American Scholar of Russian Studies Stephen Cohen: NATO games in Ukraine bring world 5 minutes before nuclear midnight
In a thought provoking interview on RT, with renound American scholar of Russian studies Stephen Cohen, who is also a professor at New York University and Princeton discusses where the war in eastern Ukraine may lead.
It has now been six months into this roiling conflict that began back in April of this year which has displaced over 1 million people and taken nearly 4,000 lives in the region.
The West and Russia can’t seem to get over their differences, with the tensions between Washington and the Kremlin changing the stakes for the whole world. How far would this confrontation go? Is there another Cold War coming? And finally, will the world once again know the horror of a Nuclear War looming over humanity? RT’s Sophie&Co today asked Stephen Cohen these questions on Friday, October 10th, 2014.
Can The Eurozone Weather the Financial Storm?
By Ryan Matthew Dernick
As the Eurozone continues to teeter at the edge of the precipice of an artificialized debt cliff, one can only wonder if the 100billion dollar
bailout that Spain just received actually will help them. Spain now joins Greece, Ireland and Portugal as the fourth EU country to ask for a bailout. So far, the EU and IMF have doled out over 500 billion euros to shore up debt-stricken member states.
Will the systemic present state of the Eurozone improve? So far it doesn’t seem promising, because June is the fifth consecutive month activity across the 17-nation bloc has declined, dragging down heavyweights Germany and France and likely increasing calls for the European Central Bank to take action to support the economy. Collapsing banks are not the worry in Germany but inflation of currency could hit Angela Merkel’s country moving German’s to invest in real estate.
In Europe’s most economically stricken countries, people are taking their money out of their banks as a way to protect their savings from the continent’s growing financial turmoil. Concerned that their savings could be devalued by a Bank Holiday, or that banks are on the verge of collapse and that governments cannot make good on deposit insurance, people in Greece, Spain and beyond are taking their money out of the Banks by the billions.
The looming fears of Greece exiting from the euro zone relaxed after pro-bailout parties loyal to the banks took weekend elections, though risks are increasing with Spain, the euro zone’s fourth-largest economy, will need a full blown international rescue.
An unfolding two-and-a-half year old crisis has slowed the global economy, and world leaders meeting in Mexico pressed on the euro zone to move towards a fiscal and banking union to fix the crisis that now threatens to overtake Spain.
In Europe, the United States and elsewhere we need to break the walls of ignorance and liberate “We the People” from a selfishly myopic selected few. Is it the purported Too Big to Go to Jail or is it Too Big to Fail? Similar to the ratcheting up of proposed austerity measures through bailouts in the Eurozone.
Lets not forget Jon Corzine White House Economic Adviser, former Governor of New Jersey and CEO of once M.F. Global a sub investment banking company of Jamie Dimon‘s JP Morgan. Corzine lost 1.4 billion dollars of peoples money from their segregated accounts late last year then Dimon lost almost 3 billion recently this year when the credit markets were supposedly stable. Both were met with questioning but nothing resulted from any questioning.
It would be economically prudent to reinstate The Glass Steagall Act here in the U.S., which was put in place by Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the last Great Depression in the early 20th Century to stop banks from insider trading via derivatives but was then reversed by the Clinton Administration in 1999 prior to the 2008 onset of the present recession. Is this irony or another global corporate takeover? This is not a partisan issue, or a national issue but a global issue that traverses any and all political ideologies. There needs to be more transparency on behalf of the international banking community and actual consequences for malfeasant banking practices.
E.U. Oil Embargo Increases Economic Pressure on Iran
By: Ryan Matthew Dernick
The European Union will soon discontinue purchases of Iranian oil two weeks from July 1st. China, India, Japan and South Korea are under increasing geopolitical pressures from the Unites States to stop buying Iran’s oil. As of today Iran’s global oil exports are down 20%.
Between the previous barrage of sanctions brought upon Iran in regards to its ongoing nuclear ambitions and the slow clamping off of its oil exportation the Persian country is becoming economically cornered.Iran’s leaders have said they can weather this international pressure despite the difficulties imposed on them already.
Iran has purportedly shut off the G.P.S. systems on their oil tankers to hide their movements, which leads some analysts fearful of possible under the radar smuggling of their crude. Once the European boycott is initiated Iranian exports could very well be cut in half. There is an ever growing fear from the global market community that once the E.U. oil embargo is actualized upon Iran there will be a marked spike in oil prices. The reason for the worrisome speculation is that Iran usually exports 2.2million barrels of oil per day and is already down 600,000 barrels from that.
Muhammad Sahimi is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and holds the NIOC Chair in petroleum engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. On this perceived worry he says,
” There are other oil producers very eager to fill the void in oil demand. Saudi Arabia, Angola, Iraq and more recently Libya have been increasing their oil production and they will be able to compensate for the amount of oil Iran will lose in exports.”
With the growing scrutiny upon Iran, European firms have stopped selling insurance on Iranian oil. This is becoming a pivotal factor in further stymieing Iran’s oil exports.
David Goldwyn former State Department Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs in reference to that factor says ” The denial of insurance to a tanker fleet is the most effective tool that we have because it does not require countries to do anything it just shuts off the access to the trade.”
As the sanctions continue to fly upon Iran only time will tell the eventual outcome from this E.U. oil embargo being firmly set in place.
International Sanctions and Tensions Rise in Light of Iranian Missile Tests
By Ryan Matthew Dernick
Israel and Washington accused Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says “our nuclear program is a peaceful drive to generate electricity so that the world’s fourth-largest oil producer can export more of its gas and crude.”
In a statement released by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad he insists that the nuclear ambitions of his country are for purely peaceful purposes. Iranian Army Chief said in a public statement to the United States this past Monday during the Iranian Missile Tests in the Strait of Hormuz saying ” That the U.S. should not bring its aircraft carriers into the Gulf again.” The Iranian Army Chief goes on to say we are not in the business of warning America more than once.”
Iran has been conducting a barrage of naval drills in the Gulf in recent days including test-firing several missiles. These exercises were held near the Strait of Hormuz, through which around 20% or 1/6th of the world’s traded oil supply passes.
Tehran said on Monday that “mock exercises on shutting the strait had been carried out, although there was no intention of closing it.”
The U.N. Security Council has already brought four successions of sanctions against Iran for refusing to halt its uranium enrichment ventures. Enriched uranium can be converted into nuclear weapons grade fissile material.
“These are the kinds of steps that we would like to see not just from our close allies and partners in places like Europe but from countries around the world”, according to US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
These sanctions include a ban on the supply of heavy weaponry and nuclear-related technology to Iran, a block on Iranian arms exports, and an asset freeze on key individuals and companies.
Sanctions against Iran Up to This Point
- Longstanding ban on all trade with Iran except for activities “intended to benefit the Iranian people”
- New sanctions against foreign firms dealing with Iran’s oil sector and central bank
- Restrictions on trade in equipment which could be used for uranium enrichment
- Asset freeze on individuals and organisations linked with nuclear programme
- Export ban on natural gas technology
- Ban on sales of heavy weaponry and nuclear technology to Iran
- Iranian arms exports blocked, and asset freeze for key individuals and firms
- Cargo inspections to detect and stop Iran’s acquisition of illicit materials