Thursday, October 6, 2016

Today's links

Today's quote:  "The rebels in Aleppo are part of an extremist Sunni axis sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the U.S."  Hashem al-Mosawwi, commander of the Iraqi Shiite militia Al Nujaba  fighting in Syria

"Russia’s possible victory in Syria will mark the end of western hegemony over the Middle East, and historians are bound to single it out as the defining foreign-policy legacy of Obama’s presidency." Asia Times

1--RED LIGHTS BLINKING: Russian military warns US that its its warplanes will be shot down over Syria;

He commented further that "Russian S-300, S-400 air defense systems deployed in Syria's Hmeymim and Tartus have combat ranges that may surprise any unidentified airborne targets. Operators of Russian air defense systems won't have time to identify the origin of airstrikes, and the response will be immediate. Any illusions about "invisible" jets will inevitably be crushed by disappointing reality."...

"A number of Western media outlets have published "leaks" about the talks held in the White House administration about the possibility to hold missile and airstrikes on the positions of the Syrian army," Konashenkov said. "As history has shown, such "leaks" often prove to be a preface to real action."

"I point out to all the 'hotheads' that following the September 17 coalition airstrike on the Syrian Army in Deir ez-Zor we took all necessary measures to exclude any similar 'accidents' happening to Russian forces in Syria," Konashenkov said. Konashenkov also said that any missile or air strike on the territories controlled by the Syrian government, would pose clear threat to Russian military personnel

2--Pew: Most Americans Don’t Believe in ‘Scientific Consensus’ on Climate Change

Pew: Most Americans Don’t Believe in ‘Scientific Consensus’ on Climate Change … Nearly three-quarters of Americans don’t trust that there is a large “scientific consensus” amongst climate scientists on human behavior being the cause of climate change, according to an in-depth survey on “the politics of climate” released Tuesday by Pew Research Center. – CNS

3--Three Risks to the Global Financial System as Debt Hits Record Levels-- IMF urges major restructuring of the European banking system and sees emerging-market corporate defaults on the rise

But there’s no reason to be complacent, the International Monetary Fund warns in its latest reports on global financial stability and the fiscal health of economies around the world.

“The passing of these near-term risks has seen volatility fall and equity prices in advanced economies rise,” says Peter Dattels, deputy director of the fund’s monetary and capital markets department. “But medium-term risks are building because we are entering a new era of challenges.”

An unprecedented era of ultralow interest rates and feeble growth has led to a record buildup in global debt levels

Anemic global growth is “setting the stage for a vicious feedback loop in which lower growth hampers deleveraging and the debt overhang exacerbates the slowdown,” the emergency lender warned....

The front line for emerging-market risk is corporate debt. The combined shock of the commodity-price plunge and China’s surprise slowdown has made the surge in private debt a major threat to lenders and emerging-market economies more broadly.

4---Millennial Desperation: Wall Street ripped off an entire generation and we did nothing to help

Coming of age during a historic economic downturn has severely impacted Millennial life

  • 30 percent of respondents live with their parents, which rises to 40 percent for single respondents.
  • Nearly one­-third believe their local community is still in a recession.

Stress levels run high for Millennials

  • 78 percent of Millennials are worried about having good-­paying job opportunities.
  • 74 percent are worried they won’t be able to pay their healthcare bills if they get sick.
  • 79 percent are worried they will not have enough money to live on when they retire.
  • Only 6 percent of Millennials feel they are making a lot more than required to cover basic needs. For Millennial women, the figure is only 3 percent.
  • 63 percent would have difficulty covering an unexpected $500 expense.
  • 44 percent would dedicate $5,000 in lottery winnings to paying off bills and loans, signaling a struggle to launch, save, and invest.

  • 5--The Dreadful Chronology of Gaddafi’s Murder

  • Muammar Gaddafi’s generosity allowed for this one-time purchase that spared the nations of Africa a $500 million annual lease payment for access to a telecom satellite and euchred Western banks out of potential billions in loans and interest. At this time, Gaddafi was also seeking to establish a trans-African banking system based on gold to free the continent from its financial bondage to the IMF and the World Bank—which would gravely harm both predatory entities....

  • The real reasons for the attack have been dealt with most directly by America’s most famous reformed economic hitman, John Perkins.
    Perkins points out that the attack on Libya, like the attack on Iraq, has to do with power and control of resources, not only oil, but gold. Libya has the highest standard of living in Africa. According to the IMF, Libya’s Central Bank is 100% state owned. The IMF estimates that the bank has nearly 144 tons of gold in its vaults, Perkins wrote.
    NATO went there like modern Barbary Coast Pirates to loot Libya’s gold. In a June 7, 2016 posting at Black Opinion, Bob Fitrakis wrote:
    6--Backlash to World Economic Order Clouds Outlook at IMF Talks

  • IMF calls for more free trade less protectionism even while central bank policy creates $24 trillion destabilizing the global system.

  • Go figure?

  • 7--IMF says global debt tops $152 trillion, urges some to spend more (from the Onion??)

  • If a major deleveraging of private debt were to occur, the IMF report recommends that fiscal policy should include targeted interventions to restructure private debt or repair bank balance sheets to minimize damage to the overall economy (Take money from taxpayers to save corporations)

  • The Fund's call for targeted fiscal support for consumer demand comes is accompanied by calls for continued accommodative monetary policy and accelerated structural reforms aimed at boosting countries' economic efficiency. (Cut wages and fire more workers while taking money from the general fund to beef up corporate profits)

  • The report comes as IMF managing director Christine Lagarde is urging the Fund's 189 member governments that have "fiscal space" - the ability to sustainably borrow and spend more - to do so to boost persistently weak growth. (Growth is not the concern. Corporate earnings is)

  • "Excessive private debt is a major headwind against the global recovery and a risk to financial stability," IMF Fiscal Affairs Director Victor Gaspar told a news conference. "Financial recessions are longer and deeper than normal recessions." (The global central bank cartel spend 7 years at zero rates to increase borrowing. Now they say we borrowed too much)

8--Beating the drums for war with Russia

9--Iraqi Militias Complicate Aleppo Battle     -- Fighters combating Islamic State at home pour into Syria to support regime’s siege

Iraqi militia fighters are pouring into Syria to reinforce the Assad regime’s siege of rebels in Aleppo, further complicating the tangled web of alliances the U.S. relies on to fight Islamic State, which can turn an ally on one side of the border into an enemy on the other.
The Shiite militias, who have fought alongside U.S.-backed Iraqi government forces against Islamic State in Iraq, are now fighting Syrian Sunni rebels, some of them armed and trained by the U.S.

More than 1,000 Iraqi Shiite militants have traveled from Iraq since early September, joining the ranks of as many as 4,000 others already on the ground near Aleppo, the militia leaders and Syrian rebels said. They make up about half of the regime’s estimated ground force of 10,000 

The siege they are helping to enforce has tilted the battle there in favor of President Bashar al-Assad, whose ruling Alawite sect has drawn on fellow Shiite powers to shore up government forces depleted by deaths, defections and attrition over five years of war: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia and Afghan Shiite fighters. ...

Hashem al-Mosawwi, a commander of the Iraqi Shiite militia Al Nujaba, ...
Mr. Mosawwi claimed the rebels in Aleppo are part of an extremist Sunni axis sponsored by Saudi Arabia and the U.S. 
“Those…terrorist groups cause all problems in the region and the world and they should be stopped,” he said, naming several Sunni opposition groups in Syria he deems synonymous with the Sunni extremists of Islamic State. The Syrian opposition is dominated by the country’s Sunni majority.            

Many of the militia fighters had first mobilized to Syria in 2012, fighting on the side of Mr. Assad. But they were pulled back to Iraq to help stem an Islamic State onslaught in 2014 that saw the militants take nearly a third of the country.

Their return has given Mr. Assad an auxiliary force experienced in urban combat and steeped in the belief that the anti-Assad forces are ideologically indistinguishable from Islamic State radicals and are proxies of Iran’s regional arch rival, Saudi Arabia...

The outcome of the yearslong fight to retake Aleppo is considered crucial to determining the victors of Syria’s larger war

10--Battle of Aleppo is end of history in the Middle East

Clearly, the turning point was reached when the US and western allies undertook a fierce air attack on the Syrian army base at Deir Ezzor lasting an hour and killing 62 government troops. The US explanation of that being an accident lost credibility, since within an hour of the air strike, extremist groups of al-Qaeda followed up with ground attack as if acting in tandem.

Trust has consequently broken down. The Russians are convinced that the US was never really interested in separating the ‘moderate’ groups from extremists despite repeated promises, because Washington sees use for al-Qaeda affiliates, which happen to be the only capable fighting force to push the ‘regime change agenda in Syria.

Put differently, Russians are inclined to agree with what Tehran has been saying all along. Moscow, therefore, switched tack and put its resources behind the Syrian operations to capture the strategic city of Aleppo. The military campaign is within sight of victory....

With no prospect of getting reinforcements, facing relentless air and ground attacks from the north and south, the rebels are staring at a hopeless battle of attrition.
The point is, with the fall of Aleppo, Syrian war becomes de facto a residual military operation to purge the al-Qaeda affiliate Jubhat al-Nusra from Idlib province as well, which means regime forces would secure control over the entire populous regions of Syria, all main cities and entire Mediterranean coast. In a nutshell, Syrian war ends with President Bashar al-Assad ensconced in power.
The specter of ‘total victory’ for Assad haunts Washington. It explains the string of vituperative statements against Moscow, betraying a high level of frustration

11--Stock buybacks fall to lowest level in 5 years

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