A perfect storm coming to Near East!

LeBrok

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There is a great setup for a perfect storm in Near East. All the elements are in place, the only question is how much appetite for a war all sides will have.

1. The power brokers, Iran and Saudis, are at all time high aggressive mode. They are already engaged in proxy war with each other. Shia Iran supports Shia Iraqis in south Iraq, Hezbollah fighters in Syria, and Shia fighters in Yemen. Saudis with their petrodollars support various Sunni groups in Syria and Sunni fighters in Yemen. To make things even more dramatic, Saudis executed a high profile Shia cleric. In response Saudi embassy and few Sunni mosques were burned in Iran and other places.

2. Russia, the friend of Shia Iran and Assad, joined the seen. They have fixed a military airbase and continue to send transports of military equipment. We'll see what they are up to when in full strength.

3. Russia and Iran are angry at Saudis for other reason too. Saudis keep pumping their cheap oil to kill the competition. Oil prices are already at low levels and still keep sliding down. For that reason Russia is in deep recession, and its economy is predicted to shrink 3-5 percent this year. This might turn bad for Putin, who as we all know, loves being a president. Disappointed and unemployed Russians might change their sentiment quickly. Putin can't afford to go on for long time with such low oil prices and unhappy populous. "Fortunately" he has situated his forces strategically in Near East, and might do something about this problem. I'm not saying he will actively invade or bomb Saudis oilfields, but he might influence certain "unfortunate circumstances", or use opportunities when they present themselves.

4. Iran just got permission from UN to sell their oil, for good behavior. But how good is this when oil prices hit rock bottom?

5. If something happened to Saudi's oil rigs, and their billions of barrels can't reach the market, price of oil would quickly skyrocket to 100 bucks and beyond.

6. US would have a hard time to pick sides. Obama just got a deal with Iran about their nuclear ambitions, and active support of Saudis would void his important achievements. As long as there wasn't actual Iranian army attacking Saudi Arabia, he wouldn't do much about this. In this case Saudi and Iran could shoot rockets at each other oilfields, for maximum damage to economy of the other.

7. The rest of this region is already in a big mess. Iraq is split in 3 and in war with ISIL.

8. Kurds are coming out the woodwork, arranging their own independent country, grabbing all Turkish attention, creating new alliances, changing topography of power. Turkey is the most scared of them in the region. Who knows how much force they will use to stop them. This might mean new and wider conflict in already buttered Near East. We'll see what friends Kurds have and who will rush with help in light of Turkish aggression?

9. Daesh in Syria will try to stop Assad/Russian/Kurdish/coalition forces in 2016, but it won't stand a chance. Their Caliphate will only shrink. Will they fight to the end, or perhaps they will "hide" in Saudi Arabia counting on creating Arab Spring their too, and new caliphate afterwards? As well Putin can decide to push them into SA in order to destabilise the country. Afterall, Russians are known of good chess players, espionage and international intrigue.

10. What about the Israel? Are Jews only watching and smiling when Arabs kill each other? Are they a bit nervous with this unpredictable mess, and actively help to make sure no Arab, no Muslim really wins? However, at the moment they are enjoying the low oil prices a lot, have a front seat in Near East theatre, and things are really going their way, even without their help.

11. Saudis are not in best financial situation due to low oil prices, but they still pump a lot thinking that they will outlast and kill competition, and at the end being last man standing, will reap rewards of higher prices. But the cost of this policy is astronomical. Last year SA had 100 billion dollar deficit, with 65 dollar per barrel oil! This year, oil being at 35, deficit can be even bigger. They are very rich in investments, so they can go about 5 years without needing to borrow money anyway, but if they take part in proxy wars, the grace period might be shortened dramatically. However, they might decide to do some reforms, like introduce income tax or cut goverment subsidies, to help the budget. This might turn to be very unpopular, coupled with lack of freedoms, and bring civil unrest, Arab Spring, and end to monarchy. Saudi royals need to be really careful between their proxy wars, oil war, budget, strict sharia law and happiness of citizens.

Is the perfect storm brewing in Near East?
 
Best to always support a Persian over an Arab....................the Americans do not know what they are doing supporting the Saudi and Turks who support Isil and the genocide they have, as part of their sunni religion ..............remember the Yazidi
 
It is difficult to pick a side. All sides are very wrong. Best scenario would be they all killed each other. But that won't happen. It will spill over to the whole world.
 
Oil markets don't see anything coming of this conflict. They bet that leaders of both countries are smart enough to see that there is more to lose than gain from full scale war. That cool calculating minds prevail over religious fanatic emotional side.
Usually the Middle Eastern conflicts bring jitters to oil market and price hike, but not this time. Price of oil is falling down today and for a good while. Slowdown in China, and chinese stock market crash seems more important than saber rattling in Persian Gulf.
 
the main trigger for falling oil prices was massive US oil production from slate scales
but that production isn't profitable any more at todays prices
now there are 2 competing suppliers : Iran and Saudi Arabia
there was a time when oil reserves were expected to be exhausted
now it is clear they will never get exhausted, but it is very harmfull for greenhouse efect
the problem is not the supply side any more
 
the main trigger for falling oil prices was massive US oil production from slate scales
but that production isn't profitable any more at todays prices
now there are 2 competing suppliers : Iran and Saudi Arabia
there was a time when oil reserves were expected to be exhausted
now it is clear they will never get exhausted, but it is very harmfull for greenhouse efect
the problem is not the supply side any more

The saudis initially pushed the oil price down so that the USA could not repay their huge debts too quick, they tried to keep it low to also hinder the iranians. In the end the saudis miss calculated and need to introduce tax to there people for the first time
 
the main trigger for falling oil prices was massive US oil production from slate scales
but that production isn't profitable any more at todays prices
now there are 2 competing suppliers : Iran and Saudi Arabia
there was a time when oil reserves were expected to be exhausted
now it is clear they will never get exhausted, but it is very harmfull for greenhouse efect
the problem is not the supply side any more

Instead of peak and reducing we see finding new oil fields larger than previous ones. For example:

http://www.wnd.com/2014/09/russia-finds-oil-field-bigger-than-gulf-of-mexico/

It is clear that in the earth there are much more the oil than that previously thought that some.

Unfortunately, this reduces the investment and innovation in new types of energy.

And fusion can wait, which is not good for mankind.
 
The saudis initially pushed the oil price down so that the USA could not repay their huge debts too quick, they tried to keep it low to also hinder the iranians. In the end the saudis miss calculated and need to introduce tax to there people for the first time
Now, this could trigger the Arab Spring in Saudi Arabia.
 
the main trigger for falling oil prices was massive US oil production from slate scales
but that production isn't profitable any more at todays prices
now there are 2 competing suppliers : Iran and Saudi Arabia
there was a time when oil reserves were expected to be exhausted
now it is clear they will never get exhausted, but it is very harmfull for greenhouse efect
the problem is not the supply side any more
I wouldn't say oil never will run out, but not any time soon. The peak oil was predicted based on old technologies, which allowed to only extract 80% of well reserves. Thanks to new technologies we can now pump up to 50% of oil from a well. At least we doubled the amount of recoverable oil in last 30 years.
 
Instead of peak and reducing we see finding new oil fields larger than previous ones. For example:

http://www.wnd.com/2014/09/russia-finds-oil-field-bigger-than-gulf-of-mexico/

It is clear that in the earth there are much more the oil than that previously thought that some.

Unfortunately, this reduces the investment and innovation in new types of energy.

And fusion can wait, which is not good for mankind.
No panic yet, what is a hundred years for humankind, and in this time we should have much more efficient solar panels, improved wind turbines, better nuclear reactors with efficiency of 97%, not 3% as today. Plus most likely fusion reactors too. We'll survive.
In meantime we can check if CO2 effect is strong enough to hold the Ice Age. ;)
 
No panic yet, what is a hundred years for humankind, and in this time we should have much more efficient solar panels, improved wind turbines, better nuclear reactors with efficiency of 97%, not 3% as today. Plus most likely fusion reactors too. We'll survive.
In meantime we can check if CO2 effect is strong enough to hold the Ice Age. ;)

No panic of course, but situation about oil is something different. Relevant international energy agencies forecast that oil spending will be higher for 20 years than now. It means oil will continue to be dominant, despite new energy sources.

Some of these sources are more expensive as energy from wind turbines. Some of them are not so useful as biodiesel because reduces agricultural areas for food. It is possible that innovation will lead to more efficient solar panels. But for now solar energy has limits too. If oil reserve are big and oil is relatively cheap oil industry will continue to flourish.

One partly depends on consciousness, but and style too, how many people prefer electric cars in comparison with diesel or gasoline motor cars. I prefer, but it will pass a lot of time that electric cars in the world reach any significant percent.

Nuclear reactors will be better, I agree, but there are a lot of reasons, even with better nuclear fission reactors, why they will no be so popular.

Personally I'd most like that mankind be able to master nuclear fusion. It is the best solution and we will see how is progress being made in coming years.
 
I think US will be really torn on this issue. How to support Saudi Arabia ally, but not to anger Iran. How to befriend Sunni tribes in Iraq and Syria against ISIS, but not piss off Shia Iraqis. How to broker a nuclear deal with Iran, which is actually good for SA safety, but it brings Iran from isolation into the Near East arena. How to scold SA for crimes in Yemen, and not to lose a military base in SA.
US can't satisfy all of them, and most likely will stay aside just watching.

Hey, what will happen to all of it, when Donald Trump becomes a president. Build a wall around the Near East?
 
Nuclear deal with Iran is in place now, sanctions are coming down. One can argue if Obama initiative will bring positive or negative overall consequences to the world and US, but one can admire political and negotiation skills of Obama and his team in getting the deal done. With all the uncertainty and lack of glass ball to predict the future, I'm glad that at least something new was tried in solving Iran's nuclear problem. Years of sanctions and isolation could only delay the inevitable in Iran, inching ever closer to having A bomb, and sanctions were not working in case of North Korea either. I'm not 100% sold on Obama deal with Iran, but at least I'm willing to try a new approach, at least something different. Only the future will bring definitive answers. At the moment the optics are extremely positive for Obama.

Well, the world might be indeed safer without Iran having a nuclear bomb, but what it spells for the region, for Middle East? Sanctions and insulation of Iran is over. 100 billion in frozen Iranian assets are released, Iran can sell oil freely now, and buy all technologies and weapons. This obviously gives Iran bigger power in all its dealings around the region. Iran can send more troops to crush ISL in Iraq. They can deploy more transports and arms for Shia tribes in Yemen. They might elect to lead multi-faceted campaign directly and indirectly against Saudi Arabia. They can finance Shia groups inside SA to destabilize and weaken the kingdom.

It is important to notice, that Iran shifted from ideological fight against Israel and US, to more direct support to Shia Muslim and physical war in the region. I think for that reason Iran sacrificed huge investments in A bomb, to be able to unleash assets and ground forces to help Shia populations. I suspect that Iran could have been an initiator to make a deal with Obama. Obama just seized the moment for PR advantage. He wasn't losing anything. However, Iran couldn't have outplayed "the world" achieving their real objectives. The high level political "chess game" at its best.
 
Is this a message for Saudi Arabia? Iran is working on its ballistic missile capable of reaching SA.
635886223329382937-AP-US-IRAN-78157166.JPG

This file picture released by the official website of the Iranian Defense Ministry on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015, claims to show the launching of an Emad long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile in an undisclosed location. Iran tested a ballistic missile again in November 2015, a U.S. official said Dec. 8, describing the second such test since the 2015 nuclear agreement.(Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via AP)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ons-irans-ballistic-missile-program/78930672/
 
72 raisins not virgins in heaven!

According to an Islam tradition, Muslim martyrs will go to paradise and marry 72 black-eyed virgins. But some Koran scholars point to a less sexy paradise. While beautifully written, Islamic texts are often obscure. The Arabic language was born as a written language with the Koran, and growing evidence suggests that many of the words were Syriac or Aramaic.

Specifically, the Koran says martyrs going to heaven will get “hur,” and the word was taken by early commentators to mean “virgins,” hence those 72 concubines. But in Aramaic, hur actually meant “white” and was commonly used to specifically mean “white grapes.”
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2008/01/the-great-koran.html

The whole article is rather good, and points to oncoming controversies about origin and translation of Koranic texts.

This drew on the work of Luxenburg, who believes the incomprehensible passages in the Koran were written in Syriac-Aramaic rather than Arabic. The Koran, according to the research of Puin and his associates, copied a great deal of extant Christian material.
 
If you have a chance try to catch "Why they hate us" by Fareed Zakaria. Here is the preview:

It annoys me so much that there has been no action, of US presidency or EU, on second biggest export of Saudi Arabia. This is well known "secret", that for decades SA funded and preached philosophy of hatred to everything they consider unislamic. Not only internally but exported it to every corner of the world. That includes almost everything in modern world, Western culture, other religions together with Shia muslims. We can send countless soldiers, drones and money to fight these Islamic Extremists for decades or centuries to come. It will never end till we start the fight with the source of it, the ideologi, the preachers and money behind it.
 
If you have a chance try to catch "Why they hate us" by Fareed Zakaria. Here is the preview:

It annoys me so much that there was no action, of US presidency or EU, on second biggest export of Saudi Arabia. This is well known "secret", that for decades SA funded and preached philosophy of hatred to everything they consider unislamic. Not only internally but exported it to every corner of the world. That includes almost everything in modern world, Western culture, other religions together with Shia muslims. We can send countless soldiers, drones and money to fight these Islamic Extremists for decades or centuries to come. It will never end till we start the fight with the source of it, the ideologi, the preachers and money behind it.

They fund schools all around the world, even in the U.S., that preach this obnoxious crap to impressionable young children as well, which is perhaps the biggest danger of all. They have no frame of reference, no exposure to other points of view, other history books, they respect their teachers, and so they swallow it hook, line and sinker.

It's no different from what was done in the Hitler Youth and the Italian Balilla groups, and in the German and Italian schools of that time. That's part of the reason that some of my relatives went to America before the war. They were catching tremendous heat for refusing to let their children participate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera_Nazionale_Balilla
 
@LeBrok

you missed a spot,
as Always i am Devil's advocate,

You forgot Armenia vs Azeris, area Nagorno/Karabach,
 
What about the news about Saudi's coalition against Qatar?!!! A news from left field.
Here is a take from Fareed Zakaria, my favorite journalists.

 
Fareed, the voice of reason, on Soudis:
 

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