Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Iran - the US' next great success!

Modern life embodies a conflict between “truth” and “aesthetics”. John Kenneth Galbraith, the late American economist, summed this up well. “A toothbrush does little but clean teeth. Alcohol is important mostly for making people more or less drunk. An automobile can take one reliably to a destination and back….its further features are of small consequences…There being so little to be said, much must be invented. Social distinction must be associated with a house…sexual fulfillment with a particular…automobile, social acceptance with….a mouthwash…etc. We live surrounded by a systematic appeal to a dream world which all mature, scientific reality would reject. We, quite literally, advertise our commitment to immaturity, mendacity and profound gullibility. It is the hallmark of our culture.”1

As oil tops 90 bucks a barrel, those who wrestle with their (d)illusions struggle to avoid the inevitable reality of the latest, pricey newsflash. Much of this is difficult to digest as Christmas sits around the corner. Thankfully, we’re personally attempting to curb our reliance on the oil vice prior to the arrival of an economic crisis (we’re already in the downturn) resulting from our own collective horrible mismanagement of our limited resources.

An oil man who was unable to satisfactorily run any of the businesses he was entrusted now gets to play economics. Firing the economic advisors who warned this Administration of inevitable failure did not magically reverse the outcome. The dollar’s tanking, oil’s rising and a credit crunch has strangled a significant portion of the US economy now that our debt has ballooned beyond the stratosphere. Now Bush tries to scare us again into believing that if we’re interested in avoiding World War III, we better be interested in keeping nuclear, sorry, NUC-U-LER technology out of Iran’s hands. Just like the Iraq fear-mongering ploy, this is a narrow explanation for a much deeper story. It’s an explanation for children. We’d ask you consider the following – a more valid and adult description of why Bush and his Capital Cronies feel Iran shouldn’t have nuclear power. These following excerpts were found at www.courtfool.com, written by an independent researcher in the Netherlands.

So, if the so-called proofs against Iran appear to be fabricated, what is the real issue? I think the general idea is clear to all. With its excessive energy consumption the US thinks, it is necessary to have pro-US governments in Iraq, Iran and, (for the UNOCAL pipeline project), also in Afghanistan. During the Cold War Saddam Hussein in Iraq and shah Reza in Iran were useful US’ allies, but those days are over. Thanks to Bush we now have wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran is located in between. Considering the reputation the US has built up in Iran a spontaneous uprising of a pro-US government is not likely to happen soon.

Another thing that explains Bush aggressive stance against Iran is its part in the weakening dollar. A new Iranian oil bourse, if successful, may even trip up US’ hegemony. [10]

At a glance, this is how it works. The world’s oil and gas is traded in US-dollars. Since 1971 the US has enjoyed the advantage of being the petrodollar supplier to the world. Supplying dollars to foreign countries means, the US can print money and purchase goods, services and investments with it. Since the foreigners need these dollars to buy oil, and keep them also in use in the international trade outside the US, the US has never had to deliver anything in return. Merely supplying money means free shopping. This is how US’ foreign debt grew to 3,200,000,000,000 dollars today. If at some point the world starts selling the trillions of dollars they currently hold, the exchange markets would be flooded with dollars, and, as a result, the value of the dollar would drop to next to nothing. It would trigger a financial crisis, but if the dollar becomes worth next to nothing, it means the foreign debt would vanish. So it is very advantageous to deliver currencies that are permanently needed and wanted abroad. And that is the case as long as the world needs dollars to buy oil and gas.2

We’ve suggested in the past that Bernanke’s persistent dedication to America’s debt habits is fully supportive of America’s oil habits. Lowering the interest rates again, they hope, will buy time while they carefully drive the dollar down to keep up the appearance that they’ve somehow paid down the federal deficit. Let’s all hope these boys don’t go just a little too far. We’ve seen the bubble created in housing explode because they went a little too far. The million dollar question becomes, how far can we go to maintain this lifestyle? The current credit crisis is not just a small bump in the road of financial life. These events are as related to oil as the Iraq War. The world is unveiling the ILLUSION the American economy has been employing. Helicopter Ben drops Dollars, housing unravels; Washington does what it can to keep the stock market rising while credit goes short; bankers attempt to open and clear, or we believe, flash mirrors while blowing smoke, in hopes to recover before the derivitives markets take them down - and suddenly Iran has become the next big threat! Bernanke was very concerned about inflation just a few months ago. Now, we await the potential lowering of interest rates for a second time, pending the Fed announcement this week. Maybe Bernanke is just trying to reopen the credit faucet because he knows we’ll all need it to pay our winter heating oil bills! Same old solution – borrow what you can’t pay for and hope to pay it tomorrow. But, back to Iran.

The US is in conflict with Iran, since it was thrown out of the country in 1979. According to the US, Iran is a dangerous country of fundamentalists.

The geographical position of Iran, between the Caspian Sea and the Indian Ocean, complicates US ambitions to control the rich reserves of oil and gas on the East side of the Caspian Sea. To transport this oil and gas to world markets without crossing neither Russia, nor Iran, pipelines had to be built through Afghanistan. Plans were made in the early nineties, but the pipelines are still not there.

Meanwhile the US tries to frustrate all competing projects of other countries. Of course, this led to multiple conflicts of interest with Iran. George W. Bush would pretext the presence of Osama bin Laden to start a war against Afghanistan. [14]

In 1999 Iran publicly stated it wanted to accept euros for its oil as well. Iran sells 30 % of its oil production to Europe, the rest mainly to India and China and not a drip to the US, as a result of an embargo established by the US itself. In spite of Bush’ threatening tale, mentioning the country in his famous “axis of evil” [speech], Iran started to sell its oil in euros from spring 2003.

After that, Iran wanted to establish its own oil-bourse, independent from the IPE and NYMEX. It would start on 20 March 2006. Considering the very weak health of the dollar at that time, a success of this bourse could have led to a catastrophe for the dollar and thus for the US. That is why tensions were very high at the beginning of 2006. [15]

Finally the opening of the oil-bourse was postponed. After that Putin established an oil bourse in Russia as quickly as possible, which took away the interest of the Iranian oil bourse. [16] [17] [18]

The US accuses Iran of wanting to make nukes. Because the US has not sufficient influence to switch back the oil trade into dollars, it probably hopes that the Iranian nuclear sites will be bombed once again [19], so Iran would have to consume its oil instead of selling it in euros.

Moreover, a masterly plan has been conceived to take possession of the world market for nuclear fuel, in concert with a few other countries and using Iran as the pretext and the test case. With this plan the demand for dollars would be secured for a long time, even after the oil age. [20]3

We think, as usual, it’s important to follow the crumbs of money, especially when they are dropped in US Dollars. An oil strawman was put in place for a reason. There was not even an honest election. Now, it’s almost laughable to consider how our “leaders” are destroying the dollar while they try to ensure its continued use. Ironic, in fact.

We are quite aware of the dire fragility of the American Dream as we enter an era riddled with problems larger than many this nation has faced in the past. We used to be proud Americans, however, we’re not prone to sychophantic dishonesty, so don’t look for a whole lot of sugar-coated shit on this blog. We are now quite concerned, and not so very proud. Experiencing environmental and economic shifts related to both global warming and peak oil, does not appear to propel us to find solutions, like Americans typically would (when not being led around like puppets). Rather, we Americans allow our government to play war games around the world. Will true Americans continue to invest in the systemic illusion on which our culture thrives? Or will we eventually open our eyes?

1. Satyajit Das; Perfect Storms – Beautiful & True Lies In Risk Management, 2007.
2. Rudo de Ruijter; www.courtfool.com. From the entry, US-Iran: Raid on Nuclear Fuel Market.
3. Rudo de Ruijter; www.courtfool.com. From the entry, Cost, Abuse & Danger of the Dollar.


Sugar said...

Great post with lots of historical context. This topic really burns me up and the fact that most people don't even know what's happening makes me even sicker!

Harry Brinson & Stacey Barrington said...

Glad you enjoyed the read. It burns us up too, hence the big post. Anyway, pass it on...use your voice to bring a renewed awareness. Too many Americans are forgetting their history, and denying truth can no longer be disguised as patriotism.