What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: NANO
In recent years (and decades) we have seen bold, invasive military action promoted in the name of securing our “national interests”. Ron Paul, in his excellent speech (which you must read if you’ve yet to do so) titled “The End of Dollar Hegemony”, discusses how those national interests are often tied to protecting the strength of the dollar:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In light of such a perspective, it is interesting to note that, as this Al Jazeera article explains, other countries are seeking to diversify their assets and get rid of their dollars:
Gulf economies will move away from a dollar currency peg and shift foreign exchange reserves away from dollar to other currencies, including the Chinese yuan, the chief executive of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has said.
Nasser al-Shaali noted that the UAE central bank had already started buying euros – part of its strategy to move about 10 per cent of its reserves into the single European currency before the end of the year.
Not surprising (especially in light of recent conflicts and pressure with Iran) is the revelation that China is also paying for Iranian oil in euros:
China’s state-run Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp, the biggest buyer of Iranian crude worldwide, began paying for its oil in euros late last year as Tehran moves to diversify its foreign reserves away from U.S. dollars.
As Rep. Paul masterfully explains in his speech, a death knell sounds off (secretly, of course… one wouldn’t want the public to be informed on such matters) when anybody tries to abandon the dollar. The government’s creation of money by fiat is an illusion that, amazingly, has persisted even this long. Like many other government promises, the one stipulating the (rapidly devaluating) value of your “currency” is backed not by precious metals or other objects of intrinsic value, but by a gun. Uncle Sam says that your Federal Reserve Note is currency, and so be it. Anybody who disagrees gets a prescription of “shock and awe”.
The adage “it’s all about the money” is truer than most seem to believe.