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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The shadowy figures of well-armed Isis gunmen can be seen making an attack in the plains of northern Iraq on an outpost held by paramilitary fighters loyal to the Iraqi government. Some four of the latter are killed by a roadside bomb. Isis specialises in publicising its successful military actions online to show that it... Read More
“God damn America, not God bless America!” “If we can’t sell our oil,” the Iranians said, “you won’t be able to sell your oil [either]!” This turned out to be more of a prayer than a threat that was actually implemented. The same prayer could be extrapolated for the economy: “If you want to destroy... Read More
The Russia-Saudi oil-price war is a fabrication concocted by the media. There's not a word of truth to any of it. Yes, there was a dust up at an OPEC meeting in early March that led to production increases and plunging prices. That part is true. But Saudi Arabia's oil-dumping strategy wasn't aimed at Russia,... Read More
PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS CLAIMED THAT THE U.S. NO LONGER NEEDS FOREIGN OIL AND IS “ENERGY INDEPENDENT.” YET, NOW THE U.S. SHALE OIL INDUSTRY FACES NEAR TOTAL RUIN, MEANING THAT ANOTHER “WAR FOR OIL” COULD BE IN OUR FUTURE. WITH TRUMP AGAIN TAKING AIM AT VENEZUELA, WE MAY BE CLOSER TO WAR THAN WE THINK. On... Read More
The Kremlin held a winning hand in oil negotiations and did not play it. Washington and Saudi Arabia desperately needed Russian agreement to their plan to raise the price of oil by cutting production and reducing the supply of oil. Russia can tolerate $20 or $25 barrel of oil, but the highly leveraged and bankrupt... Read More
Donald Trump called Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday to discuss plunging oil prices that are wreaking havoc on America's shale oil industry. The two leaders talked briefly about the coronavirus pandemic but quickly switched to Trump's real concern which is oil production. For the last month, Saudi Arabia has been flooding the market with... Read More
The media has decided that the reason oil prices are plunging, is not because the impulsive Saudis want to bully Russia into output cuts that aren't in Russia's best interests, but because sinister Mastermind, Vladimir Putin, wants to obliterate America's domestic oil industry so he can rule the world. For brainwashed Americans, who believe that... Read More
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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
Last week, OPEC called on Russian oil companies to lower production in response to reduced demand from China and a Eurozone bound for recession. They said no. Just like that, oil took a nosedive, losing 25% of its value on Monday. The price of a barrel of oil closed at $33 dollars, compared to $45... Read More
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Oil Prices – Syria – Refugee Invasion
Turbulence rising, we are in for a choppy ride, - that’s what our captain should announce. After some fake turbulence supplied by the overblown coronavirus media hype, real things began to add up. They all add up to a great uncertainty and to a deep recession; to a war substitute, from the financial point of... Read More
The Trump administration is threatening to destroy Iraq's economy by withholding a critical source of money that is controlled by the Federal Reserve. The threat is a response to the Iraqi parliament's unanimous decision to end Washington's 17 year-long military occupation. The Iraqi people and their representatives in parliament are incensed by the recent assassination... Read More
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The U.S. is adamant that its assassination of Qassem Soleimani and refusal to leave Iraq is about protecting Americans, but a little known Iraqi parliamentary session reveals how China increasingly strong ties to Baghdad may be shaping America’s new Mideast strategy. Since the U.S. killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi... Read More
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The Saker: Trump has been accused of not thinking forward, of not having a long-term strategy regarding the consequences of assassinating General Soleimani. Does the United States in fact have a strategy in the Near East, or is it only ad hoc? Michael Hudson: Of course American strategists will deny that the recent actions do... Read More
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The mainstream media are carefully sidestepping the method behind America’s seeming madness in assassinating Islamic Revolutionary Guard general Qassim Suleimani to start the New Year. The logic behind the assassination this was a long-standing application of U.S. global policy, not just a personality quirk of Donald Trump’s impulsive action. His assassination of Iranian military leader... Read More
Feature photo | Graphic by Claudio Cabrera
The outsized role of U.S. Israel lobby operatives in abetting the theft of Syrian and Iraqi oil reveals how this powerful lobby also facilitates more covert aspects of U.S.-Israeli cooperation and the implementation of policies that favor Israel. Kirkuk, Iraq — “We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re... Read More
The resignation of Sigal Mandelker, an Israeli operative in the US Treasury who designed the Trump administration's Iran sanctions, is a sign of retreat. Mnuchin, Mandelker, Sheldon Adelson and other Trump-handlers wanted "maximum pressure." The goal of this policy was to blind side the Iranians by randomly withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear agreement in hopes... Read More
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Control of oil has long been a key aim of U.S. foreign policy. The Paris climate agreements and any other Green programs to reduce the pace of global warming are viewed as threatening the aim of dominating world energy markets by keeping economies dependent on oil under U.S. control. Also blocking U.S. willingness to help... Read More
Back in May 2013, a word came to mind that I wanted to see in all our vocabularies. It wasn’t the ever-present “terrorist” but “terrarist” and I meant it to describe people intent on destroying the planetary environment that had welcomed and nurtured so many species, including our own, for so long; in other words,... Read More
Will the Trump Administration Take Down the Arctic Refuge?
What happens in the Arctic doesn’t just stay up north. It affects the world, as that region is the integrator of our planet’s climate systems, atmospheric and oceanic. At the moment, the northernmost places on Earth are warming at more than twice the global average, a phenomenon whose impact is already being felt planetwide. Welcome... Read More
Trump’s Carbon-Obsessed Energy Policy and the Planetary Nightmare to Come
Scroll through Donald Trump’s campaign promises or listen to his speeches and you could easily conclude that his energy policy consists of little more than a wish list drawn up by the major fossil fuel companies: lift environmental restrictions on oil and natural gas extraction, build the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, open more... Read More
The 2016 Version of an Old Story on a New Planet
Cowboys and Indians are at it again. Americans who don’t live in the West may think that the historic clash of Native Americans and pioneering settlers is long past because the Indians were, after all, defeated and now drive cars, watch television, and shop at Walmart. Not so. That classic American narrative is back big... Read More
In our new political world, the phrase "follow the money" has real meaning. Consider the $1,530,000 that, according to OpenSecrets.org, billionaire Kelcy Warren has personally given away in the 2016 election cycle to influence your vote (or someone’s vote anyway). One hundred percent of his dollars, just in case you were curious, have gone to... 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
With a Busted Business Model, Oil Economies Head for the Unknown
Pity the poor petro-states. Once so wealthy from oil sales that they could finance wars, mega-projects, and domestic social peace simultaneously, some of them are now beset by internal strife or are on the brink of collapse as oil prices remain at ruinously low levels. Unlike other countries, which largely finance their governments through taxation,... Read More
The Collapse of the Old Oil Order
Sunday, April 17th was the designated moment. The world’s leading oil producers were expected to bring fresh discipline to the chaotic petroleum market and spark a return to high prices. Meeting in Doha, the glittering capital of petroleum-rich Qatar, the oil ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with such key... Read More
In a Greater Middle East in which one country after another has been plunged into chaos and possible failed statehood, two rival nations, Iran and Saudi Arabia, have been bedrock exceptions to the rule. Iran, at the moment, remains so, but the Saudi royals, increasingly unnerved, have been steering their country erratically into the region’s... Read More
So much that matters in our world and on our planet happens in and remains in the shadows. This website is dedicated to shining at least a small light into some of those shadows. Commenting recently on the failure of the U.S. war on terror as well as the war against the Islamic State, Andrew... Read More
Or How Texaco Supported Fascism
[This piece has been adapted from Adam Hochschild's new book, Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939.] “Merchants have no country,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1814. “The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.” The former president was... Read More
The Irony of Oil Abundance
Three and a half years ago, the International Energy Agency (IEA) triggered headlines around the world by predicting that the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world’s leading oil producer by 2020 and, together with Canada, would become a net exporter of oil around 2030. Overnight, a new strain of American energy... Read More
It’s evident that we’re still on a planet where oil rules. The question increasingly is: What exactly does it rule over? After all, every barrel of oil that’s burned contributes to a fast-approaching future in which the weather grows hotter and more extreme, droughts andwildfires spread, sea levels rise precipitously, ice continues to melt away... 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
When it comes to news about Saudi Arabia, the execution of an oppositional Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, has topped the headlines recently -- and small wonder. Aging King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and his 30-year-old son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the new defense minister who has already involved his country in a classic... Read More
Political Turmoil in a Time of Low Energy Prices
As 2015 drew to a close, many in the global energy industry were praying that the price of oil would bounce back from the abyss, restoring the petroleum-centric world of the past half-century. All evidence, however, points to a continuing depression in oil prices in 2016 -- one that may, in fact, stretch into the... 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
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GDP Downer
The world’s biggest economy ground to a standstill in the first quarter of 2015 wracked by massive job losses in the oil sector, falling personal consumption, weak exports and droopy fixed investment. Real gross domestic product (GDP), the value of the production of goods and services in the US, increased at an abysmal annual rate... 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
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Life Inside the Boom
At 9 p.m. on that August night, when I arrived for my first shift as a cocktail waitress at Whispers, one of the two strip clubs in downtown Williston, I didn’t expect a 25-year-old man to get beaten to death outside the joint. Then again, I didn’t really expect most of the things I encountered... Read More
Think of it as a Walrusgram written on the sand of a northwest Alaskan beach and sent to the planet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Arctic marine mammal aerial survey noticed them first, those 35,000 walruses that had come ashore in unheard of numbers because their usual sea ice has simply melted away. The... Read More
You remember. It was the oiliest of administrations. The president was a (failed) West Texas oilman. The vice-president had been the CEO of the giant oil field services company, Halliburton, and before taking office, when speaking at the Petroleum Institute and elsewhere, was known to say things like, “The Middle East, with two-thirds of the... Read More
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Washington Takes on ISIS, Iran, and Russia
It was heinous. It was underhanded. It was beyond the bounds of international morality. It was an attack on the American way of life. It was what you might expect from unscrupulous Arabs. It was “the oil weapon” -- and back in 1973, it was directed at the United States. Skip ahead four decades and... Read More
Whatever you may imagine, “peak oil” has not been discredited as a concept, a statement no less true for “peak fossil fuels.” Think of them instead as postponed. We are, after all, on a finite planet that, by definition, holds a finite amount of oil, natural gas, and coal. Sooner or later, as such deposits... Read More
A Global Warming President Presides Over a Drill-Baby-Drill America
Considering all the talk about global warming, peak oil, carbon divestment, and renewable energy, you’d think that oil consumption in the United States would be on a downward path. By now, we should certainly be witnessing real progress toward a post-petroleum economy. As it happens, the opposite is occurring. U.S. oil consumption is on an... Read More
Mission Accomplished, Indeed
– Antonia Juhasz, oil industry analyst, Al Jazeera. These are the ‘best of times’ for the oil giants in Iraq. Production is up, profits are soaring, and big oil is rolling in dough. Here’s the story from the Wall Street Journal: Mission accomplished? You bet. But for those who still cling to the idea that... 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
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Will Obama Block the Keystone Pipeline or Just Keep Bending?
As the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline has worn on -- and it’s now well over two years old -- it’s illuminated the Obama presidency like no other issue. It offers the president not just a choice of policies, but a choice of friends, worldviews, styles. It’s become an X-ray for a flagging presidency.... Read More
Recently, “good” news about energy has been gushing out of North America, where a cheering crowd of pundits, energy experts, and government officials has been plugging the U.S. as the “Saudi Arabia” of the twenty-first century. You know, all that fracking and those luscious deposits of oil shale and gas shale just waiting to be... 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
PastClassics
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
How a Young Syndicate Lawyer from Chicago Earned a Fortune Looting the Property of the Japanese-Americans, then Lived...