The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Is the planet under the spell of a pair of black swans – a Wall Street meltdown, caused by an alleged oil war between Russia and the House of Saud, plus the uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 – leading to an all-out “cross-asset pandemonium” as billed by Nomura? Or, as German analyst Peter Spengler suggests, whatever... Read More
There’s a blue hole in the South China Sea. Longdong («Dragon Hole») is an astonishing 300,89 meters deep, in deep blue waters around Yongle, a major coral reef in the Paracel islands (or Xisha, in their Chinese denomination). Cynics may argue that after the recent ruling in The Hague largely against China’s «nine-dash line», the... Read More
Facing the gleaming Doha skyline on a Persian Gulf winter carries the merit of a panoramic perspective. Most nations around it are going into melt down and the remaining ones – with the exception of Iran – exhibit neither the political leadership nor the economic and institutional infrastructure to do anything other than to meekly... Read More
Saudi Arabia is a beheading paradise. But this PR nightmare is the least of all problems in an oil crisis. Once again, the heart of the matter is – what else – black gold. So far, the House of Saud’s whole energy strategy has boiled down to shaving off its oil production no matter what... Read More
«I will tell you when Russian companies are for sure going to decrease production – when oil costs $0». Courtesy of Russian Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov, this has got to be one of the top quotes of 2015. Well, forget about oil costing $0 even as OPEC refuses to cut production to curb the... Read More
Now how do you top this as a geopolitical entrance? Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on board an Air China Boeing as he enters Pakistani air space. And these JF-17s are built as a China-Pakistan joint project. Silk Road? Better yet; silk skyway. Just to drive the point home –... Read More
The House of Saud now finds itself in times of extreme trouble. Their risky oil price war may eventually backfire. The succession of King Abdullah may turn into a bloodbath. And the American protector may be musing a change of heart. Let’s start with oil – and some background. As much as US supply has... Read More
The nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) are back this Tuesday in Vienna. The stakes couldn't be higher. It will be a long and winding road. Hidden agendas on both sides badly want the talks to fail - and will spare no effort... Read More
In his State of the Union address, United States President Barack Obama said, "Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal." In the real world, this means Washington is willing to go to war... Read More
Following the Money in the Iran Crisis
These days, with a crisis atmosphere growing in the Persian Gulf, a little history lesson about the U.S. and Iran might be just what the doctor ordered. Here, then, are a few high- (or low-) lights from their relationship over the last half-century-plus: Summer 1953: The CIA and British intelligence hatch a plot for a... Read More
Here’s a crash course on how to further wreck the global economy. A key amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act signed by United States President Barack Obama on the last day of 2011 – when no one was paying attention – imposes sanctions on any countries or companies that buy Iranian oil and pay... Read More
BEIJING - For all the rhapsodies on the advent of the New Silk Road, it may have come into effect for good last week, when China and Central Asia got together to open a crucial Pipelineistan node linking Turkmenistan to China's Xinjiang. By 2013, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong will be cruising to ever more... Read More
BEIJING – Former United States vice president Dick Cheney, ex-defense minister Donald Rumsfeld and assorted US neo-cons will have plenty of time to nurse their apoplexy. One of their key reasons to unleash the war on Iraq in 2003 was to seize control of its precious oilfields and thus shape a great deal of the... Read More
BEIJING - A November 21 caption on the cover of China Daily read, "Three women seem to dwarf the Bird's Nest [National Stadium] as they enjoy the winter sunshine and the blue sky on Friday. Beijing experienced its 260th blue-sky day in 2009 on Friday, reaching its target 41 days before the end of the... Read More
BRUSSELS - Oil and natural gas prices may be relatively low right now, but don't be fooled. The new great game of the 21st century is always over energy and it's taking place on an immense chessboard called Eurasia. Its squares are defined by the networks of pipelines being laid across the oil heartlands of... Read More
The bloodstream of the global energy war is the pipelines that crisscross the planet’s potential imperial battlefields.
Introduction by Tom Engelhardt At one point last week, the price of a barrel of crude oil—which had risen as high as $147 last July and, with the global economic meltdown, hit a low of $32 in 2009—rebounded above $51. Prices at the local gas pump are expected to rise as well in the coming... Read More
NEW YORK - It is not about the "war on terror". It is not about weapons of mass destruction. It is not about "freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people", or to the "Afghan people". It is not about "Islamofascism". It is not about a Pentagon-coined "arc of instability" from the Middle East to Central... Read More
It was a discreet, almost hush-hush affair, but after almost three years of stalling and endless delays it finally happened. Now more than ever, it may also signal a geoeconomic earthquake, a potentially shattering blow to US dollar hegemony. The Iranian oil bourse - the first oil, gas and petrochemical exchange in the Islamic Republic,... Read More
"I see the imminent death of 20,000 men, That, for a fantasy and trick of fame, Go to their graves like beds ... O, from this time forth, My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth." Hamlet, Act IV; according to White House spin part of reading-adverse President George W Bush's book list during the... Read More
Dig that red VW Beetle showing up this past Sunday morning at a Caracas barrio. Behind the wheel is none other than Hugo Chavez, president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (as it has been officially designated since 1999), global South working-class hero and scourge of the Washington Consensus, on his way to one more... Read More
TEHRAN - The black chador-clad secretaries behind rows of flat computer monitors at the Petroleum Ministry building in central Tehran are all smiles. Not to mention their bosses. No wonder. According to the ministry's latest estimates in August, Iran will export at least US$60 billion in oil in 2005 - more than $10 billion more... Read More
History may judge it as one of the capital moves of the 21st century's New Great Game: May 25, the day high-quality Caspian light crude started flowing through the Caucasus toward the Mediterranean in Turkey. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) - conceived by the US as the ultimate Western escape route from dependence on oil from... Read More
"We fasted for three months; then we broke our fast with an onion." - Iraqi proverb After fasting - or watching non-stop squabbling - for almost three months since the January 30 elections, Iraqis finally got their onion: a new cabinet no one likes (except the Kurds). Shi'ite Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari didn't get what... Read More
Two years after being shocked and awed into "freedom", freedom on the ground is a meaningless concept for large swathes of the Iraqi population. Sunnis and Shi'ites alike tell Asia Times Online of a brutalization of every-day life. Highways in and out of Baghdad are suicidal: the Americans can't control any of them. Anyone is... Read More
BRUSSELS and DUBAI - As the neo-conservative dream of a "liberated" Iraq came true in April 2003, who would have predicted that 16 months later oil would become the ultimate time bomb for the Bush administration? And the Saudi royal/oil family cavalry is not exactly coming to the rescue. Many factors explain the current rise... Read More