August 13, 2007
An interesting article appeared regarding Putin, Cheney, Iraq and its oil. I'll link to it, first, then, a few qualifications about it. I would agree with this, except, there are a couple of problems with this analysis. First of all, the recent vote to expand UN presence in Iraq was unanimous. That means both Russia and China agreed to it. So, what are they getting in return? I fully expect Lukoil to get a deal in Iraq. Lukoil is partnered with Conoco-Phillips. It is not a state run oil company. It is a private one. Here's a different article which puts the Lukoil-Iraq situation in greater context, One more link, in addition, regarding Lukoil and Iraq,
On my previous blogs, as I've repeated many times, China was also offered an oil deal in Iraq. On the previous website is much more information, including the US sending more troops to southern Iraq to secure the Kuwait, Iraq border area and, if you will note, the comments regarding the Brookings folks, the ones with "soft partition".
As well, following from my numerous blogs regarding Turkey, its AKP, Kurdistan and their mutual economic relationship to one another and privatization, "Security Council Candidate Turkey Hails Expanded UN Role in Iraq," No surprises.
Meanwhile, in related events back here in the good old US of Friendly and not so Friendly Fascism, following an economic alliance I've documented in detail is it any surprise that a new organization has been formed to officiate this marriage, a la JBANC (Joint Baltic Am National Comm), but, this time, American-Kurdistan Friendship League.
Along the plans above and the necessity to create a new, public "face," spokesperson, representative of the Iraq opposition/resistance with which to make a deal, (see my numerous previous blogs on this issue) there is some interesting commentary on an Iraqi named Jabbar Kubaysi in recent entries on the arablinks blogspot. I know absolutely nothing about Kubaysi nor his background, but, judging by the content I read, alone, in that blog entry, Kubaysi sounds very SUSPECT to me. Not that Kubaysi is alone in that regard. Take a look for youself and see what you think.
Let me add a few more miscellaneous notes to this ongoing story. As I have previously noted, one of the first things Democrat Congressman Charlie Rangel (NY) did, not recently, but, awhile back, was introduce a bill called "Universal National Service." This is really a backdoor draft, but, under a more Friendly Fascist sounding name, like the Peace Corp. ("I'm from the US and I'm here to help you"). Endless ironic euphemisms. I fully expect this bill or something akin to it to be re-introduced, if not immediately, then, shortly after the next Presidential election is finished. Further, the UN, NATO, EU, i.e., "multinational forces" that will operate in Iraq, the Middle East, will provide a good cover to build up a more musclar, operational "Muslim" contingent for numerous purposes.
Now, let's take a moment to digress to the underlying issues I've been following. First, an article from Turkey's press regarding recent stock market turmoil, "US Investor Warns Emerging Markets," I love their press. They're so wonderfully blunt, to the point. They don't mince words. Very refreshing. In another article from my ongoing eulogy to the WSJ, only, this time, a contemporary one from August 9, 2007, what is abundantly apparent was reiterated, once more, in the following article, "Overseas Profits Provide Shelter For US Firms." In a lengthly piece, a few excerpts from it regarding pertinent data, "....The share of international profits at US companies has grown steadily since the 1960s when they accounted for about 5%, and now accounts for about a quarter [25%] of all profits, he says, citing Commerce Department data. International earnings of US companies grew 16.4% in the first quarter compared with a year ago, while domestic earnings rose just 2.7%...using Commerce Department data....The trend is expected to continue....A recent study by Morgan Stanley concluded that companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index that receive a quarter or more of their revenue from outside the US grow faster and are more likely to beat earnings estimates than those that receive less than a quarter from outside...."
Another article on the same date as above, from the WSJ, had a lengthly article, "When Hedge Funds Meet Islamic Finance." I've had quite alot about this on previous blogs, with lots of other links. Nonetheless, I'll use a few choice excerpts from this one, in addition, "....Islam prohibits all kinds of speculative behavior that is embedded in Wall Street's DNA. But, Mr. DeLorenzo, a Massachusetts-born convert to Islam, is on a mission to meld centuries old Islamic law with modern finance in the US....With the Middle Eastern economy booming, partly thanks to soaring oil wealth, the Islamic financial industry has been expanding at a clip of about 15% a year....and is on pace to reach $1 TRILLION [my emphasis] in two years. The money is seeking new outlets and Western financial institutions are seeking new clients--opening the door for more aggressive methods to reconcile two worlds that don't easily mesh. Not all scholars approve. The harshest critique is that the changes in financial strategies to conform to Islamic law, or, Shariah, are often more about words than substance....An association in Bahrain is the informal authority on Shariah compliance for Islamic financial institutions. But its standards aren't mandatory and don't govern the offerings of Western firms, which retain their own Shariah boards to advise them and issue their own rulings, or fatwas. Top scholars can serve on dozens of boards, earning retainers of up to $20,000 to $40,000 a year per client. Mr. DeLorenzo's clients include Dow Jones & Co, parent company of the WSJ....Scholars who give their seal of approval sometimes receive a percentage of assets invested....Mr. DeLorenzo...is at the center of the push to develop Islamic financial products in the US. He also serves on boards of Islamic scholars that rule on their acceptability, as do a cadre of less than 20 top scholars, globally--only a couple of them in North America--who advise banks and financiers. Mr. DeLorenzo's clients have included Morgan Stanley, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland and France's Societe Generale SA...." One other name mentioned in the article, for anyone interested, a Pakistani former judge, Muhammed Taqi Usmani, who also sits on the Dow Jones Shariah Board. The remainder of the article goes into a lengthly discussion of how some of these products work. It's too long for me to quote any further.