Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
President Obama has now ordered his warplanes to bomb some ISIS Islamofascist loons off to a place where they get to meet 72 virgins. He is now off on a 2 week golfing holiday. If you think that this will save the Kurd oil plays in London - Genel (GENL) and Gulf Keystone (GKP) here is why you are wrong.
You need to think back to the last but one totally useless disaster of a Democrat to sit in the white house, the lamentable Jimmy Carter. He and his party were haunted by one event for many years – the capture of US hostages in Tehran. Carter tried a military option to get them out and it failed. The hostages only came back home when Jimmy had been replaced by the greatest President the US has ever known, Ronald Reagan.
It is not hostages that Obama fears. For ISIS makes the mad mullahs of Iran seem like cappuccino sipping, Guardian reading liberal pussies. What Obama dreads in the last years of his Presidency is having it defined by images of young Americans being crucified or beheaded by ISIS. If that happens no-one will remember the Nobel peace prize he won for bringing peace to Iraq (LMFAO) it will be those images that come to define his Presidency as it was images of the Tehran hostages that now define Carter’s shambolic period of maladministration.
And what that tells you is that while there are 800 US military personnel in Erbil right now securing the embassy etc., if the Kurd capital is really threatened those folks are on the first choppers to Turkey. And the chances of US soldiers being sent in on the ground are just nil.
The much vaunted Kurd army, the Peshmerga, has proved pretty weak in the face of ISIS which appears well trained ( by whom, we will cover later) and is well armed with captured Iraqi army kit and is clearly the most motivated bunch of nutters in the region. Air intervention alone may not tilt the balance.
What the intervention of the Great Satan will do is act as an almighty recruiting sergeant for ISIS. Like it or not there are radicalised young men and women from Muslin communities stretching from Poplar in East London through Gaza and across the Middle East and North Africa who last week were flying the ISIS flag. They have seen all the awful pictures of war crimes but that has not repelled them it has attracted them to ISIS. And now that America is bombing ISIS in the minds of such young men and women, ISIS looks even more attractive. Just look at the outpourings in the past 24 hours on social media – Obama is providing a recruitment bonanza for ISIS. As each picture of US bombings goes out on CNN more and more young Muslims will be making the trek to the secure ISIS basis in Syria to sign up. Martyrdom does not alarm them at all.
The great and saintly libertarian Dr Ron Paul has warned for decades about “blowback” – when we in the West meddle in the affairs of another country we are never thanked and it comes back to bit us badly in the end. It always does.
Saddam Hussein was a bad man but generally he tolerated minorities (okay he did try to wipe out the Marsh Arabs and used nasty weapons on the Kurds) but Iraq was stable. The war criminals Blair and Bush lied about Saddam having Weapons of Mass Destruction and launched an illegal war. We created the Iraq of today. And we have compounded that by funding, arming and training anti Assad forces in Syria including guess who, yup some of those nutters now fighting for ISIS.
Just as the West gave money and training and weapons to Osama Bin Laden in 1980 so helping create Al Qaeda with our intervention, in Iraq we not provided fertile ground for ISIS but helped plant the ISIS seeds as well.
The humanitarian response now should be to offer the Iraqi Christians and the poor Yazidi, asylum in Turkey, the Russian controlled southern Republics and the EU and US. That should be the moral response. It is what Israel did when the Jews of Ethiopia were threatened in this way and in proportionate terms this operation would be smaller. Thereafter we should just pull out and allow the mess to sort itself out. And for what it is worth we should demonstrate to the Moslem world that we are better than ISIS by being prepared to put our own former leaders on trial for the war crime of starting an illegal war. Yes Tony Blair I refer to you.
If ISIS continues to expand west it will eventually encounter one military machine that will knock it for six. Perhaps, at that stage, Hamas loving Western liberals will be forced to regard Israel in the same way they regarded Vlad the Impaler in the 1450s – not a nice fellow but at least he kept the Turks out of Vienna.
But that is all for the future. For now ISIS appears to be retreating back to Mosul from the former frontline 25 kilometres from Erbil and 75 kilometres from the oil installations of Gulf and Genel. There is nothing to stop ISIS bypassing the capital and heading direct for the oilfields. The frontline has only moved by 50 kilometres and that is nothing.
Equally there is no guarantee that even with US air support the Kurds can save their own capital. ISIS has retreated for a while. Obama will stop bombing and then they will then have another go. Who knows? The first US bombs killed 45 ISIS fighters. They probably served to prompt several times that number to leave the slums of Gaza, Cairo, Poplar and elsewhere to sign up.
At some stage – I know not when but it could be next week or next year – there is every chance that Gulf and Genel will have to announce that “personnel have temporarily been withdrawn” from the region. That is why shares in both companies are clear sells. The political Armageddon risk is just not factored in.
And it is a political Armageddon situation that we in the West created and will only make worse in anything other than the short term with our current course of action.
Tom Winnifrith has just published his new e-book, The 49 Golden Rules of Making Money from oil, gas and mining shares. You can buy it on Amazon for £6.25 or you can order a FREE copy HERE
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