For the current members of the Group of Thirty who are sitting or recently-sitting central bankers, their roles in the financial and economic turmoil of recent years is well-known and, most especially, their role in bailing out banks, providing long-term subsidies and support mechanisms for financial markets, and forcing governments to implement austerity and “structural reform” policies, notably in the European Union.
Draghi noted that European governments will have to “transfer part of their sovereignty to the European level” and recommended that the European Commission be given the supranational authority to have a direct say in the budgets of E.U. nations, adding that “a lot of governments have yet to realize that they lost their national sovereignty a long time ago.” He further explained, incredibly, that since those governments let their debts pile up they must now rely on “the goodwill of the financial markets.”
A few days after the Obama administration signed the nuclear deal with the Islamist state of Iran, after the easing of sanctions on the ruling cleric and Iranian authorities began to take off, the Mullahs initiated their first hegemonic ambition to reclaim and regain its No.2 position in OPEC, threatening to trigger an oil price war if the other 12 countries oppose Iran’s plan. In addition, Iran has put forward a candidate for the position of OPEC secretary general, considered to be the voice of the OPEC organization between meetings.
If the next time you stopped to fill up your car at a gas station, or to buy any other product, and you notice a sudden increase in prices, this can be attributed to the tireless efforts of the Obama administration to start lifting sanctions on Iran, easing pressure on the nation and integrating the Islamists of Iran into the international community, legitimizing them, giving them credibility, calling them rational actors, and pushing for the recent nuclear deal with the ruling cleric in the Iranian regime.
Last week, ahead of the upcoming OPEC meeting, Iran threatened to trigger a price war in the global oil markets. Iranian authorities warned OPEC’s 12 members that Tehran will ratchet up its oil output, no matter what the consequences would be, in an attempt to gain its former influential position. Bijan Zangeneh, Iran’s Oil Minister, said before going into the closed meetings that “we will not give up our rights on this issue.” The sanctions, accumulated through many years in the international community, reduced Iran’s leverage to disrupt and control the world economy through managing oil prices. However, the recent agreement with President Obama gave the Iranian Ayatollah and leaders a freedom to more aggressively reclaim and reassert their Islamist ambitions in the region and on the international scale.
There is a special quota assigned for each main oil exporter at OPEC. Iranian leaders stated that they will not comply with that quota. This will result in a disruption in supply and demand, which will ultimately create uncertainty in the market and lead to the rising of oil prices. For industrial countries, this will affect the prices of many other goods, because oil is used as a primary source for fuel. If Iran does not respect individual targets of oil sales in the global market and the quotas of OPEC members, Tehran’s attempts can definitely result in oil glut. In addition, this will lead to an increase in geopolitical tensions in the region and particularly among OPEC members.
The recent activities after lessening sanctions indicate that efforts by the Islamists in Iran to regain their influence economically— by controlling the oil market— and geopolitically— by further supporting and funding terrorist groups. Thanks to President Obama’s lessening sanctions on Iran, and his blocking of the bipartisan sanctions on the nation, Iran’s increasing control of OPEC’s main decisions and increasing influence in the global oil market is essentially handing over power and leverage to the Ayatollahs. If the current status continues, the United States will soon find itself on the other side of the spectrum, the weak position, in which it would have to struggle to bring the Iranian regime to the negotiating table, bargaining and probably accepting Iran’s demands, along with its hegemonic and nuclear ambitions in order to avoid Tehran’s threats and plans to significantly disrupt the oil market.
A video recently appeared of an Islamic Sunni cleric in Syria inciting Muslim schoolboys, most of whom appear to be between the ages of five-twelve, to hate and kill Christians and others.
According to a report in Arabic (scroll down for video), among other things, the sheikh calls on the children to “slaughter all Christians for being infidels” and that he boasted that “the Christians of Syria are under continuous attack and their churches and monasteries subject to violence.”
In the video, the sheikh first talks of Islam’s egalitarianism—that it does not consider the race, nationality, or language of people, only whether they have submitted to Islam by becoming Muslims or not—adding, “because the entire world is for Allah.”
He agreed, pointing out that various Koran verses say that whoever says Jesus is the son of God (that is, Allah) or that he is God is an infidel (see Koran 5:73 and 5:17).
To clarify the point to those children unable to understand all this “theological” talk, the cleric made the sign of the cross, saying “Christians are they who do this.”
He then moved on to the Alawites, the Shia sect of President Bashar Assad, and called on the children to slaughter anyone belonging to them—making a knife-slitting motion with his hand across his neck—because they too are infidels.
The sheikh further told the children in attendance that what they are being taught in schools—that Christians and Alawites are their “brothers” and they are all one nation—is false and a lie against Islam. This would be a reference to the highly divisive Islamic doctrine of loyalty and enmity, which commands Muslims to hate all non-Muslims—even if they are married to them.
As for the school text books that the boys are taught from—which he said teach all Syrians to treat each other as “brothers” and as “one nation,” regardless of religion—these he called “poisonous,” since “these teachings contradict the law [Sharia] of Allah.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry, continuing a furious pace of shuttle diplomacy aimed at securing an elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal by the spring, was due in Israel on Thursday in an effort to get the two sides to forge a “framework agreement,” which would outline particulars of a permanent status accord.
Palestinian officials briefed on talks last week between Kerry and Abbas said the US is aiming for a framework agreement by the end of January and have asked them to accept a change in the timetable of upcoming releases of Palestinian prisoners by Israel.