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Follow the Money

 
The Corporate/State seeks Empire above all else

War is always about achieving a political end. Even holy wars seek to impose a secular control over the vanquished. At the root of every political conflict, lies the MONEY component. On the scale of greed or fear, international discords can slide up or down. Depending on the circumstances or demands, governments rally domestic populations to accept their foreign interventionist goals. Claims of altruistic liberation are fictitious, when the rhetoric is stripped away and the real substance is exposed. Notwithstanding, variances of emphasis; the motive of money underpins the movements of all military confrontations.

The case that the conquest of Iraq is about appropriating control over oil reserves is well known. The argument that removing Saddam Hussein for a friendly regime change will enhance the adherence of global community policies, secure and annex a ‘greater Israel’ and project the power of the empire into the region, has been circulated widely. The excuses of a “War on Terrorism”, elimination of WMD, combating radical Islamics, fulfilling prophecy and personal grudges between feuding criminal families and former business partners, have been known to all. But the one aspect that seems to elude the scrutiny of most observers is that of the precarious nature of the global economy, which teeters on the fragile requirement that the US Dollar must remain as the world reserve currency.

OPEC always priced oil in US Dollars. In the perceptive essay, The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq by W Clark, the thesis that a shift using the EURO as the settlement currency, drives the Bush/Cheney administration hydrocarbons geo-strategy.

"The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 82 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)

"The real reason the Bush administration wants a puppet government in Iraq -- or more importantly, the reason why the corporate-military-industrial network conglomerate wants a puppet government in Iraq -- is so that it will revert back to a dollar standard and stay that way." (While also hoping to veto any wider OPEC momentum towards the euro, especially from Iran -- the 2nd largest OPEC producer who is actively discussing a switch to euros for its oil exports)."

The effect of an OPEC switch to the euro would be that oil-consuming nations would have to flush dollars out of their (central bank) reserve funds and replace these with euros. The dollar would crash anywhere from 20-40% in value and the consequences would be those one could expect from any currency collapse and massive inflation (think Argentina currency crisis, for example). You'd have foreign funds stream out of the U.S. stock markets and dollar denominated assets, there'd surely be a run on the banks much like the 1930s, the current account deficit would become unserviceable, the budget deficit would go into default, and so on. Your basic 3rd world economic crisis scenario.

A U.K. article by Hazel Henderson, is cited that outlines the likely consequences of the displacement of the US Dollar (translate: federal reserve counterfeit species) as the reserve currency.

1. US global over-reach in the `war on terrorism' already leading to deficits as far as the eye can see -- combined with historically-high US trade deficits -- lead to a further run on the dollar. This and the stock market doldrums make the US less attractive to the world's capital.

2. More developing countries follow the lead of Venezuela and China in diversifying their currency reserves away from dollars and balanced with euros. Such a shift in dollar-euro holdings in Latin America and Asia could keep the dollar and euro close to parity.

3. OPEC could act on some of its internal discussions and decide (after concerted buying of euros in the open market) to announce at a future meeting in Vienna that OPEC's oil will be re-denominated in euros, or even a new oil-backed currency of their own. A US attack on Iraq sends oil to  40 (euros) per barrel.

4. The Bush Administration's efforts to control the domestic political agenda backfires. Damage over the intelligence failures prior to 9/11 and warnings of imminent new terrorist attacks precipitate a further stock market slide.

5. All efforts by Democrats and the 57% of the US public to shift energy policy toward renewables, efficiency, standards, higher gas taxes, etc. are blocked by the Bush Administration and its fossil fuel industry supporters. Thus, the USA remains vulnerable to energy supply and price shocks.

6. The EU recognizes its own economic and political power as the euro rises further and becomes the world's other reserve currency. The G-8 pegs the euro and dollar into a trading band -- removing these two powerful currencies from speculators trading screens (a "win-win" for everyone!). Tony Blair persuades Brits of this larger reason for the UK to join the euro.

7. Developing countries lacking dollars or "hard" currencies follow Venezuela's lead and begin bartering their undervalued commodities directly with each other in computerized swaps and counter trade deals. President Chavez has inked 13 such country barter deals on its oil, e.g., with Cuba in exchange for Cuban health paramedics who are setting up clinics in rural Venezuelan villages.

What is missing in this excellent analysis is that the nature of fractional reserve debt created money, requires ever growing liability and increasing deficits. There is a limit when higher taxes become unsustainable. However, the clock never stops on the interest payments needed to retire previous bond obligations and service ever higher levels of future obligations. And just wait when interest rates rise to reflect real market risks! Remember all those projections of imaginary surpluses? This is not a partisan issue between party factions. It is a systemic quandary, created by design.

The box that the world economy has been placed into requires a repudiation of this sham cycle founded upon the viscous and unforgiving disposition of compound interest. The consequences for disciplining rogue countries who dare stray from the dictates of the IMF, World Bank and the WTO, are visible with each explosion of every JDAM bomb. Even in victory, the pyrrhic character of temporary relief, offers but a fleeting reprieve to acquire that villa in Tuscany.

The Clark essay is significant and should not be ignored. Currency speculation and exchange rate conversions, carry with them such huge transactional volume. Entire economies rise or fall on pegging their relative value, against the surreal and contrived evaluations for the US Dollar. Oil paid in the EURO is more of a serious threat to the reign of the dollar than all those mythical WMD that Saddam will use. Nevertheless, don’t be naive and conclude that it is in our own personal best interest to protect the reserve currency status of the dollar. Quite to the contrary, as more Western Hemisphere countries adopt the US Dollar, the adverse impact upon our own net worth, is magnified.

The inevitable fall of the US Dollar is unavoidable, when the charade can no longer be cloaked with smoke and mirrors or tolerable foreign adventures. At that point the calls for a single world currency, administered through a solitary clearing house and autarchic central bank, will be offered as the answer for economic stability. Thus, the ultimate transfer and expropriation of individual wealth will be achieved. The world runs on money, not oil. Those who control it and require legal tender laws, rule the economic and political order. You will come to learn this lesson, no matter what currency you use . . .

SARTRE - April 4, 2003

The ability to go beyond the simplistic sentiment that anger generates, is an attribute that is in short supply. For those who are determined to get to the source of the current hostilities, a practical approach needs to be employed. As with most violent conflicts, the popular explanation, seldom tells the whole story. Basic human motivations are not restricted to clerics or politicians, but are also imbedded into the fabric of economic commerce.

Greed and Fear are the two great motivators. The American public are preoccupied with the later, while the shapers of world events are focused on the former. Viewing affairs from the microcosm of popular media interpretation is as dangerous as flashing a box cutter while going through airport security.

Underneath the images and tearful reporting lies the real story. Power politics always walks on the dark side, but when it is played on the international arena, it takes on a truly macabre quality. Casts of characters change costumes as the script is performed, while the playwright worries that improvisation will detour from the scenario.

Enter stage right the Chinese dragon. The Russian bear is lowered from the cupola, while Uncle Sam flies in for the engagement. Minor actors have bit parts, but the stars are the center of acclaim for the paying audience. The show will go on, as we all break a leg . . .

Four short months ago the Shanghai Cooperation Organization met to formulate the future of Central Asia. Russia's and China's goal was to thwart the growing influence and design of the U.S. within the region. Prior to 911, significant American military aid was granted to the triplet republics, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Why at this time, with relative accord among the major nations? Could there be a secret agenda that is being hidden from the public?

Robert Karniol, the Asian Editor for Jane's Defense Weekly states: "The rivalry in central Asia is really between the United States and Russia, but I see China and the Russians joining forces against U.S. Foreign Policy on an ad hoc basis."

Mutual alarm about the rise of Islamic unrest has long plagued these two Communist rivals. But with the collapse of the Soviet regime and the emergence of China as the manufacturer for America, there has been a distinct move to retire past feuds. The Chinese have trained there own Muslim force to enter the fray against radical Islam. DEBKAfile reports that fifteen Chinese were killed when fighting on the side of the Taliban. Pakistani sources in Peshawar confirm from their own intelligence reports, their presence and death during recent bombing raids. So why are the Chinese on the side of the fundamental Taliban? Could it be that the Sino giant is more concerned that the U.S. desires Central Asia as a new province?

Might this also explain Bush's new warm friendship with Vladimir Putin! As they ride into the glow of that Texas sunset, when the Russia Czar visits Crawford; what will they be talking about? Maybe George the First, would like to join in and compare notes with another 'Intelligence Community' alumni?

Current governments in Central Asia are eager to accept all the money that is offered, not only to fend off the threat of fundamental radicals, but see a great opportunity to reap benefits from their own natural resources. Oil is still King, especially when the present monarch in the Saudi sands is riding a camel that is traveling on shaky ground. Surely, we need a replacement source for the black gold, if bin Laden returns to his former homeland in a 'Lawrence of Arabia' kafiyyeh . . .

American oil companies are always anxious to locate in any remote corner of the world to drill their prize. Haven't heard much about Anwar lately, have you? Now that the call 'March to Afghanistan' is in full motion, it is not much of a detour to visit the Transcaucasus. Why not, if you have the protection of the U.S. Cavalry and the blessing of 'Mother Russia'.

Strange bedfellows and shifting interests are the only constants in this equation. The one permanent objective is to keep the big money machine in continual motion. Whether it is attending the Moscow Ballet, walking on the Great Wall, or sipping martinis on the banks of the Baghdad on the Hudson. Just maybe the true power players have decided to cut out those quarrelsome sheiks. Where is John Paul Getty when you really need him?

Terrorism is the only topic of the day. The actual story has elements that are going unreported. Money RULES ! Nothing new has been learned in the aftermath of the WTC. Reasons to vindicate financial objectives are often cloaked in clandestine methods and used to point the finger at an accepted villain. If you really believe that the entire story is about a madman living in a cave, you deserve to pay double the price for your gas.

Time to wake up! You are acting like one of those children who accepted that dime from John D. Rockefeller. You don't have to be a cynic to view the world as it is, but you need to have the courage to become a realist. When will the public begin to grow up?

SARTRE - October 23, 2001

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