Wednesday, February 05, 2003

There has been much debate over the nature of the real reason for the U. S. war on Iraq, the rest of the world having decided that the reasons stated by the Bush junta are ludicrous. Much thought turns on the fact that Iraq has a lot of oil, and Bush is simply going to steal this oil for the benefit of his oil business cronies, and turn the oil field development over to American companies like Haliburton (it is interesting that it is disgusting 'welfare' to give a few dollars to an individual, but perfectly fine to spend billions in order to obtain loot from the war to turn over to corporate cronies). Another idea is that Bush is stealing the oil to bring it onto the market and reduce the price of oil, thus improving the American economy (I imagine there will be a short-term reduction in price for public relations purposes, but if you believe that oilman Bush intends to force the price of oil down, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you; if all the Americans wanted was to get Iraqi oil on the market, they could just ease the sanctions). U. S. control of the oil in Iraq would do much to reduce the power of OPEC (although it is fairly apparent that OPEC already works diligently in the interests of the U. S. and its oil companies). Yet another idea is that this brazen display of American might is intended, as Voltaire put it, pour encouragez les autres, i. e., to ensure that neighboring countries, most notably Saudi Arabia, continue to toe the line in their relations with the United States (although Saudi Arabia may also be in the American sights, the thought is that they will fearfully agree to whatever the Americans want, and the presence of huge numbers of American troops in Iraq on a permanent basis will serve as a deterrent to any anti-American popular uprising that might occur in any of the countries in the area). Finally, there is the idea that somehow the U. S. government has been taken over by Zionist/Christian Fundamentalist ideologues who are willing to sacrifice American interests to their goal of a Greater Israel, and the attack on Iraq will permanently remove any possible local threats to Israel as well as give Sharon a window in order to complete his 'final solution' for the Palestinians (although you have to wonder if Israel will mean as much to the Americans if they have a new client state in the area once the U. S. stooges are installed in Iraq). There is possibly something to all these ideas, which explains why the Americans are willing to risk so much in terms of international relations in order to have this dirty war. The real (or here; part available here) reason, however, may very well be that the U. S. is trying to stop the change in pricing of oil from U. S. dollars to euros. Since the euro was introduced, there has been a slow movement to replace the dollar as the de facto world reserve currency, and more relevantly, to replace the world currency of oil transactions from the dollar to the euro (see here). Iraq was a pioneer in this switch, an action which may have sealed its fate. If oil were sold in euros, countries would have to buy euros rather than dollars in order to buy their oil, and much of the financing that has propelled the U. S. economic hegemony would end almost immediately, plunging the U. S. into economic crisis and shifting economic power back to Europe (the engine of the U. S. economy is the high dollar strategy aided by the fact that people have to buy dollars to buy their oil, coupled with the dollar pipeline back into the U. S. economy from the Middle Eastern states of the dollar proceeds of the purchases of oil - this mechanism has enabled, indeed required, the United States to run huge trade deficits to soak up all the cash that has been coming in). If the attack on Iraq succeeds as planned, the United States may be able to ensure that it continues to obtain the advantages of the Almighty Dollar.