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For The Record  

FTR #560 Economics 9/11

Recorded July 9, 2006

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Ibn Khaldun: Muslim Brotherhood economics role model, regarded by the World Bank as the first advocate of privatization

Introduction: Analyzing the economic implications of the events of 9/11, this program examines significant areas of commonality between the political and economic forces controlling the Bush administration, as well as al-Qaeda and its parent organization the Muslim Brotherhood. The broadcast begins with discussion of the free-market economic philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood—a philosophy consistent with the globalization agenda of the multinational corporations. The World Bank views Brotherhood economic inspiration Ibn Khaldun (a 14th century theoretician) as the first advocate of privatization! It is Mr. Emory’s view that the multinational corporations intend the Muslim Brotherhood as a force to replace state-controlled economies such as Iraq (under Saddam Hussein) and Syria. The Brotherhood also appears to be receiving Western support (U.S. and Saudi) for activities in parts of Russia and China—the apparent goal being to fragment those countries and split off and exploit petroleum producing regions. In this respect, the behavior of the U.S. toward the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood is similar to its conduct during World War II. Even as U.S. fighting men and women were locked in mortal combat with the combatants of the fascist countries, many American corporate elements were in bed with their business and (in some cases) ideological partners in the Axis nations. The program notes that powerful GOP functionaries like Grover Norquist are deeply involved with Muslim Brotherhood elements in the U.S. Taking stock of the grim state of affairs in the Bush administration’s prosecution of the “war on terror,” the program chronicles indications that Osama bin Laden deliberately assisted George W. Bush’s re-election in 2004 and notes the view of prominent intelligence specialists that the U.S. is losing the war as a result of the invasion of Iraq.

Program Highlights Include: Osama bin Laden’s plan to bankrupt the U.S. economy by hitting petroleum infrastructure targets in order to drive up the price of oil; discussion of the commonality between bin Laden’s goal and the profit motive of the petroleum industry; review of the fact that “offshore” financial conduits were used by both multinational corporate elements and terrorists; the hypocrisy of the GOP attack on the New York Times for its disclosure of the Swift program aimed at ferreting out terrorist finances; the Shiite Iraqi government’s implementation of Grover Norquist’s plan for privatization of the Iraqi economic infrastructure.

1. Beginning with an article about the laissez-faire commercial philosophy of the Muslim Brotherhood, the broadcast notes that that organization’s economic ideology is altogether consistent with the fundamental goals of multinational corporations and the practice of globalization. (For more about the corporatist/fascist economic philosophy of the Brotherhood, see—among other programs—FTR#537. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This picture of an Islamic Jihad campaign rally from April of 2005 speaks volumes about the Muslim Brotherhood. (Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a subgroup of the Brotherhood.) The Brotherhood’s populist pretensions and actual charitable accomplishments should not blind one to the true nature of the organization. As discussed in FTR#540, the head of the Egyptian branch of the Brotherhood has denied the Holocaust. Keep this in mind when reading discussion of the Egyptian Brotherhood in the article below.

“Judeo-Christian scripture offers little economic instruction. The Book of Deuteronomy, for example, is loaded with edicts on how the faithful should pray, eat, bequeath, keep the holy festivals and treat slaves and spouses, but it is silent on trade and commerce. In Matthew, when Christ admonishes his followers to ‘give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s,’ he is effectively conceding fiscal and monetary authority to pagan Rome. Islam is different. The prophet Muhammad—himself a trader—preached merchant honor, the only regulation that the borderless Levantine market knew. In Muslim liturgy, the deals cut in the souk become a metaphor for the contract between God and the faithful. And the business model Muhammad prescribed, according to Muslim scholars and economists, is very much in the laissez-faire tradition later embraced by the West. Prices were to be set by God alone—anticipating by more than a millennium Adam Smith’s reference to the ‘invisible hand’ of market-based pricing. Merchants were not to cut deals outside the souk, an early attempt to thwart insider trading.”
(“Islam in Office” by Stephen Glain; Newsweek; 7/3-10/2006.)

Hamas Soldiers Saluting (Hamas is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood)

2. Note that the government of Iraq has preserved the free-market, laissez-faire economic model crafted by Grover Norquist. Norquist’s authorship of the post-invasion Iraqi economy is discussed below.

“Today, with a spiritual revival sweeping much of the Muslim world and with the Bush administration still keen on democratizing the region, it is worth asking how an Islamist movement would manage the economy. Since 2001, Islamist parties have made strong showings or won elections in 10 Arab countries (Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait and Pakistan) and the Palestinian Authority. And none are clashing with the West on free-market economics. In Iraq, the supply-side economic-reform plan submitted in 2003 by former U.S. administrator Paul Bremer has survived with only minor revisions under Baghdad’s new Shia-dominated government. [Emphasis added.] An interesting test came in the January election in Egypt, when the Muslim Brotherhood—the fountainhead of modern Islamism—took a fifth of the seats in Parliament. Now the largest opposition party, much of the brotherhood’s appeal rests on its network of hospitals, schools and charities, which are often superior to state services (and help explain why the secular regime cracks down harder on the secular opposition than on the religious one). Fortunately for the reform-minded prime minister, Ahmed Nazif, the brotherhood’s economic agenda is largely consistent with his own, albeit with a more populist twist.” (Idem.)

3. “The brotherhood embraces free-trade deals in general, but criticizes the government for failing to negotiate better terms for Egyptians. Though Islam tends to frown on tax collection, the brotherhood supports tax reform (not abolition) and opposes a proposed flat tax as regressive. It even endorsed the recent decision to lift budget-busting food and fuel subsidies, but wants to use Egypt’s ample natural-gas reserves to finance a less painful transition to market prices. ‘It must be done gently,’ says Mohammad Habib, the brotherhood’s first deputy chairman, ‘with the objective of reducing the gap between rich and poor.’ In the 1950s, as the brotherhood gained political momentum, it opposed President Gamal Abdel Nasser as much for his decision to nationalize the Egyptian economy as for his fierce secularism. Muhammad, says Yasser Abdo, a Muslim Brotherhood member and a former economist at the International Islamic Bank for Investment and Development in Cairo, ‘believed in the private sector as the basis of productive activity,’ with a ‘limited’ state role.” (Idem.)

4. Note that although the Brotherhood officially disclaims monopolist economics, it does not question the OPEC cartel.

“Today, brotherhood parliamentarians remain anti-statist and staunchly antitrust, citing a verse in the Qur’an: ‘He who brings commodities to the market is good, but he who practices monopolies is evil.’ Not that any member goes as far as questioning the OPEC cartel. As Cairo University economist Abdel Hamid Abuzaid puts it, Islam promotes ‘competition of a cooperative’ nature, not the ‘cutthroat’ Western kind. Politically, at least, the objective of fundamentalist Islam is to restore the Islamic caliphate, the unified Muslim kingdom of the 7th to the early 20th centuries that stretched from the Hindu Kush to the Strait of Gibraltar. This rhetoric turns more practical on the subject of trade. ‘If the ancient caliphate can revive itself,’ says Habib, who has a U.S. doctorate in geology, ‘it will happen through regional commerce.’ A brotherhood in power, says Habib, would respect Cairo’s free-trade agreements—though the group appears to be divided over whether it would honor one with Israel.” (Idem.)

5. Note that no less an authority than the World Bank views Ibn Khaldun—revered by the Brotherhood—as “the first advocate of privatization”!

“In the days of the caliphate, Islam developed the most sophisticated monetary system the world had yet known. Today, some economists cite Islamic banking as further evidence of an intrinsic Islamic pragmatism. Though still guided by a Qur’anic ban on riba, or interest, Islamic banking has adapted to the needs of a booming oil region for liquidity. In recent years, some 500 Islamic banks and investment firms holding $2 trillion in assets have emerged in the Gulf States, with more in Islamic communities of the West. British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown wants to make London a global center for Islamic finance—and elicits no howl of protest from fundamentalists. How Islamists might run a central bank is more problematic: scholars say they would manipulate currency reserves, not interest rates. The Muslim Brotherhood hails 14th century philosopher Ibn Khaldun as its economic guide. Anticipating supply-side economics, Khaldun argued that cutting taxes raises production and tax revenues, and that state control should be limited to providing water, fire and free grazing land, the utilities of the ancient world. The World Bank has called Ibn Khaldun the first advocate of privatization. [Emphasis added.] His founding influence is a sign of moderation. If Islamists in power ever do clash with the West, it won’t be over commerce.” (Idem.)

6. The free-market economic model imposed on Iraq after the U.S. invasion was crafted by Grover Norquist, one of the lynchpins of the GOP right wing. Norquist developed the Islamic Institute, in effect a Muslim Brotherhood-linked wing of the GOP. One should not fail to note that Norquist’s Islamic Institute had active links with terrorist-linked Muslim Brotherhood members. (For more about Norquist’s link to the Brotherhood and terrorists, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 435, 454, 515.)

“ . . . It was more like a corporate takeover, except with Abrams tanks instead of junk bonds. It didn’t strike me as the work of a Kosher Cabal for an Imperial Israel. In fact, it smelled of pork—Pig Heaven for corporate America looking for a slice of Iraq, and I suspected its porcine source. I gave it a big sniff and, sure enough, I smelled Grover Norquist. Norquist is the capo di capi of right-wing, big-money influence peddlers in Washington. Those jealous of his inside track to the White House call him ‘Gopher Nose-Twist.’ A devout Christian, Norquist channeled a million dollars to the Christian Coalition to fight the devil’s tool, legalized gambling. He didn’t tell the Coalition that the loot came from an Indian tribe represented by Norquist’s associate, Jack Abramoff. (The tribe didn’t want competition for its own casino operations.) I took a chance and dropped in on Norquist’s L Street office, and under a poster of his idol [‘NIXON— NOW MORE THAN EVER’], Norquist took a look at the ‘recovery’ plan for Iraq and practically jumped over my desk to sign it, filled with pride at seeing his baby. Yes, he promoted the privatizations, the tax limit for the rich, and the change in copyright law, all concerns close to the hearts and wallets of his clients. . . .”
(“Was the Invasion of Iraq A Jewish Conspiracy?” by Greg Palast; Tikkun; July/August/2006.)

7. Revisiting the subject of terrorist financing and the [abortive] attempts at interdicting the money flow, the program touches on the furor launched by the GOP over The New York Times’ disclosure of the Swift program to monitor terrorist money transactions. It is ironic that the GOP is screeching over the disclosure, because the original Operation Green Quest program uncovered profound links between the GOP hierarchy and the networks involved in financing Al Qaeda. At the center of the disclosures concerning Operation Green Quest was the aforementioned Grover Norquist. (For more about the frustration of Operation Green Quest, see—among other programs—FTR#462, 464, 495, 500, 513, 514, 556. For information about the links between the Bank Al Taqwa, the Muslim Brotherhood, the GOP, and the Bush administration, see FTR#’s 454, 495, 500, 515.) As discussed in FTR#367, the financial industry opposed many of the regulations the U.S. imposed in order to interdict terror financing networks, because significant elements of the corporate community utilized the same networks—cracking down on the terrorists also compromised the “offshore” money channels used by the corporations. Could this be one of the reasons for the opposition to the Swift program in certain circles? Note, also, that the Sullivan & Cromwell law firm, the old Dulles law firm, led much of the opposition to anti-terror regulations.

“Bush administration officials have been lining up to condemn The New York Times for revealing a program to track financial transactions as part of the war on terrorism. But if the Times’ revelation about a program to monitor international exchanges is so damaging, why has the administration been chattering about efforts to monitor domestic transactions for nearly five years? Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, many journalists — including this one — were briefed by U.S. Customs officials on Operation Green Quest, an effort to roll up terrorist financiers by monitoring, among other things, ‘suspicious’ bank transfers and ancient money lending programs favored by people of Middle Eastern descent. . . .”
(“White House NYT Bashers: Hypocrites” by Shane Harris; Defensetech.org; 6/28/2006.)

8. “Since [9/11], the Treasury Department has produced dozens of news releases and public reports detailing its efforts. Though officials appear never to have mentioned the Swift program, they have repeatedly described their cooperation with financial networks to identify accounts held by people and organizations linked to terrorism… Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York, convened a hearing in 2004 where Treasury officials described at length their efforts, assisted by financial institutions, to trace terrorists’ money. But he has been among the most vehement critics of the disclosures about the Swift program, saying editors and reporters of The New York Times should be imprisoned for publishing government secrets.” (Idem.)

9. Next, the broadcast sets forth the view of CIA experts that an address released by bin Laden four days before the presidential election was deliberately intended to help Bush win the election! Al-Qaeda in Iraq and an al-Qaeda affiliate called the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade had issued statements in the run-up to the 2004 presidential election indicating that they thought Bush’s re-election would help the Islamist cause and that they would do nothing to impede that re-election. Are both Bush and bin Laden actually working (albeit unintentionally) toward the same goals?! Is this because the same macroeconomic forces are controlling both of them? Mr. Emory believes that such is the case, and that the controlling economic entity is the Underground Reich, in control of the multinational corporate landscape. A banker said to the late Paul Manning, author of Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile, that the Bormann capital network is the greatest concentration of money power under a single control in all of history. It is this “money power” that is determining the course of events.

“On Oct. 29, 2004, just four days before the U.S. presidential election, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden released a videotape denouncing George W. Bush. Some Bush supporters quickly spun the diatribe as ‘Osama’s endorsement of John Kerry.’ But behind the walls of the CIA, analysts had concluded the opposite: that bin-Laden was trying to help Bush gain a second term. This stunning CIA disclosure is tucked away in a brief passage near the end of Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine, which draws heavily from CIA insiders. Suskind wrote that the CIA analysts based their troubling assessment on classified information, but the analysts still puzzled over exactly why bin-Laden wanted Bush to stay in office. According to Suskind’s book, CIA analysts had spent years ‘parsing each expressed word of the al-Qaeda leader and his deputy, [Ayman] Zawahiri. What they’d learned over nearly a decade is that bin-Laden speaks only for strategic reasons.”
(“CIA: Osama Helped Bush in ‘04” by Robert Parry; Consortiumnews.com; 7/4/2006; p. 1.)

10. “‘Their [the CIA’s] assessments, at day’s end, are a distillate of the kind of secret, internal conversations that the American public [was] not sanctioned to hear: strategic analysis. Today’s conclusion: bin-Laden’s message was clearly designed to assist the President’s reelection. ‘At the five o’clock meeting, [deputy CIA director] John McLaughlin opened the issue with the consensus view: ‘Bin-Laden certainly did a nice favor today for the President.’’ McLaughlin’s comment drew nods from CIA officers at the table. Jami Miscik, CIA deputy associate director for intelligence, suggested that the al-Qaeda founder may have come to Bush’s aid because bin-Laden felt threatened by the rise in Iraq of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi; bin-Laden might have thought his leadership would be diminished if Bush lost the White House and their ‘eye-to-eye struggle’ ended. But the CIA analysts also felt that bin-Laden might have recognized how Bush’s policies – including the Guantanamo prison camp, the Abu Ghraib scandal and the endless bloodshed in Iraq – were serving al-Qaeda’s strategic goals for recruiting a new generation of jihadists.” (Idem.)

11. “‘Certainly,’ the CIA’s Miscik said, ‘he would want Bush to keep doing what he’s doing for a few more years,’ according to Suskind’s account of the meeting. As their internal assessment sank in, the CIA analysts drifted into silence, troubled by the implications of their own conclusions. ‘An ocean of hard truths before them – such as what did it say about U.S. policies that bin-Laden would want Bush reelected – remained untouched,’ Suskind wrote. One immediate consequence of bin-Laden breaking nearly a year of silence to issue the videotape the weekend before the U.S. presidential election was to give the Bush campaign a much needed boost. From a virtual dead heat, Bush opened up a six-point lead, according to one poll.” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

12. “The implications of this new evidence are troubling, too, for the American people as they head toward another election in November 2006 that also is viewed as a referendum on Bush’s prosecution of the ‘war on terror.’ As we have reported previously at Consortiumnews.com, a large body of evidence already existed supporting the view that the Bushes and the bin-Ladens have long operated with a symbiotic relationship that may be entirely unspoken but nevertheless has been a case of each family acting in ways that advance the interests of the other.” [See “Osama’s Briar Patch” or “Is Bush al-Qaeda’s ‘Useful Idiot?'”] (Ibid.; p. 2.)

13. Author Parry notes that, before the 9/11 attacks, the political fortunes of the Bush administration and bin Laden’s forces were growing dim quickly. The attacks changed all of that.

“Before al-Qaeda launched the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks against New York and Washington, Bush was stumbling in a presidency that many Americans felt was headed nowhere. As Bush took a month-long vacation at his Texas ranch in August 2001, his big issue was a plan to restrict stem-cell research on moral grounds. Privately, Bush’s neoconservative advisers were chafing under what they saw as the complacency of the American people unwilling to take on the mantle of global policeman as the world’s sole superpower. The neocons hoped for some ‘Pearl Harbor’ incident that would galvanize a public consensus for action against Iraq and other ‘rogue states.’ Other senior administration officials, such as Vice President Dick Cheney, dreamed of the restoration of the imperial presidency that – after Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal – had been cut down to size by Congress, the courts and the press. Only a national crisis would create a cover for a new assertion of presidential power.” (Idem.)

14. “Meanwhile, halfway around the world, bin-Laden and his al-Qaeda militants were facing defeat after defeat. Their brand of Islamic fundamentalism had been rejected in Muslim societies from Algeria and Egypt to Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Bin-Laden and his lieutenants had even been expelled from the Sudan. Bin-Laden’s extremists had been chased to the farthest corners of the planet, in this case the caves of Afghanistan. At this critical juncture, al-Qaeda’s brain trust decided that their best hope was to strike at the United States and count on a clumsy reaction that would offend the Islamic world and rally angry young Muslims to al-Qaeda’s banner. So, by early summer 2001, the clock ticked down to 9/11 as 19 al-Qaeda operatives positioned themselves inside the United States and prepared to attack. But U.S. intelligence analysts picked up evidence of al-Qaeda’s plans by sifting through the ‘chatter’ of electronic intercepts. The U.S. warning system was ‘blinking red.’” (Idem.)

15. “Over the weekend of July Fourth 2001, a well-placed U.S. intelligence source passed on a disturbing piece of information to then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who later recounted the incident in an interview with Alternet. ‘The person told me that there was some concern about an intercept that had been picked up,’ Miller said. ‘The incident that had gotten everyone’s attention was a conversation between two members of al-Qaeda. And they had been talking to one another, supposedly expressing disappointment that the United States had not chosen to retaliate more seriously against what had happened to the [destroyer USS] Cole [which was bombed on Oct. 12, 2000]. ‘And one al-Qaeda operative was overheard saying to the other, ‘Don’t worry; we’re planning something so big now that the U.S. will have to respond.’ . . . ” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

16. A consortium of intelligence and national security experts feel that the U.S. is losing the “war on terror” because of the invasion of Iraq. Mr. Emory has expressed this same view for a number of years. It is also Mr. Emory’s considered opinion that, with the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. was lured into a trap by the Underground Reich—a view expressed in –among other programs—FTR#’s 471, 502, 527, 535.

“The United States is losing its fight against terrorism, and the Iraq war is the biggest reason, more than 8 of 10 American terrorism and national security experts concluded in a poll released Wednesday. One participant in the survey, a former CIA official who describes himself as a conservative Republican, said the war in Iraq has provided global terrorist groups with a recruiting bonanza, a valuable training ground and a strategic beachhead at the crossroads of the oil-rich Persian Gulf and Turkey, the traditional land bridge linking the Middle East to Europe. ‘The war in Iraq broke our back in the war on terror,’ said the former official, Michael Scheuer, the author of Imperial Hubris, a book highly critical of the administration’s anti-terrorism strategy and tactics. ‘It has made everything more difficult and the threat more existential.’ . . . .”
(“U.S. Losing Fight Against Terrorism, Security Experts Say” by Bob Deans [Cox News Service]; San Francisco Chronicle; 6/29/2006; p. A15.)

17. The program concludes with an interesting look at al-Qaeda strategy with regard to the world petroleum markets. Osama bin Laden has previously expressed his intent to collapse the U.S. economy. The former head of the CIA’s al-Qaeda task force believes that this strategy will involve attacks on the petroleum infrastructure in the U.S. and elsewhere—not destruction of oil wells themselves. It is interesting to note how the strategy of bin Laden and other Islamist terrorists dovetails with the goals of the oil industry—driving up prices and, as a result, maximizing profits. As will be discussed at greater length in FTR#561, the global increase in oil is effecting an enormous transfer of wealth from the accounts of every individual and institution on earth—both private and public—into the coffers of the petroleum related interests, both nations and commercial enterprises. (Remember in this regard that virtually everyone and everything uses petroleum, either directly or indirectly. This transfer of wealth is an altogether profound phenomenon, and one that will prove decisive in the course of human affairs if it is not altered.

“The US and its Arab allies must expect an increase in attacks on their oil infrastructure in the next phase of the war by al-Qaeda targeting the US economy, the former Central Intelligence Agency official who was responsible for hunting down Osama bin Laden warns today. Writing for the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington security think-tank, Michael Scheuer says Mr. Bin Laden’s intention to bankrupt the US economy by driving up world oil prices is very likely to lead to attacks inside the US by al-Qaeda, its allies or unrelated groups. Houston’s gas refineries, oil import facilities and ship canal and pipeline systems, and the trans-Alaska pipeline are potential targets.”
(“US ‘Must Beware’ Rise in al-Qaeda Oil Strikes” by Guy Dinmore; Financial Times; 5/15/2006; p. 6.)

18. “Al-Qaeda’s failed attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abdaiq facility on February 24, which led to a $2 a barrel jump in world oil prices, should also be seen as the beginning of a new and more systematic phase of targeting of the kingdom’s oil infrastructure. Two days after the attack, an al-Qaeda-affiliated cleric issued a religious justification for attacking oil-processing installations. The cleric, using the Internet, also claimed that attacks on prominent Muslim oil officials were justified. The militant organization’s media apparatus is also being used ‘to stir the troubled pot of oil-related international worries,’ Mr. Scheuer writes, noting encouragement for Nigerian insurgents in the Niger Delta and ‘mujahideen’ in the Caspian Sea region.” (Idem.)

19. Note that bin Laden’s strategy dovetails nicely with the agenda of the oil industry. Note also how the administration of George W. Bush is doing an excellent job of realizing bin Laden’s goal of collapsing the U.S. economy. It is Mr. Emory’s long-held view that the Underground Reich is manipulating both “W” and bin Laden.

“Tracing al-Qaeda’s evolving strategy, Mr. Scheuer, who left the CIA in 2004, notes that Mr. bin Laden has never threatened to cut oil supplies to the US. Instead he is driven by the belief that Muslim oil is bought too cheaply. In December 2004, Mr. bin Laden wrote that a minimum of $100 a barrel was a ‘fair price.’ In his September 1996 ‘Declaration of War against Americans,’ Mr. bin Laden argues that oil in the Islamic world is a treasure to be preserved for future generations of Muslims and thus should not be wasted through attacks. As a result, Mr. Scheuer says al-Qaeda’s plans rule out attacks on oil wells but focus on the infrastructure needed for refining and transporting oil, as well as industry personnel.” (Idem.)

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #560 Economics 9/11”

  1. […] Economics 911 – Part 1 […]

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