The truth behind the Iraq war

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Re: the 5.3 billion dollar a year reason

Postby hmm » Fri Mar 03, 2006 9:37 am

Two posts i wrote 7 months ago using mainstream sources that refute that article,the first contains the sources and quotes,the second gives my reasoning<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://p216.ezboard.com/frigorousintuitionfrm17.showMessage?topicID=104.topic">p216.ezboard.com/frigorou...=104.topic</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr> <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>follow the money:The Iraq war,Iran tension = Euro war <br>The public would not understand if the USA&UK attacked Europe directly using military means.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br>The nuclear arsenal and the miltary occupation of Europe prohibit Europe directly and openly chalenging the USA.<br>I am presenting this scenario using mainstream sources partly to show this is one of those open secrets and not mere conspiracy theory.This does mean you wont see the words “USA at war with Europe” anywhere in the included sources.<br>I would like the information presented to speak for itself so i will refrain from further editorialising.<br>The piece from the economist is crucial to understanding “follow the money” and the full ramifications for the American economy if this war is lost.<br><br>www.globalpolicy.org/nati...aghdad.htm<br><br>"Baghdad Moves to Euro<br>By Charles Recknagel<br>Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty<br>November 1, 2000<br><br>One camp, led by the U.S. and Britain, a country also outside the euro zone,<br>wants to maintain strict trade sanctions on Iraq until Baghdad proves it has no more weapons of mass destruction.<br>The other camp, led by euro-user France, along with Russia and China,<br>favors easing the sanctions on humanitarian grounds while still pursuing disarmament.<br><br>~snip~<br><br>But analysts say the political message Baghdad is sending is largely symbolic because the currency switch offers no gains or losses for any of the states involved except Iraq.<br>That is because the currency switch merely formalizes what is already a standard Iraqi practice of purchasing goods under the oil-for-food program exclusively from nations it views as potential allies.<br>Baghdad currently buys a significant share of its humanitarian supplies from the euro zone, as well as from several Arab countries and China."<br><br>archives.cnn.com/2000/WOR...euro.reut/<br><br>"UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) --<br>A U.N. panel on Monday approved Iraq's plan to receive oil-export payments in Europe's single currency after Baghdad decided to move the start date back a week.<br>~snip~<br>U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's office is to report in three months on the impact of the switch to euros,<br>which a U.N. study said would cost Iraq at least $270 million.<br>Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Saeed Hasan reported earlier that Baghdad would delay the changeover until after Nov. 6,<br>rather than put it into effect on November 1, as originally announced.<br>Iraq has called the dollar the currency of an "enemy state."<br>~snip~<br>Baghdad currently is selling about $60 million in crude a day, about 5 percent of the world's oil exports.<br>~snip~<br>Contracts for goods as well as oil sales are approved by the United Nations,<br>which has a dollar-based escrow account at the New York branch of the French bank BNP-Paribas.<br>More than $10 billion is in the bank."<br><br>www.iranexpert.com/2002/e...august.htm<br><br>"23 August Dow Jones<br>Economics Drive Iran Euro Oil Plan, Politics Also Key<br><br>Iran's proposal to receive payments for crude oil sales to Europe in euros instead of U.S. dollars is based primarily on economics, Iranian and industry sources said.<br>But politics are still likely to be a factor in any decision, they said, as Iran uses the opportunity to hit back at the U.S. government, which recently labeled it part of an "axis of evil."<br>The proposal, which is now being reviewed by the Central Bank of Iran, is likely to be approved if presented to the country's parliament, a parliamentary representative said.<br><br>~snip~<br><br>Iran is expected to earn just over $16 billion this year in oil sales.<br><br>European traders also believe Iran's motives for shifting its dependency from the dollar could be politically driven,<br>as it retaliates against U.S. allegations that it supports international terrorism.<br><br>Iraq, which has also been identified by the U.S. government as part of the " axis of evil," set up an escrow account in New York in late 2000,<br>into which it insists that its customers pay for its oil in euros.<br><br>Officials from the Central Bank of Iran were unavailable to comment on the proposal.<br>Sources close to Iranian oil policy said they don't foresee any problems in implementing any currency change. "It is logical that Iran is paid in the national currency of its customers," said one Iranian source.<br><br>In July, Iran's oil ministry said it exported 2.052 million barrels a day of crude oil. Of this figure, some 34.5% of oil exports go to Europe."<br><br><br>www.energybulletin.net/123.html<br><br>"Published on 12 Jan 2004 by Globe and Mail Update. Archived on 12 Jan 2004.<br>OPEC mulls move to euro for pricing crude oil<br><br>by PATRICK BRETHOUR<br>Calgary — OPEC is considering a move away from using the U.S. dollar — and to the euro — to set its price targets for crude oil,<br>the highest-profile manifestation of the debilitating effect of depreciation on the greenback's standing as the currency of international commerce.<br><br>Several members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are seeking formal talks on using the euro, as well as the U.S. dollar,<br>when determining price targets for crude, a senior oil minister within the cartel said Monday. “There are countries that are proposing this,”<br>Venezuela's Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said in Caracas. “It's out there, under discussion.”"<br><br><br>www.tehrantimes.com/Descr...at=9&Num=2<br><br>"July 26, 2005<br><br>Iran oil bourse wins authorization<br><br>TEHRAN (PIN) — Iran’s Bourse Council has given the go ahead to establishment of the first-ever oil, gas and petrochemical stock market in the Islamic Republic, a deputy minister of oil said.<br>Mohammad Javad Assemipur told PIN the national council has promised to lay the foundation for the oil, gas and petrochemical bourse.<br>Assemipur, also in charge of the country’s oil bourse, said the stock market will play a significant role in national revenues and transparency in the oil deals."<br><br>economist.com/opinion/dis...id=3446249<br><br>"The disappearing dollar<br>Dec 2nd 2004<br>From The Economist print edition<br><br>How long can it remain the world's most important reserve currency?<br><br>THE dollar has been the leading international currency for as long as most people can remember. But its dominant role can no longer be taken for granted.<br>If America keeps on spending and borrowing at its present pace, the dollar will eventually lose its mighty status in international finance.<br>And that would hurt: the privilege of being able to print the world's reserve currency, a privilege which is now at risk, allows America to borrow cheaply,<br>and thus to spend much more than it earns, on far better terms than are available to others.<br>Imagine you could write cheques that were accepted as payment but never cashed.<br>That is what it amounts to.<br>If you had been granted that ability, you might take care to hang on to it.<br>America is taking no such care, and may come to regret it.<br><br>~snip~<br><br>Simple but harsh<br><br>Many American policymakers talk as though it is better to rely entirely on a falling dollar to solve, somehow, all their problems.<br>Conceivably, it could happen—but such a one-sided remedy would most likely be far more painful than they imagine.<br>America's challenge is not just to reduce its current-account deficit to a level which foreigners are happy to finance by buying more dollar assets,<br>but also to persuade existing foreign creditors to hang on to their vast stock of dollar assets, estimated at almost $11 trillion.<br>A fall in the dollar sufficient to close the current-account deficit might destroy its safe-haven status.<br>If the dollar falls by another 30%, as some predict, it would amount to the biggest default in history:<br>not a conventional default on debt service, but default by stealth, wiping trillions off the value of foreigners' dollar assets.<br><br>The dollar's loss of reserve-currency status would lead America's creditors to start cashing those cheques—and what an awful lot of cheques there are to cash.<br><br>www.telegraph.co.uk/money...xcoms.html<br><br>" (Filed 27/02/2005)<br><br>Should the euro be the reserve currency?<br><br>Last week the foreign exchange market was rocked by speculation that South Korea's central bank is considering switching some of its reserves out of dollars and into euros.<br>Even though the report was subsequently denied, it would be startling if South Korea, and other countries, were not considering such a move.<br>Is this the beginning of the end of the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency?<br><br>Reserving the world<br><br>The distribution of official reserves is quite peculiar. Holdings are heavily dominated by Asian countries out of all proportion to their shares of world gross domestic product.<br>And for the world as a whole, roughly two thirds of reserves are held in dollars. This is also something of a curiosity.<br>Although the US remains the world's largest economy, its share of world GDP is by no means overwhelming."<br><br>This is secondary to the main premise,but included to illustrate "military occupation of Europe"<br><br>news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4729941.stm<br><br>"US troops will pull out of 11 bases in southern Germany in 2007 as part of a shake-up of US forces around the world.<br>~snip~<br>The US has almost 100,000 soldiers stationed in Western Europe and about 80,000 in the Far East."<br><br>edited to correct quote from the economist (accidental repeat of quote)<br><br>Edited by: hmm at: 8/1/05 9:08 am<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>The importance of the first two sources is that these form the basis for the discussion that money, not oil or WMD or terror or human rights, is the main reason for the “war on terror” and the war against Iraq.They are also the two sources most often referred to in “conspiracy articles” discussing this.<br><br>The radio free europe piece is interesting as that was/is a CIA cold-war propaganda mouthpiece.<br>To me its importance lies in the way this article frames the discussion.The key sentence being:<br><br>“But analysts say the political message Baghdad is sending is largely symbolic because the currency switch offers no gains or losses for any of the states involved except Iraq. “<br><br>ie the CIA says nothing to see here now move along...<br><br>The CNN piece is referenced as one of the only pieces in the American media that discusses the switch to the Euro by Irak.<br>It claims that Irak loses money by making this switch but goes on to show how much money is really involved here.<br>The thing about seeing the Irak war as a oil grab is that there is no way America would actually profit from this.Some American companies might profit in some way, but this in the form of a percentage of oil revenues as there is no way the USA could actually just openly take the oil and not pay anything for it.<br>Europe imports about a third of middle-eastern oil and had been paying for this in dollars before the Euro was created.<br>If you understand the concept discussed in the piece from the economist and add up what one third of Iraki and Iranian oil revenues are for 1 year you get ballpark figures that dwarf any potential oil-profits.<br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Rough estimate for Irak:1/3 x 20 million x 365 = 7,300,000,000 dollars a year.<br>Rough estimate for Iran:1/3 x 16 billion = 5.3 billion dollars a year.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>This is money the USA doesnt get to print for free anymore.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=hmm@rigorousintuition>hmm</A> at: 3/3/06 6:38 am<br></i>
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The End of Dollar Hegemony

Postby Byrne » Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:30 pm

<!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>HON. RON PAUL OF TEXAS<br>Before the U.S. House of Representatives <br><br>February 15, 2006<br><br><br>The End of Dollar Hegemony </strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> <br><br>A hundred years ago it was called “dollar diplomacy.” After World War II, and especially after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, that policy evolved into “dollar hegemony.” But after all these many years of great success, our dollar dominance is coming to an end.<br><br>It has been said, rightly, that he who holds the gold makes the rules. In earlier times it was readily accepted that fair and honest trade required an exchange for something of real value.<br><br>First it was simply barter of goods. Then it was discovered that gold held a universal attraction, and was a convenient substitute for more cumbersome barter transactions. Not only did gold facilitate exchange of goods and services, it served as a store of value for those who wanted to save for a rainy day.<br><br>Though money developed naturally in the marketplace, as governments grew in power they assumed monopoly control over money. Sometimes governments succeeded in guaranteeing the quality and purity of gold, but in time governments learned to outspend their revenues. New or higher taxes always incurred the disapproval of the people, so it wasn’t long before Kings and Caesars learned how to inflate their currencies by reducing the amount of gold in each coin-- always hoping their subjects wouldn’t discover the fraud. But the people always did, and they strenuously objected.<br><br>This helped pressure leaders to seek more gold by conquering other nations. The people became accustomed to living beyond their means, and enjoyed the circuses and bread. Financing extravagances by conquering foreign lands seemed a logical alternative to working harder and producing more. Besides, conquering nations not only brought home gold, they brought home slaves as well. Taxing the people in conquered territories also provided an incentive to build empires. This system of government worked well for a while, but the moral decline of the people led to an unwillingness to produce for themselves. There was a limit to the number of countries that could be sacked for their wealth, and this always brought empires to an end. When gold no longer could be obtained, their military might crumbled. In those days those who held the gold truly wrote the rules and lived well.<br><br>That general rule has held fast throughout the ages. When gold was used, and the rules protected honest commerce, productive nations thrived. Whenever wealthy nations-- those with powerful armies and gold-- strived only for empire and easy fortunes to support welfare at home, those nations failed.<br><br>Today the principles are the same, but the process is quite different. Gold no longer is the currency of the realm; paper is. The truth now is: “He who prints the money makes the rules”-- at least for the time being. Although gold is not used, the goals are the same: compel foreign countries to produce and subsidize the country with military superiority and control over the monetary printing presses.<br><br>Since printing paper money is nothing short of counterfeiting, the issuer of the international currency must always be the country with the military might to guarantee control over the system. This magnificent scheme seems the perfect system for obtaining perpetual wealth for the country that issues the de facto world currency. The one problem, however, is that such a system destroys the character of the counterfeiting nation’s people-- just as was the case when gold was the currency and it was obtained by conquering other nations. And this destroys the incentive to save and produce, while encouraging debt and runaway welfare.<br><br>The pressure at home to inflate the currency comes from the corporate welfare recipients, as well as those who demand handouts as compensation for their needs and perceived injuries by others. In both cases personal responsibility for one’s actions is rejected.<br><br>When paper money is rejected, or when gold runs out, wealth and political stability are lost. The country then must go from living beyond its means to living beneath its means, until the economic and political systems adjust to the new rules-- rules no longer written by those who ran the now defunct printing press.<br><br>“Dollar Diplomacy,” a policy instituted by William Howard Taft and his Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, was designed to enhance U.S. commercial investments in Latin America and the Far East. McKinley concocted a war against Spain in 1898, and (Teddy) Roosevelt’s corollary to the Monroe Doctrine preceded Taft’s aggressive approach to using the U.S. dollar and diplomatic influence to secure U.S. investments abroad. This earned the popular title of “Dollar Diplomacy.” The significance of Roosevelt’s change was that our intervention now could be justified by the mere “appearance” that a country of interest to us was politically or fiscally vulnerable to European control. Not only did we claim a right, but even an official U.S. government “obligation” to protect our commercial interests from Europeans.<br><br>This new policy came on the heels of the “gunboat” diplomacy of the late 19th century, and it meant we could buy influence before resorting to the threat of force. By the time the “dollar diplomacy” of William Howard Taft was clearly articulated, the seeds of American empire were planted. And they were destined to grow in the fertile political soil of a country that lost its love and respect for the republic bequeathed to us by the authors of the Constitution. And indeed they did. It wasn’t too long before dollar “diplomacy” became dollar “hegemony” in the second half of the 20th century.<br><br>This transition only could have occurred with a dramatic change in monetary policy and the nature of the dollar itself.<br><br>Congress created the Federal Reserve System in 1913. Between then and 1971 the principle of sound money was systematically undermined. Between 1913 and 1971, the Federal Reserve found it much easier to expand the money supply at will for financing war or manipulating the economy with little resistance from Congress-- while benefiting the special interests that influence government.<br><br>Dollar dominance got a huge boost after World War II. We were spared the destruction that so many other nations suffered, and our coffers were filled with the world’s gold. But the world chose not to return to the discipline of the gold standard, and the politicians applauded. Printing money to pay the bills was a lot more popular than taxing or restraining unnecessary spending. In spite of the short-term benefits, imbalances were institutionalized for decades to come.<br><br>The 1944 Bretton Woods agreement solidified the dollar as the preeminent world reserve currency, replacing the British pound. Due to our political and military muscle, and because we had a huge amount of physical gold, the world readily accepted our dollar (defined as 1/35th of an ounce of gold) as the world’s reserve currency. The dollar was said to be “as good as gold,” and convertible to all foreign central banks at that rate. For American citizens, however, it remained illegal to own. This was a gold-exchange standard that from inception was doomed to fail.<br><br>The U.S. did exactly what many predicted she would do. She printed more dollars for which there was no gold backing. But the world was content to accept those dollars for more than 25 years with little question-- until the French and others in the late 1960s demanded we fulfill our promise to pay one ounce of gold for each $35 they delivered to the U.S. Treasury. This resulted in a huge gold drain that brought an end to a very poorly devised pseudo-gold standard.<br><br>It all ended on August 15, 1971, when Nixon closed the gold window and refused to pay out any of our remaining 280 million ounces of gold. In essence, we declared our insolvency and everyone recognized some other monetary system had to be devised in order to bring stability to the markets.<br><br>Amazingly, a new system was devised which allowed the U.S. to operate the printing presses for the world reserve currency with no restraints placed on it-- not even a pretense of gold convertibility, none whatsoever! Though the new policy was even more deeply flawed, it nevertheless opened the door for dollar hegemony to spread.<br><br>Realizing the world was embarking on something new and mind boggling, elite money managers, with especially strong support from U.S. authorities, struck an agreement with OPEC to price oil in U.S. dollars exclusively for all worldwide transactions. This gave the dollar a special place among world currencies and in essence “backed” the dollar with oil. In return, the U.S. promised to protect the various oil-rich kingdoms in the Persian Gulf against threat of invasion or domestic coup. This arrangement helped ignite the radical Islamic movement among those who resented our influence in the region. The arrangement gave the dollar artificial strength, with tremendous financial benefits for the United States. It allowed us to export our monetary inflation by buying oil and other goods at a great discount as dollar influence flourished.<br><br>This post-Bretton Woods system was much more fragile than the system that existed between 1945 and 1971. Though the dollar/oil arrangement was helpful, it was not nearly as stable as the pseudo gold standard under Bretton Woods. It certainly was less stable than the gold standard of the late 19th century.<br><br>During the 1970s the dollar nearly collapsed, as oil prices surged and gold skyrocketed to $800 an ounce. By 1979 interest rates of 21% were required to rescue the system. The pressure on the dollar in the 1970s, in spite of the benefits accrued to it, reflected reckless budget deficits and monetary inflation during the 1960s. The markets were not fooled by LBJ’s claim that we could afford both “guns and butter.”<br><br>Once again the dollar was rescued, and this ushered in the age of true dollar hegemony lasting from the early 1980s to the present. With tremendous cooperation coming from the central banks and international commercial banks, the dollar was accepted as if it were gold.<br><br>Fed Chair Alan Greenspan, on several occasions before the House Banking Committee, answered my challenges to him about his previously held favorable views on gold by claiming that he and other central bankers had gotten paper money-- i.e. the dollar system-- to respond as if it were gold. Each time I strongly disagreed, and pointed out that if they had achieved such a feat they would have defied centuries of economic history regarding the need for money to be something of real value. He smugly and confidently concurred with this.<br><br>In recent years central banks and various financial institutions, all with vested interests in maintaining a workable fiat dollar standard, were not secretive about selling and loaning large amounts of gold to the market even while decreasing gold prices raised serious questions about the wisdom of such a policy. They never admitted to gold price fixing, but the evidence is abundant that they believed if the gold price fell it would convey a sense of confidence to the market, confidence that they indeed had achieved amazing success in turning paper into gold.<br><br>Increasing gold prices historically are viewed as an indicator of distrust in paper currency. This recent effort was not a whole lot different than the U.S. Treasury selling gold at $35 an ounce in the 1960s, in an attempt to convince the world the dollar was sound and as good as gold. Even during the Depression, one of Roosevelt’s first acts was to remove free market gold pricing as an indication of a flawed monetary system by making it illegal for American citizens to own gold. Economic law eventually limited that effort, as it did in the early 1970s when our Treasury and the IMF tried to fix the price of gold by dumping tons into the market to dampen the enthusiasm of those seeking a safe haven for a falling dollar after gold ownership was re-legalized.<br><br>Once again the effort between 1980 and 2000 to fool the market as to the true value of the dollar proved unsuccessful. In the past 5 years the dollar has been devalued in terms of gold by more than 50%. You just can’t fool all the people all the time, even with the power of the mighty printing press and money creating system of the Federal Reserve.<br><br>Even with all the shortcomings of the fiat monetary system, dollar influence thrived. The results seemed beneficial, but gross distortions built into the system remained. And true to form, Washington politicians are only too anxious to solve the problems cropping up with window dressing, while failing to understand and deal with the underlying flawed policy. Protectionism, fixing exchange rates, punitive tariffs, politically motivated sanctions, corporate subsidies, international trade management, price controls, interest rate and wage controls, super-nationalist sentiments, threats of force, and even war are resorted to—all to solve the problems artificially created by deeply flawed monetary and economic systems.<br><br>In the short run, the issuer of a fiat reserve currency can accrue great economic benefits. In the long run, it poses a threat to the country issuing the world currency. In this case that’s the United States. As long as foreign countries take our dollars in return for real goods, we come out ahead. This is a benefit many in Congress fail to recognize, as they bash China for maintaining a positive trade balance with us. But this leads to a loss of manufacturing jobs to overseas markets, as we become more dependent on others and less self-sufficient. Foreign countries accumulate our dollars due to their high savings rates, and graciously loan them back to us at low interest rates to finance our excessive consumption.<br><br>It sounds like a great deal for everyone, except the time will come when our dollars-- due to their depreciation-- will be received less enthusiastically or even be rejected by foreign countries. That could create a whole new ballgame and force us to pay a price for living beyond our means and our production. The shift in sentiment regarding the dollar has already started, but the worst is yet to come.<br><br>The agreement with OPEC in the 1970s to price oil in dollars has provided tremendous artificial strength to the dollar as the preeminent reserve currency. This has created a universal demand for the dollar, and soaks up the huge number of new dollars generated each year. Last year alone M3 increased over $700 billion.<br><br>The artificial demand for our dollar, along with our military might, places us in the unique position to “rule” the world without productive work or savings, and without limits on consumer spending or deficits. The problem is, it can’t last.<br><br>Price inflation is raising its ugly head, and the NASDAQ bubble-- generated by easy money-- has burst. The housing bubble likewise created is deflating. Gold prices have doubled, and federal spending is out of sight with zero political will to rein it in. The trade deficit last year was over $728 billion. A $2 trillion war is raging, and plans are being laid to expand the war into Iran and possibly Syria. The only restraining force will be the world’s rejection of the dollar. It’s bound to come and create conditions worse than 1979-1980, which required 21% interest rates to correct. But everything possible will be done to protect the dollar in the meantime. We have a shared interest with those who hold our dollars to keep the whole charade going.<br><br>Greenspan, in his first speech after leaving the Fed, said that gold prices were up because of concern about terrorism, and not because of monetary concerns or because he created too many dollars during his tenure. Gold has to be discredited and the dollar propped up. Even when the dollar comes under serious attack by market forces, the central banks and the IMF surely will do everything conceivable to soak up the dollars in hope of restoring stability. Eventually they will fail.<br><br>Most importantly, the dollar/oil relationship has to be maintained to keep the dollar as a preeminent currency. Any attack on this relationship will be forcefully challenged—as it already has been.<br><br>In November 2000 Saddam Hussein demanded Euros for his oil. His arrogance was a threat to the dollar; his lack of any military might was never a threat. At the first cabinet meeting with the new administration in 2001, as reported by Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill, the major topic was how we would get rid of Saddam Hussein-- though there was no evidence whatsoever he posed a threat to us. This deep concern for Saddam Hussein surprised and shocked O’Neill.<br><br>It now is common knowledge that the immediate reaction of the administration after 9/11 revolved around how they could connect Saddam Hussein to the attacks, to justify an invasion and overthrow of his government. Even with no evidence of any connection to 9/11, or evidence of weapons of mass destruction, public and congressional support was generated through distortions and flat out misrepresentation of the facts to justify overthrowing Saddam Hussein.<br><br>There was no public talk of removing Saddam Hussein because of his attack on the integrity of the dollar as a reserve currency by selling oil in Euros. Many believe this was the real reason for our obsession with Iraq. I doubt it was the only reason, but it may well have played a significant role in our motivation to wage war. Within a very short period after the military victory, all Iraqi oil sales were carried out in dollars. The Euro was abandoned.<br><br>In 2001, Venezuela’s ambassador to Russia spoke of Venezuela switching to the Euro for all their oil sales. Within a year there was a coup attempt against Chavez, reportedly with assistance from our CIA.<br><br>After these attempts to nudge the Euro toward replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency were met with resistance, the sharp fall of the dollar against the Euro was reversed. These events may well have played a significant role in maintaining dollar dominance.<br><br>It’s become clear the U.S. administration was sympathetic to those who plotted the overthrow of Chavez, and was embarrassed by its failure. The fact that Chavez was democratically elected had little influence on which side we supported.<br><br>Now, a new attempt is being made against the petrodollar system. Iran, another member of the “axis of evil,” has announced her plans to initiate an oil bourse in March of this year. Guess what, the oil sales will be priced Euros, not dollars.<br><br>Most Americans forget how our policies have systematically and needlessly antagonized the Iranians over the years. In 1953 the CIA helped overthrow a democratically elected president, Mohammed Mossadeqh, and install the authoritarian Shah, who was friendly to the U.S. The Iranians were still fuming over this when the hostages were seized in 1979. Our alliance with Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran in the early 1980s did not help matters, and obviously did not do much for our relationship with Saddam Hussein. The administration announcement in 2001 that Iran was part of the axis of evil didn’t do much to improve the diplomatic relationship between our two countries. Recent threats over nuclear power, while ignoring the fact that they are surrounded by countries with nuclear weapons, doesn’t seem to register with those who continue to provoke Iran. With what most Muslims perceive as our war against Islam, and this recent history, there’s little wonder why Iran might choose to harm America by undermining the dollar. Iran, like Iraq, has zero capability to attack us. But that didn’t stop us from turning Saddam Hussein into a modern day Hitler ready to take over the world. Now Iran, especially since she’s made plans for pricing oil in Euros, has been on the receiving end of a propaganda war not unlike that waged against Iraq before our invasion.<br><br>It’s not likely that maintaining dollar supremacy was the only motivating factor for the war against Iraq, nor for agitating against Iran. Though the real reasons for going to war are complex, we now know the reasons given before the war started, like the presence of weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein’s connection to 9/11, were false. The dollar’s importance is obvious, but this does not diminish the influence of the distinct plans laid out years ago by the neo-conservatives to remake the Middle East. Israel’s influence, as well as that of the Christian Zionists, likewise played a role in prosecuting this war. Protecting “our” oil supplies has influenced our Middle East policy for decades.<br><br>But the truth is that paying the bills for this aggressive intervention is impossible the old fashioned way, with more taxes, more savings, and more production by the American people. Much of the expense of the Persian Gulf War in 1991 was shouldered by many of our willing allies. That’s not so today. Now, more than ever, the dollar hegemony-- it’s dominance as the world reserve currency-- is required to finance our huge war expenditures. This $2 trillion never-ending war must be paid for, one way or another. Dollar hegemony provides the vehicle to do just that.<br><br>For the most part the true victims aren’t aware of how they pay the bills. The license to create money out of thin air allows the bills to be paid through price inflation. American citizens, as well as average citizens of Japan, China, and other countries suffer from price inflation, which represents the “tax” that pays the bills for our military adventures. That is until the fraud is discovered, and the foreign producers decide not to take dollars nor hold them very long in payment for their goods. Everything possible is done to prevent the fraud of the monetary system from being exposed to the masses who suffer from it. If oil markets replace dollars with Euros, it would in time curtail our ability to continue to print, without restraint, the world’s reserve currency.<br><br>It is an unbelievable benefit to us to import valuable goods and export depreciating dollars. The exporting countries have become addicted to our purchases for their economic growth. This dependency makes them allies in continuing the fraud, and their participation keeps the dollar’s value artificially high. If this system were workable long term, American citizens would never have to work again. We too could enjoy “bread and circuses” just as the Romans did, but their gold finally ran out and the inability of Rome to continue to plunder conquered nations brought an end to her empire.<br><br>The same thing will happen to us if we don’t change our ways. Though we don’t occupy foreign countries to directly plunder, we nevertheless have spread our troops across 130 nations of the world. Our intense effort to spread our power in the oil-rich Middle East is not a coincidence. But unlike the old days, we don’t declare direct ownership of the natural resources-- we just insist that we can buy what we want and pay for it with our paper money. Any country that challenges our authority does so at great risk.<br><br>Once again Congress has bought into the war propaganda against Iran, just as it did against Iraq. Arguments are now made for attacking Iran economically, and militarily if necessary. These arguments are all based on the same false reasons given for the ill-fated and costly occupation of Iraq.<br><br>Our whole economic system depends on continuing the current monetary arrangement, which means recycling the dollar is crucial. Currently, we borrow over $700 billion every year from our gracious benefactors, who work hard and take our paper for their goods. Then we borrow all the money we need to secure the empire (DOD budget $450 billion) plus more. The military might we enjoy becomes the “backing” of our currency. There are no other countries that can challenge our military superiority, and therefore they have little choice but to accept the dollars we declare are today’s “gold.” This is why countries that challenge the system-- like Iraq, Iran and Venezuela-- become targets of our plans for regime change.<br><br>Ironically, dollar superiority depends on our strong military, and our strong military depends on the dollar. As long as foreign recipients take our dollars for real goods and are willing to finance our extravagant consumption and militarism, the status quo will continue regardless of how huge our foreign debt and current account deficit become.<br><br>But real threats come from our political adversaries who are incapable of confronting us militarily, yet are not bashful about confronting us economically. That’s why we see the new challenge from Iran being taken so seriously. The urgent arguments about Iran posing a military threat to the security of the United States are no more plausible than the false charges levied against Iraq. Yet there is no effort to resist this march to confrontation by those who grandstand for political reasons against the Iraq war.<br><br>It seems that the people and Congress are easily persuaded by the jingoism of the preemptive war promoters. It’s only after the cost in human life and dollars are tallied up that the people object to unwise militarism.<br><br>The strange thing is that the failure in Iraq is now apparent to a large majority of American people, yet they and Congress are acquiescing to the call for a needless and dangerous confrontation with Iran.<br><br>But then again, our failure to find Osama bin Laden and destroy his network did not dissuade us from taking on the Iraqis in a war totally unrelated to 9/11.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Concern for pricing oil only in dollars helps explain our willingness to drop everything and teach Saddam Hussein a lesson for his defiance in demanding Euros for oil.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>And once again there’s <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>this urgent call for sanctions and threats of force against Iran at the precise time Iran is opening a new oil exchange with all transactions in Euros.</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br>Using force to compel people to accept money without real value can only work in the short run. It ultimately leads to economic dislocation, both domestic and international, and always ends with a price to be paid.<br><br>The economic law that honest exchange demands only things of real value as currency cannot be repealed. The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value. We will know that day is approaching when oil-producing countries demand gold, or its equivalent, for their oil rather than dollars or Euros. The sooner the better. <br><br>Source <!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2006/cr021506.htm" target="top">here</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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10 myths about the invasion and occupation of Iraq

Postby Byrne » Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:25 am

<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>10 myths about the invasion and occupation of Iraq</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>From medialens messageboard</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> <br><br>In perhaps the biggest propaganda campaign since the Second World War, the British political and military elite has attempted to serve up a series of distortions, exaggerations and outright lies to the British public in an attempt to gain support for the unpopular invasion of Iraq and the ongoing occupation. There are two types of myth concerning Iraq. Those, such as Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (sic), that have been completely discredited, and other, more insidious myths, often believed and repeated even by those who are against the war. These, through constant repetition, have acquired the status of common sense ‘truth’.<br> <br>Ignoring Eduardo Galeano’s truism that <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>“the words uttered by power are not meant to express its actions, but to disguise them”</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--></em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->; large sections of the media have echoed and channeled government propaganda. The writer George Monbiot notes, "The falsehoods reproduced by the media before the invasion of Iraq were massive and consequential: it is hard to see how Britain could have gone to war if the press had done its job." <br><br>It is high time we put the record straight.<br><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 1: British and American forces “came to Iraq in the first place to bring democracy and human rights.” (BBC reporter Paul Wood, BBC News at 10, 22 December 2005)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: That the US/UK are sincere about Iraqi democracy is the central myth of the conflict – it underpins all the other myths and is the prism through which all US/UK actions are interpreted. The historian Mark Curtis notes, “The ideological system promotes one key concept… the idea of Britain’s basic benevolence… criticism of foreign policies is certainly possible, and normal, but within narrow limits which show ‘exceptions’ to, or ‘mistakes’ in, promoting the rule of basic benevolence.” The historical record clearly shows, rather than promoting democracy and human rights in the Arab World, Anglo-American foreign policy has been systematically opposed to these ideas; installing the Shah in Iran in 1953, supporting Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, arming Turkey in its war against the Kurds and the continuing support for the Saudi regime to name but a few examples.<br><br>An Iraqi government that reflected Iraqi popular opinion is likely to push for US/UK troops to withdraw (see Myth 10), seek closer ties with Iran, want to use the nation’s energy reserves to benefit Iraqis, and is unlikely to take an ‘acceptable’ position on wider Middle East security and the Israel-Palestine conflict – all anathema to the US/UK Governments.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 2: “The reason why we are taking the action we are taking [in Iraq] is nothing to do with oil.” (Tony Blair, House of Commons, 15 January 2003)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: The control of the energy reserves in the Middle East has long been a key foreign policy objective for the US and UK. In 1945 the US State Department said Middle East oil was “a stupendous source of strategic power and one of the greatest material prizes in world history.” Two years later the British Government reiterated the region was “a vital prize for any power interested in world domination.” It seems little has changed. In 1999 General Anthony Zinni, Commander in Chief of the US Central Command, testified before Congress that the Gulf region’s huge oil reserves is of “vital interest” of “long standing” to the US, who “must have free access to the region’s resources.” Just before the invasion, the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw stated one of the long-term priorities of British foreign policy was “to bolster the security of British and global energy supplies.”<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 3: “This is what they [the Joint Intelligence Committee] are telling me the British Prime Minister and my senior colleagues. The intelligence picture they paint is one accumulated over the past four years. It is extensive, detailed and authoritative.” (Tony Blair, statement to Parliament on publication of dossier, 24 September 2002)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: The thesis that Tony Blair was honest and sincere, if very mistaken, in his stance over Iraq has regrettably gained widespread currency. However this is undermined by the fact he made many statements about the Iraqi ‘threat’ that were contradicted by the very sources he claimed to rely on. Consider and contrast the following statements:<br><br><!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>· “What I believe the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt is that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons.” (Tony Blair’s foreword to the dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, 24 September 2002)<br><br>· “We have little intelligence on Iraq’s CBW doctrine, and know little about Iraq’s CBW work since late 1998.” (Joint Intelligence Committee Assessment, 21 August 2002)<br><br>· “I am in no doubt that the threat is serious and current.” (Tony Blair’s foreword to the dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, 24 September 2002)<br><br>· “Intelligence remains limited and Saddam’s own unpredictability complicates judgments.” (Joint Intelligence Assessment, 9 September 2002)<br><br>· “I have been briefed in detail on the intelligence and am satisfied as to its authority” (Tony Blair’s foreword to the dossier on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, 24 September 2002)<br><br>· “Intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programme is sporadic and patchy.” (Joint Intelligence Assessment, 15 March 2002)</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>Another example of Tony Blair’s dishonesty is the case of Hussain Kamel, the man in charge of Iraq’s weapons programmes in the 1980s and early 1990s. Kamel defected in 1995 telling UN inspectors, “I ordered the destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons – biological, chemical, missile, nuclear were destroyed.” Not only did Tony Blair fail to disclose this important information, he had the nerve to use Kamel to gain support for the war, stating on 18 March 2003, “Hussain Kamal defected to Jordan. He disclosed a far more extensive BW programme and for the first time said Iraq had weaponsied the programme.”<br><br> <br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 4: “I continue to want to solve this issue of Iraq and weapons of mass destruction through the United Nations.” (Tony Blair, speech to a Labour Party conference, 15 February 2003)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: The recent revelation that Tony Blair told George Bush he was “solidly” behind US plans to invade Iraq in the absence of UN authorisation on 31 January 2003, before he had sought legal advice, suggests Blair’s public utterances about wanting to solve the crisis through the UN were a complete charade.<br><br>This conclusion is supported by information contained in the Downing Street Memos, in which Jack Straw reportedly said “We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would help with the legal justification for the use of force.” A further Cabinet Office briefing paper clarified: “It is just possible that an ultimatum could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject.” The goal then, was to use the UN inspectors as a tool for triggering war with Iraq, not as Tony Blair was publicly suggesting, to negotiate for a peaceful solution to the crisis.<br><br>It is also useful to remind ourselves of a long forgotten story reported by The Observer on 15 February 2004: “A joint British and American spying operation at the United Nations scuppered a last-ditch initiative to avert the invasion of Iraq.” With information that could only have been gained by spying, the late Mexican Ambassador to the UN, Anguilar Zinser, said secret negotiations for a compromise resolution that would give the inspectors more time were blocked by US officials.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 5: “As the Foreign Secretary has pointed out, Resolution 1441 gives the legal basis for this [war].” (Tony Blair, House of Commons, 12 March 2003)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: Unfortunately for Tony Blair, he himself had previously said Resolution 1441 would not authorise war. On 8 November 2002 he said, “To those who fear this resolution is just an automatic trigger point without further discussion, paragraph 12 of the resolution makes it clear that this is not the case.”<br><br>Indeed Resolution 1441 was only passed at the Security Council because it did not automatically authorise war – this was understood by all (the UK and US included) participants. In a joint 11 November 2002 statement, Russia, China and France said, “Resolution 1441 (2002) adopted today by the Security Council excludes any automaticity in the use of force.” This account closely mirrors Sir Jeremy Greenstock’s, the UK’s Ambassador to the UN, understanding of the Resolution: “We heard loud and clear during the negotiations the concerns about ‘automaticity’ and ‘hidden triggers’… Let me be equally clear in response… There is no ‘automaticity’ in this Resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council…”<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 6: “The French position is that France will veto no whatever the circumstances. Those are not my words, but those of the French President.” (Tony Blair, House of Commons, 18 March 2003)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: President Chirac has consistently argued the US and UK misrepresented his position. Consider what Chirac actually said: “My position is that, regardless of the circumstances, France will vote “no” because she considers this evening that there are no grounds for waging war in order to achieve the goal we have set ourselves, i.e. to disarm Iraq.” It seems Tony Blair, not for the first time, was being very selective with the information available to him – the words “this evening” were never included in the British Government’s accounts. For the record, on 10 March 2003, Chirac did make it clear that he supported war if, after a few months, the inspectors said Iraq was not co-operating, “In that case, regrettably, the war would become inevitable.”<br><br>Also, the idea that a veto can somehow be ‘unreasonable’ is completely fictitious. Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, told Tony Blair in his legal advice, “I do not believe that there is any basis in law for arguing that there is an implied condition of reasonableness which can be read into the power of veto conferred on the permanent members of the Security Council by the UN Charter. So there are no grounds for arguing that an ‘unreasonable veto’ would entitle us to proceed on the basis of a presumed Security Council authorisation.”<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 7: “Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld… once again today listed only ‘dead-enders, foreign terrorists and criminal gangs’ as opponents of the American occupation.” (New York Times, 17 September 2003)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: According to the journalist Patrick Cockburn, “It is difficult to meet Iraqis who do not support the attacks on the Americans.” Several opinion polls confirm Cockburn’s observation that the insurgency has widespread support in the wider population. Asked whether they viewed the coalition forces as “liberators” or “occupiers” in an April 2004 USA Today/CNN/Gallup opinion poll, 71 per cent of Iraqis said “occupiers”. So it should be no surprise a secret October 2005 Ministry of Defence poll (subsequently leaked to the Daily Telegraph) found 45 per cent of Iraqis believed attacks against the US and UK troops were justified (rising to 65 per cent in the British controlled Maysan province). A recent poll conducted by the University of Maryland corroborates these earlier conclusions, finding 88 per cent of Sunnis and 41 per cent of Shiites approving of attacks on US-led forces.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 8: “We have a process… to get Iraq towards democracy and elections… There is no doubt at all the former regime elements and the outside terrorists are trying to stop that happening.” (Tony Blair and Ayad Allawi, joint press conference, 19 September 2004)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: The Iraqi insurgency is largely homegrown. In May 2004, USA Today, quoting figures supplied by the US military command handling detention operations, reported that out of the 5,700 captives held, only 90 of them were non-Iraqis, or just 2 per cent. The story quotes Lt. Col. Paul Kennedy, fighting in Ramadi: “There are very few foreign fighters.” During the November 2004 assault on Falluja, of the 1000 men who were captured, just 15 were confirmed foreign fighters, according to General George Casey. A slightly higher estimate (but still small percentage) is given by a September 2005 Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report, which stated foreign militants account for less than 10% of the total number of insurgents. <br><br>We should also remember the focus on Arab ‘foreign fighters’ is, in itself, a red herring. The journalist Robert Fisk: “I can tell you there are at least 200,000 foreign fighters in Iraq and 146,000 of them are wearing American uniform.” <br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 9: “Coalition forces take great care to avoid civilian casualties.” (George Bush and Tony Blair, joint statement, 8 April 2003)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: As early as October 2003, Human Rights Watch reported, “a pattern of over-aggressive tactics, excessive shooting in residential areas and hasty reliance on lethal force” by US forces in Iraq. However, it was the US assaults on Falluja in April and November 2004 that highlighted the US forces total disregard for civilian casualties. Consider what we know about the November attack; A high ranking Red Cross official estimated that at least 800 civilians were killed in the first nine days of the attack; the US State Department estimated that 25 per cent of the city’s housing stock was rendered uninhabitable, with a further 25 per cent severely damaged; Dr Hafid al-Dulaimi, head of the city’s compensation commission, reported that 8,400 shops, 60 nurseries and schools, and 65 mosques and religious sanctuaries were destroyed in the attack. Furthermore, the US forces committed many serious war crimes during the assault, cutting off the city’s water and electricity supply, bombing a hospital, using chemical weapons, sending unarmed men back to the war-zone and denying access to aid agencies.<br><br>In October 2004 the Lancet medical journal estimated 100,000 people had died as a result of the invasion: “violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths… most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children.” This figure is likely to continue to rise because US forces are dramatically increasing their use of air power in Iraq, from 60 air raids in September 2005 to 120 in November 2005.<br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Myth 10: "We will stay as long as the Iraqi government and people want us to stay and there is a job for us to do" (Jack Straw, 26 November 2003)</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--><br><br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>Fact</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->: Opinion polls conducted in Iraq since the invasion consistently show the majority of Iraqis want US/UK troops to withdraw. According to the MoD opinion poll, 82 per cent of Iraqis were “strongly opposed” to the presence of coalition troops. The April 2004 USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll found 57 per cent of respondents saying US/UK forces should leave “immediately.”, while a January 2005 Zogby International poll found 82 per cent of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs and 69 per cent of its Shiites favouring US withdrawal “either immediately or after an elected government is in place.” The results of the recent University of Maryland poll broadly confirms these earlier surveys’ findings, reporting that 87 per cent of Iraqis endorsed a demand for a timetabled withdrawal.<br><br> <br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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