World Watch Today

Oil Fear-Saudi Arabia

Steven LeBlanc

Video streaming by Ustream

Saudi Arabia is in trouble, but this does not mean the collapse of the nation is imminent; yet major problems regarding oil will impact the House of Saud in the next few years. Of course trouble in Saudi Arabia will mean trouble for the whole world since Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s biggest producers of oil. Most importantly, Saudi Arabia is the world’s “swing producer,” balancing international oil demand and supply. The Saudis keep several million barrels per day (bpd) of idle capacity on hand for emergencies such as a war in the Middle East or trouble out of Nigeria (one of the world’s biggest oil producers).

The world’s biggest crude exporter will most likely become an oil importer in the next 20 years, according to Citigroup Inc. Economic growth in the country means the Saudis are using more oil. But a larger problem weighs upon the leadership of the nation: The population of Saudi Arabia has swelled—in 1972 the country had 6 million citizens, today the nation has 28 million Saudis.

As the nation grows the country uses more and more oil. A huge amount of oil money is given by the government to citizens to buttress Arabia’s “welfare” state. When protestors demonstrated in support of the ‘Arab Spring’ King Abdullah pacified the crowds with increased payrolls and unemployment handouts (130 billion dollars worth). This calmed the crowds—but even Saudi Arabia has only so much oil money to give out. You cannot buy off the citizens forever.

The Bible tells us that a likely Islamic power will eventually provoke a European power to move into the Middle East thus occupying much of Israel and surrounding Arab nations (Daniel 11:40-44). We keep our eyes on the countries that produce oil and consume the commodity in large quantities because oil may be used as a weapon along with other tactics that “pushes” or provokes this European Beast power to move its headquarters into the Middle East. Here we are told that “the king of the South” will push against “the King of the North”—this pushing (provocation) will cause the Beast power to invade the Middle East where “many countries will be overthrown.”

The world is so heavily dependent on oil and petroleum products—oil is bound to figure into the dynamics of nation against nation as prophesied in Matthew 24:7. Keep your eye on Saudi Arabia!

China's First aircraft carrier enters service

The Liaoning was named after a province in north-eastern China

China’s first aircraft carrier has entered into service, the defence ministry says. The 300m (990ft) Liaoning – named after the province where it was refitted – is a refurbished Soviet ship purchased from Ukraine. For now the carrier has no operational aircraft and will be used for training.

But China says the vessel, which has undergone extensive sea trials, will increase its capacity to defend state interests. The commissioning of China’s first aircraft carrier – the Liaoning (a former Soviet vessel, the Varyag) – sends a signal to other countries in the region that Beijing’s maritime ambitions are growing.

The fact that this comes at a time of heightened tensions in the East China Sea only underlines the message. But China’s new carrier is more a symbol of a future capability than a potent naval threat itself.

The delivery of the aircraft carrier comes at a time when Japan and other countries in the region have expressed concern at China’s growing naval strength. China and Japan are embroiled in a row over disputed islands in the East China Sea.Several South-east Asian nations are also at odds with China over overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea.

It also comes weeks ahead of a party congress expected to see the transition of power to a new generation of Chinese leaders. The country’s Communist leaders are spending billions modernising their armed forces so they can project military power far beyond China’s borders.

The Liaoning, formerly known as the Varyag, was constructed in the 1980s for the Soviet navy but was never completed. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the Varyag sat in Ukraine’s dockyards. A Chinese company with links to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) bought the ship just as Soviet warships were being cut for scrap.

The world’s carriers

• US: 11 in service, with 3 under construction
• Russia: One, the Admiral Kuznetsov
• UK: One, HMS Illustrious which only carries helicopters – two under construction
• China: One, the Liaoning
• France: One, the Charles de Gaulle
• India: One, the Viraat, formerly known as HMS Hermes, but converting another, the Admiral Gorshkov, into the Vikramaditya. A third is under construction
• Italy: Two, the Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Cavour
• Spain: One, the Principe De Asturias

It said it wanted to turn the Varyag into a floating casino in Macau and in 2001 the ship was towed to China. The Chinese military confirmed in June 2011 that it was being refitted to serve as the nation’s first aircraft carrier.

Analysts say it will take years to outfit the carrier with aircraft and make it fully operational. But Chinese officials say that the Liaoning advances the country’s military modernisation. The carrier will be mostly used “for scientific research and training missions” so China could build “a more advanced aircraft carrier platform in the future”, he added.

Aircraft carriers are a representation of a nation’s power. China is a military power that will threaten to change the world’s geopolitical balance—another problem for America to worry about.

Iran Cyber Attacks America and Saudi Arabia

Steven LeBlanc

Iran is attacking computer systems in the U.S. —Leon Panetta, U.S. Secretary of Defense implied such. He went on to say that America was at risk of a “cyber-Pearl Harbor”. Mr. Panetta said the attacks were probably the most devastating to ever hit the private sector.

In Saudi Arabia, more than 30,000 computers were paralyzed by the attack on the Saudi state oil company ARAMCO. Ras Gas was impacted in Qatar. It is believed that Iran was behind these attacks. Understand that Saudi Arabia fears an Iran that may go nuclear—the two are long time rivals in the Middle East.

Without a doubt there is a cyber-war that is escalating between the U.S. and Iran (and Israel). Iran believes America and Israel were responsible for the destructive virus Stuxnet that caused serious damage at Iran’s nuclear plants in Natanz and Bushehr.

A war between America and Iran has been in play for some months now—a cyber war. Without question it can be said that tensions are rising, not diminishing. Wars & rumors of war (Matthew 24:6), applies here; it looks like we are getting closer to an eventual war: will that war take place; we wait and watch.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to the U.N.

Steven LeBlanc

For those of you who have not seen the latest speech delivered by Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel you may view the video below:

America Plays the Fool in the Middle East

Steven LeBlanc

Jeremiah chapter 3:1 reveals that Israel & Judah played the harlot with many lovers—‘lovers’ is a reference to nations. Following the example of ancient Israel, America looks to please many nations around the world, including countries in the Arab world. But this strategy is not working—we are hated by millions of people in the Middle East. A popular German Daily comments on our relationships with these Arab nations. The Newspaper Die Welt voiced this opinion recently:

“US President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy is in ruins. Like no president before him, he tried to win over the Arab world. After some initial hesitation, he came out clearly on the side of the democratic revolutions. … In this context, he must accept the fact that he has snubbed old close allies such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian military. And now parts of the freed societies are turning against the country which helped bring them into being. Anti-Americanism in the Arab world has even increased to levels greater than in the Bush era. It’s a bitter outcome for Obama.”

“Obama was naive to believe that one only needed to adopt a new tone and show more respect in order to dispel deep-seated reservations about the free world. In practice, the policies of the Obama administration in the region were not as naive as they may have seemed at times, and the Americans have always been much more involved in the Middle East than the passive Europeans. But Washington has provided the image of a distracted superpower in the process of decline to the societies there. This image of weakness is being exploited by Salafists and al-Qaida, who are active in North Africa from Somalia to Mali.”

“One thing is clear: If jihadists believe they can attack American installations and kill an ambassador on the anniversary of Sept. 11, then America’s deterrent power has declined considerably. For a superpower, it is not enough just to want to be loved. You have to scare the bad guys to keep them in check.”

God should be our source of strength and help—not foreign alliances. The fruit of paying Arab nations such as Egypt large amounts of money (1.6 billion per year) to “love” us is foolish.

America is repeating the same patterns of ridiculous international behavior that ancient Israel and Judah engaged in centuries ago. Israel’s sins included making alliances and treaties with other nations. God wanted His people to rely on Him, and not put their trust in relationships with other countries. Hosea 8:9, God speaking to the tribe of Ephraim (leading tribe of the Northern Kingdom) says, For they have gone up to Assyria, a wild donkey wandering alone; Ephraim has hired lovers—remember ‘lovers’ is metaphor for nations.

But even though the fruit is bad, America continues to give aid to Middle East nations that seek to work against our interests.

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