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Archives, Charles Shaw

ARCHIVES: The Crude Truth

(This article by Charles Shaw was originally published in the July/August 2003 issue of Newtopia Magazine)

World trade is now a game in which the US produces dollars and the rest of the world produces things that dollars can buy, like oil. This is the story of the Petrodollar, the true Governor General of the Empire, and the force that makes the US supreme.

“The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

– Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda, 1933-1945

Why did we go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan? It wasn’t because of WMD, terrorism, liberation, or even bold political doctrines. It was to stabilize the Petrodollar, and prevent the US economy, and by proxy much of the world economy, from an epic collapse on par with the Great Depression.

“Petrodollars” are the currency used by nations to purchase crude oil. “Petro Dollars” also happen to be US Dollars. The war In Iraq was a pre-emptive attempt to return 10 Billion in Iraqi oil from the Euro to the Dollar, take control of Iraq’s proven reserves, initiate massive production in excess of OPEC quotas, reduce global oil prices, and thereby begin the process of dismantling OPEC’s price controls. This is the only course of action for a nation hopelessly strung out on high-grade petroleum. Everything we touch is made from it.

The end-goal of the neoconservative agenda is incredibly bold yet simple: They understand our only weakness is oil (how else to explain an Administration filled with former oil executives), and as such, use the “war on terror” as the premise to intervene militarily in OPEC nations. Their goal is to finally dissolve OPEC’s decision-making process, thus ultimately preventing the cartel’s inevitable switch to pricing oil in euros, which is the only visible way to end US hegemony. The emergence of military empire and the social rollback at home are just concurrent effects of controlling the world’s oil supply, quashing dissent, shaping popular opinion, and flexing might.

So, how hegemonic are we? By the late 1990s, more than four-fifths of all foreign exchange transactions, and half of all world exports, were denominated in dollars. In addition, the US currency accounted for about two thirds of all official exchange reserves. The world’s dependency on US dollars to pay for trade has seen countries bound to dollar reserves, which are disproportionally higher than America’s share in global output. The share of the dollar in the denomination of world trade is also much higher than the share of the US in world trade. It means we borrow more than we lend, and we import more than we export on a level that would stagger you.

The U.S. economy has acquired a, $6.3 trillion dollar deficit (55% of our GDP), a record-high trade account deficit of almost 5% of GDP, and a return to Reagan and Bush I era annual budget deficits in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And while this goes on, our friends in the EU have been making the rounds of all the nations of the world that do business with the West, pitching the Euro as a much more solid investment that the Dollar, which right now it appears to be.

These are factors that would devalue the currency of any nation under the “old rules.” So why is the dollar still strong despite these structural flaws? Well, those who control currency understand that the strength of the dollar does not merely rest on our economic output, and that the dollar posses two unique advantages relative to all other hard currencies.

Since 1945 the strength of the US Dollar has been that it is the international reserve currency. Other nations spend dollars in the global market to acquire their goods and materials, including the very necessary and precious crude oil. The US Dollar is used as the “fiat currency” for global oil transactions, thus the nickname “Petro Dollar”.

Here’s how it works. The U.S. prints hundreds of billions of these fiat petro-dollars, which are then distributed through the World Bank and the IMF to nations around the world to purchase oil/energy from the OPEC producing nations. These petro-dollars are then re-cycled from OPEC back into the U.S. via Treasury Bills or other dollar-denominated assets such as U.S. stocks, bonds, real estate, and annuities.

The old rules for currency valuation and economic power were based on a series of separate, but interdependent entities: our flexible market, free flow of trade goods, high per worker productivity, manufacturing output/trade surpluses, government regulation of business (which Reagan dismantled in the 1980s) a well developed infrastructure, education system, and of course total cash flow and profitability. While many of these factors remain present, over the last two decades we have diluted some of these “safe harbor” fundamentals. Despite imbalances and some structural problems that are escalating within the U.S. economy, the dollar as the fiat oil currency created “new rules”. The following exerts from an article in the Asia Times discusses the virtues of our fiat oil currency and dollar hegemony:

“Ever since 1971, when US president Richard Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard (at $35 per ounce) that had been agreed to at the Bretton Woods Conference at the end of World War II, the dollar has been a global monetary instrument that the United States, and only the United States, can produce by fiat. The dollar, now a fiat currency, is at a 16-year trade-weighted high despite record US current-account deficits and the status of the US as the leading debtor nation. The US national debt as of April 4 was $6.021 trillion against a gross domestic product (GDP) of $9 trillion.”

“World trade is now a game in which the US produces dollars and the rest of the world produces things that dollars can buy. The world’s interlinked economies no longer trade to capture a comparative advantage; they compete in exports to capture needed dollars to service dollar-denominated foreign debts and to accumulate dollar reserves to sustain the exchange value of their domestic currencies. To prevent speculative and manipulative attacks on their currencies, the world’s central banks must acquire and hold dollar reserves in corresponding amounts to their currencies in circulation. The higher the market pressure to devalue a particular currency, the more dollar reserves its central bank must hold. This creates a built-in support for a strong dollar that in turn forces the world’s central banks to acquire and hold more dollar reserves, making it stronger.

“This phenomenon is known as dollar hegemony, which is created by the geopolitically constructed peculiarity that critical commodities, most notably oil, are denominated in dollars. Everyone accepts dollars because dollars can buy oil. The recycling of Petrodollars is the price the US has extracted from oil-producing countries for US tolerance of the oil-exporting cartel since 1973.”

“By definition, dollar reserves must be invested in US assets, creating a capital-accounts surplus for the US economy. Even after a year of sharp correction, US stock valuation is still at a 25-year high and trading at a 56 percent premium compared with emerging markets. The US capital-account surplus in turn finances the US trade deficit. Moreover, any asset, regardless of location, that is denominated in dollars is a US asset in essence. When oil is denominated in dollars through US state action, and the dollar is a fiat currency, the US essentially owns the world’s oil for free. And the more the US prints greenbacks, the higher the price of US assets will rise. Thus a strong-dollar policy gives the US a double win.”

‘US Dollar hegemony has got to go’ by Henry C K Liu, Asia Times, April 11, 2002 http://www.atimes.com/global-econ/DD11Dj01.html

This arrangement has raised the value of all dollar denominated assets & properties, and allowed the Federal Reserve to create a truly massive debt and credit expansion, or ‘credit bubble’. These current structural imbalances in the U.S. economy are sustainable as long as Nations continue to demand and purchase oil for their energy/survival needs, and the fiat reserve currency for global oil transactions remains the U.S. dollar. These underlying factors, along with the “safe harbor” reputation of U.S. investments afforded by the dollar’s reserve currency status, propelled the U.S. to economic and military hegemony in the post-World War II era.

However, the introduction of the Euro is a significant new factor, and appears to be the primary threat to U.S. economic hegemony. The Euro could feasibly supplant the Dollar as fiat currency as the EU expands this year to nearly half a billion people and a collective economy that will soon surpass that of the United States. The European Union presents a more progressive, less militaristic alternative to dollar hegemony. To the chagrin of the EU, the most valuable assets are and continue to be American.

However, shifting oil from Dollars to Euros is entirely feasible, and worse, plausible. Widely unreported in the American media was Saddam Hussein’s November 2000 decision to move his $10 Billion in oil for food money at the UN from the Dollar to the Euro, and the ripple effect that had Venezuela (40% of American oil imports), and China diversify their currency reserves with Euros. The rest of OPEC has, beginning with Iran, made intonations to follow.

Should the world’s fiat currency become the Petro Euro, it is estimated the US economy would almost immediately shrink or “deflate” an estimated 40%, and more than 10 million people would be out of work virtually overnight. Why the Bush Administration chose to dress up the war in nationalism, liberation, and security will be discussed directly, but we can acknowledge one of the three, security. It was about securing a way of life that we have come to take for granted, but do not necessarily deserve. Americans have learned how not to live without. Americans always expect to be happy.

Does this explain our preoccupation with Iraq and Iran (and our anger with France) over much greater threats like N. Korea?

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SOME EXCITING AND UNDER-REPORTED HISTORY

How does the United States maintain a continuous stream of oil at 30 bucks a barrel for 300 Million Americans and 200 million automobiles? Americans never question the means through which their lifestyle is provided. Most don’t seem to want to know the truth.

The truth is, it is a Herculean task, but one of obscene profitability that seemingly justifies almost any act, even war. Western Society faces the immediate and perpetual decline in our standard of living if we don’t steal every oil, gas, and uranium deposit on earth before 2012. This is a simple mathematical fact that has been discussed for decades. Population growth and industrial demand are outpacing energy production growth, and have been since 1979. World Oil production peaks in 2012, and after that, it’s a rapid slide all the way down the bell curve. We face a never before seen energy crisis by the end of this decade, made worse by the exponential rise in Chinese, Caspian, and Indian energy demands between now and 2012.

The government knows this, the energy companies know this, and the line between the two is blurring more with every successive presidential administration. This is also the much sought after answer for why we are not spending our obscene national wealth on scientific research into fusion or free energy instead of spending nearly a trillion dollars each year making things to kill lots and lots of poor colored people so we can steal their land and mineral rights. In doing so, we are guilty of extending the life of the Empire by baby steps.

To take people down the path to “enlightenment” all you really need to do is give them some history. Common sense will dictate the rest. We should begin with a brief timeline to show Americans why the rest of the world is mad at their country. This is the stuff that you can find if you look for it, but is conveniently left out of our popular history, which is to say the history you would get if you stopped the average American on the street and began asking them a few questions. It is not pleasant, and it is not noble, but it is the simple truth of life on our planet, and the perils of Western colonialism. America is by far not the only culprit. And it’s a matter of opinion as to who was the “worst” colonial power. You judge for yourself.

Here are a few other September 11ths:

September 11, 1609 – Henry Hudson “discovers” Manhattan Island. Blankets infected with measles and smallpox are given to the natives so the colonial armies can save bullets. In the NY area alone, more than 150,000 First Nations people are killed or left homeless in the ensuing years.

September 11, 1839 – President Martin van Buren, through the US State Department, tried to have the executive branch interfere with the judiciary, in order to have a group of Africans, free men by American law at the time, returned to their ‘rightful owners’, the Spanish Crown, and sent to Cuba for detention followed by trial and execution. US law at the time stated clearly that only slaves born into slavery were legally slaves in the United States.

September 11, 1917 – Ferdinand Marcos Philippines Pres (1965-86) is born. His US sponsored military dictatorship and death squads trained at Fort Benning Georgia were responsible for the death of tens of thousands of Filipinos. Hundreds of thousands more were tortured, mutilated, and had their homes burnt to the ground with US State Department approval.

September 11, 1919 – The US invades Honduras on behalf of the United Fruit Company to put down a popular revolt against a US puppet dictatorship that had been murdering, starving and torturing the populace at the behest of United Fruit for decades.

September 11, 1922 – The British Mandate of Palestine Begins. British guns murdered tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs, displacing them from their homes and settlements that were then given to Jewish settlers. More than 1200 villages were totally destroyed by the British in collaboration with Jewish militants. Since that time, more than three million Palestinians have been made homeless, and more than 100,000 have been killed by British, American, and Israeli soldiers, to make room for Jewish settlers in contravention of international law, and in violation of no less than 30 directives of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

September 11, 1941 – Ground broken for construction of the Pentagon, with financial subsidy coming from many US corporations who were actively trading with the Nazis, some of them until 1945. Among those trading with the enemy was Prescott Bush, grandfather of G W Bush, who used Auschwitz slave labor at his Nazi steel manufacturing plant Consolidated Silesian Steel, of which he was managing director. Roosevelt had to trick Americans into going to war by allowing Pearl Harbor to happen after backing Japan into a corner with a trade embargo.

September 11, 1946 – US Troops land in Korea at Nogun-Ri and hundreds of other sites. In all, more than three million Koreans lose their lives, out of a combined North and South Korean population of thirty million.

September 11, 1973 – Chile’s elected President Salvador Allende is deposed in a CIA backed military coup, resulting in 3175 deaths on the first day of Augusto Pinochet’s reign. During Pinochet’s US Backed tenure, more than 100,000 people disappeared, and hundreds of thousands were tortured using tactics taught at Fort Benning Georgia’s School of the Americas using the now declassified CIA Kubark Manual.

September 11, 1990 – George H W Bush makes his “Toward a New World Order” speech, announcing the sanctions regime, which by 2003 had killed more than 2 million people.

Ok, so that’s a strange bit of history. I assure you, what’s stranger is the experience of looking it all up. That was how I pieced together this “follow the money ” timeline. Here you will see that the fortunes of the United States are hopelessly intertwined with those of the Defense and Petrochemical industries, and that trifecta has created a Petrodollar Empire whose power is unparalleled in world history. As you step back further and further to view this vast pointillist petro-political masterpiece, the millions of tiny dots that comprise individual people or events in history begin to coalesce into a clear portrait of the true history of the late 20th and early 21st Century. It acknowledges that right now the only reason we rule is because of oil, and once it goes, without a hold on the replacement, we go.

1970’s

The Bush family begins a long term business relationship with the Bin Laden family and the Mahfouz family, which continues to this day. The Bin Ladens and Mahfouz invest in G W Bush’s Harken Energy and Caterair, and later the Bin Ladens invest in the Carlyle Group. In 1979 Osama Bin Laden goes to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, with support from Pakistan’s ISI, with the ISI’s operation being funded by the CIA.

1980’s

Bin Laden forms Makhtab Al Khidimat, precursor to Al-Qaeda. Numerous think tank reports are published calling for a larger US presence in the Persian Gulf, in order to protect American oil and gas interests in the Middle East, in particular the need to increase the US presence in Saudi Arabia. By 1988 the Soviets pull out of Afghanistan, defeated by the Mujahadeen and Bin Laden’s MAK, after more than six billion dollars is spent by the CIA. In 1989 Bin Laden returns to Saudi Arabia, where the US is looking to expand its military presence, and begins stirring up political dissent. The Sudanese government begins dealing with Canadian, Russian and Chinese oil and gas interests, refusing to deal with US interests. US Oil interests are looking for pressure to be applied to Sudan by the US State Department, but no pretext exists for US Sanctions against the Sudan.

1990’s

In 1990 Kuwait begins slant drilling at the Iraqi border. Saddam is tricked into attacking Kuwait after US Ambassador April Glaspie tell him that “the US has no opinion on his border dispute with Kuwait.” Around this time the US State Department begins pressuring King Fahd to ask the Americans via the United Nations to defend Saudi Arabia, convincing him that Hussein would invade if given the opportunity. Former CIA/ISI asset Bin Laden goes to King Fahd and offers to bring his Mujahadeen to Saudi Arabia to defend the Holy Land against Iraqi attack. Fearing a coup by the politically active Bin Laden, King Fahd rejects Bin Laden’s offer, jails him, and asks the Americans to come protect Saudi Arabia. The bases set up by the US in Saudi Arabia in 1991 remained until 2003 when new bases were set up in Iraq, Qatar, and Afghanistan.

September 11, 1990 – GHW Bush makes his ‘Toward a New World Order’ speech.

January 16, 1991 – The US invades Iraq, along with a UN coalition.

1991 – Bin Laden somehow escapes from a Saudi prison and ends up settling in the Sudan, where the US has been looking for a pretext for sanctions or invasion since the 1980’s. Bin Laden sets up Al-Qaeda training camps.

1991- India allows privatization of energy suppliers.

1991 – Heavy US interest in the Caspian Basin basin’s oil and gas reserves begins. Major Oil companies begin the process of negotiating exploitation deals. US companies are also interested in Uranium mining in Somalia, but have been unable to make headway.

1992 – G H W Bush begins planning for a ‘humanitarian operation’ in Somalia.

January 1993 – The Clinton administration goes ahead with the operation in Somalia.

Spring 1993 – Clinton escalates the Somalia operation, in an attempt to oust the warlords.

1993 – Enron signs a deal with India for the Enron Dhabol project, amidst a slew of controversy. Accusations of bribery and coercion are made against Enron. According to the World Bank, the deal makes no economic sense, as there’s no existing energy source cheap enough to power the plant in a profitable fashion. Only with an energy source close to India, perhaps a source from the Caspian Basin, could the project succeed. No such pipeline is in existence. The World Bank refuses to participate or sign off on the project. Enron goes ahead with the project regardless of the financial realities existing at the time, which indicate the project is not viable.

October 1993 – After suffering casualties and horrible media coverage of American troops being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu, Clinton begins the pullout from Somalia. No Uranium exploitation deals are signed, and to date no uranium exploitation by US companies has taken place.

1994 – Exxon forms the Exxon Natural Gas Indonesia Corporation in 1994, under the corrupt Suharto regime. In November, they sign a $35 billion gas exploration deal with Indonesia, for exploration of the Natuna gas field in the Spratlys Islands. Objections are immediately raised by China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam, all of whom are equidistant from the Spratlys and lay claim to the mineral rights.

1994 – Exxon, Chevron, BP, Unocal, Lukoil and others are signing deals and exploring for oil and gas reserves in the Caspian basin.

1995 – A number of Caspian exploration and pipeline consortiums are formed between Exxon, Chevron, BP, Unocal, Lukoil, Delta Oil, and other oil and gas players.

1995 – Unocal signs a deal with Turkmenistan for gas exploitation, but has no way to get the product to market.

1995 – Unocal begins negotiations with Uzbekistan for oil and gas rights. US military aid to the Uzbeks begins two months after Unocal signs a deal with Turkmenistan and begins negotiations with the Uzbeks.

1995 – Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-American employee of Unocal, begins negotiations with the Taliban on the company’s behalf in order to secure a pipeline deal through Afghanistan to Pakistan. On the Afghan side, Hamid Karzai, an ethnic Pashtun, is working for Unocal as an advisor, and also wooing the Taliban on behalf of Unocal. (source)

1996 – Negotiations with the Taliban go badly. The Taliban want a better deal than the pittance in tax revenues the US conglomerates Unocal and the Centgas consortium is willing to give.

June 1996 – After the Khobar bombing in Saudi Arabia, which is blamed on Al-Qaeda, the Clinton Administration sets up a sanctions regime against the Sudan, where US oil companies have been stymied.

1996 – The Sudanese government offers to share information on Bin Laden’s whereabouts and operations in the Sudan with the Clinton Administration. Clinton refuses to accept the information from the Sudanese government, so Bin Laden remains at large.

Summer 1996 – Former CIA/ISI asset Osama Bin Laden leaves the Sudan after sanctions are in place, and runs to Afghanistan, where pipeline negotiations with US companies have stalled.

1997 – The Taliban sit down to dinner with Unocal, fronted by Khalilzad and Karzai, in Houston, and take a tour of NASA’s space center, but refuse to sign a deal with Unocal. www.tehelka.com/channels/currentaffairs/2001/oct/3/ca100301us1.htm

In late 1997, Unocal gives up on pipeline negotiations. Khalilzad leaves Unocal, and joins the Rand Corporation, a think tank with great influence in Washington. Khalilzad does an about face and turns on the Taliban, now claiming they’re a blight on humanity that have to be forcibly removed from power.

1998 – February 12, John Maresca (vice chairman of Unocal) makes a speech to congress, which has become the outline for the current war and oil and gas pipelines.

“.A second option is to build a pipeline south from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. One obvious potential route south would be across Iran. However, this option is foreclosed for American companies because of U.S. sanctions legislation. The only other possible route option is across Afghanistan, which has its own unique challenges.

The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades. The territory across which the pipeline would extend is controlled by the Taliban, an Islamic movement that is not recognized as a government by most other nations. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of our proposed pipeline cannot begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders and our company.

In spite of this, a route through Afghanistan appears to be the best option with the fewest technical obstacles. It is the shortest route to the sea and has relatively favorable terrain for a pipeline. The route through Afghanistan is the one that would bring Central Asian oil closest to Asian markets and thus would be the cheapest in terms of transporting the oil.

Unocal envisions the creation of a Central Asian Oil Pipeline Consortium. The pipeline would become an integral part of a regional oil pipeline system that will utilize and gather oil from existing pipeline infrastructure in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. The 1,040-mile-long oil pipeline would begin near the town of Chardzhou, in northern Turkmenistan, and extend southeasterly through Afghanistan to an export terminal that would be constructed on the Pakistan coast on the Arabian Sea. Only about 440 miles of the pipeline would be in Afghanistan.

This 42-inch-diameter pipeline will have a shipping capacity of one million barrels of oil per day. Estimated cost of the project — which is similar in scope to the Trans Alaska Pipeline — is about US$2.5 billion.

There is considerable international and regional political interest in this pipeline. Asian crude oil importers, particularly from Japan, are looking to Central Asia and the Caspian as a new strategic source of supply to satisfy their desire for resource diversity. The pipeline benefits Central Asian countries because it would allow them to sell their oil in expanding and highly prospective hard currency markets. The pipeline would benefit Afghanistan, which would receive revenues from transport tariffs, and would promote stability and encourage trade and economic development. Although Unocal has not negotiated with any one group, and does not favor any group, we have had contacts with and briefings for all of them. We know that the different factions in Afghanistan understand the importance of the pipeline project for their country, and have expressed their support of it.

A recent study for the World Bank states that the proposed pipeline from Central Asia across Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea would provide more favorable netbacks to oil producers through access to higher value markets than those currently being accessed through the traditional Baltic and Black Sea export routes.

This is evidenced by the netback values producers will receive as determined by the World Bank study. For West Siberian crude, the netback value will increase by nearly $2.00 per barrel by going south to Asia. For a producer in western Kazakhstan, the netback value will increase by more than $1 per barrel by going south to Asia as compared to west to the Mediterranean via the Black Sea.”

The placement of ten new military bases in and around Afghanistan in December 2002 coincides with the planned route for the 2002 Turkmen-Afghan-Pakistan pipeline deal, which is the route Unocal proposed in 1998.

In 1998 the Carlyle Group, run by George HW Bush, purchased EG&G, a support company for government installations that has a monopoly on live HAZMAT training for Government personnel. Carlyle also purchases Sprayway, a pro cold weather clothing company (like the kind of clothes that would be used by 82nd airborne and 10th mountain division in Afghanistan) and Sprayway’s subsidiary Claire Manufacturing, which makes aerosols, and has the milling equipment to do things like mill Anthrax. Carlyle also purchases Medpointe, a medical database company, and Empi, who make a new hi-tech vaccine delivery system.

1998 – The Delta Hess Alliance is formed, as a partnership between Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia, and Amerada Hess Corporation of the USA, for Caspian Oil and Gas exploration. One of the Directors and shareholders in Amerada Hess is former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean. www.azer.com/aiweb/categories/services/services_company/deltahess.html

Four years later in 2002, Delta Hess is a major player in the Caspian, with interests in a number of oil and gas projects.

www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1210-04.htm

www.usacc.org/azerbaijan/oil-offshore.htm

Delta Oil, the Saudi oil company, is partly owned by Khalid Bin Mahfouz, business partner of the Bin Laden family and the Bush family. Mahfouz was also involved in the BCCI banking scandal, as reported by the Kerry Commission. The lead investigator into BCCI was Robert Mueller, current head of the FBI, who steered the investigation clear of any money laundering investigation of BCCI’s clients, despite ample evidence that would have incriminated a large number of international players, including the Bush family. Mueller was also the lead prosecutor in the Noriega case, and fixed it so that Noriega wasn’t allowed to mention the CIA at his trial, or show any evidence that he worked for the CIA, which has since been unequivocally proven.

Khalid Bin Mahfouz, one of Amerada Hess’ partners in Delta Hess, and thus a partner of Thomas Kean, is also the brother in law of Osama Bin Laden, as testified to by James Woolsey in 1998. One of Mahfouz’s younger sisters is married to Osama Bin Laden. www.rense.com/general33/chair.htm

1998- Bill Clinton comes under heavy pressure to invade Afghanistan. In May the corrupt Indonesian government of US puppet Suharto falls. The US no longer has the leverage needed to force the Natuna deal through. In July The Exxon Natuna deal for Spratlys gas officially goes bust, according to the US Department of Energy.

“.In July 1998, Indonesia’s government announced that it would postpone exploration at the giant 42 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) Natuna natural gas field operated by Exxon (Mobil holds a 26% stake as well, with Indonesia’s Pertamina holding 24%). The project’s chairman, Faisal Abdou, said that “if prospects are good in the future, maybe the Natuna project could be restarted in 2007….’ ‘www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/eastasia.html

That month, Osama Bin Laden released his Fatwa, a declaration of war on America and Americans. In August, after the US Embassy bombings in Africa, Bill Clinton came under heavy pressure to invade Afghanistan and dismantle Al-Qaeda, but ultimately chose not to invade. Instead, he lobs missiles at Sudan and Iraq, destroying the only pharmaceutical factory in the Sudan.

The result of Clinton’s refusal to invade Afghanistan is that the Enron Dhabol project, which would have only been profitable with a natural gas pipeline from the Caspian, is now officially a dead duck. Enron engages in massive fraud to cover their losses, fabricating the “California energy crisis” in order to gouge the state for cash to meet Enron’s weekly payroll, which continues until December 2001 when an unforeseen event at accounting firm Arthur Andersen would unravel the whole debacle.

After Clinton’s refusal to invade Afghanistan, impeachment pressure over the Lewinsky scandal reaches epic proportions as Republicans try to have him forcibly removed from office to save Enron and the oil companies. The scandal and the Starr investigation render Clinton useless in foreign policy, and as a result, the petrochemical and defense industries are shackled.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the European Union gathers steam. Down the corridors of power come the rumblings of the Euro, and the threat of losing control of the last vestiges of our oil and gas reserves.

THE 21ST CENTURY

In May 2000 the CIA begins operating in Afghanistan, according to the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward.

“In addition to its paramilitary units, the CIA’s Special Activities Division has inserted into Afghanistan specialized CIA case officers from the agency’s Near East Division who know the local languages and had previous covert relationships with the Northern Alliance going back years.

For the last 18 months, the CIA has been working with tribes and warlords in southern Afghanistan, and the division’s units have helped create a significant new network in the region of the Taliban’s greatest strength.”

2000 – Project for a New American Century publishes a report talking about the need to secure Caspian and Iraqi oil, and about the need for a “Pearl Harbor type event” to sway public opinion toward an aggressive US foreign policy. Similar policies are put forth by the Rand Corporation the Brookings Institution, and others. (source)

January 2001 – According to French Journalists Brisard and Dasquie in their book “Bin Laden: La Verite Interdite”, FBI NY Counter-Terrorism Chief John O’Neill is ordered by the White House to back off all investigations of Al-Qaeda and the Bin Laden family while pipeline negotiations are underway with the Taliban. Coincidentally, the Brookings Institute publishes a paper on the need for Homeland Defense, and the Carlyle Group’s subsidiary EG&G sets up a Homeland Defense page on their website (since deleted), stressing the importance of Homeland Defense against Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism.

June 2001 – Saudi Aramco signs preliminary agreements with Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon for gas exploration in Saudi Arabia.

July 2001 – According to Agence France Presse, the White House broke off pipeline negotiations with the Taliban in July 2001, after negotiators from the Bush administration told the Taliban “accept our carpet of gold, or you will receive a carpet of bombs.”. This statement was also made to Brisard and Dasquie by John O’Neill some time between July and August 2001, after O’Neill was once again ordered to ‘back off’ investigations into Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda.

July 2001 – Phoenix FBI agent Kevin Williams writes a memo warning of al Qaeda operatives in flight schools seeking flight training for terrorist purposes. The warning is ignored. www.cnn.com/2002/LAW/05/27/inv.moussaoui.phoenixmemo.fbi/?related

July 2001 – US Attorney General John Ashcroft stops flying on commercial airlines. He also pulls 200 FBI agents off counter-terrorism duty and puts them onto drug and child pornography cases. George W Bush appoints Robert Mueller as new FBI director.

August 2001 – Coleen Rowley of the Minnesota FBI office, warns her superiors of the activities of Zacarias Moussaoui, the alleged ’20th hijacker’, and his possible connections to Al-Qaeda. She requests a FISA warrant for surveillance on Moussaoui. Before passing the report on to the FISA court, Rowley’s superior removes all references to Al-Qaeda from the report. The warrant is refused by the FISA court. an unprecedented event. www.globalresearch.ca/articles/LUM205A.html

September 11, 2001 – Almost 3000 people are killed in NYC, Washington, and Pennsylvania. John O’Neill, who quit the FBI out of frustration with the Bush administration, dies in the WTC, where he was working as head of security. Original files into the Enron Dhabol investigation that were at the FBI office in the WTC are destroyed. The event is immediately called a “Pearl Harbor”.

September 2001 – US oil and gas interests continue negotiations with the Saudis to renew deals with Saudi Aramco. The US companies want the Saudis to give them rights to new unexploited gas reserves, while the Saudis don’t want to put new mineral rights on the table.

September 28, 2001 – The UN lifts sanctions against the Sudan. US companies begin negotiations with the Sudanese government for oil and gas rights.

October 2001 – John Ashcroft uses the FISA court’s rejection of the Minnesota warrant request as evidence that the FBI needs more power in conducting surveillance. This is the same warrant request based on Colleen Rowley’s report that was tampered with by her superior, who removed all references to Al-Qaeda before giving the report to the FISA court.

September-October 2001 – A number of news sources including the BBC report that Washington had told India US troops would be in Afghanistan, “before the snow falls”, as early as July 2001, two months before the so-called ‘surprise attack’ on 9/11. www.rense.com/general17/spp.htm.

By October 2001, the US invades Afghanistan, on schedule, “before the snow falls”, and Zalmay Khalilzad, former employee of Unocal, is appointed Special Envoy to Afghanistan by George W Bush. The Anthrax attacks begin. Later it will be discovered that the anthrax was “Battelle Anthrax” from Fort Detrick. EG&G, a Carlyle Group Subsidiary, has access to Battelle and Fort Detrick Anthrax by way of their service contract with Battelle, but to date there’s been no investigation of EG&G by Robert Mueller and the FBI. Instead, under cover of the Anthrax attacks, EG&G receives a billion dollar Hazmat Disposal contract from the White House.

November 2001 – Somalia is accused of having terrorist training camps connected to Osama Bin Laden.

December 2001 – Enron officially goes broke, bankrupting its employee’s 401k’s while executives cashed out for $650 million.

December 2001 – The ‘War’ in Afghanistan is ‘over’, but Bin Laden has mysteriously disappeared again, like in 1991 after the US got their military presences in Saudi Arabia, and 1996 after the US got their sanctions regime against the Sudan.

December 2001 – After the first vote in Afghanistan in decades, the Afghan warlords choose Berhanudeen Rabbani as President of Afghanistan. This choice is vetoed by the United States, who forces the congregation to vote again. Under duress, and with controversy over whether or not a legitimate vote actually took place, former Unocal employee Hamid Karzai is approved by Bush as the new Afghan president. Both the US Ambassador to Afghanistan and the new Afghan President are now former Unocal employees.

Between October 2001 and June 2002 the Bush administration refuses to set up a proper investigation of 9/11. Finally, under public pressure, they agree to set up a commission.

January 2002 – Thomas Kean, Director of Amerada Hess, buys an additional 500 shares in Amerada Hess. http://biz.yahoo.com/t/13/611.html

January 2002 – December 2002 – Delta Hess, subsidiary of Amerada Hess and Delta Oil, finalizes several Caspian exploration deals, primarily in Azerbaijan.

June 2002 – G W Bush refuses to sign the Homeland Security Bill. He warns that he will veto any Homeland Security Bill that doesn’t include strong anti-union legislation giving the White House the ability to fire any government employees under Homeland Security’s jurisdiction. Meanwhile, on July 21, 2002 the Carlyle Group sells EG&G, where they had union problems in 2001, for a tidy profit. www.rense.com/general27/cars.htm

August 2002 – RAND Corporation analyst Laurent Murawiec speaks at a Defense Policy Board meeting, a think-tank for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Murawiec calls on the Bush Administration to launch an all-out war on the House of Saud. He calls Saudi Arabia, “the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent” of the United States in the Middle East.

September 2002 – G W Bush publishes the new National Security Strategy for the United States of America. He adopts the aggressive pre-emptive stance suggested by the PNAC in 2000.

September 2002 – After 15 months of go-nowhere negotiations with Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell, and demonization by US think tanks, US media, and the White House, Saudi Arabia reopens bidding on the Saudi Aramco project, and begins talking to French companies and others.

October 2002 – After a year of negotiations that have resulted in no new oil and gas deals for US companies in the Sudan, Bush signs new legislation threatening new sanctions against the Sudan. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/2348687.stm

November 2002 – Bush signs HR 5170, the Homeland Security Bill, with the anti-union legislation intact. The bill provides protection from lawsuits to all insurance, pharmaceutical, defense and security contractors, while taking away the public’s ability to sue for injury or death.

December 2002 – The White House announces 10 new bases in Afghanistan, whose locations coincide with the route proposed by Unocal in 1998 for a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan to Pakistan, while Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan announce to the world the finalization of a deal for oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Thomas Kean, Director and shareholder of Amerada Hess, and partner with Osama Bin Laden’s brother-in-law Khalid Bin Mahfouz in the Delta Hess Caspian oil and gas consortium, is appointed by G W Bush to head the 9/11 investigation.

Colleen Rowley’s superior at the FBI, who in August 2001 tampered with Rowley’s warrant request report by removing all references to Al-Qaeda, receives a ‘performance bonus’ equivalent to somewhere between 20% and 35% of her salary. Osama Bin Laden is still ‘whereabouts unknown’. He remains at large, rumored to be in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran.

March 2003 – The US and the UK invade Iraq and conquer the country in 24 days.

April 2003 – The US and UK pressure the UN to remove sanctions from Iraq, which would transfer control of Iraqi oil and proceeds to the US, and revert Iraqi oil back to petro-dollars.

May 2003 – The Bush Administration begins rattling the sabers against Syria and Iran while unveiling the Palestinian “road map to peace”. Concurrently, a mysterious “Al-Quaeda” attack on an American compound in Saudi Arabia prompts the State Department to order all non-essential American personnel out of Saudi Arabia, in preparation for military action. In Indonesia, the Aceh Rebellion heats up. Portrayed in the press as “Muslim separatists”, the Aceh are fighting for control of the Spratlys. The Indonesian government, paralyzed by the East Timor secession, requests US troops to assist in putting down the Aceh. Western Petrochemical companies follow on their heels.

July 2003 – Violence and unrest in the new “colonies” result in daily loss of American soldiers, sabotage of “reconstruction” efforts, and a rising tide of popular disapproval for Americans two most recent “wars”, which have become Imperial debacles.

*********************************************

SOME LOGICAL CONCLUSIONS

US corporations and intelligence agencies have been playing a dirty game, with co-operation at times from both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Everywhere Osama Bin Laden has gone since 1979, US corporate interests have been served shortly thereafter. The US has the bases it wanted in Saudi Arabia, Sudan is once again under sanctions, Afghanistan should now be renamed Pipeline-istan. Muslim rebels and terrorists are popping up in any country where US mineral rights are being stymied. And you can’t avoid the conclusion that for someone “at war” with the United States, Osama Bin Laden’s actions with every move he’s made have served Oil, Gas, Energy and Defense interests, which just happen to coincide with Bin Laden, Bush, and Mahfouz family interests.

As pertains to the Korea question, common sense dictates that the US will do everything in its power to prevent re-unification of the Korean peninsula. They will instigate a war before they allow North and South Korea to re-unite into a free market Korea with its own nuclear arsenal that may lay claim to the Spratlys. The US will do everything it can to prevent this re-unification until after they’ve secured oil and gas rights in the Spratlys Islands, which is why we have recently deployed Special Forces to Indonesia to help put down the Aceh rebellion, portrayed in the press as “Muslim separatists”.

And all of this is so that a little piece of paper called a “petro-dollar” can continue to rule the world, and line the pockets of a very few unfathomably rich and powerful men. We should have a little sympathy for the Devil that is Big Oil, The Petrodollar Empire. The nature of the game isn’t so puzzling, once you understand the mentality of the Beast: all it cares about is prolonging his own survival at the top of the food chain, at any cost.

The Cold War, the war fought for this global hegemony the US has now, cost 3 million dead in Korea, 3 million in Vietnam, 3 million in Cambodia, 1 million in Laos, more than a million in Latin America, 3 million in Iraq, half a million in Afghanistan, and planted armed puppet dictators around the world who have murdered millions more by proxy. This blood, one way or another, has passed through our hands. And all this bluster and murder is going to result in nothing more than a few extra years of shelf life, half a generation at best, for the American Empire, which will sputter to a grinding halt once the oil wells run dry.

Mick Jagger knew what he was talking about.

I watched with glee as your Kings and Queens

Fought for ten decades, over the God’s they’d made.

I shouted out, “Who killed the Kennedys?

When after all, it was you and me!

READ “FROM THE WILDERNESS”: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/index.html for detailed reporting on everything you have read here and more, particularly their primer located here: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/index.html#drugs

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