The article first published in americanthinker.com on 11/17/2017. The dramatic events in Saudi Arabia of the past few days portend a game change in the Middle East not seen in decades. Predictably, the mainstream media, desperate as they are to find something, anything to blame on Trump, have completely missed it. Instead, they have babbled about the market implications of the arrests of Prince Alwaleed and Co, Saudi Arabia ‘emerging’ as an arms manufacturer, conflict with Hezbollah, palace intrigue etc. etc. Few have put their finger on the actual events – a palace revolution in Ryadh that could change the Middle East in profound and possibly positive ways. For the logic of what’s taking place in the House of Saud is a revolt against the medieval obscurantism that has been the
The two crude oil pricing benchmarks around the world are the Brent price and the West Texas Intermediate or WTI price. The two benchmark oil trade in the futures market and attract tremendous hedging, investment, and speculative interest. Brent crude oil is the preferred pricing mechanism for around two-thirds of the world’s crude oil while WTI is the benchmark for the other third. WTI is sweeter crude, meaning it has a lower sulfur level and is more appropriate for gasoline production in the refining process. Brent’s characteristics made it easier and cheaper as an input for the refining of diesel fuels and other distillates. Meanwhile, Brent and WTI are benchmarks, and while oil production all over the world may use them for pricing purposes, there are many discounts and
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The question as to whether the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is a terrorist organization is being discussed at length in the public domain. Analysts became interested in the problem after President Trump recently stated that he was giving consideration as to whether to propose that the IRGC is added to the list of recognized terrorist organizations by the United States. For this to happen there must be clear evidence of terrorist activities performed by the organization in other countries. Meanwhile, experts are divided in their assessment of whether it would have positive consequences, if it were to happen. Some of the main issues that engage public opinion are: What is the Revolutionary Guard Corps? In what military operations have its members and leaders been involved? Is there