Martin here, with a second, time-sensitive news update on the rapidly unfolding events in Syria, Iraq and the entire region — plus an analysis of what it means to investors like you.
But fair warning: This will be a hard column for some to read. DO NOT continue if you are easily offended or have a weak constitution.
DATELINE — BAGHDAD, IRAQ: While the world’s eyes are focused elsewhere, the world’s most brutal terrorist army since Genghis Khan is now bearing down on the ultimate prize — Baghdad.
Baghdad, one of the largest metropolitan centers in the Arab world, with millions people, with tens of thousands of Americans and other foreigners, and with Iraq’s largest military bases and arms depots.
Baghdad, formerly the capital of the powerful Abbasid Caliphate, a major cultural, commercial and intellectual center of the ancient Islamic world.
Baghdad, the successor of Babylon, one of the world’s first civilizations.
Baghdad, the next target of the mad, rampaging hordes from ISIS!
Late last week, ISIS had already penetrated the perimeters of the city, closing in on Baghdad’s international airport, the main gateway to Iraq used by military personnel, diplomats and business people from all over the world.
Over the weekend, they penetrated into the city even further.
And in the days ahead, it’s likely they will target the Green Zone (now called “International Zone”) — the nearly 4-square-mile, heavily-fortified enclave that houses Iraqi, U.S., British, French and other government officials and diplomats.
Baghdad citizens are terrified. Many are fleeing. The U.S. Embassy is advising citizens’ leaders to leave before the situation grows more dangerous; a tacit admission that ISIS could take the capital.
Pray for Baghdad, its millions residents and the hundreds of U.S. personnel stationed there.
DATELINE — KOBANI, SYRIA: The main reason few have paid attention to the ISIS attacks on Baghdad is because nearly the entire world has been focused on the imminent fall of Kobani, the Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border.
A week ago, I warned you about a likely massacre there, long before most had even heard of this town. Plus, I warned it was shaping up to be a shocking defeat for the U.S.-led coalition of over 60 countries and groups.
Now, U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura agrees. When it falls, he says, “thousands will mostly likely be massacred,” much like we witnessed during the 1995 massacre of Srebrenica, Bosnia, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II — all while U.N. peacekeepers stood by, virtually helpless.
This means that the U.S.-led coalition forces bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria are on the verge of a massive, horrifying defeat.
In fact, in a thinly-veiled attempt to pre-empt politically fatal criticism, coalition leaders, including President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry were already admitting the inevitability of that defeat BEFORE the town was more than one-third lost.
Pray for Kobani and those who remain among its 400,000 former residents.
DATELINE — ANBAR PROVINCE, IRAQ: Despite coalition air strikes — and despite the efforts of the Iraqi military and Sunni fighters — ISIS now controls 80 percent of this massive province, bigger than the states of New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
According to Iraq’s Minister of Electricity, Qassim Al-Fahdawi, the fall of Ramadi “their pathway to Baghdad” is next.
And according to the Washington Post …
“Islamic State fighters are threatening to overrun Iraq’s Anbar province … giving the militants control of one of the country’s most important dams and several large army installations, potentially adding to their abundant stockpile of weapons. It would also allow them to establish a supply line from Syria almost to Baghdad and give them a valuable position from which to launch attacks on the Iraqi capital.”
|Mistura has urged Turkey to allow in volunteers to Syria to defend the town from Islamic State militants.|
For the tortured, horrified residents of Fallujah, a major city of Anbar province, this is not new — ISIS captured the city over nine months ago, at a time when most people outside of the region didn’t even know ISIS existed.
And less than two weeks ago, ISIS released photos of its attacks on Camp Saqlawiyah near Fallujah plus its massacre of hundreds of Iraqi troops there.
Another 300 Iraqi defenders died in an ISIS chlorine gas attack.
At least 170 women have been raped by ISIS in the province. Married women are told their marriages are invalid under the “true Islam,” and they are given to ISIS soldiers as sex slaves to reward them for their “bravery.” Unmarried women and girls are sold to the highest bidders in street auctions.
Pray for Fallujah, its 327,000 residents and for all of Anbar Province, with its nearly two million people.
Why ISIS Is the Greatest Threat to Mankind
In the History of Modern Civilization
The world knows all about terrorist organizations and extremist militias: Al Qaeda, which downed twin towers in the world’s largest financial center … Hezbollah and Hamas, which lob rockets randomly on civilian towns and cities … the Shiite Mahdi Army, which killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq’s civil war.
The world also knows all about rogue states — Iran, ruled by feudal mullahs who finance global terrorists and Syria, which bombs its own people with banned chemical weapons.
But this is the first time since the dark ages that mankind has seen a rogue state AND terrorist horde rolled into one — the first ever modern terrorist state with a well-equipped terrorist ARMY!
A terrorist state with 30,000 soldiers and millions of subjects …
A terrorist state that collects taxes and exports crude oil …
That targets every minority group for genocide …
That beheads innocent civilians from foreign lands, and …
That instantly transmits the gory images to the far corners of the earth.
A state so powerful that, in order to stop it, the world’s leading democracies find themselves fighting on the same side with the same terrorists (Hezbollah), the same Shiite militia that killed Americans (Mahdi Army) and the same two rogue states I just mentioned (Iran and Syria).
It’s a threat so frightening that even those terrorists and rogue states are said to be the “lesser of evils.”
One of the Greatest Migrations of
Wealth in the History of Money
In Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman and other Middle Eastern nations — including Israel — wealthy investors and institutions are increasingly desperate to get their assets to safety.
Meanwhile, wealthy investors in other world trouble spots — China, Hong Kong, Russia, Eastern Europe and the European Union — are following suit.
Much of that wealth is already coming here — to the world’s safest large haven. Much more is bound to follow.
Will it go mostly into cash and equivalents? For now, probably yes.
Will it also flow into stocks? Probably. That has been the pattern so far … and that’s the pattern we could see again.
But beware: This is money fleeing from danger. It is not looking for more risk. It will target almost exclusively the highest possible quality investments in the world today.
I think you should do the same.
Good luck and God bless!