- "The U.S. economy is a confidence trick based on
everybody else's perception that the United States is centrally important
for the world's security and that its economy is centrally important for
the world economy. --Gwynne Dyer
- Future Tense: The Coming World Order
- Anybody besides me watch, "Oil Storm" a couple
weeks ago? A fictional-futuristic documentary, the program's noble purpose
may have frightened more than a few motorists in America, comfortably ensconced
in their gas-guzzling SUV's. Especially after seeing the price of gasoline
rise suddenly, during the program, due to various, semi-believable scenarios
and unpredictable factors. Gas rose to an eye-popping $8.29 a gallon ($8.39
for premium). Never mentioned, however, were the huge, trade imbalances
or monthly deficits we currently absorb for the sake of imported oil. Or
the huge costs we pay to "safeguard" that continuous supply.
- Still, I gave the program an A+ for effort, although
I channel surfed
away from time to time due to my AADD.
- The producers tried to show the human side to any disruption
in the supply of foreign oil, people dying or going bankrupt or losing
their homes and jobs. "Oil Storm" dared to show what I call the
Day After Tomorrow syndrome: where bad things happen
to shortsighted people. For example, that China, flush with Yankee dollars,
would--predictably--outbid us (with out own money) one day for imported
- I would have preferred the program use other examples
of powerful, film imagry. For example, show
an endless line of shiny SUVs, with absurdly low prices painted on
their windshields, parked at a used car lot. After the first OPEC oil embargo,
I recall, gas guzzling muscle cars went cheaply while high mileage cars
were much in demand. Although prices for some of these collectable, muscle
cars has rebounded into the ridiculous realm, that probably won't happen
with the current crop of land yachts.
- Likewise, in the program, Bush named some guy named Roden
as his Energy Czar. Roden looked just like Wolfowitz and the sternest measure
Roden could devise was a return to the 50 MPH speed limit! As if most Americans,
the brightest and most ingenious inventors who have ever walked the planet,
wouldn't have devised a whole fleet of alternate energy vehicles after
gasoline approached five, six or seven dollars a gallon. Indeed, that guy
who created his own cryogenic
car, getting 120 MPG, would not only have been swamped with orders
but hired by General Motors as CEO.
- But the idea that America could buy or bribe or legislate
her way out of trouble with the rest of the world, troubled me. The US
dollar just ain't that strong. The program rated a D in Econ for that rosy
- Unless you're older than seventy, most Americans don't
know that after England "won" the war with Nazi Germany in 1945,
the English pound was devalued from the equivalent of $4.00 in worth comparable
to the US dollar (prewar) to less than 3/4 that previous value just a few
years later. Then again in 1967, the pound dropped from $2.80 to $2.40.
And during the 'Eighties, the English
pound dropped again, to about half that value. Thus the English empire
had spent itself out, just as we appear to be spending ourselves out.
- Is the devaluation of the US dollar very far away--the
first of many devaluations? In a Wall Street Journal column entitled, "Another Bubble Set To Blow
Up?" investment guru, Paul Farrell, wrote: "Lately I'm seeing
telltale signs everywhere that despite all the bullish talk, a bubble's
about to burst. Something will pull the trigger---real estate, hedge funds,
deficits, something." Perhaps Farrell recently read Mike Ruppert's
the Rubicon. The underlying premise of that book being Peak Oil created
a need for a false flag terrorist event to promote whole-hearted military
incursions into the Persian Gulf.
- A South Florida reader of the WSJ, a fellow named Bruce
Carey, queried columnist David Wessel: "Concerning the national debt:
to which countries do we owe money and how much?...What security, if any,
is given to each of the countires. How much interest does the US government
- Wessel replied that Japan held 552 billion in US government
bonds, China 189 billion, Taiwan 65 billion, United Kingdom 45 billion,
South Korea 43 and Germany 42 billion. "In all, foreigners held about
$1.9 trillion in US government debt," observed Wessel. But he also
noted, "US businesses, governments and banks had borrowed a whopping
$8.36 trillion from foreigners." Call me a naive old hippie, but that
seems like a whole lot of bread.
- Not mentioned in "Oil
Storm" posts were the deeper, darker reasons for America's involvement
in Iraq and Afghanistan. This
was the war to save the US dollar, as Gavin
Putland phrased it. In short, the US dollar was doomed without a few
bold strokes. Bush and his band of oiligarchs chose, for whatever sinister
reasons--personal greed, lust for power, thinly-disgiused alliance with
Israel, or pragmatic, national security interests--to put aside any moral
reason and simply use military power to grab the oil fields and thus ensure
the US dollar is the currency of choice, now and forever (or for as long
as the Neocons wield power).
- "If a second currency were allowed into the oil
market, it would soon become a general-purpose trading and reserve currency,
especially if it were legal tender in an economy comparable in size to
the USA," wrote Putland. "The Euro Zone already has a bigger
share of world trade than the USA...If the euro becomes a global currency
to rival the dollar, central banks and other traders will sell down their
dollar reserves, causing the value of the dollar to plummet."
- Free markets--as we are always told in school--are one
indicator of a true democracy. One would then expect American bankers and
business leaders, who essentially wield all the power in the USA and have
for two centuries, to embrace the competition. Curiously, the most outspoken
critic of the monopolistic system of US
petro dollars, was Saddam Hussein.
- "In October 2000, Iraq persuaded the United Nations
to allow Iraqi oil to be sold for euros instead of dollars, with effect
from November 6," wrote Putland. With this impudent act, Hussein ensured
his hasty removal. "Iraq then converted its entire $10 billion "oil
for food" reserve fund from dollars to euros. These events went unreported
in the US media."
- Imagine if Hussein had succeeded--and convinced other
troublesome OPEC nations to adopt the euro conversion plan? If that had
happened, the US dollar would have crashed years ago, predictably plunged
in value, probably in the months just before September 11, 2001.
- For now, the US dollar is propped up by massive
amounts of borrowing--and by costly military actions against any rogue
nation foolish enough to decry the dollar. Like, formerly sovereign nation,
Iraq. But for those who profess a belief in family values--ironically many
Bush supporters--the massive amount of debt accrued will remain for their
kids to pay.
- Douglas Herman writes regularly for Rense and is the
author of the recent novel, Guns of
Dallas, available online or autographed copies may be purchased directly
from the author at email@example.com