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Tue, 06 Dec 2022
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Eleven years after overthrowing Gaddafi, UK finally gets its hands on Libya's oil

oil and gas platform Libya
© Antonio Sempere via Getty
An oil and gas platform off the coast of Libya.
Last month Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) agreed for BP to start drilling for and producing natural gas in a major project off the coast of the north African country.

The UK corporation, on whose board sits former MI6 chief Sir John Sawers, controls exploration areas in Libya equivalent to nearly three times the size of Wales.

British officials have long sought to profit from oil in Libya, which contains 48 billion barrels of reserves - the largest oil resources in Africa, accounting for 3% of the world total.

BP is one of the few foreign oil and gas companies with exploration and production licences in Libya. Its assets there were nationalised by Muammar Gaddafi soon after he seized power in a 1969 coup that challenged the entire British position in the country and region.

Bulb

Germany has no alternatives to Russian gas - MP

natural gas
© Getty Images / NurPhoto / Contributor
Germany still has no way of completely replacing Russian natural gas, even after reaching a supply agreement with Qatar, the chairman of the Bundestag committee on energy, Klaus Ernst, warned on Tuesday.

A long-term energy agreement was announced earlier in the day, under which the Gulf state will ship up to two million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year to Germany, starting from 2026. The deal will reportedly last at least 15 years.

"The federal government celebrates its LNG deal with Qatar and boasts big numbers. The fact is, these two million tons of LNG correspond to three percent of German gas consumption. There are still no real alternatives to Russian gas!" the politician from The Left party wrote on Twitter.

Vader

'Is Washington Our Ally or Not?': EU Officials Accuse US of Profiteering Off Ukraine Crisis

g20 meeting indonesia meeting
© AFP / Saul Loeb
International leaders gather to hold an emergency meeting to discuss a missile strike on Polish territory near the border with Ukraine, on the side line of the G20 leaders' summit in Nusa Dua, on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on November 16, 2022.
The allegations come as temperatures across Europe continue to drop, and amid the bombshell revelation by former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week that the UK's European allies recognized the economic fallout which would accompany a long Russia-Ukraine conflict, and sought its speedy resolution in the spring.

European Union officials and diplomats have accused Washington of profiteering off the Ukraine crisis via energy and weapons sales, and warned that the mood is shifting against the US among its allies on the other side of the Atlantic.

"The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the US because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons," one senior European official told a German-owned media group on condition.

Comment: The Empire is cannibalizing itself in one last, wheezing gasp. The craven leaders of the EU have only themselves to blame for the mess they find themselves in. But then, they have no interest in the welfare of those they rule over.


Toys

UK kicks China out of nuclear plant project, costing taxpayers £700 million

Hinkley Point nuclear power station site

Hinkley Point nuclear power station site
The UK government is removing China General Nuclear (CGN) from the Sizewell C project in what will be the first direct state funding of a new nuclear power plant in the country in over three decades, according to a statement from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

"The UK government's investment in Sizewell C will support the project's continued development ... The investment also allows for China General Nuclear's exit from the project," the department said on Tuesday.

Comment: Because China and its multipolar partners pose a threat to US domination, the UK have kicked out one of the world's foremost manufacturers, that also has an impressive track record for getting infrastructure projects completed both on time and, often, to an exceptionally high standard. The same cannot be said of the UK

This, whilst an energy crisis is rupturing West, with the UK threatening rolling blackouts come winter:


Calendar

Putin now regards Minsk agreements as 'mistake', suggests Ukraine war could last for years

Putin
© RIA/Maxim Blinov
President Putin views a model of the Transport Interchange Hub at the mouth of the Shosha River in Zavidovo in the Tver Region RIA/Maxim Blinov
Most likely, the fighting will continue into 2023, and quite probably beyond, until either Moscow or Kiev is exhausted, or one side claims a decisive victory

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin commented, during a meeting with soldiers' mothers, that he now regards the Minsk agreements of 2014 and 2015 as a mistake. This concession was stark in the context of the possibility of peace negotiations to end the fighting in Ukraine.

It is worth remembering that in 2014, Putin acted on a mandate from the Russian parliament to use military force "in Ukraine," not just in Crimea. In fact, Moscow did save the cities of Donetsk and Lugansk from being overrun by Kiev's army, and defeated Ukraine's forces, but rather than clearing the whole region of Donbass, Russia stopped, and agreed to a cease-fire brokered in Minsk by Germany and France.

Comment: The Russians made it clear before now that this war will go on for most of 2023.


Bizarro Earth

The Four Fuckeries

3 frogs
© blog.buildllc.com
Like frogs in boiling water...
"We want to save the planet, and the life upon it, but we're not willing to pay the price and bear the consequences. So we make up a narrative that feels good and run with it."
— Raul Ilargi Meier
I doubt there is another era in the history of Western Civ when the forces in-motion acting on society were so mystifying to those acted upon. And isn't it especially galling that this is so in an age after rational scientific practice had decoded so many of nature's secrets? Did that project somehow fail in the end? Has the Enlightenment been defeated? How have we become trapped like frogs being boiled haplessly in our own pond-water?

I have reduced these forces to four obvious streams of the sheerest seemingly evil fuckery, which is to say nefariously managed events meant to harm us. They are surely all related in some way. Let's try to de-mystify them to understand what we're up against.

First: Covid-19. How is it that we don't know for sure how this organism came into the world, or understand what ensued after it did? Answer: the people who caused it to happen in the Wuhan lab have been busy covering their asses for three years, and successfully so. Yet we know exactly what Anthony Fauci, Francis Collins, Peter Daszak, Ralph Baric and others did. The paper trail in correspondence and patents alone is clear. We just can't seem to do anything about it.

Target

EU moves to equate sanctions evasion with terrorism

Buildingflag
© Comply Advantage/KJN
The EU has taken the first step toward making sanctions violations a bloc-wide crime on the same level as terrorism, human trafficking, and organized crime. On Monday, the European Council unanimously voted to add "violation of restrictive measures" to its list of "EU crimes" that carry universal penalties across all member states.

The move is meant to seal off any loopholes in member states' individual interpretations of the anti-Russian sanctions packages adopted since the start of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine in February. Czech Minister of Justice Pavel Blazek praised the European Council's decision as "an essential tool to ensure any attempts to circumvent [the EU's sanctions against Russia] will be stopped."

To ensure uniform obedience to EU sanctions across all member states, the European Commission must next propose minimum rules defining criminal offenses and penalties relating to the violation of restrictive measures, according to a European Council press release. That directive will then be discussed and subsequently adopted by both the European Council and the European Parliament.

Newspaper

New York Times leads media call for Biden to drop Assange charges

Assange poster
© AP/Alberto Pezzali
Protesters call for the release of Julian Assange in London, Britain, October 8, 2022
Prosecuting the WikiLeaks founder sets a "dangerous precedent," according to a group of prominent Western newspapers

Five major news outlets, including the New York Times, have called on the Biden administration to drop charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Obtaining and publishing "sensitive information," they wrote, "is a core part of the daily work of journalists."

The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, and El Pais all published details from diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks in 2010. These documents revealed that the US spied on its allies, undercounted civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and waged a secret war in Yemen.

Assange has been detained in the UK since 2019, and is currently held in a maximum-security prison awaiting extradition to the US, where he is facing charges of espionage related to the publication of these cables, as well as a trove of documents alleging US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The outlets wrote on Monday:
"This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America's first amendment and the freedom of the press. Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists. If that work is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.

"Twelve years after the publication of 'Cablegate', it is time for the US government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets."

Comment: Not often MSM does a splashy U-turn...why now? Why collectively?


Eye 1

CBDC: How Covid Became the Path to Global Financial Surveillance

CBDC
© coingeek
Central Bank Digital Currency
"Who controls the food supply controls the people;
who controls the energy can control whole continents;
who controls money can control the world."
— Henry Kissinger

It's seemed evident for a while that the current fiat monetary system is, at best, unstable. At worst, it's a Ponzi scheme whose time has expired. If that's the case, I suspect the central bankers and 0.1% know this and might be prepared to usher in the new system before the old one collapses on itself - even as they loot it on the way down with the most significant wealth transfer in human history.

To anyone who pays attention to these trends, it seems evident that Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) will be that new system.

Every indication is that CBDC's arrival is imminent. Yesterday, several global banks announced a partnership with the NY Federal Reserve to pilot digital dollars. Given the ubiquity of credit/debit cards, payment apps, and other online payment systems, digital money has been bound to happen for some time. The risk isn't the electronic part, that's inevitable - it's the fact that a central bank will oversee the digital currency.

Stop

Defiance at the G20: 'World Order Z' and the birth of a Wider Political 'Movement'

roadblocks
© Unknown
Roadblocks refuse passage to US military convoys on the way to and from Kurdish protége allies manned by Syrian and Russian forces.
The western 'Iran containment mechanism' (known as the JCPOA) paradoxically was 'holed on the rocks' of US Senate dysfunctionality and obstruction.

Recall the origin of the G20? The G7 had winnowed down to represent a very narrow slice of the financialised élite economy -- whilst the global 'things' economy had grown to outsize the monetarised western one. Obama wanted to pull in more of these 'other' economies under the US' skirt and into its 'regulatory parameters', and so the G7 became the G20.

At bottom, it was, and is, all about actuating a US-led economic 'coalition of the willing', versus a non-compliant (and sanctioned) rest of the world: i.e. about bringing a large slice of the world to conceding the 'Washington Consensus' tutelage.

But, this spectacularly did not happen at Bali.

Well, not only did the G7 fail to get the wider G20 to condemn Russia over Ukraine, or to insert a wedge between China and Russia, but rather, the Manichean offensive targeting Russia produced something even more significant for the Middle East than the paralysis and lack of tangible results, described by the media.

It produced open defiance of the western order. It spurred pushback.