High noon in Syria

High noon in Syria

by Don Hank

Fox News is between a rock and a hard place. They have always generally been anti-Putin because they have a lot of Neocon supporters. But now Putin has scored big at the UN. Even the British PM is cautiously inching over to his side and Merkel stated last week that she thinks Assad must be included in negotiations over the fate of Syria. Most European countries are taking a wait and see position and will bolt the US monopoly if such is appropriate. Putin has a plan and clearly wants to stop ISIS. Obama sorta has a, well, you know, maybe a plan or something and has been pretending to fight ISIS for years now. Judging by his actions, his plan is to lose the war on ISIS and allow them to romp freely, slicing throats to their hearts content until Assad – the only leader who has been sincerely fighting ISIS for 4.5 years – is gone. While Obama’s position is incomprehensible and confusing, Putin’s position is clear and easily understood. One could articulate it in part as follows:

Syrian Christians overwhelmingly support Assad because they know that if he leaves power, their life expectancy is considerably shorter.

Assad is not a dictator (though Fox still calls him that in the article below). He was duly elected (unlike the Saudis whom we support – NO Neocon voices are calling for the unelected dictator king to step down. How phony and hypocritical can you get?)

Since the popular Assad is still the president, anyone entering Syria without his permission – including the US military in its pretend fight against ISIS – is there illegally per international law. Putin and his coalition have been invited by the Syrian people via their elected leader to fight ISIS and are there legally and legitimately.

In a court of law, no fair-minded judge would hand a victory to the US or find against Putin, but the US, as the “exceptional” and “indispensable” world manipulator, has in the past bought all the judges so to speak. That is changing. I had pointed out before that the accession of almost all US allies to the AIIB was a signal that the hegemon has lost his support in the world community. And without that, he cannot stand. I had also pointed out that Russia is now selling oil to China for yuan (RMB) as part of a larger campaign to dedollarize world trade. The less the USD is used in international transactions, the less it is worth internationally, as one can deduce from my commentary and translation here. Dollar hegemony (which gives the US government and FRB the extravagant ability to print unlimited dollars for its military adventures) is being fought successfully, a step at a time. We are witnessing the changing of the guard. The good news is that, as I pointed out here, the Eurasianism of Putin, China, the BRICS and other Eurasian partners strictly pursues the multipolar principle whereby there shall not be a hegemon. (BTW, if the countries that joined the AIIB had had any reason whatsoever to believe that the AIIB would enable a hegemon – world dictator in the image of the US – to emerge, they would not have rushed en masse to join it and turn their backs on the US-led World Bank and IMF).

I have added comments to the biased Fox report below.

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/09/30/boots-on-ground-russian-lawmakers-back-putin-sending-troops-to-syria/

Russia launches airstrikes in northern Syria, senior military official says

Published September 30, 2015

FoxNews.com

 

EXCLUSIVE: Russian warplanes have begun bombarding Syrian opposition [FOX USES THE WORD “OPPOSITION” TO SUGGEST TO UNWARY READERS THAT THESE ARE GOOD FOLKS WHO RECEIVED ARMS FROM THE US TO FIGHT A DICTATOR. HOWEVER, THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN TERRORISTS AND “OPPOSITION” HAS LONG BEEN BLURRED. IT IS COMMONLY KNOWN THAT THE US GOVERNMENT ROUTINELY GIVES ARMS TO ANYONE FIGHTING ASSAD AND THESE PEOPLE THEN ROUTINELY TURN AROUND AND JOIN ISIS OR ANOTHER TERROR ORGANIZATION–DON] targets in the war torn nation’s north, working on behalf of dictator [NEOCON FOX IS OBLIGED TO PRETENT THAT ASSAD IS A DICTATOR BECAUSE THEY ARE BEHOLDEN TO THEIR RICH SUPPORTERS TO KEEP UP THIS CHARADE. BUT AS I POINTED OUT ABOVE, ASSAD IS NOT ONLY POPULAR, HE IS DULY ELECTED. THE WEST HAS CONDEMNED HIM FOR KILLING PEOPLE, BUT THE WEST KILLS ALL THE PEOPLE IT WANTS, INTERFERES IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF NATIONS, STARTS AND FUNDS COLOR REVOLUTIONS AND ARAB SPRING-LIKE UPRISINGS AND IN SO DOING PLUNGES NATION AFTER NATION INTO ANARCHY, CREATIG A VACUUM THAT IS PREDICTABLY FILLED BY ISLAMIC TERRORISTS, TRIGGERING A MASS MIGRATION THAT IS OUT OF CONTROL. THE KEY US ALLY IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS A TRUE DICTATOR, THE SAUDI KING WHO IS UNELECTED. THERE IS NO GREATER HYPOCRISY THAN FOX CALLING ASSAD A DICTATOR WHILE GIVING THE SAUDI ROYALS A PASS—DON HANK] Bashar al Assad, according to a senior military official.

The official said airstrikes targeted fighters in the vicinity of Homs, located roughly 60 miles east of a Russian naval facility in Tartus, and were carried out by a “couple” of Russian bombers. It was not clear if the strikes targeted ISIS, Al Qaeda or other forces opposed to Assad, who Moscow is aiding [ANOTHER DECEITFUL SUGGESTION THAT PUTIN IS KILLING US APPROVED FORCES OPPOSED TO ASSAD, ALTHOUGH OBAMA HAS ADMITTED HIS ADMINISTRATION HAD ONLY MANAGED TO TRAIN A HANDFUL AT A PRICE OF SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS PER CAPITA AND THAT THESE MEN HAD MOSTLY DISAPPEARED].  According to a Twitter handle belonging to the Syrian government, the Russian strikes were initiated at the request of Assad. [AGAIN, AS I POINTED OUT ABOVE, THE FACT THAT THE OFFICIAL DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF SYRIA GAVE THE RUSSIANS PERMISSION TO BE THERE SHOWS THAT NO INTERNATIONAL LAWS OR TREATIES HAVE BEEN VIOLATED BY PUTIN, WHO, AS A EURASIAN (AS EXPLAINED here), ADHERES TO THE PRINCIPLE OF HONORING NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTIES—SOMETHING THE US HAS NOT DONE FOR OVER A HALF-CENTURY, FALSELY TELLING ITS PEOPLE THAT IT HAS EVERY RIGHT TO INTERFERE IN THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF ANY NATION IT DISAGREES WITH. BY REPORTING THIS, FOX IS ALSO UNWITTINGLY HIGHLIGHTING THE FACT THAT THE US AND ITS ALLIES IN SYRIA ARE THERE ILLEGALLY AND AGAINST THE WILL OF THE SYRIAN PEOPLE. FOX, OF COURSE, WANTS US TO THINK RUSSIA IS THE VIOLATOR HERE BUT JUST THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE. THE CASE IS CLEAR CUT AND ONLY THE BRAIN DEAD COULD FAIL TO SEE WHAT IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING—DON]

The development came after Pentagon officials brushed aside an official request from Russia to clear air space over northern Syria, where Moscow intends to conduct airstrikes against ISIS on behalf of Syrian dictator [NO, FOX. HE IS NOT A DICTATOR, AS I HAVE SHOWN ABOVE. THE SAUDI KING IS INDEED A DICTATOR (WHO RECENTLY BOMBED A WEDDING PARTY AND KILLED DOZENS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE) BUT YOU WOULD NEVER CALL HIM THAT. WHY? —DON] Bashar al-Assad, according to sources who spoke to Fox News.

The request was made by a Russian three-star general who spoke with U.S. officials at the American embassy in Baghdad, sources said. The general, who was not identified, used the word “please” when delivering the verbal request, known as a “demarche,” according to the written transcript of the exchange.

“If you have forces in the area we request they leave,” the general said.

A senior Pentagon official said the U.S., which has also been conducting air strikes against ISIS, but does not support Assad, said the request was not honored.

[SO IF THE US ENTERS SYRIA IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND IS FIRED UPON BY A NATION THAT IS THERE IN COMPLIANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW, THEN THE US HAS NO MORAL RIGHT OR AUTHORITY TO COMPLAIN ABOUT ANY DAMAGE IT SUFFERS AS A RESULT OF THIS TRESPASSING. (THE PENTAGON MUST ALSO EXPLAIN WHY IT ENDANGERED ITS PERSONNEL BY FORCING THEM TO ENTER TERRITORY ILLEGALLY). THE US HAS BEEN IGNORING INTERNATIONAL LAW FOR DECADES AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT BECAUSE IT WAS CLEARLY THE STRONGEST NATION. BUT NOW WE HAVE A COALITION OF RUSSIA WITH CHINA (THE LATTER MAY OR MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE RUSSIAN LED COALITION). TOGETHER IT IS LIKELY THAT THEIR POWER IS GREATER THAN THAT OF THE US. FURTHER, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, OUR ALLIES ARE NO LONGER SOLIDLY BEHIND US. THIS CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE US IN ITS ROLE AS A VIOLATOR OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND RUSSIA IN ITS ROLE OF THE PARTY REQUESTED BY THE SYRIAN PEOPLE TO ENTER SYRIA, HAS THE POTENTIAL TO SMASH WHAT IS LEFT OF US PRESTIGE AND POWER. IT DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY BUT A COALITION OF THE TWO MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES RELENTLESSLY AND RECKLESSLY PURSUING INEXPLICABLE NEOCON POLICIES (WITH THE TACIT PERMISSION OF A BRAINWASHED PUBLIC THAT HAS BEEN TAUGHT TO FOLLOW THE LEADER AND NOT TO THINK FOR ITSELF) CAN’T BE EXPECTED TO WIN FRIENDS OR WARS. WE CAN ONLY HOPE AND PRAY THAT THE ABOVE-CITED PENTAGON OFFICIAL IS BLUFFING – DON]

 

Putinology 101

Putinology 101

by Don Hank

In view of Western journalism’s negative spin on all of Putin’s statements and their deliberate politically motivated misrepresentation of his actions, I make an effort to read all of Putin’s speeches and interviews in the original Russian. In the process I have discovered a vast chasm between what he says to his people and what Western journalists say he says. That is why I believe you will find some surprising facts and viewpoints in my commentary below.

A reader recently wrote:

Buying oil or trading in any way with Saudi Arabia, seems to entail some tacit arrangement to accept Whabbist influence as well!!  (whichever way the money flows!!)

My response:

In the West, that is true but only because our Western elites are in full agreement with the Wahhabist agenda to eliminate Christianity. They are perfectly willing to sell the national soul because they do not partake in our grassroots respect for our traditions. In fact they hate them. Americans, even decent ones, have come to expect such treachery in all agreements made between world leaders.

President Vladimir Putin, however, operates on a much higher plane than this, which few understand.

He keeps business separate from politics in ways that Western governments would never dream of and simply cannot fathom. Simply put, they can’t believe that he is not selling out his country just as our elites are selling out ours. But so far it is clear that this is not the case at all.

For example, he had a deal with Turkey, set forth in a mutual declaration of intent, to run a gas pipeline through that country. Yet shortly after that instrument was signed, Russia became one of the few countries with the chutzpah to unequivocally declare that Turkey had once committed genocide against the Armenians. Even the US refrained from making such a declaration, for political reasons (they wanted military cooperation with Turkey). (Trump is absolutely right that the US does not know how to negotiate. We routinely give away our soul and get little in return).

And the amazing thing is that Putin got away with it. Turkey, though furious, did not back out of the pipeline deal despite Western expectations that they would.

This “new” (but actually old and forgotten) Eurasian philosophy of keeping business strictly separate from politics seems totally revolutionary and incomprehensible to the overly convoluted Western mind, although it was once the accepted principle applied to international treaties. The US has long trashed the older, time tested principles but Putin is reinstating them, and the implementation of these principles is the simple secret to his amazing success in garnering new partnerships everywhere so far but in the sclerotic North American continent.

Putin is accomplishing two important missions in pursuing this principle:

1—He is effortlessly managing to make lucrative deals with partner countries despite major philosophical differences between Russia and these countries, and

2—He is modeling this more professional and mature approach to business and politics to the entire world in an effort to educate those of us who are educable to accept it and apply it.

So far, dim-witted US policy makers and analysts of both major political parties seem to have absolutely no comprehension of what Putin is doing or why. They keep looking for the hidden clauses and for treachery on his part, which they are sure will turn up at some point. Thus, US policy makers can’t believe that Russia and the Saudis could possibly not have a secret deal similar to the petrodollar agreement between the US and Saudis (as discussed here) and seem to believe Putin must have signed some sort of secret agreement with them to support Wahhabism as the US has so shamefully done (eg, fighting wars that invariably redound to the death of Christians and other minorities – Iran is the next target), and is thereby compromising his principles, as the US has done (although it is clear that both Republican and Democrat US policy makers have no underlying principles of their own other than greed for power).

The above-described simplistic Western analysis of Putin’s policies is the only reading they are capable of after witnessing nothing but unprincipled and egocentric thinking on display in the US for decades.

But they are so sadly wrong.

And I admit: Even I had to wonder, in view of Putin’s weapons sales to the Saudis, whether he was not compromising his stand with Assad, for example, whom the Saudis want eliminated. But then he surprised everyone recently by stepping up military arms and troops shipments to Assad in the fight against ISIS. This behavior fit perfectly with his avowed principle of keeping business and politics separate (he has discussed this philosophy in his speeches and interviews but low-brow Western journalists, focused only on turning his words against him and having little comprehension of nuances, do not report this). This turn of events in Syria also fits in perfectly with the respect that Putin invariably shows for old friendships and promises.

Thus Putin has reinvented and applied a number of important principles, such as the Westphalian principles  (respect for national sovereignties), loyalty and respect for friendships and promises made, and separation of politics and business, even as the US becomes increasingly arbitrary and oppressive in its treatment of its trade partners (as typified by the World Bank’s so called “safeguards” for gays and insistence that its lendees introduce privatization even when public administration of works functions perfectly well, as explained here). This aggressiveness toward its partners is why the US-led World Bank cannot compete with the AIIB, a Chinese-founded bank operating on the above-described principle, which we can best call the Eurasian Principle (since Russia’s allies, mostly Asian, also accept this same principle — and are succeeding economically as a result).

As I described here, Western analysts generally cannot grasp the straightforward Eurasian mind because it is devoid of the twists and turns, treachery and deceitfulness of Western policies.

But if the Eurasian principle — ie, time tested loyalty, respect for national sovereignties, adherence to promises made, and separation of business and policies — takes root and flourishes everywhere, including in the West, imagine the relative peace and prosperity it might eventually bring with it.

There is only one thing standing in the way of this happening, and that is, our dim Western understanding of this principle and our racist mistrust of all things Eurasian.

Overcoming this mistrust and this faulty understanding is paramount in today’s nuclear world and that is why I offer this first lesson in Putinology. In view of Western journalism’s negative spin on all of Putin’s statements, I make an effort to read all of Putin’s speeches and interviews in the original Russian. I sincerely believe that the principles expressed by Putin and his particular art of war may one day very well be the subject of serious academic study and that Putinology will be studied as intensely as Sun-Tzu’s Art of War.

At any rate, I hope my above commentary has opened some minds and would appreciate reading your comments in the forum below or via email to the author at zoilandon@msn.com.

 

My critique of Paul Craig Roberts’ critique of Putin

My critique of Paul Craig Roberts’ critique of Putin

 

by Don Hank

 

Recently, Paul Craig Roberts wrote an article criticizing Putin for thinking he can partner with the US. Roberts thinks this is naive, and indeed it would be naive if Putin really thought that way. But he doesn’t (I make it a point to read all of Putin’s speeches and interviews in the original Russian, much of which is not reported in the West, which picks and chooses the items that, out of context, make Putin look worse. In fact, Putin is a gifted statesman and has crafted a winning strategy that most Westerners, and even many Russian analysts, fail to grasp).

Almost any Western analyst is going to fail when writing about Russia because Western thinking is not applicable to Russia or China and few can grasp Eurasian thinking unless they have lived in Asia, studied the cultures and can read the languages.

Westerners have been conditioned for years into believing that the world needs, and will always have, a hegemon who can simply punish countries that “misbehave” and straighten them out at its whim. It doesn’t have to be polite or apply time-tested standards of fairness, because the hegemon defines fairness as it goes. Thus the Western way that the US has modeled for the world is to simply boss other nations around in the crudest and rudest way — as Victoria Nuland did when she was interacting with some top level Russian diplomats, sneering that they had “lost” (referring to the Cold War), implying they must now come to heel and obey their masters. Putin, by contrast, is modeling a mature and professional approach that has a universal appeal.

Eurasians no longer believe in the hegemon fairy tale. They are busy reinventing mutual respect and sovereignty of nations and are in turn garnering the respect of the rest of the world. This fact is crucial to interpreting the actions of China and Russia. Heavy handed Western writers have been trying for years to drive a wedge between Russia and China by suggesting that one or the other will eventually try to gain the upper hand and become king of the world. Yet the harder these propagandists try, the closer they drive the two countries together — to the extent that they are nearly inseparable at this point. And by that I mean economically/financially as well as militarily. The US government still believes in the cave man approach but the Eurasians have discovered that treating people with respect garners respect for them. Why would they abandon this approach as long as it works?

So why does Putin keep trying to negotiate politely with the evil Washington government as though he were dealing with peers, and why does he not use his enormous military power in Ukraine as Roberts (and, BTW, a lot of Russians) thinks he should?

Simply put, he is buying time, getting his last ducks in a row. (Note that each of Putin’s speeches gets a little bit stronger as he and his Eurasian partners gain strength).

Although Roberts was once assistant secretary of the treasury for economic policy, oddly, he does not enter into economics and finance in his analysis, and yet, for Putin, the long term strategy is all about economics and finance.

Here is why I say Putin is buying time.

Russia and China are working feverishly to accomplish at least 2 goals behind the scenes:

1–Establish the RMB as the new world reserve currency.

2–set up a parallel SWIFT-like system of international money transfers, initially between the BRICS countries but later the world. See this, for example.

Why must the Eurasians do this?

Because even if they are superior to the US militarily, they need to become financially independent to prevent a lot of useless bloodshed. The US uses the dollar as a weapon, punishing its perceived enemies by freezing accounts, preventing transfers, imposing economic sanctions, seizing bank accounts (incl those of non-Americans living abroad) and generally seeking to paralyze them financially. Examples include the US-imposed record fine of $8 billion against French bank BNP Paribas in retaliation for that bank’s having made a dollar-denominated transfer to Iran (which was not illegal in France; the US’s rationale: since the transaction was denominated in dollars, it was illegal because the US is the legal owner of all dollars, the world reserve currency under the Bretton Woods agreement); and, on a smaller scale, seizure of foreigners’ cash, as with the IRS’s seizure of $8000 from the bank account of a Venezuelan man residing in Panama who had once lived in the US (not reported in the media. My banker told me the story).

The Eurasians, witnessing the results of this financial bullying, have made amazing strides in a very short time in achieving the 2 goals mentioned above, as I reported here and here.

As for the plan to make the RMB the fall-back reserve currency, that project is well underway, as shown in my translation and analysis here.

But one crucial step remains and that is to create and test the new Eurasian cash transfer system designed to bypass the US-controlled SWIFT system. Before this is accomplished, Russia and its Eurasian partners are still vulnerable to one last Western ace in the hole, and that is the freezing of money transfers anywhere in the world, as outlined here.

Reports on the target date for the new interbank transfer system differ widely but I think we can assume, based on Putin’s mild mannered behavior, that this is not yet accomplished.

Now just imagine if Putin had long ago played the military card in Ukraine and simply defeated the Ukrainian army that bombs its own citizens. Would US allies have rushed to join the Eurasian bank AIIB? They may have thought better of it knowing that Eurasia includes Russia. But Russia played the nice guy, bided its time, and these countries saw the AIIB as an opportunity to get out from under the obsolescent World Bank and IMF. The only main US allies who have not yet joined are Canada and Japan, and even that could change.

Putin plays a long game, a strategy virtually unknown in the West and not well understood even by the best American minds.

But not to fear: we will see it in action (non-military to be sure) soon enough.

So should we be worried?

Once the last piece in the Eurasian strategy is in place, I think we will see that Putin was not kidding when he talked about mutual respect. While the US has consistently sought to lord it over its trading partners, both militarily and economically, and has actually sought to bankrupt them via World Bank loans (see the book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins), the Eurasians focus on garnering and keeping the trust of all their partners. Unlike US elites, they are keenly aware of a key fact: The only way to get rich and stay rich is to trade with partners in ways that benefit both parties so that even poor partners become richer, boosting sales and loan transactions. And the best way to expand trade is to treat existing partners fairly and with respect. Making even one partner poor or showing a lack of respect undermines the trust that the rest have invested in you.

Now why didn’t we think of that?

 

What Adolf did with malice, Merkel does with kindness

What Adolf did with malice, Merkel does with kindness

They’re just as dead…

by Don Hank

 

Germany is finding out what cosmic justice is (if you are a Christian, you call it divine justice).

Back in 2011, Germany pledged 100 million euros to support the Arab Spring. Angela Merkel was from the government and was here to help.

It may have been supported with all the best of intentions, but the Arab Spring started wars that immediately got out of control and brought terror, chaos and mass emigration to the Middle East, which is still ablaze now, 4 years later. The people who warned this would happen were very effectively silenced by the German government, which is very good at this sort of thing, having practiced at it since the 30s.

Thus, the promised democracy didn’t materialize and thousands upon thousands died.

Germany, undaunted, and always wanting to be the hero that saves the day, offered the immigrants refuge in Germany. Just as the Kanzlerin had forgotten that it was her and her allies’ support for the Arab Spring that brought them there, Angela Merkel carelessly forgot to tell them there would be a limit to the number of them taken in.

During the first days of the immigrant wave, she spoke via news sources, scolding and threatening with legal consequences all the countries that refused to open their doors as she had done, suggesting to the world that they were selfish scrooges while she was a morally superior Joan of Arc.

Then all of a sudden, reality slapped Angela in her angelic face: German capacity was overburdened.

So she found herself obliged to do what some of the other, more realistic, nations had done – the ones she had scolded for doing what she was now doing. She closed Germany’s borders.

But so what? Germany is the biggest exporter in Europe and the 2nd biggest in the world after China, thought Merkel. We’ll let them in once we get a little richer. And then we’ll…

OOOOOPPPS!!! Volkswagen, one of the main drivers of German exports was spotlighted by the EPA as a fraud, having lied about emissions from VW diesels! It will cost the company up to $18 billion dollars!

Today, VW stocks are down 25% and that could be just the beginning.

There’s more than one moral here (but a euro says Frau Merkel will not learn any of them):

1– Respect the sovereignty of other countries. Trying to export democracy – especially to a country that already has a democratically elected government and respects its minorities (think Syria) – will have unexpected consequences, such as causing untold harm to the country you wanted to “help” and bringing ruin to your own country.

2 – Don’t let success go to your head. You could go from rags to riches overnight. So don’t set yourself up as the savior of the world with infinitely deep pockets.

3 – If you are helping others, don’t throw stones at those who are not doing what you are doing. They might just be smarter than you. There are a lot of immigrants who made it to Austria or Hungary, for example, but not quite to Germany and are seriously PO’d as they contemplate the closed border; and some other countries who bowed to pressure from Merkel to open their borders and let in immigrants are now stuck with a lot of disgruntled immigrants insisting to go to Germany, where they are no longer wanted by the Chancellor whose heart was bigger than her brain.

Merkel has a problem that she wouldn’t have if she had had a little foresight and common sense.

The German nation killed a lot of people in the Third Reich by being mean and selfish.

Now they are killing them with kindness in the Fourth.

They’re just as dead either way, Angela.

Frau Kanzlerin, can the world ask you a favor?

No more favors, please.

Thank you!

Don Hank

 

Accepting payment in RMB, Russia surpasses Saudis as China’s biggest oil supplier

A giant step toward dedollarizing world trade

by Don Hank

In October of 2014 I lambasted US media here for refusing to alert Americans on the dedollarization scheme of non-aligned countries. Readers either didn’t discuss this with me or they told me the world would always prefer the dollar.

Then in December of 2014, renewamerica.com posted my translation of an eye-popping interview with a Chinese monetary policv expert who clearly showed that our allies, eg, in Europe, were busy setting up RMB (yuan) clearing centers, a clear sign that they believed in the future of the yuan in world trade. Again, my readers snoozed through this and the usual subjects said the yuan would never be accepted in international trade. Period.

In March of this year, I wrote a disturbing article here showing that a 1973 agreement with the Saudis obliging them to charge only USD for their oil exports was most likely the most important pillar propping up the US dollar and that if the Saudis ever reneged on this agreement, there would be little support for the USD.

In april of this year, I showed here that almost all US allies had turned their backs on the US-run World Bank and IMF by joining the Chinese-led AIIB. I told them the US could not compete with the AIIB because it was bullying it clients, for example, into accepting gay sex and privatization. At the end of the article, I warned that the “petroyuan” might be on the way. I got little reaction but again, normalcy bias led some to tell me I was worried for nothing.

The RMB has made a lot of progress in dedollarizing world trade and obviously, this is because ordinary Americans don’t see or don’t want to see it coming and the media refuse to talk about it. Therefore politicians and the Fed will do nothing about it. And now that it is too late, they are bitterly flailing about at the rest of the world.

But now we are at the talking stage regarding dedollarization. I now see an increasing number of articles in the Western press candidly admitting that the RMB is being used more and more in world trade. The latest event in this series is Russia’s acceptance of the RMB for oil payment in such a way that Russia has snatched the title of top supplier from none other than the Saudis, who seem to have made accommodations for this by raising Asian oil prices. Thus, without literally reneging on the 1973 agreement, they have made it easy for the Russians and Chinese to dedollarize, thereby cleverly circumventing the agreement.

I have also commented here and here showing beyond that shadow of a doubt that Russia had been helped more than harmed by US-imposed sanctions. These too garnered criticism from highly educated people including investment experts and authors who think the dollar is still sound as a you-know-what.

The story appears below in my translation from the Chinese journal finance.sina. The information reported here can also be found piecemeal in English in the msm.

Translation of http://finance.sina.com.cn/money/future/futuresnyzx/20150625/082522513216.shtml

Accepting payment in RMB, Russia surpasses Saudi Arabia as largest supplier of crude to China

At 8:25 on June 25, 2015 article business community favorites

Business community June 25

According to the Energy website Fuelfix.com, with the Chinese oil market share battle heating up, Russia has become China’s largest crude oil supplier (45.70, -0.24, -0.52%), surpassing Saudi Arabia.

According to e-mailed data from China’s General Administration of Customs on Tuesday (June 23), China’s imports from Russia in May amounted to 3,920,000 tonnes of oil, equivalent to 927,000 barrels a day, a record high, or an increase of 20 percent MoM, while imports from Saudi Arabia decreased by 42% to 3.05 million tons of oil compared to April.

The surge in domestic production of shale oil reduces US dependence of the US, the world’s largest oil consuming country, on foreign oil supplies, making China an important market for the world’s oil-exporting countries. The IEA [International Energy Agency] forecast in June of 2015 that Chinese oil demand will account for over 11% of global oil demand.

Chief oil analyst Amrita Sen of oil and gas analyst Energy Aspects said in an email: “As the Middle East oil was obliged to contend with competition from other parts of the oil market, Asia has become the darling of Russian oil exporters. Russia is paying increasing attention to its east, where its largest oil producer Rosneft has made a wide variety of transactions with China and is is likely to make more steady inroads for Russian oil into China.”

Supply from Russia increases thanks to acceptance of payment in RMB

Gordon Kwan, Head of Regional Oil & Gas Research at Nomura Securities commented in an e-mail on China’s currency: “After Russia begins to accept renminbi as a payment method for the purchase of oil, we expect to see more Russian oil exported to China. If Saudi Arabia wants to return to the throne, it needs to accept renminbi as payment for oil, not only the US dollar.”

Since Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia in the dispute between Russia and Ukraine, Russia has been looking for new markets for its oil. As a result of these efforts, Russia has become China’s largest oil supplier for the first time since October 2005. In 2013, Rosneft and China National Petroleum Group signed a $270 billion deal, with the former agreeing to supply 365 million tons of oil to the latter over the next 25 years. That year, Rosneft reached an $85 billion ten-year agreement with China Petroleum & Chemical Group.

Angola to China’s second-largest supplier of crude oil

In May, Russia was not the only oil-exporting country to surpass Saudi Arabia.

Data show that in May Angola sold 3.26 million tons of oil to China, an increase of more than 14%, becoming China’s second largest oil supplier. In the past 13 months, Saudi Arabia has lost its title as China’s largest oil exporter for the first time.

China General Administration of Customs data also show that Iran exported 2.2 million tons of oil to China. Iran had previously estimated that during the international sanctions, it could double its global oil sales within six months, and the international sanctions expires on June 30.

Saudi Arabia raised the price of oil supplied to Asia

In April, Saudi Arabia exported 5.26 million tons of oil to China, reaching the highest level since July 2013, capturing more of the Chinese oil market.

It is reported that, in the past four months, Saudi Arabia has raised the price of oil supplied to Asia. According to a public statement issued by Saudi Aramco, in July the price of Arab light crude and medium crude has been set to the highest level in 10 months.

Energy consultancy SCI International analyst Gao Jian told us on the phone: “Russia has used its good relations with China to increase oil supplies to that country to become China’s largest supplier of oil.  At the same time, since Saudi Arabia’s oil price is less attractive in Asia, it loses the title.”

Translated by Don Hank

Russian sanctions hurt (II)

Russian sanctions hurt (II)

 

by Don Hank

I have shown in a previous commentary that sanctions against Russia have really hurt. But not the Russians. They boomeranged on the US. How? By strengthening economic and military relations between Russia/Eurasian region and the rest of the world (eg, the accession of almost all US allies to the AIIB), military and economic coalition with China, lucrative contracts with the Saudis, India, etc.

As the icing on the cake, today I was translating an article in the Chinese economic daily finance.sina.com which shows that Russia in June sold a record amount of oil to China, and this, according to the article, for two reasons:

1—The Saudis obligingly raised their Asian benchmark oil prices selectively for Asia only, giving Russia the edge as an oil seller. (See the below time line for clues as to why the Saudis did this).

2—These oil deals with China are settled in yuan (RMB) making them more attractive to China in terms of both monetary policy (strengthening the RMB) and economics.

The latter fact is bad news for the dollar. The main thing propping up the USD is country-to-country trade settled in USD. The whole purpose of the petrodollar agreement with the Saudis in 1973 was to oblige them to accept payment only in USD for the purpose of maintaining an artificially high value of the dollar. Now Saudi Arabia itself is in fact sabotaging that deal, while sticking to the letter of it. This was a stroke of genius on someone’s part, and I think that someone was Russian President Putin.

Look at what Putin had been up to since no later than the end of 2014:

Timeline of Russia-Saudi negotiations.

1—December 2014, Putin meets with Saudi Intel Chief in Moscow

http://en.trend.az/world/arab/2218066.html

2—April 2015 King Salman bin Abdulazziz el-Saud calls Putin, sets up visit in June. (Was this motivated by the outcome of the Dec meeting?)

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/49304

3—June 2015, Saudis raise benchmark oil price for Asia

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/05/us-saudi-oil-price-idUSKBN0OL04720150605

4—June 2015, Russia signs 6 nuclear energy contracts with the Saudis (quid pro quo for the raised Asian oil prices?)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/06/19/uk-saudi-russia-nuclear-idUKKBN0OZ10R20150619

5—July 2015, Russia announces sale of Iskander missiles to Saudis (more quid pro quo for the raised Asian oil prices?)

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/07/04/418758/Russia-Saudi-Arabia-Iskander-missile-Yemen

There are no coincidences in events involving Russia. The tit-for-tat here is obvious. The Saudis got beefed up defenses and nuclear energy deals. Russia got a chance to sell more oil. Of course, for obvious reasons, the paper trail here omits the main details. The Saudis never disclose all the details of their agreements with other countries. But anyone who pays attention and knows what to look for can easily extrapolate the hidden details of these bargains.

Watch for more surprises soon.

As Donald Trump said: The decision makers in US policy are stupid.

Don Hank

 

PS: Speaking of stupid policy, did you happen to read about that fist fight that broke out in the Japanese Parliament over the latest change in the Japanese constitution allowing their armed forces to join with the US in its military adventures? An increasing number of Japanese are waking up to the insanity of US military policy and want nothing to do with US wars designed to be lost. Yet establishment thugs managed to pass this potentially disastrous piece of legislation, almost certainly under pressure from the war hawks in Washington.

Russian and US tactics are as different as day and night. Russia makes offers that tempt and reward. The US applies pressure and threats to punish.

Which side is winning?

Russian Sanctions hurt

Sanctions against Russia hurt

 

Don Hank

 

A reader tells me that the sanctions against Russia have been hurting them financially.

This is the perception throughout the West so far, unless you read reports from off the beaten trail. And then you see can easily through the lies.

You see, Western oligarchs are focused on keeping the world poor while robbing the little guy, and that is becoming an open secret. Eastern leaders can see this as a huge opportunity for doing business in ways that make everyone richer and better off. All they need to do is avoid the clumsy mistakes of the US oligarchs, and that is easy.

I have been forwarding articles showing that sanctions are not hurting Russia at all. They are gaining ground much faster than we are. Almost every one of our allies turned their backs on the World Bank (US based and led) and went over to the Chinese AIIB. This is a step toward dedollarization of world trade, which the Western press ignores pointedly (I pointed this out here http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/hank/141009)

In fact, the drop in the ruble is a huge boon for Russia, enabling them to sell more competitively to trade partners.

Then the Saudis struck deals with Russia for more powerful arms than we had ever sold them. That too is money in Russia’s bank.

Then about a week ago, almost every Middle Eastern leader met with Putin in Moscow, showing that they are pivoting away from the US and trusting Russia. For Putin that was like taking candy from a baby, because when a country’s government and oligarchs have cheated and lied repeatedly, eventually no lone trusts them. And that government is Washington.

In June Russia broke a record, selling more oil to China than the Saudis ever had sold them! The trade with China bypasses the dollar, using RMB only. Another major step toward dedollarization and loss of prestige for the dollar.

The Saudis are cooperating by charging more for their oil sold to Asia than is sold to the West. This helps Russia tremendously and is a clear signal that those closed door deals with the Saudis involved concessions to Russia in exchange for those weapons deals.

Now Russia is making deals with India for joint oil projects. These will almost certainly be denominated in currencies other than the dollar, another step in devaluing the USD.

Then there is the New Silk Route, a joint project with China to connect far flung regions for trade. Will the trade deals be in dollars? What do you think?

Rather than harming Russia, the sanctions drove them into the arms of our one-time allies. I don’t think they are coming back. My communications with Europeans shows they no longer trust the US, particularly since the bogus US subprime paper sold all over Europe, which set the stage for the current crisis there. Virtually every educated European knows this and, while their leaders remain discrete, they are waiting patiently for Washington to fall.

Russia’s new deals and sales of arms and oil are an indirect product of our sanctions and Russia is stronger now in trade and in world prestige than it ever was before.

Sanctions not only failed but they wound up greatly strengthening Russia!

The old Wolfowitz policy of encircling Russia has failed miserably as any fool knew it would. Russia is quickly emerging as the winner. Our policy makers are, to paraphrase Trump, STUPID!

It all reminds me of the Japanese emperor Hirohito in the last days of the war. He refused to believe that Japan could lose, even after the first nuke fell on one of his cities.

So the US dropped another.

Each of Putin’s actions is like one of those nukes, greatly curtailing US strength and prestige. Yet, Washington, caught in a paroxysm of normalcy bias, continues to forge ahead with its horrible policies, somehow convincing itself that it will win.

Let us hope and pray that whoever is elected our next president will start reversing these disastrous fraudulent foreign and financial policies that make America poor and garner the ridicule of nations.

And you know what? He may not have much choice.