WEALTH AND MONEY PART XVI THE DEATH THROES OF EMPIRE
“Men and women of the United States armed forces in armored vehicles patrol the streets of Baghdad. They pass in the way of so many who have come before them: the Egyptian charioteers of Ramses II, the Macedonian phalanx of Alexander the Great, the Roman legionnaires of Caesar and Trajan, the Crusaders of Richard the Lion-Hearted, the legionnaires of Napoleon, the Camel Corps of Lawrence of Arabia. All of these have come through the Middle East. Many of them have come with the best of intentions, by their lights, to bring stability, even freedom to the Middle East. All have passed away. The Middle East has been the graveyard of empires.” – – J. Rufus Fears, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma
“British citizens embraced notions of empire, but Americans want to be seen to be benevolent rulers. The British believed in having a “civilizing” influence; Americans call it “democratizing.” Chalmers Johnson calls both terms “self-deluding propaganda.” – – Mary O’Connell, CBC News
“Imperialism is a form of tyranny. It never rules through consent of the governed… We talk about the spread of democracy, but we talk about the spread of democracy at the point of an assault rifle. – – Chalmers Johnson, University of California
By now there can be little doubt that America’s involvement in the Middle East has little to do with stopping terrorism and everything to do with strategic resource and monetary control. From the very start the “war on terror” was based on lies. President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and the highest ranking members of the cabinet and the U.S. military falsified information about “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq and that nation’s (nonexistent) involvement in the attacks on the World Trade Centers.
So why was the leadership of the U.S. so hell-bent on attacking Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein from power? To find an answer we must go back in history.
In 1944 as World War II was coming to an end, European and Japan were in economic ruin. At a historic meeting in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, forty-four countries agreed to keep their currencies fixed to the U.S. dollar, and the dollar was fixed to gold. Thereafter known as the Bretton Woods monetary system, countries settled their international balances in dollars, and US dollars were convertible to gold.
As one might expect, the Bretton Woods agreement proved enormously beneficial to the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Wall Street banks that own it. Together they created and loaned the dollars that supplied the system. Initially, the agreement operated as planned. Japan and Europe were rebuilding their postwar economies and demand for US goods, services, and dollars was high. Since the United States held about three-quarters of the world’s official gold reserves, all seemed well.
But the years passed and Europe and Japan recovered. By the 1960’s their exports became competitive with U.S. products. America’s share of world output decreased, as did the need for dollars, and converting those dollars to gold became more desirable. The deteriorating U.S. balance of payments, combined with military spending in Viet Nam, eventually resulted in more foreign-held dollars than the United States had gold. The country was vulnerable to a run on gold and there was a loss of confidence in the US government’s ability to meet its obligations. More importantly from the point of view of the Federal Reserve and the banking industry, this was a threat to the dollar’s position as the international reserve currency.
In 1971, fearing a run on the banks, President Richard Nixon and his advisors closed the gold window. Foreign governments could no longer exchange their dollars for the precious metal. This prevented a banking collapse, but the dollar was now unbacked fiat money and vulnerable as world’s reserve currency. Something needed to be done.
In a series of meeting in 1973/74, then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made arrangements with Saudi Arabia ensuring that, in exchange for military protection, all future international oil sales would only be done in U.S. dollars. The other OPEC nations soon followed and the oil-backed “petrodollar” was born. The banking cartel was once again in control and virtually all energy importing nations on Earth continued to be held hostage to the dollar. The bonanza for the Federal Reserve and Wall Street had been saved.
Now we return to Iraq. In the year 2000, former U.S. ally Saddam Hussein had had enough of American hegemony and the dwindling value of the petrodollar. He announced to the world that Iraq would begin selling its oil for Euros. It was the death sentence for Hussein and over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians. The bankers who run Washington D.C. were not about to give up their parasitic privileges.
A similar scenario has since devastated the people of Libya. Quoting Attorney and Public Banking Institute founder Ellen Brown:
Before 2011, Libya had achieved economic independence, with its own water, its own food, its own oil, its own money, and its own state-owned bank. It had arisen under Qaddafi from one of the poorest of countries to the richest in Africa. Education and medical treatment were free; having a home was considered a human right; and Libyans participated in an original system of local democracy. The country boasted the world’s largest irrigation system, the Great Man-made River project, which brought water from the desert to the cities and coastal areas; and Qaddafi was embarking on a program to spread this model throughout Africa.
But Qaddafi made a mistake. He had assumed a leadership role with other heads of African States that wanted an independent, pan-African, “hard currency.” These countries discussed the possibility of using the Libyan dinar and the silver dirham as the only possible money to buy African oil.
Libya now lies in ruin. The Great Man-made River project, which was turning arid regions into a breadbasket for Libya, along with the factory producing the piping for repairing the irrigation system, were among the targets destroyed by NATO bombing. Seventy percent of the population has been left with inadequate water. An example had to be made – – there would be no challenge to the petrodollar.
Syria has now been crushed with thousands of deaths and millions of refugees fleeing to Europe. Iran is in the crosshairs. Their “nuclear weapons program” is as nonexistent as was Iraq’s. But in 2005 Iran announced it would form its own International Oil Bourse (IOB) allowing international oil, gas, and petroleum products to be traded using a basket of currencies other than the U.S. dollar.
Russia intends to trade oil in rubles, China in yuan renminbi’s. Both are nuclear powers and neither is going to back down. This is the big league. America plays a dangerous game as it conducts war exercises in Poland and expands military bases in the Pacific.The death throes of empire are unpredictable and it is unknown how much damage will be done by the flailing giant as it falls.
Part XVII will discuss: It Is All So Unnecessary
Author’s note: This article was written with the fear that it may sound as though the writer is a believer in conspiracy theories. That is not the case. The quest for wealth and money and their associated power has always ruled the world. History is filled with violence and brutality resulting from this reality. Our planet has become a small and fragile place. Given the dangers of nuclear war and global warming, the search for truth – wherever it may lead – is critical.