Dedicated to John Kerry, who we use to call the Lanky Yankee when he stood on the platform for peace against the war in Vietnam.
A linkage came to mind today. You may consider this a major rubber band yet stay with this premise – cement and Al-Jazeera are pieces in the globalization model of foreign policies so beyond us schmucks our teenie weanie blip on the radar is invisible.
First Query: Why doesn’t the 34-year old Emir of Qatar cut a deal with al-Sisi to release the Al-Jazeera journalists instead of Egypt’s junta going to trial next week? Qatar can afford it. Egypt’s banking establishment is on life support fed by Saudi Arabia and UAE.
First Query Answer: Qatar took part in the armed intervention in Libya and actively supports rebels trying to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The gas rich kingdom has major global investments, including the French football club Paris Saint-Germain, hotels, a resort on the Italian island of Sardinia, and stakes in Volkswagen, along with the energy giant Total and Britain’s Barclays Bank.
The Gulf state Qatar also controls a powerful media empire through Al-Jazeera, the first pan-Arab satellite channel, which additionally broadcasts in English, and in January 2013 bought struggling US cable channel Current TV (from Al Gore) in preparation for the launch of Al-Jazeera America.
The Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 complicated Qatar-Egypt’s relationship: it brought to the fore the Muslim Brotherhood, long championed by Qatar as the answer to the Arab world’s socio-economic miseries yet despised by other Gulf Arabs as religious radicals.
The anti-Brotherhood UAE, home to around 380,000 Egyptian expatriates, and a major Arab investor in Egypt, withheld billions of dollars in aid after the 2011 overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, a close ally of most Gulf Arab states.
Qatar was a firm supporter of Morsi, lending or giving Egypt $7.5 billion in aid in his year in power and also promising billions of dollars of investment.
Billions of those aid dollars have now either been returned or cancelled by the new al-Sisi Egyptian army-backed government.
Some of those pledges had already materialized during Morsi’s tenure, with Qatar National Bank, the Middle East’s largest lender by assets, agreeing to buy the Egypt business Societe Generale for $2 billion last year. Societe Generale is its own lengthy story yet this purchase by Qatar of its Egyptian holding is because this is the largest private bank in Egypt.
But after Morsi’s removal, Egypt returned the $2 billion Qatar had deposited with its central bank in late 2012, after talks to convert the funds into three-year bonds broke down.
Stir this into the batter = Naguib Sawiris’s (guy who backed the Tamarod movement to overthrow Morsi, and one of the richest men in Africa) investment in North Korean cellular provider Koryolink (yep North, not South) is why the Canadian govt. turned down Sawiris’s proposal to invest in mobile services in Canada.
Egypt also returned a $500 million deposit to Qatar at the start of November after Qatar refused to renew it upon its maturity, a central bank official said. The bank returned a further $500 million in early December.
Are you still following my rendition of the global monopoly game?
Egyptian authorities also refused a Qatari request to raise the number of flights between the two states, according to Egyptian airport sources, in a further sign of tension, and your basic smack in the face, Arab style.
Banking sources aware of the matter said Qatar Petroleum had backed out of talks to buy German utility RWE’s oil and gas unit DEA because of the latter’s significant presence in Egypt. Egyptian assets make up about 10 percent of DEA’s likely value of between 4 and 5 billion euros including debt in any transaction. The bowl is wiped and the dough ready to be rolled and massaged.
Al-Jazeera is today persona non grata in Egypt. The junta govt. only allows its own media outlets, and none others. Plus people awash in economic, political, and societal upheaval take solace watching boob tube soup operas than have to think if the smews (one of my made up words) being forced fed by the junta is anywhere close to being accurate.
Over these months I hope you have realized how complicated the Egypt circumstance is and much of what I report is never popular or read unless you follow my timeline.
Second Query: Why doesn’t the Australia govt. step up to the plate for Peter Griese, award winning newsman, Al-Jazeera guy? Along with his Egyptian team they are set for trial in Egypt saddled with a stream of false accusations.
Second Query Answer: TPP is driving the bus.
Another consideration, what does this have to do with America?: Qatar is the largest provider of LPG (propane) gas in the world – shipping to United Kingdom, America, and Asia. Recent LGP projects were developed in partnership with ExxoMobil, Total, ConocoPhillips, Shell, and Mitsui.
Roll the dice for the next move around the monopoly board.
Obama and his handlers are hell bent for leather (no matter what he says about environmental protection) to insure America is no longer dependent on the Arab states for dirty oil. Solar and wind energy mega projects aside the US economy needs the flow of heavy and light crude via the Keystone Pipeline. Now, the real deal is this dirty oil will be seriously consumed by energy oinkers like cement manufacturers in South Texas.
Concrete is the single most widely used material in the world – and it has a carbon footprint to match.
Concrete production contributes 5 per cent of annual anthropogenic global CO2 production, mainly because such vast quantities are used. Humans have used concrete for millennia – its basic ingredients date back to ancient Egypt. CO2 is a product of the main reaction that makes cement – concrete’s key ingredient.
Note where Egypt is on the world list (see graphic below) in 2011. As of 2014, it is no longer on the list. A sidebar: See where Iran is listed so the deals afoot with Iran maybe touted it is ALL about Iran’s nukes yet the fear is Iran will turn off the spigot for dirty oil and for cement – a double whammy with immense negative economic impact.
Global monopoly by mega nationals financing political policies and the hotels, refineries, the chemicals, minerals, dirty oil, petro-based goods, and cement are the yoke around our skinny human necks.
The TPP is a proposed trade agreement (now there is a stretch) under negotiation by (as of August 2013) Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. These geo-political states surround the Pacific Ocean and every single one of these countries is a depository for emerging natural resources and/or a major consumerist society.
To be continued.