence of Fear - the secularists failed in that.


charly

It is not the US that leaves the NATO but Europe because they use him as excuse to leave the NATO and he allows it. The same with Korea. South and North Korea can have a peace deal tomorrow. The sticking point is not Northern Nukes but American troops in the South. He can be used by the South to get a peace deal in which the Americans are kicked out..

Valissa

Sad, but true. 'Grey Eminence' is one of those books I feel I should read, and it's on one of my Amazon lists, but I'd have to be in the right mood.

Right now after all the election hysteria all I want to do is enjoy quiet holiday time and play with my 2 new ocicat kittens... which I just brought home 2 days ago :)

mike allen

Babak Makkinejad -

Those modern equivalents of the groups you mention are still at it massacring Kurds. Meanwhile the Turkish Army is turning Kurdish majority cities in the southeast to rubble that make east Aleppo look like a paradise. Erdogan is arbitrarily appointing Turkmen from Syria and Iraq as regional governors, city mayors, judges and gendarmes in that area and moving Turkmen families into the homes of displaced Kurds. Ethnic cleansing at its worst. In the west they are attacking legitimate Kurdish political parties that are in no way associated with the PKK.

Interesting article on Turkey Pulse about the Grey Wolves, many turning Takfiri in addition to being Turkish nationalists.

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/02/turkey-syria-grey-wolves-emerge-as-jihadists.html

Bemused

@all

Just to add a further point to 2 above, how easy is it for a 22 year-old Tunisian refugee to step inside the cab of a Scania tractor-trailer loaded with steel and drive it at all? I thought it took a while to learn the controls of these monsters. Was he a truck driver back in Tunisia? (Incidentally, the previous comment should have been a general comment; by accident it was attached the Degringolade's remark.)

Ishmael Zechariah

Ah yes, those bad old days. I am amazed at how times have improved under the islamist brotherhood. Per aspera ad astra.
IMO Ali Baba was lucky! He had only 40 thieves to deal with.
Ishmael Zechariah

Jack

All

Unlike a SST correspondent who claimed Mossad was responsible for the Berlin attack, the German authorities now identify the perpetrator as an Islamic terrorist. As Tyler noted Occams Razor led directly in that direction. And Trump's comments were spot on and not "disgusting" as noted by this correspondent.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4054140/How-German-police-bungled-hunt-Europe-s-wanted-man-Asylum-seeker-23-wrongly-blamed-Christmas-market-massacre-jumping-red-light.html

Fred

Babak,

"Would Trump,.... countenance that? Never."

Actually I think Trump would as he sees no damned reason the USA needs to risk nuclear war over Estonia or the Ukraine or any of the other ex-Warsaw Pact states. Remember also that it is Joe Biden's son - the one who got cashiered from the USN - who sits on the board of a Ukrainian oil company not Trump's.

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