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Russia Bombs ISIS

by coldwarrior ( 53 Comments › )
Filed under Chechnya, Christianity, ISIS, Islam, Open thread, Orthodox Christianity, Russia, Syria at October 4th, 2015 - 5:00 am

The claims that Russia is not bombing ISIS are wrong. Is it propaganda that they are wrong or just laziness?








I could continue with links…but yinz get the picture. This can be added to the discussion here. Changes the equation and analysis a bit, however, I stand by this analysis:

it seems that the israelis are fine with assad being propped up by putin. putin makes assad his bitch, makes him cut ties with iran, dont kill christians etc, and swear fealty to moscow. this helps putin secure his southern / chechen border and gives russia some nice ports to play with and makes russia even more powerful while america gets weaker.

putin will make assad his ‘son of a bitch’



For Christians and Yazidis fleeing genocide, the Obama administration has no room at the inn

by 1389AD ( 150 Comments › )
Filed under Iraq, ISIS, Syria at October 1st, 2015 - 7:00 am

National Review has the story:

…Similar to Jews under Nazi domination during World War II, the Christians and other minorities in the Middle East today are facing, in addition to the wartime privations suffered by the general population, a relentless and deliberate extermination campaign being carried out in the name of Islamic purification.

In the summer of 2014, ISIS launched its caliphate from Mosul by marking Christian homes with the red letter “N,” for “Nazarene,” before confiscating them and exiling their owners. Since then, it has pursued Christians and the other minorities with a systematic intensity intended to delete every trace of their ancient presence. Solely for their religion, Christians and Yazidis have been beheaded, enslaved, abducted and sold, forcibly converted to Islam, and stripped of all their property. Their houses of worship and their cultural artifacts have been expropriated or demolished, including the fifth-century monastery in Qaraytain and Nineveh’s fourth-century Mar Behnam monastery.

Those driven by ISIS from Qaraqosh, the largest Christian town on the Nineveh plain, fill the Mar Elias camp in Erbil, Kurdistan. Every Christian family had a personal story to tell Hudson Institute researchers last week: A dentist tells of her colleague, another dentist, who was kidnapped and is thought now to be either dead or forcibly converted to Islam. Another friend was captured and is feared dead because he once worked for Coalition Forces. After a sibling was captured, her family says, they spent thousands of dollars in ransom scams and have now come to believe that she is an “ISIS bride.” A 14-year-old cousin of another family is also thought to be enslaved.

More than a year after it began, ISIS’s persecution continues. Some 3,000 Yazidi women and girls and smaller numbers of Christians remain enslaved by ISIS for sex. The practice of sexual enslavement, explicitly directed against Christians and Yazidis, is now institutionalized by the Islamic State. It was revived last year by ISIS head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself when he took captive and serially raped American humanitarian Kayla Mueller.

Hundreds of other Christian civilians remain ISIS prisoners, including 460 taken during the spring and summer from northern Syria. Others have been slaughtered. Catholic priest Father Jacques Mourad was captured in Syria in July and has disappeared. Another Iraqi priest was killed and returned in pieces to his family, despite a payment of $120,000 in ransom. This seems to be a new trend: Recently other Iraqi Christian hostages have been killed despite ransom payments.
Only after the migrant crisis in Europe began making daily headlines did the State Department, following Europe’s lead, announce that it would accept limited numbers of “Syrian refugees.” This anodyne measure will not help the victims of genocide, and not only because the measure fails to include Iraqis. In fact, this action will de facto exclude Christian and Yazidi refugees who have fled both Syria and Iraq, because virtually every non-Muslim, fearing the presence of extremists, eschews the U.N. refugee camps, the only source from which the U.S. will accept refugees. The non-Muslim refugees instead cluster in informal encampments, typically around churches, in Kurdistan and neighboring regions.

(Bishop Sarhad Jammo of the Chaldean Catholic Church for the western United States told me that fewer than 50 Chaldean Catholic families, Iraq’s largest Christian community, are known to have taken part in the great European migration. Not only are most Chaldean Catholics too poor to leave after ISIS robbed them, but they fear other migrants, who are mainly Sunni men. In April, Italy reported that twelve Christian migrants en route to Europe were thrown overboard by Muslim migrants and drowned. At least 6,000 Yazidis joined the migration after being driven from refugee camps in Turkey.)

A similar announcement by the U.K. government stirred a parliamentary firestorm over the question of how such programs will fail to help the minorities stranded in the region. Both the current and the preceding archbishops of Canterbury voiced protest. The latter, George Carey, expressed outrage that the Christians would be “left at the bottom of the heap,” explaining that a policy of accepting only those from U.N. camps

inadvertently discriminates against the very Christian communities most victimised by the inhuman butchers of the so-called Islamic State. Christians are not to be found in the UN camps, because they have been attacked and targeted by Islamists and driven from them. They are seeking refuge in private homes, church buildings and with neighbours and family.

Story here…

US-bound Muslim migrants and asylum-seekers are not screened for jihadi connections:

On YouTube:

Published on Sep 17, 2015 by securefreedom
The current policies and systems do not address the potential threats from Syrian refugees sufficiently.

Australia is doing it right:

Some of Europe’s marauding raiders who can forget about help from Australia

The Australian Government has made it clear that anyone who gets to come here under our generous new refugee placements will be:

  • character checked
  • criminal history and security checked
  • given preferential treatment if from a persecuted minority in Syria, e.g. Christians
  • in a country adjacent to the situation they’re fleeing and not country-shopping
  • automatically excluded if they’ve used the services of people smugglers

Story here…


Promises of free willing young blonde girls attract migrant Muslim men to Sweden

by 1389AD ( 58 Comments › )
Filed under Immigration, Islamic Invasion, Sweden, Syria at September 30th, 2015 - 2:30 pm

Here you go…these are your ‘refugees’!

Blonde girls lure Arab migrants to Sweden

Speisa.com has the story:

A tax-financed luxury living with free housing, sky high welfare benefits and their own “blonde beauty” as a girlfriend. These are some of the promises that immigrants from the Arab world currently are receiving to make a pilgrimage to Sweden, according to a investigative report in Dala-Demokraten.

Right now, over a thousand immigrants a day, most of whom are men, are seeking asylum in Sweden.

Many people have asked themselves why so many Arabs choose to go through Europe to get to the little country far up north, where the summer is autumn and the winter lasts until summer.

In its report, Dala-Demokraten states that most of the so-called refugees are already residing in Syria’s neighboring countries, where there is no war, but takes to northern Europe for economic reasons.

Expectations of Sweden in particular are soaring, according to the newspaper. On the sites where smugglers go out with information, Sweden is singled out as the best country to go to: You get asylum quickly and you can soon get a family reunion.

On the sites, the migrants are also promised a tax-funded life of luxury. They are told that they must stay in luxury hotels until the government has found a free accommodation to them. Then they can sit back and let the Swedish taxpayers bear all their costs of living.

There is also sexual content in the advertisements, according to Dala-Demokraten. Among other things, the Arabs are promised their own free young willing blond Swedish girlfriend if they manage to illegally get all the way to the promised land in northern Europe (article picture).

“In reality one can say that the young Syrian men are lured to Sweden by the oldest trick in the book – money and girls. Pictures of blonde beauties are published, and that Swedish women require real men,” writes Dala-Demokraten.

Nobody asked the blonde girls whether they were, in fact, ‘willing’:

Gatestone Institute: Sweden: Rape Capital of the West

by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard

  • Forty years after the Swedish parliament unanimously decided to change the formerly homogenous Sweden into a multicultural country, violent crime has increased by 300% and rapes by 1,472%. Sweden is now number two on the list of rape countries, surpassed only by Lesotho in Southern Africa.
  • Significantly, the report does not touch on the background of the rapists. One should, however, keep in mind that in statistics, second-generation immigrants are counted as Swedes.
  • In an astounding number of cases, the Swedish courts have demonstrated sympathy for the rapists, and have acquitted suspects who have claimed that the girl wanted to have sex with six, seven or eight men.
  • The internet radio station Granskning Sverige called the mainstream newspapers Aftonposten and Expressen to ask why they had described the perpetrators as “Swedish men” when they actually were Somalis without Swedish citizenship. They were hugely offended when asked if they felt any responsibility to warn Swedish women to stay away from certain men. One journalist asked why that should be their responsibility.

Story here…

Meanwhile, in neighboring Norway:

Norwegian MP – Blondes Dye Hair Dark to Avoid Harassment From Immigrants

Uploaded on Sep 9, 2011 by No Muslim Immigration
Norwegian MP Christian Tybring-Gjedde FRP (Norwegian Hard Right). In the Grorud Valley in Oslo, blonde girls are harassed into dying their hair dark. Children are threatened with beatings if their lunch box contains salami….

But wait, there’s more…


The End of Europe

by Iron Fist ( 57 Comments › )
Filed under History, Islam at September 10th, 2015 - 8:45 am

I don’t have a lot of time for commentary, but this article on the invasion of Europe by the Mohammedans is spot on:

On account of their role in Middle East conflict, Europe and the U.S. arguably have moral obligations to Christian and Yazidi victims of the Syrian civil war, while letting Dar al-Islam take care of its own. That won’t happen. Christianity’s transmutation into ameliorative universalism appears to verge on the suicidal.

“The guilt trip from World War II, which one would think would gradually fade over time, seems to grow exponentially,” says an academic acquaintance who may understand the German soul as well as any living scholar. “The ultimate expiation will be to hand the whole country over to Muslims, lock, stock, and barrel.”

It seems appropriate here to recall Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall describing the Goths moving west into the Roman Empire at the end of the 4th century, “rendered desolate by the loss of their native country.”

The Barbarians still wore an angry and hostile aspect; but the experience of past times might encourage the hope, that they would acquire the habits of industry and obedience; that their manners would be polished by time, education, and the influence of Christianity; and that their posterity would insensibly blend with the great body of the Roman people.

Notwithstanding these specious arguments, and these sanguine expectations, it was apparent to every discerning eye, that the Goths would long remain the enemies, and might soon become the conquerors of the Roman Empire. Their rude and insolent behavior expressed their contempt of the citizens and provincials, whom they insulted with impunity.

Call Gibbon’s barbarians what you wish. We can invent many labels for those now in transit — perhaps the “other” or “deprived” will work — to please our modern sensibilities. We can hope for the best.

But notwithstanding specious arguments and sanguine expectations, Europe faces an existential alien threat. From Charles Martel to the Siege of Vienna, it has resisted invaders and would-be conquerers from Africa and the East. In 2015 it is doing the opposite.

As things are going, this cannot end well. Most of Europe’s political class refuses to think clearly in behalf of its security and self-interest. The inundation and intramural conflicts are only beginning.

Suffice it to say that History is repeating itself. We are seeing the fall of the European Union real-time. We are watching the forces align themselves for the outbreak of World War Three. We live in interesting times. Perhaps the most interesting times of all of History. Lucky us.

That shocking photo of the drowned migrant toddler is not what it seems!

by 1389AD ( 81 Comments › )
Filed under Australia, Crime, immigration, Islamic Invasion, Media, Turkey at September 7th, 2015 - 2:00 pm
Abdullah Kurdi with drowned Aylan Kurdi


A picture, they say, paints a thousand words. This one made the world sit up and take notice at the true cost of criminal human trafficking. As confronting as it was, editors everywhere chose to plaster the photo across front pages and websites – not for its shock value but because it was important to instantly illustrate the tragic toll of refugees and asylum seekers desperately hopping on leaky boats to escape war – or so they thought.

As tragic as this image is, it is not what it seems.

The story of the father, Abdullah Kurdi and his family, is being misreported as refugees or asylum seekers who were fleeing ISIS and the general conflict in Syria. The photo has been used as a reference point by our TV, radio and print news coverage and by our politicians over the past day as a resounding reason why we need to open our borders to more refugees.

Aylan Kurdi was a three-year-old boy from Kobani, a war-torn Kurdish town on the Turkey-Syria border. His five-year-old brother Galip and his mother Rihan, 35, also died when their boat sank while trying to reach Greece.

The family had planned to emigrate to Canada to join the father’s sister and her family. Twelve others also drowned.

The truth is the Kurdi family were living in Turkey the past three years where the father worked, hoping one day to join his sister in Canada.

Tima Kurdi confirmed this by telling a reporter her brother Abdullah wanted to get his teeth fixed.

“The situation is that Abdullah does not have any teeth. Another story about it. So I been trying to help him fix his teeth. But is gonna cost me 14,000 and up to do it. He need teeth implant. So when I told him there is no way I can get you the money in one time because dentist need to get paid right away and Western Union usually – if I send them the money – they only allowed 1,000 at a time – not under their name of course – has to be a third person to collect the money and give it them. So I said to him, actually my dad, he come up with the idea, he said to me, ‘I think if they go to Europe for his case and for our future, I think he should do that, and then we’ll see if he can fix his teeth.’ And that’s what I did three weeks ago.”

I can’t even begin to imagine the guilt and grief Abdullah must now feel about the loss of his family.

After the emotional shock, it’s worth looking at why little Aylan died.

It wasn’t because his father was seeking sanctuary from war. He had enjoyed safe refuge in Turkey for three years where he was working.

He was, as former Labor Foreign Minister Bob Carr defined, an ‘economic refugee’ – someone seeking a better life, not refuge from conflict or persecution.

Economic ‘refugees’ do not meet the qualification for refugee status, which is why they seek the back door route – paying people smugglers, using their papers to country-hop until the last leg to their preferred country, at which point they dispose of their documents to hide their true identity. It’s often referred to as ‘country shopping’.

It’s a massive con, which this present Australian government has been able to stop.

The New York Times used the conflict and the humanitarian consequences, unfairly, dishonestly and opportunistically, to attack our Prime Minister.
Much more here…

Also see:


Captain America to The Rescue!

by coldwarrior ( 78 Comments › )
Filed under immigration, Islam, Islamic Terrorism, Multiculturalism, Open thread, Political Correctness, Terrorism at August 26th, 2015 - 7:00 am

An interesting commentary from our British Cousins:

Allison Pearson: We can’t always rely on Captain America to get us out of trouble

After hero tourists prevented a massacre on a French train, Allison Pearson says: are we really going to sit on our hands and wait for some Islamist maniac to get lucky and commit another massacre in our country?

Skarlato spent 10 days in Germany before meeting up in Amsterdam with a friend earlier this week before they boarded the train to France on Friday

Alek Skarlatos’s father said of his son’s bravery: ‘It’s better to die like a lion than be slaughtered like sheep. And this terrorist coward deserved what he got’ Photo: Nick Razzell

There is something thrilling about that unhesitating call to action, and the way in which the three young Americans, aided by British IT consultant Chris Norman, did what had to be done without, as the citation would say, any regard for their personal safety. In so doing, they undoubtedly saved the lives of many of the 550 helpless people on that train. Stone, who had his thumb almost severed by a box cutter, even found time to staunch the profusely bleeding throat wound of another passenger, earning himself the nickname “Captain America”.

The stirring simplicity of “Let’s go, go!” recalls the final words of Todd Beamer. A software salesman who was on United Flight 93 on 9/11 when the plane was hijacked, Beamer realised that the terrorists planned to fly the aircraft into a target. With several fellow passengers, he decided to storm the cockpit. After reciting the 23rd Psalm, Beamer can be heard on a recording quite clearly addressing his impromptu band of brothers: “Are you ready? Okay. Let’s roll.”

Not everyone who finds themselves in the valley of the shadow of death can summon such can-do courage. French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who was with his girlfriend and two children on the Paris train, reports that Thalys train staff barricaded themselves inside a work car after fleeing from the gunman. “As screaming passengers pounded on the locked doors, nobody replied,” Anglade said, adding that “it was terrible and unbearable. For us it was inhuman.”

Chris NormanChris Norman  Photo: Reuters

Until quite recently, if you typed “French military victories” into Google, up would come the question: “Do you mean French military defeats?”

Like most good jokes, it contains a grain of truth. As if to draw a veil over the train staff’s cowardice and over the embarrassing fact that French police had been warned that the gunman, Ayoub El-Khazzani, was a possible threat, President Hollande was quick to award the Legion d’Honneur to the four foreign heroes. The whole thing felt hurried through, as though the heroism of their actions should be kept to the fore, allowing more troubling aspects of the story – what the hell was a suspected jihadist doing wandering around? – to be pushed conveniently to one side

“You have shown us,” said Hollande, “that, faced with terror, we have the power to resist. You have given us a lesson in courage, in will, and therefore in hope.”

Fine words – but how evasive and hollow they sounded. The brutal fact remains that an appalling massacre on European soil was only averted last Friday thanks to the intervention of three random American tourists – the trio very nearly didn’t take that train – and one British grandfather who thought he was going to be killed and would rather die “doing something”.

Europe has no answer to the metastasising cancer of Islamist terror, and we can hardly rely on Captain America to show up every time a fanatic decides to turn his weapons on us. Just imagine how many health and safety forms in triplicate a British railway employee would need to fill in before apprehending a bare-chested Moroccan gentleman with an AK47. Indeed, any desperate lunge to disarm the guy might well have been viewed as Islamophobic.

This is deadly serious. Counterterrorism officers in Spain warned on Monday that about 800 Islamist extremists, who have returned from Syria or Iraq after being recruited by Islamic State, are preparing to launch attacks on the Continent. At least 350 Britons have returned from fighting in the region, and our own security services acknowledge that some are plotting attacks in the UK.

U.S. serviceman Spencer Stone departs the Clinique Lille Sud, which specializes in hand injuries, in Lesquin, France‘Stone, who had his thumb almost severed by a box cutter, even found time to staunch the profusely bleeding throat wound of another passenger, earning himself the nickname Captain America’  Photo: Reuters

Are we really going to sit on our hands and wait for some Islamist maniac to get lucky and commit another massacre like 7/7 in our country? Or are our leaders going to finally grow a pair and start internment of suspected jihadists returning from Syria and Iraq?

Listen to the words of Emanuel Skarlatos, the father of National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos. Reflecting on his son’s bravery, Skarlatos told MSNBC: “It’s better to die like a lion than be slaughtered like sheep. And this terrorist coward deserved what he got, and the PC crowd needs to recognise terrorism for what it is.”

I reckon the British people are with Skarlatos senior and junior on this. There would be huge popular support for internment of individuals who have declared war on our way of life or for their passports to be cancelled, preventing their return to these islands. Their numbers are simply too great for the security services to monitor them properly. The threat to civil liberties is outweighed by the threat to innocent people.

The brains behind ISIS: 100 Saddam era officers

by Husky Lover ( 165 Comments › )
Filed under Chechnya, Iraq, Islam, Islamists, Syria at August 10th, 2015 - 9:00 am

The success of the Islamic state against the Iraqi Shiites, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, Hezbollah and the Syrian Army over the past two years has caught many analysts off guard. Recently many journalists and researchers began to uncover the facts that ISIS is really a combination of Iraqi Baathists, Arab Sunni Jihadists and Chechens.

As ISIS overran the Sunni heartland of Iraq, they installed ex Baathists into position of power in the towns they took. This was no coincidence as the brains behind ISIS are over 100 Saddam era Iraqi army officers. This has given the Islamic State an advantage over its adversaries and making them way more dangerous than al-Qaeda or Hezbollah ever was.



Once part of one of the most brutal dictator’s army in the Middle East, over 100 former members of Saddam Hussein’s military and intelligence officers are now part of ISIS.

Now they make up the complex network of ISIS’s leadership, helping to build the military strategies which have led the brutal jihadi group to their military gains in Syria and Iraq.

The officers gave ISIS the organization and discipline it needed to weld together jihadi fighters drawn from across the globe, integrating terror tactics like suicide bombings with military operations.


Patrick Skinner, a former CIA case officer who has served in Iraq, said Saddam-era military and intelligence officers were a ‘necessary ingredient’ in the Islamic State group’s stunning battlefield successes last year, accounting for its transformation from a ‘terrorist organization to a proto-state.’

‘Their military successes last year were not terrorist, they were military successes,’ said Skinner, now director of special projects for The Soufan Group, a private strategic intelligence services firm.

The group’s second-in-command, al-Baghdadi’s deputy, is a former Saddam-era army major, Saud Mohsen Hassan, known by the pseudonyms Abu Mutazz and Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, according to the intelligence chief.

Hassan also goes by Fadel al-Hayali, a fake name he used before the fall of Saddam, the intelligence chief, who spoke under the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.


‘IS’s military performance has far exceeded what we expected. The running of battles by the veterans of the Saddam military came as a shock,’ a brigadier general in military intelligence told the AP, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive topic.

‘Security-wise, we are often left unable to know who replaces who in the leadership. We are unable to infiltrate the group. It is terrifying.’

Estimates of the number of Saddam-era veterans in IS ranks vary from 100 to 160 in mostly mid- and senior-level positions, according to the officials.

Typically, they hail from Sunni-dominated areas, with intelligence officers mostly from western Anbar province, the majority of army officers from the northern city of Mosul and members of security services exclusively from Saddam’s clan around his hometown of Tikrit, said Big. Gen. Abdul-Wahhab al-Saadi, a veteran of battles against IS north and west of Baghdad.

For example, a former brigadier general from Saddam-era special forces, Assem Mohammed Nasser, also known as Nagahy Barakat, led a bold assault in 2014 on Haditha in Anbar province, killing around 25 policemen and briefly taking over the local government building.

Many of the Saddam-era officers have close tribal links to or are the sons of tribal leaders in their regions, giving IS a vital support network as well as helping recruitment.

These tribal ties are thought to account, at least in part, for the stunning meltdown of Iraqi security forces when IS captured the Anbar capital of Ramadi in May.

Several of the officers interviewed by the AP said they believe IS commanders persuaded fellow tribesmen in the security forces to abandon their positions without a fight.

Skinner, the former CIA officer, noted the sophistication of the Saddam-era intelligence officers he met in Iraq and the intelligence capabilities of IS in Ramadi, Mosul and in the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.

‘They do classic intelligence infiltration. They have stay-behind cells, they actually literally have sleeper cells,’ Skinner said.

Despite being stopped cold by the Kurds, in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State continues to advance against Assad’s forces. They have recently took the village al-Qaryatayn in Homs which puts them 30 miles to the Lebanese border and potentially cut off Assad’s forces in northern Syria and threaten Hezbollah’s heartland in the Bekaa valley.

The Islamic State is a just a rebranded version of the Iraqi Baathist party.

Goodbye OPEC?

by coldwarrior ( 106 Comments › )
Filed under Economy, Energy, Islamists, Middle East, Open thread at August 6th, 2015 - 4:06 am

It appears that the oil ticks have over-played their hand. Showing the lesson once again, never play poker with cowboys.


Please read the entire article, there are many salient points in it that are worth your time.

(FYI: there will be a debate thread for later)


Saudi Arabia may go broke before the US oil industry buckles

It is too late for OPEC to stop the shale revolution. The cartel faces the prospect of surging US output whenever oil prices rise

If the oil futures market is correct, Saudi Arabia will start running into trouble within two years. It will be in existential crisis by the end of the decade.

The contract price of US crude oil for delivery in December 2020 is currently $62.05, implying a drastic change in the economic landscape for the Middle East and the petro-rentier states.

The Saudis took a huge gamble last November when they stopped supporting prices and opted instead to flood the market and drive out rivals, boosting their own output to 10.6m barrels a day (b/d) into the teeth of the downturn.

Bank of America says OPEC is now “effectively dissolved”. The cartel might as well shut down its offices in Vienna to save money.

If the aim was to choke the US shale industry, the Saudis have misjudged badly, just as they misjudged the growing shale threat at every stage for eight years. “It is becoming apparent that non-OPEC producers are not as responsive to low oil prices as had been thought, at least in the short-run,” said the Saudi central bank in its latest stability report.

“The main impact has been to cut back on developmental drilling of new oil wells, rather than slowing the flow of oil from existing wells. This requires more patience,” it said.

One Saudi expert was blunter. “The policy hasn’t worked and it will never work,” he said.

By causing the oil price to crash, the Saudis and their Gulf allies have certainly killed off prospects for a raft of high-cost ventures in the Russian Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, the deep waters of the mid-Atlantic, and the Canadian tar sands.

Consultants Wood Mackenzie say the major oil and gas companies have shelved 46 large projects, deferring $200bn of investments.

The problem for the Saudis is that US shale frackers are not high-cost. They are mostly mid-cost, and as I reported from the CERAWeek energy forum in Houston, experts at IHS think shale companies may be able to shave those costs by 45pc this year – and not only by switching tactically to high-yielding wells.

Advanced pad drilling techniques allow frackers to launch five or ten wells in different directions from the same site. Smart drill-bits with computer chips can seek out cracks in the rock. New dissolvable plugs promise to save $300,000 a well. “We’ve driven down drilling costs by 50pc, and we can see another 30pc ahead,” said John Hess, head of the Hess Corporation.

It was the same story from Scott Sheffield, head of Pioneer Natural Resources. “We have just drilled an 18,000 ft well in 16 days in the Permian Basin. Last year it took 30 days,” he said.

The North American rig-count has dropped to 664 from 1,608 in October but output still rose to a 43-year high of 9.6m b/d June. It has only just begun to roll over. “The freight train of North American tight oil has kept on coming,” said Rex Tillerson, head of Exxon Mobil.

He said the resilience of the sister industry of shale gas should be a cautionary warning to those reading too much into the rig-count. Gas prices have collapsed from $8 to $2.78 since 2009, and the number of gas rigs has dropped 1,200 to 209. Yet output has risen by 30pc over that period.

Until now, shale drillers have been cushioned by hedging contracts. The stress test will come over coming months as these expire. But even if scores of over-leveraged wild-catters go bankrupt as funding dries up, it will not do OPEC any good.

The wells will still be there. The technology and infrastructure will still be there. Stronger companies will mop up on the cheap, taking over the operations. Once oil climbs back to $60 or even $55 – since the threshold keeps falling – they will crank up production almost instantly.

OPEC now faces a permanent headwind. Each rise in price will be capped by a surge in US output. The only constraint is the scale of US reserves that can be extracted at mid-cost, and these may be bigger than originally supposed, not to mention the parallel possibilities in Argentina and Australia, or the possibility for “clean fracking” in China as plasma pulse technology cuts water needs.

Mr Sheffield said the Permian Basin in Texas could alone produce 5-6m b/d in the long-term, more than Saudi Arabia’s giant Ghawar field, the biggest in the world.

Saudi Arabia is effectively beached. It relies on oil for 90pc of its budget revenues. There is no other industry to speak of, a full fifty years after the oil bonanza began.

Citizens pay no tax on income, interest, or stock dividends. Subsidized petrol costs twelve cents a litre at the pump. Electricity is given away for 1.3 cents a kilowatt-hour. Spending on patronage exploded after the Arab Spring as the kingdom sought to smother dissent.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that the budget deficit will reach 20pc of GDP this year, or roughly $140bn. The ‘fiscal break-even price’ is $106.

Far from retrenching, King Salman is spraying money around, giving away $32bn in a coronation bonus for all workers and pensioners.

He has launched a costly war against the Houthis in Yemen and is engaged in a massive military build-up – entirely reliant on imported weapons – that will propel Saudi Arabia to fifth place in the world defence ranking.

The Saudi royal family is leading the Sunni cause against a resurgent Iran, battling for dominance in a bitter struggle between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. “Right now, the Saudis have only one thing on their mind and that is the Iranians. They have a very serious problem. Iranian proxies are running Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon,” said Jim Woolsey, the former head of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Money began to leak out of Saudi Arabia after the Arab Spring, with net capital outflows reaching 8pc of GDP annually even before the oil price crash. The country has since been burning through its foreign reserves at a vertiginous pace.

The reserves peaked at $737bn in August of 2014. They dropped to $672 in May. At current prices they are falling by at least $12bn a month.

Khalid Alsweilem, a former official at the Saudi central bank and now at Harvard University, said the fiscal deficit must be covered almost dollar for dollar by drawing down reserves.

The Saudi buffer is not particularly large given the country’s fixed exchange system. Kuwait, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi all have three times greater reserves per capita. “We are much more vulnerable. That is why we are the fourth rated sovereign in the Gulf at AA-. We cannot afford to lose our cushion over the next two years,” he said.

Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook to “negative” in February. “We view Saudi Arabia’s economy as undiversified and vulnerable to a steep and sustained decline in oil prices,” it said.

Mr Alsweilem wrote in a Harvard report that Saudi Arabia would have an extra trillion of assets by now if it had adopted the Norwegian model of a sovereign wealth fund to recyle the money instead of treating it as a piggy bank for the finance ministry. The report has caused storm in Riyadh.

“We were lucky before because the oil price recovered in time. But we can’t count on that again,” he said.

OPEC have left matters too late, though perhaps there is little they could have done to combat the advances of American technology.

In hindsight, it was a strategic error to hold prices so high, for so long, allowing shale frackers – and the solar industry – to come of age. The genie cannot be put back in the bottle.

The Saudis are now trapped. Even if they could do a deal with Russia and orchestrate a cut in output to boost prices – far from clear – they might merely gain a few more years of high income at the cost of bringing forward more shale production later on.

Yet on the current course their reserves may be down to $200bn by the end of 2018. The markets will react long before this, seeing the writing on the wall. Capital flight will accelerate.

The government can slash investment spending for a while – as it did in the mid-1980s – but in the end it must face draconian austerity. It cannot afford to prop up Egypt and maintain an exorbitant political patronage machine across the Sunni world.

Social spending is the glue that holds together a medieval Wahhabi regime at a time of fermenting unrest among the Shia minority of the Eastern Province, pin-prick terrorist attacks from ISIS, and blowback from the invasion of Yemen.

Diplomatic spending is what underpins the Saudi sphere of influence caught in a Middle East version of Europe’s Thirty Year War, and still reeling from the after-shocks of a crushed democratic revolt.

We may yet find that the US oil industry has greater staying power than the rickety political edifice behind OPEC.

Time To Fork Over Some Quatloos OOT

by Macker ( 150 Comments › )
Filed under Iran, OOT, Satire at July 27th, 2015 - 10:00 pm

When I saw these two pictures separately, I thought this is definitely worth a Meme. Never mind the separate pix, here’s the Meme:

For those keeping score, that creature on the right is Balok (the puppet that is), from the Original Star Trek 1st season episode “The Corbomite Maneuver.” And yes, that means that I fork over 10,000 Quatloos to The Osprey!

While I pay him, here’s The Overnight Open Thread!

Hostage Rescue OOT

by The Osprey ( 83 Comments › )
Filed under Anti-Jihad, ISIS, Islam, Islamic Supremacism, Islamic Terrorism, Islamists, Jihad, Middle East, OOT, Satire, Weapons at July 25th, 2015 - 9:38 pm

Practice, practice, practice, people. We all know Jamil Jihad could pop up anywhere at anytime.

Carry on. And please, think of the goats.

isis goat hostage target

Get your own free goat hostage target here: http://tacticalshit.com/go/isis-goat-hostage-target-free-download/

(note: I am not employed and/or compensated by “tacticalshit.com” in any form, but their targets are teh funneh.)