The truth behind the Iraq war

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The truth behind the Iraq war

Postby Qutb » Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:01 pm

Lawrence Shoup is "co-author of Imperial Brain Trust: the Council on Foreign Relations and U.S. Foreign Policy (with William Minter) published in 1977 by Monthly Review Press." <br><br>I think <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Oct2004/shoup1004.html" target="top">this</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> article of his, written just before the invasion of Iraq, is incredibly important and required reading for anyone who is interested in knowing why the US and Great Britain chose to invade Iraq - or at least what forces were behind it. <br><br>Many theories have been proposed to explain this seemingly irrational decision. None of the official reasons made any sense at the time, and they make even less sense now that we know Saddam didn't even have a weapons program. And most theories are variations over Seymour Hersh's assertions that <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>we've been taken over by a cult</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->. <br><br>To an extent, that is true. Dick Cheney is probably the most powerful veep ever. Around him, he's assembled a clique of militaristic hawks and believers in an imperial executive branch, and this secretive team has sidestepped and bullied the US Congress in a way that is unprecedented (but of course reminiscent of the fascist disdain for the "talking club" of parliamentarian politics). <br><br>This clique is known as the neo-conservatives. Some of them are said to have "dual loyalties", presumably dividing their loyalty equally between the United States and a certain foreign country. Be that as it may (though I think it's naive to think that these people have much in the way of "loyalty" to anything but their own personal career, power and fortune, and by extension class interests). The supposed dual loyalty of some well-placed decision-makers didn't bring the world's most powerful nation into the Iraqi quagmire. To think that it did exposes a slightly naive understanding about the nature of power in the United States and the world. <br><br>I'm bringing this up now because it's important to understand this, and not be sidetracked by red herrings. It wasn't the neo-cons. It wasn't PNAC. It wasn't even the Republicans. It certainly wasn't the "Zionists". Sure, the PNAC (which is to say, the AEI) advocated an invasion of Iraq at an earlier date than others, and several of its members came to occupy key positions in the Bush administration. But the decision doesn't seem to have been made until a broader consensus had developed within the American foreign policy elite <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>as a whole</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, that this was something that "needed" to be done. This consensus had been reached at the very latest by March 2002, and I imagine quite some time before that.<br><br>It's comforting to think that it's just a rogue clique, but that's not the case. <br><br>And whose interests does the American foreign policy establishment represent? Quoting Shoup, some of the benefactors of the Council on Foreign Relations in recent years have been...<br><br>ABC, AOL Time Warner, American Express, Aramco, ATT, British Petroleum, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Chevron Texaco, Citigroup, Corning, Deutsche Bank AG, Exxon Mobil, Federal Express, J.P. Morgan Chase, Lockheed Martin, Metropolitan Life Insurance, Morgan Stanley, Nike, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Prudential Financial, Shell Oil, Sony, Toyota, UBS PaineWebber, Verizon Communications, and Xerox.<br><br>The big corporations, and behind them, the international ruling class of mega-shareholders and CEOs. To borrow a quote from another thread, "It's not quite the Illuminati, but it's bad enough".<br><br>Not only the big American corporations either, there's Japanese Sony and Toyota, German Deutsche Bank, Saudi Arabian Aramco... but of course, what's a "Japanese" or "American" corporation today?<br><br>Incidentally, many of the same corporations also finance the American Enterprise Institute (and thus, PNAC).<br><br>From the article:<br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Although not a well-known organization, and only occasionally mentioned in the media, the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has been prominent in behind-the-scenes foreign policy formation in the U.S. for over three quarters of a century. The CFR is the publisher of Foreign Affairs, which calls itself “the most influential periodical in print.” But the Council is much more important than that. In the words of Council members Marvin and Bernard Kalb, the CFR is “an extremely influential private group that is sometimes called the real State Department.” Richard J. Barnet, another Council member, stated that membership in the organization could be considered “a rite of passage for an aspiring national security manager.” <br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The importance of the Council stems from its role as the central link that binds the capitalist upper class and its most important financial and multinational corporations, think tanks, and foundations to academic experts in leading (mainly eastern) universities, and government policy formulation and execution. The CFR’s goals are to continuously work out the general framework for American foreign policy and to keep public debate within “respectable” bounds, that is, acceptable to the corporate power structure and the wealthy upper class it serves.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <br><br>Through its financing, leadership, and membership, the Council is close to the largest multinational and blue chip corporations, including big oil companies, industrials, life insurance companies, law firms, and investment and commercial banks.<br><br>(...)<br><br>The leadership and membership of the CFR includes corporate leaders like David Rockefeller, Peter G. Peterson, and Douglas Dillon, as well as key government leaders from both major parties past and present. Its 4,075 members (64 percent from New York and Washington, DC) pay as much as $2,600 a year as dues (less depending upon age, place of residence, and business status) and become members only after being approved by the Council Board of Directors. The CFR calls itself “nonpartisan” but the correct word is bipartisan; it has a large representation from both major parties. There are many members from current and past Administrations and Congress. <br><br>(...)<br><br>A final source of Council influence is its Studies and Publications program. The Studies Program is the CFR’s think tank, where strategic medium and long term foreign policy planning is conducted and the challenges of crisis situations aggressively faced. A number of Study Groups, Roundtables, and Forums are continuously in operation at the CFR New York headquarters, groups which bring together members to focus on a key issue, nation, or part of the world under the leadership of one of the Council staff (which now includes over 100 scholars). The purpose of these studies is to influence both government and wider publics. The studies program is scholarship at the service of corporate interests, bringing together business and government leaders with leading academics, as well as a smaller representation from foundations, think tanks, and leading media. After extensive study and discussion, a consensus is usually reached and an article for Foreign Affairs or a full length Council on Foreign Relations book is produced. The article or book represents the views of the author, but it is widely and correctly understood to result largely from the efforts and thinking of the entire group. The CFR has dealt with crisis situations such as World War II and the post Vietnam War period by setting up an expanded set of special study groups. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>For example, the Council established the War and Peace Studies Program in 1939 to plan for United States involvement in the war and to set out the war aims and type of post war world for which the U.S. should be fighting. The 1980’s Project was set up in the mid 1970s to plan for and create the current neoliberal world system we now have</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->. <br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The terrorism on September 11, 2002 resulted in a new burst of CFR activity to plan yet another “new world order.” The Studies Program since 9/11 has had as a central focus “America’s Response to Terrorism,” consisting of 14 Roundtables headed by 12 Council Fellows. One of these was the Henry A. Kissinger Roundtable on Terrorism, directed by Kenneth M. Pollack, the CFR’s Olin Senior Fellow and Director National Security Studies. In the months after September 11, Pollack and other CFR scholars wrote a total of 10 books, 20 major journal articles, about 100 op-ed articles in major national and international newspapers, made over 1,000 appearances as commentators on radio and TV shows, testified before Congress, and gave briefings to key governmental officials, including, in the words of the CFR Annual Report, special briefings for “members of President Bush’s inner circle.”</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> With day-to-day foreign policy largely in the hands of Council members Condoleezza Rice (National Security Adviser), Colin Powell (Secretary of State), Dick Cheney (Vice President), Paul Wolfowitz (Undersecretary of Defense), George Tenet (CIA head), and John D. Negroponte (United Nations Representative), the CFR has undoubtedly had a warm reception for its views. <br><br>(...)<br><br>The CFR’s Drive for a War on Iraq <br><br>The “Next Stop Baghdad?” article by Kenneth M. Pollack appeared in the March/April 2002 issue of Foreign Affairs. As mentioned above, Pollack was at the time the Council’s Olin Senior Fellow and Director of National Security Studies, directing a CFR Roundtable on Terrorism and America’s response. An expert on Iraq, Iran, and the Persian Gulf, <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Pollack is a Yale and MIT graduate who has worked for the CIA, the National Security Council under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and has also been a research professor at the National Defense University</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->. An expanded version of the “Next Stop Baghdad?” article was published in October 2002 by Random House as a Council on Foreign Relations book entitled The Threatening Storm. A review of the book in the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs called it “...exceptionally thoughtful. If any book can shape the current thinking on Iraq, this one will assuredly be it.” <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Pollack’s blunt conclusion in both the article and book is, “The United States should invade Iraq, eliminate the present regime, and pave the way for a successor...”</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <br><br>(...)<br><br>Given the close interlocks of personnel between the CFR and the U.S. government and the bipartisan nature of the Council, it should come as no surprise that CFR views are clearly reflected both in the Bush administration’s foreign policies and the policy positions taken by leading Democrats in Congress. Democratic Party leaders in the House and Senate, a number of them also members of the Council (for example Gephardt, Kerry, Graham, Lieberman, Dodd), have generally supported the Republican foreign policy agenda and most Democratic Senators voted for authorizing President Bush to go to war preemptively against Iraq at his own discretion. As of early January 2003, the current Democratic presidential candidates are almost all pro-war. As mentioned above, key members of Bush’s own foreign policy team (Powell, Rice, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Tenet, Negroponte) are also members of the CFR and are actively planning the military and diplomatic aspects of a war on Iraq. <br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The animating vision for the CFR/Bush administration’s foreign policy is for a global empire/Pax Americana, extending the existing policing of the world role to becoming hegemon as well</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->. This view is reflected in the September 2002 Bush administration document “National Security Strategy of the United States.” This official document discounts the importance of a variety of international treaties, including nuclear nonproliferation, in favor of unilateral U.S. actions under the doctrine of “counter-proliferation,” meaning missile defense and preemptive attacks on countries perceived to be a threat to the United States. Containment, deterrence, and building an international architecture of treaties, alliances, and agreements, key aspects of U.S. policy for five decades, are now largely dead. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The words of the document follow the Council ideas on pre-emptive attacks discussed above: “We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting pre- emptively...[including] convincing or compelling states to accept their sovereign responsibilities.” The result is that the United States is on the verge of starting a major war as the aggressor.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <br><br>(more)<br><br><hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The truth behind the Iraq war

Postby StarmanSkye » Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:53 pm

Great post -- This is a VERY important key to understanding the process whereby a consensus that reflects corporate/power elite interests is hammered-out on US Foreign Policy, and how the Attack Iraq project was carefully nurtured and its resulting meme injected into the body politic.<br><br>"But the decision doesn't seem to have been made until a broader consensus had developed within the American foreign policy elite as a whole, that this was something that "needed" to be done. <br>...<br>"A review of the book in the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs called it “...exceptionally thoughtful. If any book can shape the current thinking on Iraq, this one will assuredly be it.” Pollack’s blunt conclusion in both the article and book is, “The United States should invade Iraq, eliminate the present regime, and pave the way for a successor...” <br><br>In other words, bringing the public around to accomodating the invasion agenda that had already been decided upon by those representing the primary war-profiteers and their clients.<br>Aka, Manufacturing consent.<br><br>How in the world can the larger public be awakened to what is essentially a total subversion of representative democracy <br>-- as this process of formulating public and foreign policy excludes participation by most of the public, and arguably doesn't even reflect their real interests? Once the moral imperative of National Security and American interests re: a given policy is premised, then even media manipulation and un-official duplicity and disinfo (including false provocations and made-up 'facts') become legitimized as 'necessary' -- and so we have the slippery slope of cherry-picking intel, and fixing facts around the policy, and the whole host of lies used to make war inevitable.<br><br>Now, I'm troubled by much of the American public already being innoculated to accept the 'inevitability' of a US nuclear-strike on Iran, for all the worst WRONG reasons (since the biggest blight and terror threat and actual 'enemy' are well-within the camp -- having infiltrated the highest public offices).<br><br>Starman <p></p><i></i>
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Re: And if I might make....

Postby slimmouse » Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:00 pm

<br><br> And if I might make a loose affiliation with the stated aims of "Al Quaeda" based upon the article posted by Nomo concerning Osama ;<br><br> Is there actually any fundamental difference between each of these objectives ? <p></p><i></i>
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Iran so far away

Postby Byrne » Thu Mar 02, 2006 11:43 am

I remain of the opinion that the War in Iraq (the imminent <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=KEE20060210&articleId=1936" target="top">action</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> in Iran, and all recent warmongering & <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.globalpolicy.org/nations/sovereign/dollar/2003/0624euro.htm" target="top">threats of warmongering</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> by the US) was as a result of the threat to the US Dollar as a global transaction currency.<br><br>The Council on Foreign Relations is a powerful forum where such discussions/decisions such as <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>'What is in the Best Interest of the US</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->' are debated & then channelled into action through US government/military foreign policy, but the article by Shoup does not state <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>WHY</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> the Iraq War was carried out, i.e. what was the threat that necessitated such a massive action by the US&Co???<br><br>We know now of the extent of the <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>Consent</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> that was <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>manufactured</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> and assuaged by (the media's reaction to) 9/11, Osama Bin Bogeyman, Iraq's non-existant WMD's etc. etc., but to be clear, the reason <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>WHY</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> we are still on this long road of aggressive US foreign policy is for the maintenance of the US Dollar hegemony (despite the <br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20050301facomment84201/david-h-levey-stuart-s-brown/the-overstretch-myth.html" target="top">declarations to the contrary by the CFR </a><!--EZCODE LINK END-->).<br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html" target="top">This article</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> explains the reasoning behind the IRAQ war. As far as I can see, it is the same reasoning explains the<!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.energybulletin.net/7707.html" target="top">threat</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> now being posed by Iran - the Iranian Oil Bourse, scheduled to open up on 20th March 2006. This is a significant world financial issue, but <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=iran+oil+bourse&btnG=Google+Search&meta=" target="top">search</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> for information & all you will get is 'alternative news' media stories - no mainstream stories. The MSM KNOW the IOB won't happen, because they've been told it won't be <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>allowed</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> to happen, because military action (or some other orchestration) will prevent it. <br><br>But the ante is getting higher -Iran is not going to be anything like the 'pushover' that Iraq was, No Siree.<br><br>The recently published report <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk/publications/briefings/IranConsequences.htm" target="top">Iran: Consequences of a War</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> by the Oxford research group concludes: <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>"A military response to the current crisis is a particularly dangerous option and should not be considered further. Alternative approaches must be sought, however difficult these may be."</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>In a similar briefing before the invasion of <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Iraq</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> in 2003, the Oxford group <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>predicted that Saddam Hussein's regime could easily be overwhelmed but that the country would become a hotbed of insurgency</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--></strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->.<br> <p></p><i></i>
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goodbye Empire or goodbye Iran?

Postby Trifecta » Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:44 pm

The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse<br>by Krassimir Petrov <br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.energybulletin.net/12125.html">www.energybulletin.net/12125.html</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>RELATED NEWS:<br>Peak America – Is Our Time Up?... <br><br>The US military oil consumption... <br><br>How to deceive friends and influence people: Oil crisis lies... <br><br>Trading oil in euros – does it matter?... <br><br>Let me kill off once and for all the Iranian oil bourse story... <br> <br>I. Economics of Empires<br><br>A nation-state taxes its own citizens, while an empire taxes other nation-states. The history of empires, from Greek and Roman, to Ottoman and British, teaches that the economic foundation of every single empire is the taxation of other nations. The imperial ability to tax has always rested on a better and stronger economy, and as a consequence, a better and stronger military. One part of the subject taxes went to improve the living standards of the empire; the other part went to strengthen the military dominance necessary to enforce the collection of those taxes.<br><br>Historically, taxing the subject state has been in various forms—usually gold and silver, where those were considered money, but also slaves, soldiers, crops, cattle, or other agricultural and natural resources, whatever economic goods the empire demanded and the subject-state could deliver. Historically, imperial taxation has always been direct: the subject state handed over the economic goods directly to the empire. <br><br>For the first time in history, in the twentieth century, America was able to tax the world indirectly, through inflation. It did not enforce the direct payment of taxes like all of its predecessor empires did, but distributed instead its own fiat currency, the U.S. Dollar, to other nations in exchange for goods with the intended consequence of inflating and devaluing those dollars and paying back later each dollar with less economic goods—the difference capturing the U.S. imperial tax. Here is how this happened.<br><br>Early in the 20th century, the U.S. economy began to dominate the world economy. The U.S. dollar was tied to gold, so that the value of the dollar neither increased, nor decreased, but remained the same amount of gold. The Great Depression, with its preceding inflation from 1921 to 1929 and its subsequent ballooning government deficits, had substantially increased the amount of currency in circulation, and thus rendered the backing of U.S. dollars by gold impossible. This led Roosevelt to decouple the dollar from gold in 1932. Up to this point, the U.S. may have well dominated the world economy, but from an economic point of view, it was not an empire. The fixed value of the dollar did not allow the Americans to extract economic benefits from other countries by supplying them with dollars convertible to gold.<br><br>Economically, the American Empire was born with Bretton Woods in 1945. The U.S. dollar was not fully convertible to gold, but was made convertible to gold only to foreign governments. This established the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. It was possible, because during WWII, the United States had supplied its allies with provisions, demanding gold as payment, thus accumulating significant portion of the world’s gold. An Empire would not have been possible if, following the Bretton Woods arrangement, the dollar supply was kept limited and within the availability of gold, so as to fully exchange back dollars for gold. However, the guns-and-butter policy of the 1960’s was an imperial one: the dollar supply was relentlessly increased to finance Vietnam and LBJ’s Great Society. Most of those dollars were handed over to foreigners in exchange for economic goods, without the prospect of buying them back at the same value. The increase in dollar holdings of foreigners via persistent U.S. trade deficits was tantamount to a tax—the classical inflation tax that a country imposes on its own citizens, this time around an inflation tax that U.S. imposed on rest of the world.<br><br>When in 1970-1971 foreigners demanded payment for their dollars in gold, The U.S. Government defaulted on its payment on August 15, 1971. While the popular spin told the story of “severing the link between the dollar and gold”, in reality the denial to pay back in gold was an act of bankruptcy by the U.S. Government. Essentially, the U.S. declared itself an Empire. It had extracted an enormous amount of economic goods from the rest of the world, with no intention or ability to return those goods, and the world was powerless to respond— the world was taxed and it could not do anything about it. <br><br>From that point on, to sustain the American Empire and to continue to tax the rest of the world, the United States had to force the world to continue to accept ever-depreciating dollars in exchange for economic goods and to have the world hold more and more of those depreciating dollars. It had to give the world an economic reason to hold them, and that reason was oil. <br><br>In 1971, as it became clearer and clearer that the U.S Government would not be able to buy back its dollars in gold, it made in 1972-73 an iron-clad arrangement with Saudi Arabia to support the power of the House of Saud in exchange for accepting only U.S. dollars for its oil. The rest of OPEC was to follow suit and also accept only dollars. Because the world had to buy oil from the Arab oil countries, it had the reason to hold dollars as payment for oil. Because the world needed ever increasing quantities of oil at ever increasing oil prices, the world’s demand for dollars could only increase. Even though dollars could no longer be exchanged for gold, they were now exchangeable for oil. <br><br>The economic essence of this arrangement was that the dollar was now backed by oil. As long as that was the case, the world had to accumulate increasing amounts of dollars, because they needed those dollars to buy oil. As long as the dollar was the only acceptable payment for oil, its dominance in the world was assured, and the American Empire could continue to tax the rest of the world. If, for any reason, the dollar lost its oil backing, the American Empire would cease to exist. Thus, Imperial survival dictated that oil be sold only for dollars. It also dictated that oil reserves were spread around various sovereign states that weren’t strong enough, politically or militarily, to demand payment for oil in something else. If someone demanded a different payment, he had to be convinced, either by political pressure or military means, to change his mind. <br><br>The man that actually did demand Euro for his oil was Saddam Hussein in 2000. At first, his demand was met with ridicule, later with neglect, but as it became clearer that he meant business, political pressure was exerted to change his mind. When other countries, like Iran, wanted payment in other currencies, most notably Euro and Yen, the danger to the dollar was clear and present, and a punitive action was in order. Bush’s Shock-and-Awe in Iraq was not about Saddam’s nuclear capabilities, about defending human rights, about spreading democracy, or even about seizing oil fields; it was about defending the dollar, ergo the American Empire. It was about setting an example that anyone who demanded payment in currencies other than U.S. Dollars would be likewise punished.<br><br>Many have criticized Bush for staging the war in Iraq in order to seize Iraqi oil fields. However, those critics can’t explain why Bush would want to seize those fields—he could simply print dollars for nothing and use them to get all the oil in the world that he needs. He must have had some other reason to invade Iraq. <br><br>History teaches that an empire should go to war for one of two reasons: (1) to defend itself or (2) benefit from war; if not, as Paul Kennedy illustrates in his magisterial The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, a military overstretch will drain its economic resources and precipitate its collapse. Economically speaking, in order for an empire to initiate and conduct a war, its benefits must outweigh its military and social costs. Benefits from Iraqi oil fields are hardly worth the long-term, multi-year military cost. Instead, Bush must have went into Iraq to defend his Empire. Indeed, this is the case: two months after the United States invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food Program was terminated, the Iraqi Euro accounts were switched back to dollars, and oil was sold once again only for U.S. dollars. No longer could the world buy oil from Iraq with Euro. Global dollar supremacy was once again restored. Bush descended victoriously from a fighter jet and declared the mission accomplished—he had successfully defended the U.S. dollar, and thus the American Empire. <br><br><br>II. Iranian Oil Bourse<br><br>The Iranian government has finally developed the ultimate “nuclear” weapon that can swiftly destroy the financial system underpinning the American Empire. That weapon is the Iranian Oil Bourse slated to open in March 2006. It will be based on a euro-oil-trading mechanism that naturally implies payment for oil in Euro. In economic terms, this represents a much greater threat to the hegemony of the dollar than Saddam’s, because it will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euro to transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar altogether. If so, then it is likely that almost everyone will eagerly adopt this euro oil system:<br><br>· The Europeans will not have to buy and hold dollars in order to secure their payment for oil, but would instead pay with their own currencies. The adoption of the euro for oil transactions will provide the European currency with a reserve status that will benefit the European at the expense of the Americans.<br><br>· The Chinese and the Japanese will be especially eager to adopt the new exchange, because it will allow them to drastically lower their enormous dollar reserves and diversify with Euros, thus protecting themselves against the depreciation of the dollar. One portion of their dollars they will still want to hold onto; a second portion of their dollar holdings they may decide to dump outright; a third portion of their dollars they will decide to use up for future payments without replenishing those dollar holdings, but building up instead their euro reserves.<br><br>· The Russians have inherent economic interest in adopting the Euro – the bulk of their trade is with European countries, with oil-exporting countries, with China, and with Japan. Adoption of the Euro will immediately take care of the first two blocs, and will over time facilitate trade with China and Japan. Also, the Russians seemingly detest holding depreciating dollars, for they have recently found a new religion with gold. Russians have also revived their nationalism, and if embracing the Euro will stab the Americans, they will gladly do it and smugly watch the Americans bleed.<br><br>· The Arab oil-exporting countries will eagerly adopt the Euro as a means of diversifying against rising mountains of depreciating dollars. Just like the Russians, their trade is mostly with European countries, and therefore will prefer the European currency both for its stability and for avoiding currency risk, not to mention their jihad against the Infidel Enemy.<br><br>Only the British will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They have had a strategic partnership with the U.S. forever, but have also had their natural pull from Europe. So far, they have had many reasons to stick with the winner. However, when they see their century-old partner falling, will they firmly stand behind him or will they deliver the coup de grace? Still, we should not forget that currently the two leading oil exchanges are the New York’s NYMEX and the London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), even though both of them are effectively owned by the Americans. It seems more likely that the British will have to go down with the sinking ship, for otherwise they will be shooting themselves in the foot by hurting their own London IPE interests. It is here noteworthy that for all the rhetoric about the reasons for the surviving British Pound, the British most likely did not adopt the Euro namely because the Americans must have pressured them not to: otherwise the London IPE would have had to switch to Euros, thus mortally wounding the dollar and their strategic partner. <br><br>At any rate, no matter what the British decide, should the Iranian Oil Bourse accelerate, the interests that matter—those of Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Arabs—will eagerly adopt the Euro, thus sealing the fate of the dollar. Americans cannot allow this to happen, and if necessary, will use a vast array of strategies to halt or hobble the operation’s exchange:<br><br>· Sabotaging the Exchange—this could be a computer virus, network, communications, or server attack, various server security breaches, or a 9-11-type attack on main and backup facilities.<br><br>· Coup d’état—this is by far the best long-term strategy available to the Americans.<br><br>· Negotiating Acceptable Terms & Limitations—this is another excellent solution to the Americans. Of course, a government coup is clearly the preferred strategy, for it will ensure that the exchange does not operate at all and does not threaten American interests. However, if an attempted sabotage or coup d’etat fails, then negotiation is clearly the second-best available option.<br><br>· Joint U.N. War Resolution—this will be, no doubt, hard to secure given the interests of all other member-states of the Security Council. Feverish rhetoric about Iranians developing nuclear weapons undoubtedly serves to prepare this course of action.<br><br>· Unilateral Nuclear Strike—this is a terrible strategic choice for all the reasons associated with the next strategy, the Unilateral Total War. The Americans will likely use Israel to do their dirty nuclear job.<br><br>· Unilateral Total War—this is obviously the worst strategic choice. First, the U.S. military resources have been already depleted with two wars. Secondly, the Americans will further alienate other powerful nations. Third, major dollar-holding countries may decide to quietly retaliate by dumping their own mountains of dollars, thus preventing the U.S. from further financing its militant ambitions. Finally, Iran has strategic alliances with other powerful nations that may trigger their involvement in war; Iran reputedly has such alliance with China, India, and Russia, known as the Shanghai Cooperative Group, a.k.a. Shanghai Coop and a separate pact with Syria.<br><br>Whatever the strategic choice, from a purely economic point of view, should the Iranian Oil Bourse gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar. The collapsing dollar will dramatically accelerate U.S. inflation and will pressure upward U.S. long-term interest rates. At this point, the Fed will find itself between Scylla and Charybdis—between deflation and hyperinflation—it will be forced fast either to take its “classical medicine” by deflating, whereby it raises interest rates, thus inducing a major economic depression, a collapse in real estate, and an implosion in bond, stock, and derivative markets, with a total financial collapse, or alternatively, to take the Weimar way out by inflating, whereby it pegs the long-bond yield, raises the Helicopters and drowns the financial system in liquidity, bailing out numerous LTCMs and hyperinflating the economy. <br><br>The Austrian theory of money, credit, and business cycles teaches us that there is no in-between Scylla and Charybdis. Sooner or later, the monetary system must swing one way or the other, forcing the Fed to make its choice. No doubt, Commander-in-Chief Ben Bernanke, a renowned scholar of the Great Depression and an adept Black Hawk pilot, will choose inflation. Helicopter Ben, oblivious to Rothbard’s America’s Great Depression, has nonetheless mastered the lessons of the Great Depression and the annihilating power of deflations. The Maestro has taught him the panacea of every single financial problem—to inflate, come hell or high water. He has even taught the Japanese his own ingenious unconventional ways to battle the deflationary liquidity trap. Like his mentor, he has dreamed of battling a Kondratieff Winter. To avoid deflation, he will resort to the printing presses; he will recall all helicopters from the 800 overseas U.S. military bases; and, if necessary, he will monetize everything in sight. His ultimate accomplishment will be the hyperinflationary destruction of the American currency and from its ashes will rise the next reserve currency of the world—that barbarous relic called gold.<br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=osculuminfame@rigorousintuition>Osculum Infame</A> at: 3/2/06 9:44 am<br></i>
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Let me kill off once and for all the Iranian oil bourse stor

Postby Trifecta » Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:39 pm

Let me kill off once and for all the Iranian oil bourse story<br>by Jerome a Paris <br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.energybulletin.net/13192.html">www.energybulletin.net/13192.html</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>RELATED NEWS:<br>How to deceive friends and influence people: Oil crisis lies... <br><br>The Proposed Iranian Oil Bourse... <br><br>Trading oil in euros – does it matter?... <br><br>Environment - Feb 18... <br><br>Peak oil - Feb 23... <br> <br>Crazy scenarios involving Iran's purported attempts to create an oil bourse to start selling oil in euros make the rounds regularly, and even get recommended with alacrity on DKos.<br><br>These things WILL NOT HAPPEN, and we have, as a supposedly reality-based community, to focus on real issues and not imaginary ones.<br><br>So let me explain why an Iranian oil bourse will not work for the foreseeable future. I hope that this diary can be used as a handy reference when this crops up again in the future.<br><br>Here are some basic facts about what a "bourse" is:<br><br><br>it's a place for sellers and buyers for a given product to meet. So, as a seller, you want a place where buyers come and, as a buyer, you want a place where sellers come. It's a meeting point.<br><br>A meeting point is a form of conventional information, and one that is highly stable once established. People come to the market because they know that others will be there as well, and these are there for the same reason. <br><br>Once players have agreed to come to one place, it is simpler to come to that place than to try and organise a new place, which everybody must agree to and which all occasional players need to be informed of. Just like DKos is now THE main meeting place for the progressives, the existing oil bourses have an massive advantage over any new one in that they already exist. London has remained the main trading place for a surprising number of commodities despite the British Empire being long gone and the US having replaced it as the largest economy - simply because the infrastructure was there, and the people with the competences to play there were still around. <br><br>Windows is unassailable on desktops despite being obviously inferior in quality to some alternatives, simply because there is a real advantage for everybody to use a common standard, even if it imperfect. A bourse is a standard on where and how to trade. <br><br>There is no compelling reason to move from London or New-York to Iran to trade oil. Iran only has 5% of world production and is in no position to impose anything. Network effects paly massively against a switch.<br><br>it's a place that allows a price to be set for the transaction. That means that you want many buyers if you're a seller, and many sellers, if you are a buyer. It provides liquidity. <br><br>This is linked to the above point: liquidity exists when you have a deep market, i.e. many buyers and many sellers. That comes from having a place where everybody comes, and a place that everybody trusts because it works. "Don't fix it if it ain't broke" applies here. Again, this is a compelling argument against Iran. Iran can potentially act as a seller, but would will ensure that there are buyers on that particular market?<br><br><br>the other item related to price is that a bourse needs to provide a single price to act as a universal reference for everybody - a market standard, both in terms of the quality of the product, and the currency it is expressed in. This allows for historical data to be expressed consistently, and for market players to have useful references and background to do their trades. <br><br>For oil, that currency is and has always been dollar, as a widely stable, universally accepted monetary unit. There is no market and no liquidity in any other currency. It is at least conceivable that the euro could be used as it is similarly stable and acceptable to all, but it has no history as an oil trading currency, and thus market players would naturally convert any price in euro into a price in dollars to see what it means (try switching from degrees Celsius to Farhenheit or from centimeters to inches to know why this matters). Again, there would need to be an overwhelming reason to force all market players to make the switch (and to do it all at the same time), which Iran does not provide.<br><br>a bourse is a place that provides security for the transactions. Buyers know that they will get their purchase delivered, and sellers know that they will get paid in a timely fashion. It provides clearing mechanisms. <br><br>Do you expect other producers to rely on Iran to ensure timely payment of their sales? Do you intent to rely on Iran, an untested bourse, to be responsible for delivery by other parties?<br><br>it's a place that provides rules and enforcement of these rules for the proper functioning of the market, i.e all the above: who can participate, how prices are formed, how the clearing is organised, and how disputes are settled. It needs to be a neutral arbiter, uninvolved in the actual trading. <br><br>Again, this plays against Iran, who is too small a player to impose rules to all, but too big to be seen as a neutral player by other sellers. And do you really want to take the risk that the religious authorities in the background or any other Iranian politician come and start meddling with the ongoing trades?<br><br>as rules will ultimately be set by public authorities overseeing the bourse, and disputes will ultimately be decided by courts of that place, it needs a consistent regulatory and legal framework. <br><br>There's a reason why most commodity bourses are in Western countries. They provide the rule of law, a predictable set of rules, and a capacity to enforce these rules in an effective and market-neutral way. and they have a long track record of doing so. Iran? Not so much.<br><br>in today's world, a bourse is essentially a big IT operation, with systems able to provide complete market information to all participants in real times, treat operations as they are decided, and provide an unambiguous audit trail to all interested parties to a transaction.<br><br>Again, that requires a lot of specialised competences on the ground: programmers, developpers, consultants to install them, the specialist hardware providers, etc... all people that need some (or a lot) of understanding of what's going on in the market. That's highly specialised knowledge, which is, naturally concentrated in the few places that carry bourses, i.e. a few large cities in the West. Iran will be hard pressed to attract such people to Tehran or thereabouts.<br><br>finally, the oil bourse is only a small part of the trading that goes on around oil. Most of what takes place are financial transactions: spot sales, forward sales, swaps, various hedging instruments, short term financing, long term financings. All these transactions rely on the underlying oil market, and significantly expand it. If you take out the oil market, or change its rules, standards, references, clearing mechanisms and enforcers, you kill the associated financial markets, which are vital to the world economy and underpin a large chunk of our industrial activity and energy needs.<br><br>Do you really expect the financial markets to move to Tehran, which has neither the infrastructure, the competences, the legal framework or the stability to host them? Even a switch to the euro would need a massive reorganisation of the financial markets, which are exclusively geared to dollar transactions. This only amplifies the arguments made above about the sole oil market with respect to liquidity, standards and the like. And the legal and regulatory questions are even more important. Do you really want billions of euros of daily financial flows to be ultimately controlled by the Iranian Central Bank? It would basically take the outright destruction of the existing markets to provide any incentive to try to rebuild them differently, and Tehran would not be their first pick to do it...<br><br>:: ::<br>So, say that Iran decides to sell its oil in euros. Fine. Both the Iranians and their clients will determine the price for the transaction in dollars, on one of the established markets, and will trade these dollars for euros for the actual payment operation. It will give banks active on the forex markets a little bit of income, but will change nothing to how oil is traded.<br><br>If they open a bourse, who will come? The answer is, no one, unless it is nothing more than the new place to buy oil from them and the transaction, whether in euros or in any other currency, will be negotiated in dollars, using existing market standards expressed in dollars, because there is no way that anybody will be able to express and clear the transaction in any other way.<br>:: ::<br>So please, let's stop the fantasies, or the conspiracy theories about a switch to euros or a new bourse. If any transaction, whether by Saddam, the Iranians or anyone else is expressed in euros, it is purely cosmetic. The underlying market is in dollars, and will remain that way.<br><br>Those who poste these stories or push them are badly undermining their credibility and engaging in silly scaremongering.<br> <p></p><i></i>
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Kenneth M. Pollack

Postby albion » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:25 pm

Kenneth Pollack's book on Iraq was a big factor in moving public opinion, particularly the center and chunks of the liberal left, toward the conviction that war with Iraq was <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>necessary</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->. He's now taking a "mistakes were made" line on Iraq. Whatever, Ken.<br><br>His latest book on Iran, <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>The Persian Puzzle</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, instead of being deservedly laughed off the public stage after the last effort, is once again taking a leading role in defining the parameters of the mainstream debate over Iran. I picked up a copy, but am only about 20 pages in. According to the reviews I've read, it's more of a straight history than <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>Threatening Storm</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, and apparently he opposes invasion while recommending taking "a much harder look" at pre-emptive airstrikes. <br><br>Naturally, the presumption is that "we" have to "do something" about Iran. Or, translated into in nicey-nice Washingon Consensus Newspeak, "the United States does not have the luxury of pursuing a “purely passive” approach" (direct quote from a review).<br><br><!--EZCODE IMAGE START--><img src="http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/graphics/persian.jpg" style="border:0;"/><!--EZCODE IMAGE END--><br><br>I'm sure its infused with Wilsonian optimism about good intentions.<br><br>But I won't be shocked if the section on Iran-Contra is, ahh, not quite complete. <p></p><i></i>
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IOB

Postby Byrne » Thu Mar 02, 2006 4:45 pm

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>should the Iranian Oil Bourse (<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>IOB</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->)gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar. <hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br>Hey Osc Infame, the first article you posted (by Krassimir Petrov) doesn't '<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>kill off once and for all the Iranian oil bourse story'</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> at all! Petrov's article (where the quote above is from) states the options available to the US to halt the establishment of the <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>IOB</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->:<br> -Sabotaging the [Oil Bourse] Exchange<br> -Coup d’état<br> -Negotiating Acceptable Terms & Limitations<br> -Joint U.N. War Resolution<br> -Unilateral Nuclear Strike<br> -Unilateral Total War<br><br>Now if the <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>IOB</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> is so insignificant & is not going to affect the US Oil Dollar hegemony, then why not just let the IOB happen?!! Petrov's article points to the significance of the matter.<br><br>The very reason that it is not being discussed points towards it's <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://prudentinvestor.blogspot.com/2005/08/iranian-oil-bourse-could-kill-us.html" target="top">significance</a><!--EZCODE LINK END-->, I'd say. (What's Jeff's motto again?)<br><br>Also, why the discontinuation of the federal reserve <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://prudentinvestor.blogspot.com/2005/11/unpleasant-trend-fed-counters-by.html" target="top">M3 index</a><!--EZCODE LINK END-->, in exactly the same week as the intended establishment of the IOB?<br><br>The main point of the second article that you posted is<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>These things WILL NOT HAPPEN<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> I am inclined to agree because the US will not allow the IOB to happen.<br><br>Let's see in a month's time - I betcha that the IOB will not be in existence - <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>it will not be allowed to happen!</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: IOB

Postby Darklo » Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:09 pm

I just dont believe the IOB to be the reason for the PR campaign for war.<br><br>War costs billions and billions of dollars, and it wouldnt cost that to stop this bourse.<br><br>Too many countries rely on the dollar to remain stable and would stop the bourse if it was a problem.<br><br>All G8 members have an interest, that includes Russia and China, I dont see them wanting the US dollar to collapse right now.<br><br>This has a lot more to do with the US being an Empire, and choosing to throw its weight around as Empires do. By pushing Iran the US can force the hands of the EU, Russia and China and gain leverage in other negotiations that wont ever reach the media.<br><br>The Iraq war is proof that when the US says its gonna hit, you, it means it. So when they say they are going to hit Iran, youd better believe it and find a reason to stop them doing it. That's leverage.<br><br>Its possible the US will hit Iran with Nukes, for no other reasons than to prove to the world it can. Whats the point having a strategic threat that no-one believes your going to use? Now thats real leverage. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: IOB

Postby sijepuis » Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:02 pm

Undoubtedly, Darklo and Osculum Infame, the IOB is not the <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>only</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> reason why the US is itching to wage war on Iran. I'm sure there are many [maybe because it <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>doesn't</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> have WMDs?], but my suspicion is that the threat to the $US posed by potential Euro dominance is high on the list.<br><br><br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>A Story of the Euro, the Dollar, Oil & the Yellow Metal</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> - March 1, 2006<br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.resourceinvestor.com/pebble.asp?relid=17243">www.resourceinvestor.com/...elid=17243</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><snip> <br><br>Many will dismiss out of hand the idea that a euro denominated oil bourse sponsored by Iran could be taken up sufficiently to move the major currency markets, given that the country is increasingly considered a pariah by the West. But what must be considered is that much demand for oil imports now comes from the East, most significantly from China, and that those responsible for sourcing the oil needed to sate this demand may have few or no qualms about buying the black stuff in euros, on an Iranian sponsored exchange.<br><br>The euro also stands to benefit from the coming diversification of many central banks' currency reserves away from the dollar, the current valuation of which is poorly founded. The euro is one of the prime alternatives to the dollar as a reserve currency, and when this diversification begins to occur, that is if it has not already begun covertly, the euro will appreciate.<br><br>The immense foreign currency reserves of <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>the People's Bank of China will one day soon be switched substantially away from dollars; the government of the P.R.C. has indicated as much</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->, and such a move makes sense from the Chinese point of view, given the losses that the P.B.O.C. would otherwise incur once the dollar recommences its inevitable slide down to a realistic valuation.<br><br>The main determinant of the timing of this switch is when it is likely to cause the least disruption to the global economy, and it is a fair assumption that the Chinese are already ruminating on the matter. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Once the P.B.O.C. makes a decisive move, central banks worldwide would follow suit, amplifying the effects on the currency markets.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <br><br><snip> <br><br>Ultimately, this story has its roots far beyond the triggers here identified; the changing priorities of the People's Bank of China, the coming of the Iranian oil bourse, and the ascension of confidence levels in the euro towards a critical mass. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>The fundamental forces that will drive the coming rebalancing of the global currency markets have been building for decades, but only now may the circumstances be right for their stark manifestation.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><snip> <br><br><br><br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Syria switches to euro amid confrontation with US</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://tinyurl.com/ajyaf">tinyurl.com/ajyaf</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><snip><br><br>DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria has switched all of the state's foreign currency transactions to euros from dollars amid a political confrontation with the United States, the head of state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria said on Monday.<br><br>"This is a precaution. We are talking about billions of dollars," Duraid Durgham told Reuters.<br><br><snip><br><br><br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Syria, EU hold talks on partnership association pact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.champress.net/english/index.php?page=show_det&id=2557">www.champress.net/english...et&id=2557</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><snip><br><br>Syria and the European Union on Tuesday held talks on means to facilitate the final approval of an association agreement initialled more than a year ago.<br>A European Parliament delegation, headed by Beatrice Patrie, held separate meetings with Syrian Deputy Premier for Economic Affairs Abdullah Dardari and Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, according to the official SANA news agency.<br>Patrie underlined the importance of dialogue between Syria and the EU to reach a common understanding to pave the way for the final approval of the Syrian-EU Partnership Association agreement, SANA said. <br><br><snip><br><br><br><br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Iran and Syria sign sweeping economic, trade cooperation agreements</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.champress.net/english/index.php?page=show_det&id=2497">www.champress.net/english...et&id=2497</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><snip><br><br>After consolidating political ties, regional allies Syria and Iran moved Thursday to strengthen economic ties by signing a host of cooperation agreements in the fields of economy, trade, oil, agriculture and others.<br> <br><snip><br><br><br><br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong><br>OPEC mulls move to euro for pricing crude oil</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.energybulletin.net/123.html">www.energybulletin.net/123.html</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><snip><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Indeed, while OPEC has yet to make any formal break with the U.S. dollar, its refusal to boost output has already offloaded much of the cost of the dollar's depreciation on to the American economy.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> Mr. Gobert said oil prices at the end of last month, about $32 (U.S.) a barrel, would have been much lower if not for the decline in the value of the U.S. dollar over the past 24 months. Using the exchange rates of the dollar versus the euro two years ago, crude would be selling for $22 a barrel instead, he said.<br><br><snip><br><br><br><br><br>Oh, and ... Bill intends to <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>remain</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> the richest man in the world ...<br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Bill Gates, World's Richest Man, Bets Against Dollar</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://tinyurl.com/675xh">tinyurl.com/675xh</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Bill Gates, whose net worth of $46.6 billion makes him the world's richest person, is betting against the U.S. dollar.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"I'm short the dollar,''</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp., told Charlie Rose in an interview late yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>"The ol' dollar, it's gonna go down.''</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>Gates's concern that widening U.S. budget and trade deficits are undermining the dollar was echoed in Davos by policymakers including European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. <br><br><snip><br><br><br><br>Ps: Hello everyone! I'm pleased to be a registered member now. I'd been reading and following here [no, <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>not</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> lurking] for some time. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The truth behind the Iraq war

Postby sijepuis » Thu Mar 02, 2006 7:22 pm

Oops. Sorry about the last, long post, Qutb.<br><br>IOB, $ & € are a tad OT<br><br>I probably should have started a new thread.<br><br>. . .<br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The truth behind the Iraq war

Postby Qutb » Thu Mar 02, 2006 8:41 pm

The link in the OP is wrong - <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Mar2003/shoup0303.html" target="top">this</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--> is the right one. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The truth behind the Iraq war

Postby Qutb » Thu Mar 02, 2006 9:03 pm

more...<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>CFR’s Twin War Aims</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>In mid-2002 the CFR, together with the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University, established a 23 member planning group to formulate the U.S. war aims and the political and economic rules for a post-war Iraq. One of the project directors was Rachel Bronson and members included Kenneth Pollack, as well as corporate leaders (Boeing, PFC Energy), university professors (Princeton, Yale, Vermont) a Naval War College professor, a Senate on Foreign Relations staffer, and representatives from the Cambridge Energy Research Associates, the Brookings Institution, the James Baker III Institute for Public Policy, and nine staffers from the CFR</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->. A report, Guiding Principles for U.S. Post -Conflict Policy in Iraq, was produced by the Council in late 2002. <br><br>In his introduction to the report, Council President Leslie H. Gelb points out that two essential matters must be put in order prior to going to war: <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>“...preparing the nation for the increased likelihood of a terrorist response on American soil</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->; and pulling together realistic plans for what America and others—above all the Iraqis themselves—will do the day after the fighting ends... It is to meet the second concern, the day after the battle subsides, that the Council on Foreign Relations and the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University join intellectual forces.... What these working group leaders, working group participants, and experts who addressed them have done is to create the first intellectual road map for thinking our way through a post-war Iraq. The document is comprehensive, most thoughtful, and above all, practical and useful. It should be used to engage the administration, Congress, the media, and the wider public on this critical and pressing foreign policy issue, namely thinking about the dangers and opportunities that lie ahead in the gulf, and the Arab and Islamic worlds.” <br><br>The report begins by pointing out that it is based on the <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>“...assumption that full-scale military operations will be necessary and of relatively short duration</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->” and stresses that the U.S. could win the war and easily lose the peace, creating serious long term problems. A<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong> three-phase approach is proposed to create a post-war Iraq friendly to U.S. interests. It includes a short term period of U.S. military rule, a middle period of UN supervision, and finally a sovereign Iraqi government</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->. One of the key early problems will be “finding the right Iraqi allies...making possible an early exit.” In addition, <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>a “vigorous public diplomacy campaign” is seen as necessary to convince skeptical publics at home and abroad that U.S. objectives and intentions are just</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->. In this regard the Guiding Principles report states: “One of the most important issues to address is the widely held view that the campaign against Iraq is driven by an American wish to ‘steal’ or at least control Iraqi oil. U.S. statements and behavior must refute this.... A heavy American hand will only convince them and the world that the operation against Iraq was undertaken for imperialist, rather than disarmament, reasons.” <br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Yet the body of the report has a section called “The Lure of Oil: Realities and Constraints,” as well as an addendum called “Oil and Iraq: Opportunities and Challenges,” which is almost as long as all of the rest of the report text. In the sections focusing on oil, lip service is given to Iraq’s control of its own oil, while, in fact, the report argues that national control of Iraqi oil must be scrapped and an “economy based on free market principles” and a “level playing field for all international players to participate” be created</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->. The report goes on to point out: “Paragraph 30 of UNSCR 1284 already authorizes the UN secretary-general to investigate ways that oil companies could be allowed to invest in Iraq. Thus, the legal basis for the UN to authorize and oversee foreign investment...already exists.” <br><br>(...)<br><br>If control of oil is one strategic aim of this war, another goal is “modernizing the Arab world.” Fouad Ajami, an active Council member, discussed this issue in the January/February issue of Foreign Affairs. Early in his piece, Ajami comments on why the reformation of the Arab world should now be a concern of the U.S.: “Above and beyond toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein and dismantling its deadly weapons, the driving motivation of a new American endeavor in Iraq and in neighboring Arab lands should be modernizing the Arab world. The great indulgence granted to the ways and phobias of Arabs has reaped a terrible harvest—for the Arabs themselves, and for an America implicated in their affairs. It is cruel and unfair but true: the fight between Arab rulers and insurgents is for now an American concern.... It was September 11 and its shattering surprise, in turn, that tipped the balance on Iraq away from containment and toward regime change and rollback.... Thus far, the United States...power has invariably been on the side of political reaction and a stagnant status quo. A new war should come with the promise that the United States is now on the side of reform.” <br><br>Fleshing out his theme, <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Ajami argues that U.S. control of Iraq can be a base for a pro-U.S. transformation of the entire Arab world, including Egypt, by a new Pax Americana: “The case for war must rest in part on the kind of vision the United States has for Iraq. The dread of ‘nation-building’ must be cast aside...there will have to be a sustained American presence if the new order is to hold and take root</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->. Iraq is a society with substantial social capital and the region’s second largest reserves of oil.... For Pax Americana, Iraq may be worth the effort and the risks. America has been on the ground in Saudi Arabia for nearly six decades now, in Egypt for three. In both realms, there is wrath and estrangement toward America. What has been built in Arabia appears in serious jeopardy. The aid and help granted to Egypt has begotten nothing other than ingratitude and a deep suspicion among frustrated middle-class Egyptians that the United States wishes for them subjugation and dependence. There is an unfathomable anti-Americanism in Egypt—even among those professionals who have done well by the American connection. There appears to be no liberal option for Egypt...Iraq may offer a contrast, a base in the Arab world free of the poison of anti-Americanism.”<br> <br> Finally, the future implications of this American imperial burden—the domination of the Arab world— are outlined by Ajami: “The Arab world could whittle down, even devour, an American victory. This is a difficult, perhaps impossible, political landscape. It may reject the message of reform by dwelling on the sins of the American messenger.... It can throw up its defenses and wait for the United States to weary of its expedition. It is with sobering caution...that a war will have to be waged. But it should be recognized that the Rubicon has been crossed. Any fallout of war is certain to be dwarfed by the terrible consequences of America’s walking right up to the edge of war and then stepping back, letting the Iraqi dictator work out the terms of another reprieve. <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>It is the fate of great powers that provide order to do so against the background of a world that takes the protection while it bemoans the heavy hand of the protector. This new expedition to Mesopotamia would be no exception to that rule</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->.”<br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: The truth behind the Iraq war

Postby Darklo » Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:27 pm

Thanks for the links, sobering reading.<br><br>Its amazing to think that these guys in charge of the fed really are a bunch of turkeys that have blown the US economy down the toilet.<br><br>I would recommend <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.dailyreckoning.com">www.dailyreckoning.com</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> as an invaluable source of honest journalism on the state of the US economy.<br><br>I still dont think, even after those links that the IOB is really a driver here. I just think that US policymakers are in a bubble of power thats ready to burst. They really think that now the US is an empire they can do anything.<br><br>Ive just moved to Spain from the UK in the hope, albeit crystal ball gazing, that the Eurozone will be a safe haven in the event of a dollar collapse. <p></p><i></i>
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multiples

Postby smithtalk » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:29 am

no war is launched for one reason alone,<br>the iranian oil bourse is a problem for us dollar hegemony,<br>fiat currency is a confidence game and anything that threatens the confidence is a problem,<br>but iran is now the most powerful country in the region that can threaten israel, that is definately a factor,<br>it is also the only power with the wealth and influence to counter US plans for the region, that is a factor,<br>it is dealing with americas global enemies, china and russia, that is a factor,<br>it is also working on nuclear technology which threatens israel, that is a factor,<br>lots of factors make case for war <p></p><i></i>
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