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Archive for the ‘BRIC’ Category

Corbett Report 27 March 2013

‘Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week: Story #1: ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ slips silently through US Congress; Story #2: Kerry, Karzai Bury Hatchet in Kabul Meeting; Story #3: BRICS nations fail to launch new bank (27 March 2013)’.

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United Nations Climate Conference Durban 2011

The climate negotiations in Durban are apparently stalling due to the dual opposition of India and China, the new economic powerhouses of the 21st century. But, as it turns out, the U.S. also carries much of the blame and not necessarily because of Republican obstructionism: ‘On Wednesday, 7 December 2011, a group of climate change deniers praised the Obama administration’s refusal to support an extension of the Kyoto Protocol or an agreement on binding emissions cuts. Democracy Now! caught up to Marc Morano, publisher of the Climate Depot, at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. “They [the Obama administration] have kept the exact same principles and negotiating stance as President George Bush did for eight years,” Morano says. “Obama has carried on Bush’s legacy. So as sceptics, we tip our hat to President Obama in helping to crush and continuing to defeat the United Nations process. Obama has been a great friend of global warming sceptics at these conferences.” Democracy Now! gets a response from Pablo Solon, Bolivia’s former ambassador to the United Nations and former chief negotiator on climate change, and from Patrick Bond, a South African climate activist, professor and author’.

Morano did say of the current U.S. President that “His Nickname Is George W. Obama” . . . Marc Morano runs the climate website ClimateDepot.com for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a conservative environmental think tank. Until spring of 2009, Morano served as communications director for the Republicans on the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Morano commenced work with the committee under Senator James Inhofe, who was majority chairman of the committee until January 2007 and is now minority ranking member. In December 2006 Morano launched a blog on the committee’s website that largely promotes the views of climate change sceptics. Morano is a former journalist with Cybercast News Service (CNS), which is owned by the conservative Media Research Center. CNS and Morano were the first source in May 2004 of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth claims against John Kerry in the 2004 presidential election and in January 2006 of similar smears against Vietnam war veteran John Murtha. Morano was “previously known as Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Man in Washington,’ as reporter and producer for the Rush Limbaugh Television Show.[1]

Nabucco’s New Rival: Iran-Iraq-Syria Pipeline

In opposition to Russia’s dominance of the European energy market, the EU devised an alternative pipeline, reaching from Turkey right into the heart of Europe: Nabucco. This pipeline was supposed to liberate Europe from Putin’s grip . . . and originally, Iran’s oil and gas wealth was to have been part of this sweet deal. Turkey in its new pseudo-Ottoman guise was more than happy to snub Russia and to accommodate its eastern neighbour. But, as a result of shifting alliances and moving priorities, Iran once again became a non-actor on the international scene. In spite of Turkey and Brazil’s joint efforts to usher in a conciliatory solution for Iran’s nuclear problem, the world and the U.S. remained steadfast in their condemnation of Tehran as a purveyor or nuclear threats and Islamic rhetoric unpalatable to the West. Hence, “in the second half of 2010 ‘during a Steering Committee meeting in Ankara, the Nabucco shareholders decided to cut Iran from the supply route’, as I noted in Today’s Zaman [in] November [2010]”.[1]  But now, the Islamic Revolution has come up with its own energy supply route, as conveyed by AFP and NOW Lebanon: ‘Iran, Iraq and Syria inked on Monday [, 25 July 2011] a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of pipelines designed to deliver Iran’s natural gas to the two Arab nations in the next three to five years and possibly to Lebanon and Europe in the future, local media reported’.[2]  Estimated to cost about $10 billion, to stretch across several thousands of kilometres and to be completed within a space of three to five years, this pipeline project could prove to be yet another element in the upcoming New Cold War that seems to emerge in the wake of the current Arab Awakening.[3]  The MoU was signed (or inked) by Iraqi Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi, his Syrian counterpart Sufian Allaw and Iran’s oil ministry caretaker Mohammad Aliabadi. The above-quoted report continues that deputy oil minister and chairman of the Iranian National Gas Company
(NIGC), Javad Ouji ‘hoped the final agreement launching the project could be signed before the end of the year. Iran has the second largest proven gas reserves in the world after Russia. It currently consumes almost all of the approximately 600 million cubic meters per day of gas production, but hopes to double its production and export some 250 million cubic meters per day to its neighbors and to Europe from 2015 through developing a giant offshore gas field in the Gulf, which it shares with Qatar’.[4]

This new project might also prove to be a thorn in Turkey’s thigh as it attempts to ease relations with the EU and the Arab world. Given the current turmoil sweeping through Arab cities across the region, this surreptitious attempt by Iran to bolster Damascus while also trying to regain credibility on the international energy market has to be seen as a conscious challenge to Washington and NATO. The projected missile defence shield which is not officially aimed at Iran but set to be stationed in Turkey is yet another American attempt to ostracise Tehran from the international community. And in this respect, some U.S. Republicans managed to upset Turkish sensibilities as well. The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) recently issued this statement: a ‘letter by Republican Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona and Mark Kirk of Illinois to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta voiced objections to the stationing of a NATO missile defense radar system in Turkey. The Senators preposterously allege that Turkey is not a reliable US ally and, hence, demand that unless Turkey is completely removed from the system’s operation and its data collection and sharing, it should not be positioned in Turkey. The Senators further demand guarantees that data collected from the system will be shared with Israel, a non-NATO country, placing Turkey and its citizens in the cross hairs in the event of a shooting war between Israel and Iran, a risk Turkey should not have to bear. First, the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) categorically rejects the allegations made by the two Senators that Turkey is not a reliable NATO ally. The recent visit by Secretary Clinton to Turkey has demonstrated once again that the foreign and security policy interests of the United States and Turkey converge on nearly all vital issues in the region and beyond. The visit was testimony to the fact that the two countries are working side by side to address the most important challenges that this region and the world face today. It seems like the two senators’ real objective, reflected by their baseless accusations leveled against Turkey, may indeed be to jeopardize the current atmosphere of cooperation and allied spirit between the two countries, while pandering to domestic and foreign special interests. Second, Senator Kyle’s and Senator Kirk’s statements echo the worst uninformed rhetoric about Turkey heard in certain circles in Washington, which may find partial support in the halls of Congress around this significant issue. TCA remains concerned that this kind of rhetoric may create serious contention between Turkey and the United States at this critical period in time, with spill-over effect on other areas where the need for close US-Turkey cooperation is paramount. Turkey is a NATO front-line country in a challenging region. First and foremost, then, both the U.S. and Turkey ought to measure the wisdom of stationing this missile
defense radar in Turkey against any impact it would have on Turkey’s demonstrated ability to constructively engage its neighbors. Preserving this unique regional role of Turkey may provide the greatest peace dividends of all’.[5]

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl is a man well-known for his “liberal” use of language and its manifold meanings as demonstrated in the below clip: not intended to be a factual statement . . .

 


[i] “Pipelineistan in Europe: Nabucco, Turkey, and Russia” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (06 January 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/pipelineistan-in-europe-nabucco-turkey-and-russia/;
C. Erimtan, “A pseudo-Ottoman policy: Turkey’s new station in the world” Today’s Zaman (04 November 2010). http://tiny.cc/6qkki.

[ii] “Iran inks gas pipeline deal with Iraq and Syria” AFP and NOW Lebanon (25 July 2011). http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=294317.

[iii] Cfr. C. Erimtan, “The Arab Awakening and the never-ending Cold War” Hürriyet Daily News (22 June 2011). http://t.co/mdyly4E.

[iv] “Iran inks gas pipeline deal with Iraq and Syria”.

[v] “TCA Protests Senators Kyl and Kirk’s Disrespectful and Untrue Statements Against Turkey” Issues & Information, TCA. http://www.tc-america.org/issues-information/us-turkey-relations/tca-protests-senators-kyl-485.htm.

Obama does Europe: Ireland, England and the G8 Summit

 

Earlier this week the U.S. President left the hallowed shores of America and flew to Ireland where he shamelessly publicised his Irish roots: “I am expecting to go not only to all the famous sites, but also to go to Moneygall, where my great-great-great-great-great grandfather hails from”.[1]  Then he hopped over to England, where he received a splendorous and royal welcome. In the International Business Times, Anissa Haddadi remarks cynically that “many accused him of basking in the massive popularity of the Queen in the United States, especially in the wake of the Royal wedding, watched by more than 20 million Americans a month ago”.[2]  But the real reason for Barrack’s European adventure this time around has to do with the G8 get-together in ‘the French seaside town of Deauville on May 26 and 27 for an annual summit’, where ‘[d]iscussions will cover unrest in North Africa and nuclear safety, as well as the race to name a new IMF head’ as reported by the news agency Reuters.[3]  And, just to remind ourselves, here is a handy summary also provided by Reuters: the‘G8 is an unofficial forum of the heads of the leading industrialised democracies: Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan, the United States, Canada (since 1976) and Russia (since 1998). The European Commission has also been represented in all the sessions since the Ottawa Summit in 1981. The first summit in France in 1975 was called to settle a dispute over currencies, but meetings were soon expanded to discuss broad economic policy matters. The G8 countries account for 15% of the world’s population, but 65% of its gross domestic product . . .  The G8 focuses mainly on geopolitical and security issues, including its relations with Africa. The newer and broader G20 — which includes China, India, Brazil, Turkey and Mexico — focuses on global economic issues. The Deauville meeting will cover aid needs for Egypt and Tunisia, the conflict in Libya, repression in Syria and nuclear safety. The G8 has no permanent secretariat and its decisions are non-binding. A rotating presidency lets each G8 country chair the forum for a calendar year and organize and host the annual summit. The order of rotation is France, the United States, Britain, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada. France’s 2011 presidency marks its sixth turn as G8 chair, and coincides with its year-long G20 presidency’.[4] 

 

 

USA TODAY’s Richard Wolf reports that ‘[t]here may be just 4.5 million people in Ireland, but there are 36.3 million in the United States who claim Irish ancestors. That includes at least one in eight in key states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri and Indiana’.[5]  In other words, in the run up to the 2012 election, Barrack Obama is arguably using his trip abroad to bolster his domestic support. While the President is traveling Europe, South Asia has arrived in the U.S. in the form of a court trial in Chicago. The BBC reports that ‘Tahawwur Rana is accused of giving cover to a former friend, David Headley, who admitted scouting sites for the attack. He is expected to testify against Mr Rana. The trial is likely to shed light on alleged links between militant groups and the Pakistani secret intelligence service. Mr Rana denies the 12 charges that have been levelled against him. His lawyers say he was tricked by Headley, a longtime friend from their days at a Pakistani military school. Mr Rana was arrested in 2009, and if convicted, he faces a life sentence’.[6]  Rana is accused of involvement in the terrorist onslaught on Mumbai in ‘November 2008, [when] a group of 10 gunmen the US says were trained by militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba attacked the Taj Mahal and Oberoi hotels, a Jewish centre and a major train station, each of which Headley had scouted in advance’.[7] 


[1] Anissa Haddadi, “Barack Obama’s European trip: What do his detractors have to say?” International Business Times (24 May 2011). http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/151036/20110524/obama-s-european-trip-what-do-his-detractors-have-to-say.htm.

[2] Anissa Haddadi, “Barack Obama’s European trip: What do his detractors have to say?”; “Royal Wedding Woes” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (30 April 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/royal-wedding-woes/.

[3] “What is the G8 and what does it do?” Reuters (25 May 2011). http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/features/whatistheg8andwhatdoesitdo_546236.html.

[4] “What is the G8 and what does it do?”.

[5] Richard Wolf, “President Obama’s European Trip Could Pay Benefits Abroad, At Home -1” USA Today (22 May 2011). http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-obama-european-trip-g8-summit-buckingham-palace/story?id=13643596.  

[6] “Tahawwur Rana Mumbai terror trial begins in Chicago” BBC News (23 May 2011). http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13506041.

[7] “Tahawwur Rana Mumbai terror trial begins in Chicago”.

WikiLeaks Reveals U.S. Wanted to Keep Russia out of Libyan Oil

Paul Jay talks to Kevin Hall, the national economics correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers.

Manifest Destiny’s Child

Manifest Destiny’s Child is a film written, edited & directed by Dennis Trainor, Jr.

 

Davos 2011: Playground of the Rich

On RT’s Alyona Show, ‘[c]orrespondent Laura Emmett explains what’s on the agenda this year [at Davos] . . . Every year the world’s financial, political and business elite gather at the ski resort in Davos, Switzerland to supposedly solve the world’s problems’ (26 January 2011).

 

On its dedicated website, the ‘World Economic Forum [announces that it] is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas’.[1]  On another webpage, Martina Gmur explains under the heading “The new geopolitical reality” that the ‘international balance of power has shifted, according to the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Geopolitical Risk, from a world order dominated by the G7 free market democracies to one in which emerging market states enjoy much greater economic and political clout. Many of these states hold quite different views than leading industrialized states on how the global economy should operate and on the proper role for the state in economic development. “The result is a vacuum of leadership that will complicate efforts to restore confidence in global economic growth following the most significant market meltdown of the past seven decades”. The new reality will provide the following opportunities: for governments of medium-sized rising powers like Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey to redefine their roles on the regional and international stages [,] for resource-rich African countries to benefit from new economic relationships [,] for the United States to find a sustainable international leadership role that allows for the sharing of more of the burdens of provision of global public goods. For international companies and investors the opportunities come with the understanding of the new reality. The Global Agenda Council on Geopolitical Risk forecasts that: CEOs who understand the increased role of governments in market activity in many countries, particularly in state capitalist emerging markets, will be best positioned to benefit from first-mover advantage [.] Companies with diversified risk exposure will be better placed to survive an inevitable period of volatility in global markets [.] The players who recognize that emerging markets pose unique risks and opportunities will be best placed to profit. Some of the challenges include increased nationalism in both developed and developing states, increased potential for West-East tensions, and greater state intervention in the economy by developed and developing nations’.[2]  

Gmur was quoting from the sixth edition of the Global Risks report issued by the World Economic Forum. The 7-page report ends with a section called Wildcards, where it enumerates possible sources for crisis and mayhem in the coming year: the “Korean Peninsula”, “Iran’s nuclear program”, “Pakistan”, and last but clearly not least “Europe’s contagion crisis”. The Global Risks report states that “some EU governments will face risks of sovereign default”, combined with “the bid to save the eurozone, and the nationalist tensions it will create” could lead to a volatile global situation.[3] 

All in all, a talking shop with a well-filled agenda. As for the Turkish presence at Davos this year, the World Bulletin reports that ‘Turkey joins the 41st annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), that will begin in Davos on Wednesday [, 26 January 2011], after two-year break. After Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of a panel at the 2009 summit, in reaction to Israeli President Shimon Peres and the panel moderation, relations between Turkey and the World Economic Forum, organizer of the summit, soured. Erdogan said after the Jan. 29, 2009 incident that he would not go to Davos anymore and that Davos was finished for him. The official opening ceremony for this year’s annual meeting which will focus on “Shared Norms for the New Reality” will be held tonight. Deputy Premier Ali Babacan will represent Turkey in this year’s conference. He is expected to hold a press conference at International Esenboga Airport in Ankara prior to his departure for Switzerland. 2500 participants from over 100 countries will attend the WEF annual meeting. 1400 leading businesspeople from around the globe are expected to attend the meeting. Heads of state and government and government officials from 35 countries are expected to attend the summit. Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simşek and Central Bank Governor Durmuş Yılmaz will also attend the meeting’.[4]  

Following Tayyip Erdoğan’s well-calculated “One Minute” stunt which catapulted him and Turkey in its pseudo-Ottoman guise to unseen heights of popularity in the Arab world, the AKP government has resumed its position at the table of the movers and shakers of the business and financial world. After all, Turkey is a potential member of the BRIC+T group of erstwhile peripheral nations which will determine the global agenda in years and decades to come.[5]  

 


[1] World Economic Forum. http://www.weforum.org/.

[2] Martina Gmur, “The new geopolitical reality” World Economic Forum. (26 January 2011). http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-risks.

[3] “Global Risks”, pp. 6-7. World Economic Forum. http://riskreport.weforum.org/.

[4] “Turkey joins Davos after two-year break” World Bulletin (26 January 2011). http://www.worldbulletin.net/news_detail.php?id=69022.

[5] Cfr. “The Global Report: Brazilian President Slams U.S. Latin American Policy & BRIC+T” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (10 January 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/the-global-report-brazilian-president-slams-u-s-latin-american-policy-brict/.