IRAN, RUSSIA, CHINA, AND THE SILK ROAD

IRAN, RUSSIA, CHINA, AND THE SILK ROAD

This has been one of those weeks in which news events have overtaken my original intentions for articles to blog about. And this is one of those cases, as E.G. brought this article from Zero Hedge to my attention:

Declassified: The Sino-Russian Masterplan To End U.S. Dominance In Middle East

In yesterday's New's and and Views from the Nefarium, I outlined a high octane speculation scenario concerning the recent attacks on tankers in the Persian Gulf. There's no question that attacks occurred. The real question is, who actually did it and how was it actually done? Iran, as the US is claiming? Or is this a false flag? Was it a mine? or as the Japanese ship's crew maintains, something that flew into the ship?

This highlights my chief and fundamental difficulty with the whole thing. My chief difficulty was, and remains, that it is highly unlikely that the Tehran regime, nutty as it is, would not very likely attack a Japanese-owned tanker while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Tehran for talks! Not since George Bush the Dumber have we seen such pressure for military intervention with so little evidence being made available to the public. In fact, while we're on the subject, this has all the "feel" to it of the Gulf of Tonkin incident, under Lyndon Johnson, a man who reached Clintonesque levels of corruption very early in his "career". I remember that "feel" because I was a boy at the time. If a false flag, then one could easily finger the usual suspects: the (out)House of Saud, the regime of Nuttyahoo, the Brits, the U.S.A.

But in yesterday's New and Views I outlined a scenario that it appeared to me might be emerging, namely, the presentation of a "united Front" against Iran. The episode of Chancellorin Merkel's "shakes", and then her press conference in which she maintained the evidence for Iranian involvement in the attacks was "quite strong", or words to that effect. I have to wonder if the shakes were a "message" sent to her to play along, "or else." So, as of today, add Germany to the "list" of "powers endorsing the narrative." Then, as I also noted yesterday, India has sent powerful elements of the Indian Navy to the Persian Gulf, so add another nuclear power to the mix in the region besides the USA.

The most highly speculative element of my musings yesterday - and they are very speculative - was my wondering if, behind the scenes, Russia at least, and possibly China, had not been convinced to go along with a "regime change" scenario. Consider a high price of oil: this would benefit Russia and Saudi Arabia, hurt China, India, and Japan. If America, on the other hand, suppressed the price, this would benefit China and Japan, and hurt Russia and the American ally the (out)House of Saud. So oil may or may not be a way to gauge the possibility of my speculation.

Which brings us to E.G.'s article, and these statements in it:

Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin’s early June 2019 summit in Moscow with People’s Republic of China (PRC) Pres. Xi Jinping seems likely to have a disproportionate influence on the next phases of the crises unfolding in the greater Middle East, and therefore on the future of the region.

The escalating confrontation between Iran and the US is both influencing and influenced by the mega-trends set by Russia and the PRC.

One of the first major confrontations with the US by Russia and the PRC was to be over the greater Middle East. The main reason was the advance negotiations with all key oil producers - including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Iran - on substituting the petrodollar with a basket of currencies where the yuan, the euro and the ruble dominate. Using the currency basket would enable the sellers and buyers to go around the US-imposed sanctions and quotas. Indeed, Beijing and Moscow were now enticing the oil producers with huge, long-term export deals which were both financially lucrative and politically tempting by offering guarantees for the well-being of the participating governments.

The crux of the proposal is regional and includes flagrant disregard of the US sanctions on Iran.

However, the key to the extent of the commitment of both Beijing and Moscow lies in the growing importance and centrality of the New Silk Road via Central Asia.

Persia had a crucial rôle in the ancient Silk Road, and both the PRC and Russia now expect Iran to have a comparable key rôle in the New Silk Road.

The growing dominance of heritage-based dynamics throughout the developing world, including the greater Central Asia and the greater Middle East, makes it imperative for the PRC to rely on historic Persia/Iran as a western pole of the New Silk Road. It is this realization which led both Beijing and Moscow to give Tehran, in mid-May 2019, the original guarantees that Washington would be prevented from conducting a “regime change”.

Therefore, even though both Russia and the PRC were not satisfied with the Iranian and Iran-proxy activities and policies in the Iraq-Syria-Lebanon area, it was far more important for them to support Iran, and also Turkey, in their confrontations with the US in order to expedite the consolidation of the New Silk Road. (Emphasis added)

It's that last statement that opens up the possibility that my scenario isn't as wild as it may sound, for it indicates that under certain conditions, Russia and China might be prepared to throw over the Tehran regime if they had a reasonable assurance that any replacement regime would be amenable to their Silk Road plans. It's an indicator that the Tehran regime really benefits no one. Meanwhile, even as I compose this blog, some radio media in this country are pointing out that President Trump's remarks that "Iran maybe made a mistake" are giving that country an "out", and perhaps are indicative that he's not completely on board with the idea of a military intervention.  In the long term, the Tehran regime is not only destabilizing to the area, it is destabilizing to the entire Silk Road project's "southern route". That means the political calculus will inevitably change for Iran, Russia, and China, if the regime remains in place, and it may imply that the calculus just did.

So for now, it's not only "watch oil" but watch Russia, and China. And there's a third European power that we've not heard from which, due to its recent Memorandum of Understanding with China to use its ports as a component in the Silk Road project, has vaulted to the top of having a vital interest in the situation.

And that's Italy.

See you on the flip side...

25 thoughts on “IRAN, RUSSIA, CHINA, AND THE SILK ROAD”

  1. oil prices high mean more jobs domestic ussa. oil prices low means fewer jobs and probably higher immigration as well.

    another consideration i’m picking up on from brendon o’connell now that someone here cited him to me. i can’t figure boc out but i cannot contest his points. israel is as close or closer to russia than to the ussa. and becoming so wth china. sanctions on iran drives iran into china’s arms. and china into israel’s arms. and israel has all the ussa’s tech advantages for sale cheap to those countries. which could splain in part how iran has owned so many of ussa drones.

    given the brain and corporate drain to tel aviv from ussa and russia (and probably from china soon), israel probably has the advantage on tech to the degree that they don’t need nukes to shut anyone down anywhere anytime. stuxnet during a tsunami much anyone? so far the only reason i have imagined by boc is allowed on y/t as he is after all he’s been dragged through, is so he can crow to the world how overwhelmingly powerful bibi is.

    sounds like the silk road is huge independence level profitable to the entire region, or at least the powerful players and resource providers in the region.

    on top of all that, it would seem that even though, they can be real enemies, most of the islamic states in middle east are strawmen who stand no chance against israel. which seems like the mullahs in iran and bibi are propping each other up each time they rattle anyone’s sabre (or drone).

    and like foglamp says, there’s the whole dollar thing. dollar seems a dead man walking and all these countries seem determined to make that landing as soft as possible (but inevitable) so as to limit their own losses on the dollar. perhaps that’s where the libra op comes in.

    btw, does anyone know the link to that y/t of a retired russian former mossad (if there is such a thing) talking about how impossible it is for ussa to apply any military force on iran without immediately and completely losing control/influence/power over south korea, taiwan and even japan?

    cannot agree with basta more. i’ve always understood the ayatollahs to be the ussa’s men as much or more than the last two ukrainian dictators. the next ukrainian dictators will probably matter hardly at all. unless iran gets libya’d (unlikely and pointless) my bet is the common man in iran’s life is about to get much better. the siege ussa is imposing on vsla and iran only crushes the common folk. and more firmly anchors whoever the ruler there is now. crazy form of bad cop worse cop.

    1. that was pondering why (not by) boc has been allowed on y/t.

      and that was a statement that the next iranian (not ukrainian) dictators will probably matter hardly at all.

      and that was about the siege ussa is imposing on vzla and iran not vsla.

  2. Graphene and hemp carbon storage devices, along with recent solar panel technological break throughs, make oil and gasoline engines obsolete. Space based solar collecting and concentrating satellites beaming super laser beams down to nuclear power plant sized water boilers to run steam turbines makes nuclear obsolete. The Sun can now be used to power everything cheaply and efficiently. This is the future that will be rolled out for those who are prophesied to rule the Earth for a thousand years if only they can conquer the planet through divide and conquer within the next 150 years. If they don’t succeed by a certain date then the whole prophecy becomes null and void. But under no circumstances can we future slaves be allowed to have access to these new break throughs before then because it would make this prophecy less likely to be pulled off by destroying the destined’s wealth and power monopolies.

    1. like button

      i think it’s masers not lasers. these musk fanboys have pretty much outlined your idea:
      https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMFmrcGuFNu_59L0pHcR0OA/videos

      looks like elon was set up by the puppeteers to play the part of john galt. they give him bold sounding crazy disruptive tech’s and he brings them online slowly enough that it doesn’t choke off the old economies too fast to disrupt governance. can you imagine what would have happened to gm and ford if gm’s ev1 had not been trashed and hidden away. tsla has brought along tech on electric cars hugely but it’s still not what the ev1 could have been in a couple short years.

      that’s one example of how they’re bringing us common folk up to speed on previously hidden tech. and they’re making money doing it. you can pretend you’re saving the ecosystem when you buy a tsla. you’ll have to pretend harder to convince anyone you’re saving money on fuel compared to battery costs.

  3. I say the things are more complicated.
    First, the main one interested to not allow the Iranian oil and gas to flow through the new Silk Road to Europe is exactly Russia.
    Because that will cut out a lot of Russia exports on its main market, Europe and more specifically EU.
    One of the main reasons of the Syrian war and the Russian intervention there was precisely to stop the land connection with pipes between Gulf states and EU, a natural gas pipe that would have go through Syria and either Turkey or just by sea from Syrian ports to Greece and then by land to EU, completely bypassing and pushing out lots of Russian exports in this regard.
    This is also the reason Russia keep pushing its occupation areas in Georgia, grabing little by little more land until it covers now a part of one of the main pipe lines betwen Azerbaidjan and the Georgian ports on Black Sea (from where the gas and oil can be transported by sea to a Romanian port (not such a long distance) and then by land connections everywhere in EU.
    US seem interested to have a say in the New Silk Road but some in EU also disagree with the China terms in this huge affair. The Silk Road can’t be viable if the main ends, the most powerful economic entities, EU and China, do not come to terms and have similar interests. Russia is an economic dwarf compared with these and its main invovlvement is due to natural resources its sells. Nobody will serously use the Russian ruble in global transactions, except if is really forced by some circumstances.
    US (which is still the largest economy or more influent economy) can have a big say in this due to NATO and the Russian threat to Eastern European flank, but also if get its companies involved along the road. Thats why difficult negociations with EU on some economic treaties.
    Russia bited the bait like a dumb fish and swallow it enough before to realize the mistake, when its made that agressive move in Ukraine and threatened European countries left and right especially in EE but did many shaddy things in UK as well, even in US. It make any shade of doubt about the Russian empire to dissipate and even Germany with all its might, even silently supported by France, cannot turn the EU away from US and NATO and in a more close relation with Russia.
    China just follow the long game, playing along with anyone it see fit for its short term interests and waiting patiently for the big prize, Siberia.

    1. rad, won’t russia be able to sell oil and gas to a larger market with the road? aka china?

      agreed about the big draw being siberia. curious if siberian gas and oil will be easier to bring out with all the weather changes magically happening everywhere.

      recently heard a characterization (think it was tommy williams) that the rottenchildren are tossing off their attack dog ussa as too expensive and resurging their new attack dog nato. it does look that way.

      1. Russia already sell oil and gas to China, they don’t need the silk road for that, they have a huge common border in Far East and southern Siberia.
        However the new Silk Road, if both EU and China agree to terms, may open new lines in betwen, including for the Iran and Caspic Sea (Azerbaijan) oil and gas to come to Europe., bypassing and pushing away Russia and even Arab Gulf states.

        China have a huge population and just a part (large, true, but not all) of its territory is able to support large human concentrations of people, and parts if it (especially some main industrial and population centers) are badly affected by pollution . They need more and more land suitable for habitation, with clearer water and soil, able to feed lots of people. They also need mineral and natural resources (and cheaper ones) to keep up with their already huge economy, if they want to keep it at least at this level.

        The solution for both is Siberia of which they owned some significant swaths up to 19th century. However during the Opium Wars Russia backstabbed them as China was already involved in those wars and loosing them, and unable to fight back, and took from them large parts of southern Siberia. Today city of Vladivostok is build in one of those former Chinese areas and I am pretty sure China didn’t forgot that either.
        The climate changes visible around the globe, especially the increasing heat, will just make Siberia and even some Arctic areas, more suitable for both living and for exploatation of various resources. I just hope this won’t blow up in everyone else faces, if someone is able to play with the weather (or even if its doing it accidentally).

  4. darn it, I wanted to say “Vipers of Venice ” first
    but Quo Vadis Wherewolves of London?
    I’d like to mete his jailer (there dont appear to be any). (/Warren Zevon song)
    Or as a commenter at Les Visibles Smoking Mirrors sang once…

    ♫♫♫
    Drones on the Range
    Where the Deer and the Antelope Play….♫♫♫

  5. The USA would also benefit from from higher oil prices, due to the high cost fracking. The higher prices would make USA oil more attractive to buyers.
    Not sure why you keep avoiding or downplaying USA involvement in your speculation or just easier to blame someone else?

    1. The USA imports more oil than it exports. Overall, the effect of higher oil prices, like higher interest rates, would be negative.

  6. Japan remembers the U.S. denying her industrial economy oil. This precipitated her triggering Pearl Harbor. That’s what the U.S. needed & got: LIHOP/MIHOP[shades of 9/11].
    Remember, 9/11 accomplished multiple goals: stop the investigation of the where all that money was going[Dr. Farrell’s hidden system of finance]; the PATRIOT Act; General Wesley Clark’s 7 in 5; and much, much, more.
    British historian John MacKenzie and his thesis: the paramount importance of maintaining control of Eurasia.
    Russia & China need Iran. The U.S. & Israel don’t[at least, on the surface]. Italy’s in w/the silk road, as are many other countries.
    So where do the international banking cartel stand? Remember, they’ll throw countries under the bus; as if it’s just a game of cards. A game of cards in which they never lose? Sure, they’re surprised by some plays in the game; but, they have the trump card. They can even change the trump card in play; switch sides to keep hold of said trump card. A major move that the Vipers of Venice have made several times in their long sordid history.
    Lots of changes in the every 500 year cycle: digital, money, geopolitics, science, religion, etc., etc.
    … And war?
    Unthinkable?
    To the inhuman element?

    1. agreed rb except that they probably already switched one trump card and most of us don’t see it yet. ussa is probably only interested as much as it is in preserving reserve currency (petrodollar) status. and has to know how inevitable that fall is. just as ussr had to know they were collapsing and not even able to bring troops home from afghanistan.

      the switched trump card is israel. they do care and will profit hugely as they sell off ussa tech to russia, china and whoever. they will also profit when they bring gas production online from the med along with a few strategic pipelines. and to think china, russia and all don’t need israel immensely? well that’d be kinda silly considering how almost all chips from amd and intel are coming out of tel aviv with back doors and killswitches amundo?

      1. ZDB,
        Israel is also expendable.
        That card was put into play when nation states where the “accepted” pieces to move on the geopolitical chessboard. Once they’ve played themselves/state use out; their discarded w/the others.
        Time for new chosen – the new fall guys/patsies.

        In the end, whom or what win$?

        Certainly not the living.
        The living are already at the apogee.
        Or; once were, until an outside[& I mean outside/inside] player purposely reengineered our being’s true spiritual nature.
        … and it’s been incrementally spiritually regressing ever-more since.
        Now exponentially w/the technologies coming into place. Which couldn’t have been achieved w/o our dodo engineering?

  7. Strange that no one came to Merkel’s aid during those quite violent “shakes”. The cure, in her prepared response, was “three glasses of water.” Hmmm. . . If that was a “message”, it was certainly more terrifying to the observer than the target.

  8. “In the long term, the Tehran regime is not only destabilizing to the area, it is destabilizing to the entire Silk Road project’s “southern route”.”

    I have to admit that this line provoked a deep snort of irony, since in the long term, it is the Western powers that have been destabilizing the ME for fun and profit for well over a century. It’s their jolly game.

    Sitting in the Hall of Mirrors and doodling on a world map to parcel out the oil fields — oops, sorry, redrawing national boundaries — while sipping cognac in Sevres teacups. Toppling the Mosedech government for Anglo American oil companies and installing the Shah, leading finally to the very regime that is now so “destabilizing.” Plopping the burr of Israel right in the middle of all that destabilization to further incite destabilization. And on and on.

    Long and the short of it, because it floats on oil, the ME is nothing but destabilization. Always has been and always will be. It’s that good ole ordo ab chao mentality at work.

  9. Although the two are obviously closely related, the USA’s Iranian problem has more to do with the dollar than with oil. Protecting the dollar is the root of all evil these days.
    Eurasia is on the rise, as exemplified by the BRI and its political, diplomatic and security umbrella, The Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Eurasia is being de-dollarized fast.
    Eurasia is tired of being bullied and intimidated by the US and wants to trade and prosper on its own terms. Merkel may have been convulsed into making a luke-warm statement, but that’s all it was.
    Eurasia sees the US as a drunk with two .45s in the saloon who has taken leave of his senses. They are no longer prepared to put up with it and the US had better not miscalculate and underestimate the determination of Eurasia to realize their project. I think Trump knows this and that “Iran maybe made a mistake” may be an “out” that Trump has created for himself. There is no way the USA (and Israel) will be able to get away with a large but surgical strike in Iran this time. This time, there will be serious consequences.

    1. The report that claims Trump cancelled the attack on Iran with ten minutes to spare in order to spare Iranian lives does not ring at all true to me. It is far more likely that he received a message from Russia and/or China and/or The SCO about what the consequences of an attack would be.
      That the story was made public sounds to me like a cry from Trump for help against The Brotherhood of Bankers. Perhaps he believes his action has put his own life (or the life of family members) at risk.
      Brave call, Mr President!

  10. USA empire of potty training does not speak on behalf of the West.

    Feminist superpower of Bacchantes wants head of all patriarchy.

    Pentheus plans to keep his head, by dining away from home.

  11. On the raising or lowering of oil prices, there is an elephant in the background. During the Saudi-caused drop in oil prices a few years ago, there was much speculation that there was a twin ‘objective’. On the neocon side, it was to hurt Iran. (The Saudi drop even occurred shortly after a neocon visit to the House of Saud.) On the Saudi side, it was to drive American frackers into bankruptcy, and then to roar back with higher prices once they were gone.

    The ‘elephant’ during that time was a little-discussed, economic melt-down device: Derivatives. It turned out that the frackers had so many derivatives placed against them that – had they gone en masse into bankruptcy – the huge payouts would have bankrupted the insurers and induced an AIG-like meltdown of 2008.

    Since that time, the frackers have gotten more efficient. However, their oil-production price is still far higher than Middle East producers. So, the American economy via the frackers can only support a moderately-low oil price before all-h*ll breaks loose with bankruptcies and derivative payments.

    Lately, low oil prices have been testing those ‘boundaries’. A few frackers have already been forced into bankruptcy or ‘consolidation’. So, it is in American oil-producer interests (fracker owners) to raise oil prices. (Iran and Venezuela oil sanctions can be seen in this light, through resource denial.) Recent, Saudi-led efforts to restrict production would have raised prices, but various nations are ‘squishy’ in their adherence to those quotas. Oil prices have stayed moderately low. (Yay for us consumers!)

    So, cui bono(literally, “to whom is it a benefit?”) if oil prices rise as a result of damage to tankers? I would actually direct folks to have a conference with the elephant in the background…

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