|Osama bin Ladens bror vil knytte Afrika og Midtøsten sammen gjennom en gigantbro. Og han får dansk hjelp
Det er i hvert fall planen til Tarek bin Laden, storebror til verdens mest kjente terrorist og en av Saudi Arabias største byggherrer, som står bak det ambisiøse prosjektet som skal knytte to kontinenter sammen.
Sikkert ingen utenkelig teknisk mulighet.... det er bare å leie noen dypvanns borerigger å borre ned pilarer så er prosjektet i gang til havs...
Borerigger kommer sikkert å bli mye mer anvendelige enn bare å borre etter olje, de kan brukes til mye annet innen Construction..til havs...
Endret 11.04.2016 08:05 av skipper*
|Den amerikanske kongressen skal nå diskutere et nytt lovforslag som vil gjøre det mulig å saksøke den Saudiske regjeringen for medansvar for angrepene på gamle World Trade Center (WTC), den såkalt 9/11-hendelsen i 2001.
Det kommer nok ikke til å gå igjennom, men sentimentet mot S.Arabia har surnet betraktelig i USA.
Obama-administrasjonen prøver å påvirke kongressen til å blokkere dette lovforslaget, og S.Arabia truer med massivt salg av bl.a. statsobligasjoner og selskaper/aksjer de eier - opptil $750mrd av verdi. Det vil kunne få alvorlige følger for finansmarkedene.
Det er ingen tvil om at Saudiere har støttet terrorister og terror-organisasjoner finansielt, men noe annet er å beskylde den Saudiske regjeringen for det samme.
Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill
Mark Mazzetti, NYTimes.com
Apr. 15, 2016
WASHINGTON - Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill's passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.
Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom's message personally last month during a trip to Washington, telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts.
Several outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom's economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.
The administration, which argues that the legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas, has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently sided with the kingdom and has thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot.
"It's stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens," said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and who is part of a group of victims' family members pushing for the legislation.
President Obama will arrive in Riyadh on Wednesday for meetings with King Salman and other Saudi officials. It is unclear whether the dispute over the Sept. 11 legislation will be on the agenda for the talks.
A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found "no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization." But critics have noted that the commission's narrow wording left open the possibility that less senior officials or parts of the Saudi government could have played a role. Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot.
mer på link
Endret 16.04.2016 11:29 av OldNick
|En lengre artikkel som diskuterer Obama og Obama-administrasjonens kjølende forhold til S.Arabia.
Obama dro til S.Arabia og landet i Riyadh i ettermiddag.
Regjeringsrepresentanter gadd ikke møte på flyplassen, men sendte lokale Riyadh
by-representanter. En ydmykende gest, og det tyder dårlig for møtet med Salman d.e. og d.y.
The Long Divorce
How the U.S.-Saudi relationship grew cold under Barack Obama's watch.
Simon Henderson, Foreign Policy
Apr. 19, 2016
Obama skal, sammen med utenriks- og forsvars-ministerne møte kongen og delta på et GCC-møte idag for å diskutere alle presserende sakene om krigene og urolighetene i regionen.
Obama ble ikke møtt av representanter for regjeringen, men guvernøren for Riyadh by da han landet.
Det skulle iflg. analytikere være en beskjed om at den Saudiske regjeringen ikke har noen tro på Obama og den historiske linken mellom de to land.
Obama Meets With King Salman at Start of Saudi Arabia Visit
Kathleen Hennessey, Adam Schreck, AP/ABC News
Apr. 20, 2016
Stepping off of Air Force One earlier at King Khalid International Airport, Obama was greeted not by King Salman but by a lower-ranking royal, Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud, the governor of Riyadh. Ahead of Obama's arrival, Saudi state television showed the king personally greeting senior officials from other Gulf nations arriving at the King Salman Air Base.
Mustafa Alani, a security analyst at the Gulf Research Center, said the Saudi decision not to dispatch a high-level delegation to greet the president was unusual and intended to send a clear message that they have little faith in him.
"He will find a leadership that's not ready to believe him," Alani said. "The Saudis had disagreements with previous presidents. Here you have deep distrust that the president won't deliver anything."
mer på link
Det Saudiske lederskapet ser Obama's besøk mer som en avskjedsturne", skal vi tro hva BBC refererer til analytikere og andre de har spurt, og ser heller fremover mot neste administrasjon i det hvite hus.
Barack Obama holds talks with Saudi Arabia's King Salman
Apr. 20, 2016
Endret 21.04.2016 08:03 av OldNick
Mohammed bin Salman attends a summit of Arab and Latin American leaders in Riyadh AP
The most dangerous man in the world?
Saudi Arabia's defence minister is aggressive and ambitious - and his enemies within and without are in his sights.
Bill Law, Independent.co.uk
Jan. 8, 2016
|ISIS ser ut til å ha tatt i bruk en ny taktikk for å angripe og svekke kongefamiliens makt, som jo utøves via sikkerhetspolitiet og militæret.
De engasjerer familiene til folk som er høyt oppe i politiet og får de til å ta livet av familiemedlemmer som har stillinger i sikkerhetspolitiet.
På den måten vil de prøve å undergrave myndighetenes autoritet og kontroll, noe som kan bli farlig for kongefamilien hvis det får fortsette.
ISIS getting Saudis to kill family members in police
Apr. 22, 2016
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - President Barack Obama's push for a stepped-up battle against ISIS comes as Saudi Arabia confronts the militants' deadly campaign to overthrow the monarchy.
The militants are calling on their supporters to target family members who work in security forces. Some images in the video are disturbing.
In the Saudi desert something sinister takes place. In a video posted by ISIS, a man is pulled from a vehicle by the people he trusts the most - his family. They tell him to be quiet and stand still as they pledge allegiance to ISIS.
Then they shoot him. His name was Badr Hamdi al-Rashidi, a Saudi swat squad officer. His family says he was killed by his cousins.
His brothers are distraught, struggling to comprehend how in Saudi Arabia, where family ties trump all else, ISIS is managing to break the bonds that bind the kingdom together. They are separating police from the people, divide and conquer.
"ISIS message actually is to take the police away from their way so they could approach innocent people and start committing terrorist crimes targeting civilians," said Gen. Mansour al-Turki, the Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman.
ISIS is hyping attacks like one on a police inspector this month, demanding the overthrow of the royal family. The attackers chase, then shoot the officer.
But recently the attacks have taken a frightening turn: ISIS calling for fratricide. "They shift and started calling for their supporters to attack their relatives if they are working for the police," al-Turki said.
A young Saudi did as ISIS demanded, according to Saudi Arabia's interior ministry, and shot his policeman uncle seven times point blank before driving to a maximum security jail and blowing himself up.
ISIS is intent on ripping apart the fabric of the close knit trusting society. The police rely on the public to turn in the terrorists. In all, 2,500 ISIS arrests in recent years. "Without the public support I could say this is very hard and very difficult. We rely a lot on public support," al-Turki said.
As the battle brews, heart-wrenching moments are becoming more common. A recently-graduated police cadet begs his cousin to let him live. The Saudis say he is the third to die at the hands of a relative in recent months.
Endret 26.04.2016 16:35 av OldNick
|Risikoen for terror-angrep øker i S.Arbia iflg. en årlig oppdatering fra AON.
Saudi Arabia risks coup or insurrection - global study
The kingdom had its risk ranking increased alongside Angola and Zimbabwe
Robert Anderson, GulfBusiness.com
Apr. 14, 2016
Saudi Arabia was one of 12 countries placed at risk of coup d'état and insurrection in a 2016 terrorism and political violence map.
The Aon study, produced in partnership with The Risk Advisory Group, gave countries a score based on criteria including the risk of sabotage, commotion and rebellion.
It showed a rise in the number of countries with business-related perils due to coups, insurrection or war.
This year, the risk rating of countries including Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe and Angola were increased due to concerns over coups or other forms of power seizure and uncertainties surrounding succession.
In the GCC, Bahrain was also ranked at high risk, one below the highest rank severe. Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the UAE were ranked at the second lowest level in the five rank index.
Sub-Saharan Africa was found to have the highest number of countries with high to severe risk, following an increase in the risk rating of Angola, Burundi, Ghana, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Middle East had the largest number of terrorist attacks in the last year at 1,114, largely due to the activities of ISIL in Iraq and Syria, according to the study.
This compared to 799 attacks in South Asia, 491 in North Africa and 331 in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"This year's Aon Terrorism and Political Violence Map shows a rise in political violence and terrorism risks for the first time since 2013. The threat of terrorism is critical, but sudden political change at the top as well as war can arguably be more catastrophic for business," said The Risk Advisory Group head of intelligence and analysis Henry Wilkinson.
"These risks are less manageable and less foreseeable and have the potential for cascading political risk ramifications across a region."
AON study: Terrorism & Political Violence Risk Map 2016 (PDF)
|Houthi-opprørerne i Yemen greide nesten å senke et forsyningsskip, utleid fra UEA (formodentlig til S.Arabia eler allierte?) med personbårne raketter.
US warships sent to area where Iran-backed rebels attacked Saudi-led coalition ship
Lucas Tomlinson, Fox News
Oct. 03, 2016
Vi ser i nyhetene daglig at USA anklager Syria og Russland for med overlegg å bombe sivile og sykehus m.m. i Syria-konflikten, og USA truer med å kutte diplomatisk kontakt med Russland.
Da står det ikke til troende at USA i Yemen-konflikten støtter den aggressive parten S.Arabia, som har bombet vel så mange sykehus og skoler i nabolandet, selv om det totale antall liv tapt i Yemen-konflikten selvsagt er i en annen størrelsesorden enn i Syria.
Det har blitt så ille der at organisasjonen Leger-uten-grenser har måttet trekke seg ut av områder i nord. Det er for stor risiko å drive hjelpearbeid på legesenter og sykehus.
Men, USA (ikke nøytrale) har "gransket" hendelsene og kommet frem til at bombingen skyldes at Saudiske piloter er udugelige (på tross av at de er utdannet i USA), og da er det greit.
Civilian casualties in Yemen bring charges of U.S. responsibility for Saudi actions
Missy Ryan, WP
Oct. 3, 2016
Reservations are growing within the Obama administration about American military involvement in Saudi Arabia's air campaign in Yemen, as some lawmakers and human rights groups charge the United States with responsibility for Saudi attacks that have killed many civilians.
Civilian casualties have spiked in Yemen since the collapse of peace talks in August, the United Nations reported recently, bringing the total number of civilians killed since March 2015, when a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched its operation against Houthi rebels there, to more than 4,000.
While both sides have been blamed for violence against civilians, the Obama administration now faces increasing pressure to reconsider its military support for a campaign that was supposed to be a short operation focused on defending the Saudi border, but has evolved into an open-ended, offensive war.
"It's that offensive warfare that raises a lot of questions in policymakers' minds," said a senior State Department official who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to comment freely. "Does an ally have to give you a blank check for everything you're doing in a war?"
Despite repeated strikes on schools and hospitals, officials see little choice for now but continued support, given the intense desire to shore up a bilateral relationship rocked by President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran and new legislation linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The Yemen campaign illustrates the sometimes uncomfortable collision of American interests in the Middle East and their consequences - in this case, a perception of U.S. indifference to lost lives. Some officials also say the campaign sets a worrisome precedent in which the U.S. military is actively enabling an operation into which it has limited visibility and even less control.
"When we see civilian casualties, it puts us in an extremely awkward position, because Saudi Arabia is a close ally," another U.S. official said.
U.S. officials say that "errors of capability or competence, not of malice" are behind repeated Saudi strikes on civilian targets. Military lawyers have reviewed Saudi actions and say no laws have been violated because, in their view, the civilian deaths appear to be unintentional.
U.S. military officials argue that their presence, weaponry and support have made for a cleaner campa
|Det var et URIX-spesial program om Saudi Arabia torsdag.
URIX 18.01.2017, om Saudi Arabia (video)
De skulle vise en fransk dokumentar om landet, om hvordan landet ble dannet, historien frem til oljekrisen og hvordan de politiske hendelsene i midt-Østen førte til etablering av radikale grupper som ble til terroristorganisasjoner, hvordan konflikten mellom shia'er og sunni'er ble til, hvordan den Saudi Arabiske kongefamilien og kongen svarte på både interne og eksterne trusler med å stramme til friheten og styrte landet etter Sharia-lover, med basis i den ekstreme Wahhabi-retningen innen sunni-islam, som Ibn Saud allierte seg med da han begynte sin erobring for å legge under seg det meste av landet på den arabiske halv-øy som britene ikke kontrollerte på begynnelsen av det 20'ende århundret, og ble den første kongen av Saudi Arabia som de kalte landet. Og om hvordan de har sikret og mistet vestens støtte, hovedsaklig pga. de enorme olje-ressursene landet kontrollerer.
Saudi Arabia: Farlige forbindelser (video, kun tilgjengelig i 3 uker til)
En av gjestene i Studio, Reier Møll Schoder, skriver egen blogg om den arabiaks halvøy, inkluder S.Arabia
Den Arabiske Halvøy (blogg)
Det er fortsatt sting i Houthi-militsen.
A Russian-made scud missile, similar to that used on Sunday, on auction in California [Getty]
Riyadh military base 'targeted' by Houthi rebel missile strike
The New Arab
Feb. 06, 2017
Yemeni rebels reported the successful test-launch of a precision scud missile on Sunday night, which was allegedly aimed at a Saudi military camp 40 kilometres west of Riyadh.
Saudi officials denied that the missile hit the military camp near al-Mazahimiyah and it has not been possible to independently verify this fact.
No local residents have reported hearing an explosion on social media.
The Houthi rebels announced the successful launch of a Scud-type ballistic missile at around 8pm GMT.
Saba News agency quoted a Houthi spokesperson announcing the attack as a "successful test-fire of a precision, long-distance ballistic missile."
"We stress that the capital of [expletive] Saudi Arabia is now in the range of our missiles and, God willing, what is coming will be greater," a statement from the Houthi government said.
The Saudi minister of defence, Mohammad bin Salman, was at a meeting with Yemeni president Hadi at the time of the attack.
This is the second alleged Houthi Scud missile attack on Saudi soil in one week and the latest attack since Yemen started stockpiling missiles in summer 2016.
On 31 January, a Borkan-1 missile reportedly killed 80 coalition soldiers on a Saudi-UAE military base on Zuqar Island in the Red Sea. This attack was never confirmed or denied by the Saudi-led coalition.
International indignation erupted in November last year after a Houthi ballistic missile was shot down near the holy city of Mecca.
A video released on YouTube on Sunday night appears to show a large underground stockpile of Houthi missiles on lorries.
|Dette dreier seg om konflikten mellom S.Arabia og andre GCC-venner mot Qatar og emiren/styret av dette bittelille nabolandet på halvøyen ut ifra Arabia.
Som har blitt styrtrike de siste 10-årene på å pumpe "litt olje" (ca. 650k fpd/620k under kuttavtalen, i tillegg ca. 300k f/d NGL's + ca. 400k f/d diesel/liquids fra 2 GTL-anlegg) og selge massive tonnager med LNG (ca. 106m tonn/2015, størst i verden på LNG-eksport, har ca. 30% av markedet).
De har industrialisert seg med basis i disse råvarene og bygd opp store anlegg med hjelp fra internasjonale entreprenørselskap og i JV med majors innen ulike globale industrier som Al og olje/naturgass.
Vi kjenner N.Hydro som har et 50% JV i Qatalum/Al-smlter med ca. 640kt/a kapasitet (såvidt jeg husker) og innen NG med bl.a. Shell (GTL) og Exxon (LNG).
Konflikten ble offentlig kjent for verdens-opinionen sist helg, og det er mange artikler å lese om det som er offentliggjort, et eksempel fra Reuters:
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE sever ties to Qatar over "terrorism"
- Move escalates rift over Doha ties to Muslim Brotherhood
- Powerful Arab states accuse Qatar of backing Iran agenda
- U.S. sees no impact on militant fight, urges resolution
- Egypt accuses Qatar of plan to sow discord
Noah Browning, Reuters
June 5, 2017
Det som fikk meg til å lage dette innlegget, var noen innlegg på annet forum, lagt inn av en US-skribent som bodde i midt-Østen (UAE p.t. såvidt jeg har fått med meg).
Veldig interessant, og jeg håper andre på ST synes det samme.
Fra 'VIA', 7/6-2017:
1. I am no cheerleader for Saudi Arabia. I have been vocally critical of them for some time here on IV. Having said that, I must correct the record. SA is not known to have supported the litany of terrorist organizations I mentioned. They are the polar opposite of Hezbollah. They despise the Brotherhood. They kicked Hamas out of SA. Have they supported Syrian rebels? Yes, and they continue to do so, but only under US command and with a specific goal of bringing down the Assad regime. Did they turn a blind eye to ISIS in Iraq, and maybe even facilitate their strength? Yes, but again, only because they were the only force capable of keeping Iranian proxies at bay. Why do you not mention how ISIS is also supported by Israel and was allowed to mushroom under Obama's administration? For the same reason - to indirectly fight Iran. So while both SA and Qatar have helped these fanatic radicals, there is a world of difference in the means and motives of the strategies employed.
The other aspect of contrasting SA and Qatar regarding their relationship with terrorist groups is the major pivots that Saudi Arabia undertook in terms of their support for such groups. They had already cut relations with the Brotherhood under Obama's tenure. And they reduced their material support for the more shady Syrian rebels and ISIS after Trump took office. They are in a rush to whitewash their record, what with a looming 911 lawsuit, Hillary's loose lips emails which were wikileaked, and Trump's clear disdain for the robed Arabs. I don't know if it is too late for them, but at least they are trying to turn over a new leaf. Their anti-terrorism centre and hearty Trump welcome and massive arms deal are all overtures designed to buy them a new reputation. King Salman, crown prince Nayef and MBS can claim that all the bad stuff was done under the previous watch, and they are the ones to reform SA.
2. I have worked on behalf of the Qatari government under the previous ruler's tenure on two critical infrastructure projects, one of which remains undisclosed until today. I can say that they are the most despicable collection of lowlifes in the middle east. Industry leaders who I know and who have worked on Qatari projects share similar stories.
Endret 08.06.2017 14:36 av OldNick
|The point is not that Qatar is a corrupt country - all Arab nations have serious corruption problems. The difference is that Qatar imposes and exports its corruption, and in the worst way. The FIFA scandal was a joke compared to some of the things they are involved in. They are supporting both sides of multiple battle fronts, and using the chaos that ensues to gain influence and power. That's why they always host the peace negotiation table - because they have relations with both sides. They foment chaos and destruction for their own benefit. Qatar is a small island with a tiny population and a bunch of inbred tyrants running the show. They have a history of backstabbing each other, and so live in a perpetual state of paranoia. The only way to remain in power is to create problems around them.
3. If you rely on analysis from CNN, we are not going to be able to see eye to eye. A long time ago I met Ted Turner and knew Peter Jennings back in the early 90's, and can equivocally say that this network is not even a shadow of what it was during its heyday. The way they now blame everything on Russian hackers is beyond insanity. The Qatari Emir has publicly said many of the things that CNN claims were words inserted by Russian hackers, so sorry but that conspiracy theory doesn't work on me.
4. I didn't say 3d chess. I said chess. In other words, there is no mysterious game being played here that would leave us guessing. It is a simple game of chess which erudite onlookers can follow and appreciate. Trump is not friends with the Saudis. He doesn't hate the Qataris. He couldn't care less about the entire bloody region. But he has goals to attain. The destruction of ISIS and US exports to the region rank highly. He achieved the latter and is on the way with the former. Saudi Arabia and the UAE were compliant with his overtures, and Qatar was not. Qatar was not only stubborn, but pushed back (Al Thani openly said that Trump wouldn't last his full term). Qatar is actively supporting Iran and a host of dangerous non-state actors. This is in stark contrast to the interests of the US, ergo squeezing them until they capitulate makes perfect strategic sense.
5. Tillerson is a professional man and a patriot. He has no interest left in Exxon whatsoever, and owes them no loyalty. He works primarily in the interests of the United States and since this means squeezing Qatar at this time is more important than protecting a corporation, it is incumbent upon him to allow things to play out. His statement was a generic, half-hearted cut and paste job for the record. The Russians, who also despise the Qatari regime, ironically issued a similar statement and made a similar phone call to Doha. Its called diplomacy. Don't mistake it for friendship. Mattis has a more pressing need to know that the operation of his base will remain unaffected. He received that confirmation, and so I don't expect to hear any more from him on this matter.
The Qatar saga is not over. It could end quickly if the Emir finds that his position is untenable and accepts changes, but the Saudi's have made it very difficult to do so. My understanding is that the Saudi King has imparted to the Kuwaiti Emir (the intermediary) 10 conditions that need to be met within 24 hours. I don't know what the conditions are, but it sounds like a lot of demands, and combined with the limited window of opportunity is testament to the fact that the Saudi King feels he has the upper hand and won't loosen his grip on Qatar until it surrenders completely.
Now Yemen, Mauritius, and the western Libyan government have joined the diplomatic embargo of Qatar. To make matters worse, the Houthi's (Iranian proxies) have voiced strong support for Qatar. This is a fiasco for Qatar. The situation has escalated much further than I expected and now I cannot rule out a possible disruption to LNG (and crude) exports if the issue is not resolved soon.
(Kommentar: Ingen grunn til å bruke CNN-artikler som kilde lenger, hvis man kan unngå det :-)
Endret 08.06.2017 14:33 av OldNick
|Den samme skribenten informerte om den kommende diplomatiske krisen mellom Qatar og S.Arabia for 2 uker siden.
Den 24 mai skrev han dette:
Diplomatic breakdown in Gulf
Most of you are probably asleep right now, but here I am communicating with my company in the UAE.
I'm not exactly sure what is going on yet, but there has been a sudden and furious exchange of diplomatic attacks back and forth between the UAE and Qatar. Something about the UAE charging Qatar with being pro-Iran. A few hours later, Saudi Arabia entered the fray by cryptically labelling (FINALLY!) the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization (who happen to be protected in Qatar). And in the last hour, we are hearing that Qatar has recalled its ambassadors from the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait. The UAE then banned Al Jazeerah (Qatar's propaganda channel). And in the last few minutes, Qatar claims its government website has been hacked.
So how do we make sense of this? Not long ago someone asked me what the difference is between the UAE, Qatar and Saudi regarding terrorism. I broke it down simply thus: The UAE does not, and has never supported extremist groups. It hosted unofficial Taliban-US talks in the past, but in a neutral and lawful manner. Saudi Arabia has supported, both directly and covertly, certain militant groups and operations in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon to counter what they saw as threatening Shiite projection of power. Qatar is flat out pro-ISIS, Muslim brotherhood and other ghastly groups like Al Nusra.
It seems that the Saudi's are taking seriously their pledge to the US administration to fight extremism. My guess is that the US government assured them that Iranian influence in Syria will be tackled once ISIS collapses there. So Saudi Arabia can take a step back, breathe a sigh of relief and focus on only one losing war (Yemen) instead of two. So why the instigation by the UAE? A few posts ago, I mentioned that Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed, the defacto ruler of the UAE is as pro-American as a foreign ally can get. He will do whatever he can to promote US interests in the region. Don't forget that he was in the white house just recently and spent time with Trump two days ago behind closed doors.
The interesting thing is that we can draw parallels with what is happening in Libya. General Haftar is receiving support from the UAE and Egypt (which itself receives financial support from the UAE), while Qatar is supporting the Islamic rebels at the other end.
I draw the following from these developments:
1. As I predicted last week, states in the region are starting to look at the post-ISIS span of Northern Iraq and most of Syria and they are starting to act accordingly. The vacuum in this region is going to create serious nation to nation friction. There is a lot to gain/lose for Turkey, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the USA, Europe and Qatar primarily, and to a lesser degree, every other nation in the region.
2. Trump has clearly shifted the balance in the region, and to a great extent. He has empowered Saudi Arabia whereby it was previously handicapped by the Obama administration. He has seemingly drawn a line in the sand for Iran, although we aren't yet sure where that line has been drawn exactly. There is more of an equilibrium now. If sense prevails, it means that Russia sells Iran more weapons and the US/Europe sell Saudi, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE more arms as well and the standoff continues. However, the US may make the mistake of getting too involved in Syria in order to tip the balance in Saudi's favour. There are indications they are trying to do just that at the Syrian Iraqi border (in order to close off any more logistical support for Bashar from Iran).
3. Given the developments in the Gulf, we could see an escalation in violence in Libya as a proxy battle. I'd be looking out for headlines indicating General Haftar is receiving new equipment or financial support from the UAE or maybe even Saudi.
Endret 08.06.2017 14:35 av OldNick
|4. I don't expect the OPEC agreement to be affected at all. Qatar may be infuriated by its neighbours right now, but it is a tiny nation with little oil production and it values its reputation as a centre for dialogue. It would look stupid throwing a tantrum as an OPEC member because of diplomatic and military issues.
|Interessant analyse dette. Jeg oppfatter perspektivet hans som sjakkspill-orientert som man finner i den realistiske tradisjonen med vekt på maktbalanse og interessavveining - i motsetning til den idealistiske som handler om å fremme overordna verdier. Obama prøvde på begge deler, og ble vel oppfattet som påvirkelig og litt svak.
Nå står realpolitikken sterkt overfor det arabiske komplekset via Trumps tilnærming. Saudi-Arabia blir en nyttig alliert overfor det som er tradisjonelle motparter og følgelig definert som enda verre. Qatar må bringes inn i denne alliansen igjen, med litt røffe midler.
Problemet midt oppe i dette handler etter mitt syn om den saudi-arabiske ideologi-eksporten.
KSA hevder de kjemper mot IS og Al Qaida, men ideologien har mye til felles. Saudi bygger moskéer og oppretter tv-stasjoner i andre land med et svært konservativt og salafistisk innhold. Dermed fyrer de opp under ilden som de er med på å bekjempe. her virker verden hjelpeløs - i hvert fall i nærområdene.
En annen side er eskalering av konfliktene som forfatteren påpeker. I maktvakumet som oppstår (Libya, Nord-irak) vil alle aktørene sikre sine interesser. Det kan øke konfrontasjonene. Derfor er stabilisering viktig.
Endret 08.06.2017 16:27 av Beins
|Nye inside-historier fra araberland - fra den selvsamme VIA (se OldNick #19172 lenger tilbake i topic):
Det finnes ingen referanser her, man får ta det som det det er - anekdoter, men jeg finner dem interessante.
1) I was working with an Italian organization to sell a Formula 1 team to the Qatari state. The deal was structured in a way that added tremendous value to the country in terms of global exposure, monetary return and technology transfer (state of the art wind tunnel, carbon fibre factory, race driver training centre). Every detail of the proposal was well thought out and offered in a turn-key manner. We had Bernie Ecclestone's blessing and the FIA's stamp of approval. We even designed different liveries for the cars if they chose to go ahead with the project. Putting together the proposal took countless hours of effort and a tremendous amount of talent by around three dozen very professional individuals in Italy, the UK and the UAE.
The problem was how to approach the Emir to propose it. If caught in the right mood, he might excitedly give the green light. But the converse was true. He was also known to only be approachable past 1am, because he would have digested his very late dinner, had his tryst with the concubine and would be enjoying grapes and chocolates in his Majlis (personal court for meetings). We would also have to know who spoke with him before and how that went. We actually had to abort the presentation twice. Once because the Emir found out about a story critical of him in a British tabloid and the other was because he was distracted by revelations that Qatar was overcharged by 140% in an electricity distribution infrastructure contract worth billions of euros. In both cases, the project we were proposing would have had little chance to proceed given the sour mood in the majlis.
When the stars finally aligned a few weeks later, and we got the go-ahead, the presentation started, and almost immediately was interrupted. The Emir had a better idea (of course, what do we know about the project we painstakingly put together over months?!?) - his idea was not to have a Qatari team, but to instead host a Formula 1 race in Qatar! Other than the fact that this wasn't the proposed project, there was the niggling problem that the idea wasn't unique - there already was such an event in nearby Bahrain, and the UAE also was working on their own race track/F1 race hosting (which eventually came to fruition). But the Emir was smarter than us - he said "I can beat the UAE timeline because we already have a race track." The only problem is that Lusail race track was a moto GP track. Meaning it was designed for motorcycle races. It was narrow and the runoff areas were not approved for an F1 race. But how do you break the harsh reality to an all-knowing semi-deity? All I can say is that the Italians had more patience than I at the time. I told them not to waste their time any longer, but they went ahead and wasted almost a year trying to push their original idea. It never went through because the Emir's ego had to be protected. He knew that the project was excellent and unique, but he didn't come up with it so it was not to be approved. The project was already vetted by numerous Qatari authorities and was enthusiastically endorsed by the minister of sport. But in the flash of a second, the big kahuna decided it was either his way or the highway.
2) I was once at an urgent meeting for a prominent royal member of the UAE ruling family. This meeting had been set up hastily but with high priority by the Sheikh himself - he was not happy with the sluggish semi-annual results of his business holding company. He said "we will meet at my Dubai palace tomorrow at 4pm." So we were there the next day, all set up and waiting. Waiting some more, and more. The palace staff kept carting in hors d'oeuvres and freshly cut exotic fruits from far away lands to keep us distracted, but everyone stood still as the man was expected to step in at any moment, and the team was unsure how
|he would take the proposed restructuring of his entire conglomerate structure.
There was a Deloitte team of high credibility and two ex-McKinsey and Co advisors present, as well as the region's top PR company representative and Norton Rose lawyers. All had come up with an elaborate yet efficient structure that emphasized accountability and quick, effective communication. Everyone's spirits were high because the proposed structure was sure to be a winner. That is, if the Sheikh ever showed up. All eyes were generally cast in the direction of the large gilded double-doors that led to his private quarters. But those doors never swung open.
Instead, someone eventually noticed some movement outside the palace through the ceiling-high windows. We all looked in that direction and saw a nearly naked, wet man striding toward us from the private beach that ran across the northern side of the palace. The man then came busting through the outside doors, snapped his fingers asking for a towel from the servants and we realized it was the Sheikh. We were not used to seeing him without his headgear and robes. We were also distracted by the revealing traditional version of "swimming trunks" which he wore. He clapped his hands together and asked "ok, so what do you have for us?" (Arab royalty never use the term "me").
Trying not to look surprised by the less than grand entrance of the Sheikh, the head of the consulting team began his spiel with gusto but everything came to a crashing halt when, only two sentences through his proposal, he mentioned the appointment of a CEO to manage the newly structured corporate entity. The Sheikh not only blew a fuse at mention of a proposed CEO, he blew every fuse in his system. He jumped up and attacked the presentation board with a ferocity usually reserved for an MMA fighter. He ripped up the stack of presentation posters with his hands and kicked the board to the ground, turned around and said, with a healthy interspersing of expletives, something to the effect that HE was the CEO, the Chairman and the President. HE was the leader without which none of this would exist and our "jobs" wouldn't be. He then stormed out of the room shouting over his shoulder to everyone that "everything will remain the same" and that we should "get lost." At the time, I felt like I was sledgehammered in the face, but now looking back at it, I chuckle at the image of the expressions on the faces of all the professionals in the room. There was only one Algerian Deloitte consultant who took it in stride, and that is because she was an old timer there. In fact, she remains working there today (she did take two 1 year sabbaticals in order to preserve her sanity).
Bottom line is, unless you understand the mentality of the people of the region, their patriarchal structure, their tribal society and of course, the excess and pompousness of their leaders, you cannot possibly assess the most likely course of action they will take. Ego gets in the way of rational thought every moment of their lives.
What prompted my post was seeing the continuation of people talking about SA cheating. I don't they are cheating. At least not in their eyes. They agreed to cuts and also to a monitoring system, and they have successfully pulled it off. They tried to play smart with selling from inventories. They got caught with their pants down and added clarification regarding exports related to production at their last meeting. That is the past. They will stick to this improved agreement now because they absolutely have to.
Endret 15.06.2017 18:12 av OldNick
|I would now focus on the OPEC members with no caps. Libya and Iraq worry me more than US shale because their oil production is very low cost and constant. Shale is a new story and so far only the positives are being touted by the bearish media. Cost inflation, depletion and decline, not to mention rising rates, bottlenecks and possible exhaustion of sweet spots may turn the tide unexpectedly somewhere down the line. Iraq, on the other hand, is somehow constantly able to boost its production. And Libya could pose a serious supply threat if somehow the knuckleheads agree to stop the infighting.
Saudi Arabia will have to lead a new, deeper cut if the current overhang remains. They recently said they would wait until September to decide, but I still think they will seriously consider it at next months meeting. The only reason they would not is if massive US stock draws take place before then, as they are trying to arrange with their export reductions, and sentiment finally turns due to this.
The final point I'd like to make is that Al-Falih in my opinion, is a much more capable man than Al-Naimi was. There are long standing rumours about how the latter man gained power, but I'd rather not go there on a public board. Suffice to say, Al-Naimi was not high-functioning in his last few years and was part of the problem - stuffy, privileged, arrogant. The young prince running the show has to share some of the blame as well, but he is a bit humbler and a lot wiser now that he got his ass kicked in the very game he initiated. The mood in Saudi Arabia is more serious and aggressive right now. They can taste their own blood and they don't like it because they have never been this vulnerable before.
They WILL, in my opinion, continue to support crude pricing. We can't forget that they have been jaw-boning like never before. Its almost like they are watching NYMEX futures all day long. But its not the words that mean anything to me. Rather, I like to see compliance % and more importantly, I want to see a deeper cut. I said they need to cut deeper at the last meeting otherwise there will be disappointment, and I was on target with that assumption. But all is not lost. Al Falih is a step behind, but no more. He will respond to strip pricing if it doesn't improve. He will cut more if that's what it takes.
Talking about tanker traffic, free trade zones and trading house conspiracies is important and useful, but the most important element of oil fundamentals is the simple fact that at the current pricing no oil producing company or nation can sustain operations indefinitely, save Kuwait. Unfortunately for us, many of the players have staying power, and may be able to outlast our nerves as investors, but as the days go by with us stuck in the 4 handle, that staying power window shrinks.
Endret 15.06.2017 18:12 av OldNick
|Underholdende lesning om tyrannene som "ruler" i Kongedømmene.
Det er noe typisk i at Konger som absolutt ikke tåler et kritisk ord, styrer land med fundameentale straffer for alle slags feilsteg.
Det minner litt om Kina i og med at diktatur-staten må smøre folket med stadige goder og gratin tilbud. Forskjellen handler om befolkningsvekst og at Kina har et differensiert næringsliv. Kineserne er ganske rasjonelle.
Et slemt spørsmål som jeg gjerne skulle ha besvart, er om den jevne arabiske innbygger i Golfstatene inkl KSA, kan arbeide normalt, og hva de bedriver tida med?
For tungt arbeid er mye overlatt til en hær av immigranter som jobber i alle mulige bransjer. Husker at jeg traff en amerikansk helikopter-flyger som jobbet i KSA, og klarte seg greit ene og alene fordi de bodde adskilt fra samfunnet for øvrig.
Siden du lurer på hva KSA-folket bedriver tiden med , så kan jeg fortelle deg denne, jeg har bodd flere år i KSA.. Jeddah, Jizan og Yanbu...
Noen journalister spurt to unge Saudiere : What do you think about sex. Is it pleasure or hard work ?
De to unge mennene svarte at det var et vanskelig spørsmål og de kunne ikke svare der og da...
Men etter en tur i Suken (handlegaten) kom de tilbake til journalistene og svarte at nå hadde de svaret.
"It must be pleasure "
Journalistene spurte så hvordan de var kommet til det svaret.
" Because if this is not pleasure, we would have a Filipino to do it for us "
Endret 15.06.2017 21:17 av skipper*
|Wow, den var bra skipper*
Humoristisk sans i KSA !
Jeg har to slektninger som har jobba i hhv KSA og Qatar.
Det var helt greit for en periode.
Har de mange lokale ingeniører, leger og slike ting ?
Du måtte holde deg helt unna brennevin i den tida?
Endret 15.06.2017 21:30 av Beins
Mange flinke meget dyktige leger, mange er palestinere og libanesere og andre fra arabiske land. Topp hospitaler og meget godt helsevesen.
Min kollega fikk kreft i tarmen, han ble operert på samme dag det ble oppdaget og fikk utlagt tarm.
Masse flinke ingeniører og andre dyktige , men de fleste er expat.
Brennevin er strengt forbudt og blir en tatter er det utvisning på dagen...
Vi hadde en Gresk kaptein på saudisk skip som ble tatt med en falske vin...det var rett i kasjotten og på flyet hjem ..
Saudierne var flau over å ha en kapt. som ble tatt med alkohol... han skulle selvfølgelig ha kastet alt over bord, før han kom til Saudisk havn...
Jeg har faktisk KSA-driver licence for bil..
Endret 15.06.2017 21:55 av skipper*
"Min kollega fikk kreft i tarmen, han ble operert på samme dag det ble oppdaget og fikk utlagt tarm."
Håper inderlig at dette var noen år siden, og dermed før man fikk diverse metoder for å kurere tarmkreft.
Ellers alltid interessant å høre first hand-historier fra folk som faktisk har vært der andre kun skriver hearsay-historier om. Selv har jeg faktisk DRC-(Kongo) driver licence for bil, lastebil og anleggsmaskiner.
|Spørsmålet er om KSA kan få opp utdannings- og kompetansenivå i befolkningen slik at de kan produsere noe mer på egenhånd utover olje. Dit er det nok et stykke fram. Turisme - det begrenser seg vel mest til pilgrimsreiser.
Olja vil drive hele samfunnet i mange år framover.
Det var i 1985..ja, det er bra.. I Kongo har jeg ikke vært..
Mohamed var en smarting innen turisme , alle muslimer må gjøre en pilegrimsreise til Mekka i live... ikke mange som klarer å markedsføre den i dag, uansett hvor mye de prøver...
Vi hadde pilgrims skip(Gamle passasjerskip) som seilte fra Suez til Jeddah med pilgrimer..
Operasjon er fremdeles viktig førstelinjebehandling ved kolorektal cancer.