Signs of the Times – part 6
Quotes of the Day:
One of the dirty little secrets of today’s international order is that the rest of the globe could topple the United States from its hegemonic status whenever they so choose with a concerted abandonment of the dollar standard. This is America’s preeminent, inescapable Achilles Heel for now and the foreseeable future. Richard Benson, President, Specialty Finance Group
The Federal Reserve’s greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 82 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar’s steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.) www.oilempire.us
Oil and gas are not the ultimate aims of the US [in Iraq]. It’s about control. If the US controls the sources of energy of its rivals — Europe, Japan, China, and other nations aspiring to be more independent — they win. Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, January 20, 2002.
To understand how Saddam Hussein and Iraq fit into our story, we need to go back to the early 1950’s and begin with Iran. In 1951 Mohammed Mossadegh was elected Prime Minister of Iran. Mossadegh was an Iranian nationalist and he nationalized the Iranian oil industry – taking control (and profits) away from the American and British oil companies. The CIA quickly engineered a coup against Mossadegh and installed Reza Pahlavi as the Shah of Iran, in his place. [Even Time Magazine attests to the fact that a democratically elected leader was removed by the CIA. In Time Magazine’s, Feb 3, 2002 edition, in the leading article entitled “The CIAs Secret Army,” it says: “In operation Ajax, CIA officers in Iran engineer a coup against Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, restoring Shah Reza Pahlavi to the throne. The agency’s role soon becomes widely known.” The excuse for the coup, of course, was the fear of communism. Mossadegh was labeled a closet communist and because the Soviet Union bordered oil rich Iran, it threatened the security of the Western Alliance – so it had to be done.
The Iranian people are now enraged. They turn against western democratic ideals and turn to religious fundamentalism. Soon the Shah of Iran is fleeing and the Islamic revolutionary, the Ayatollah Khomeini takes over. During the takeover period, the Iranians fearing another CIA coup, storm the American Embassy and take the inhabitants hostage. America launches a rescue of the hostages but the rescue mission fails, with the loss of American lives. President Carter is reduced to begging the Iranians to let the hostages go. Now it is the American people who are enraged.
It is never wise to humiliate a super power. Living next door to Iran at this time was a gentleman who had just recently come to power in Iraq, by the name of Saddam Hussein. Iran suddenly finds itself attacked by Saddam Hussein, and the war carries on for eight years. Henry Kissinger’s comment at the time was: “I hope they slaughter each other.” And just to make sure they did slaughter each other, America supplied arms to both sides. Yes they did! It was all exposed in Congressional hearings in Washington D.C. and became known as the Iran-Contra Affair. As far as arms supply went, America of course favored Iraq, so Saddam was also given WMD (weapons of mass destruction –poisons gas etc), which he used against the Iranians and also Kurdish rebels in his own country.
When the war was finally over, Saddam Hussein wanted his reward for being a “good boy.” His understanding was that he was going to get Kuwait. [Many Middle Eastern borders were originally established by colonial powers – therefore there are still some disputes about borders in the region, and Iraq has always claimed Kuwait as being a part of Iraq]. Saddam got the green light to go into Kuwait when the American ambassador (April Glaspie, July 25, 1990), officially said to him: “we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.” So in 1990, Saddam marched into Kuwait, and America changed its mind, and kicked him out again. America could have marched on to Baghdad and finished him off, but Colin Powell [the American General on the ground and soon to be Secretary of State], later said: “We still needed Saddam” – he was still needed because the real threat was (and still is Iran), and Saddam might be needed again to counter the Iranian threat.
So, Saddam was left to fester in Baghdad, nursing his grievances and suffering from severe economic sanctions from the rest of the world, against his regime. So in 2002, he decides to retaliate. On September 24, 2002, Saddam announced to the world that he would soon be changing from the dollar (which he called “the currency of the enemy”) to the euro, for the sale of Iraq’s oil. [Unfortunately, not all the people of the world heard his announcement. Only a short news story about Iraq’s change, was announced on the website of Radio Liberty (run by the U.S. State Dept.) on Nov. 1st, 2002. And CNN News had a reference on its website for just 24hrs on Oct 30th 2002]. It was never again mentioned in the American media, or by the American Government, in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq the following year. Instead, the war drums were beating the constant refrain that: “Saddam has weapons of mass destruction – therefore we have to invade Iraq and find these weapons before he gives them to al-Qaeda.” But after the Second Gulf War, and after Iraq was searched from top to bottom, no WMD was found (probably because Saddam had used it all).
Of course the real reason that Saddam had to be removed was because of his challenge to American hegemony. [The all-encompassing control that America has over the world at large, through the status of the American dollar as the world currency of exchange]. This could not be tolerated because it might encourage other nations to do the same. [In which case the whole house of cards that was being built to maintain control would have collapsed]. It was this action that sealed Saddam’s fate. Just as the removal of Mossedegh in Iran was something that had to be done, for the security of the Western alliance, the same logic applied to Saddam. And all those who try to “buck the system” will receive the same treatment. [Including members of the Western Alliance who don’t behave themselves]. Unfortunately, this is how the world works –it is not a pleasant place – never was and never will be.
God bless, Bruce Telfer.