Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #401 The Day of the Cynics

MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

“The Day of the Cyn­ics” derives from the fact that the motives of many on both sides of the issue of war vs. peace in Iraq are less than pure. (This should not be mis­con­strued as impugn­ing the motives of indi­vid­ual cit­i­zens opposed to war. The dis­cus­sion is about the pow­er ele­ments involved in this issue.) Much of the pro­gram deals with the dynam­ic of the dol­lar vs. the euro-the two major cur­ren­cies strug­gling for dom­i­nance as the reserve cur­ren­cy of choice. OPEC oil is priced in dol­lars, great­ly bol­ster­ing the dol­lar as a reserve cur­ren­cy. Iraq, on the oth­er hand, has begun pric­ing its oil in euros and is hold­ing euros as its pri­ma­ry ele­ment of cur­ren­cy reserves. The dollar/euro issue is at the core of the con­fronta­tion between Europe and the US over Iraq.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The his­to­ry of the Jed­dah Agree­ment, which antic­i­pates the dollar/euro strug­gle over Mid­dle East oil reserves; France’s com­mer­cial deals with Iraq; the role of Total (the French oil com­pa­ny) in Iraqi oil explo­ration; Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Josch­ka Fis­cher’s back­ground as a fel­low trav­el­er of the RAF (an extreme left-wing ter­ror­ist group that was sup­port­ed by Nazi financier and ODESSA oper­a­tive Fran­cois Genoud); the pre­dic­tion of counter-ter­ror experts that Osama bin Laden would gain sup­port from an Amer­i­can war in Iraq; George Bush’s slash­ing of ben­e­fits to mil­i­tary vet­er­ans and the fam­i­lies of active-duty ser­vice per­son­nel; Repub­li­can pun­dit Ann Coul­ter’s ver­bal assault on a dis­abled Viet­nam war vet­er­an; the promi­nence of Ram­sey Clark (who played a sig­nif­i­cant role in cov­er­ing up the assas­si­na­tion of Dr. Mar­tin Luther King) in the “peace” move­ment.

1. Although the Bush admin­is­tra­tion has main­tained that oil is NOT one of the rea­sons for its forth­com­ing adven­ture in Iraq, that assess­ment is less than can­did. One of the most impor­tant aspects of the US/Iraq con­fronta­tion con­cerns the fact that Iraq became the first OPEC nation to price its oil in euros‑a seri­ous depar­ture from OPEC pol­i­cy, as estab­lished by the US and Sau­di Ara­bia in the 1970s. “Oil has been a major US con­cern about Iraq in inter­nal and unpub­li­cized doc­u­ments, since the start of this Admin­is­tra­tion, and indeed ear­li­er. But the need to dom­i­nate oil from Iraq is also deeply inter­twined with the defense of the dol­lar. Its cur­rent strength is sup­port­ed by OPEC’s require­ment (secured by a secret agree­ment between the US and Sau­di Ara­bia) that all OPEC oil sales be denom­i­nat­ed in dol­lars. This require­ment is cur­rent­ly threat­ened by the desire of some OPEC coun­tries to allow OPEC oil sales to be paid in euros.” (“Bush’s Deep Rea­sons for War on Iraq: Oil, Petrodol­lars, and the OPEC Euro Ques­tion” by Peter Dale Scott; p. 1.)

2. “As ear­ly as April 1997, a report from the James A. Bak­er Insti­tute of Pub­lic Pol­i­cy at Rice Uni­ver­si­ty addressed the prob­lem of ‘ener­gy secu­ri­ty’ for the Unit­ed States, and not­ed that the US was increas­ing­ly threat­ened by oil short­ages in the face of the inabil­i­ty of oil sup­plies to keep up with world demand. In par­tic­u­lar the report addressed ‘The Threat of Iraq and Iran’ to the free flow of oil out of the Mid­dle East. It con­clud­ed that Sad­dam Hus­sein was still a threat to Mid­dle East­ern secu­ri­ty and still had the mil­i­tary capa­bil­i­ty to exer­cise force beyond Iraq’s bor­ders.” (Idem.)

3. “The Bush Admin­is­tra­tion returned to this theme as soon as it took office in 2001, by adopt­ing, some say com­mis­sion­ing, a sec­ond report from the same Insti­tute. (This Task Force Report was co-spon­sored by the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions in New York, anoth­er group his­tor­i­cal­ly con­cerned about US access to over­seas oil resources.) As report­ed by the Scot­land Sun­day Her­ald (10/6/02). ‘Pres­i­den­t’s Bush’s Cab­i­net agreed in April 2001 that ‘Iraq remains a desta­bi­liz­ing influ­ence to the flow of oil to inter­na­tion­al mar­kets from the Mid­dle East’ and because this is an unac­cept­able risk to the US ‘mil­i­tary inter­ven­tion’ is nec­es­sary. Vice-pres­i­dent Dick Cheney, who chairs the White House Ener­gy Pol­i­cy Devel­op­ment Group, com­mis­sioned a report on ‘ener­gy secu­ri­ty’ from the Bak­er Insti­tute for Pub­lic Pol­i­cy, a think-tank set up by James Bak­er, the for­mer US sec­re­tary of state under George Bush Sr.’ ” (Idem.)

4. ” ‘The report, Strate­gic Ener­gy Pol­i­cy Chal­lenges For the 21st Cen­tu­ry, con­cludes: ‘The Unit­ed States remains a pris­on­er of its ener­gy dilem­ma. Iraq remains a de-sta­bi­liz­ing influ­ence to . . . the flow of oil to inter­na­tion­al mar­kets from the Mid­dle East. Sad­dam Hus­sein has also demon­strat­ed a will­ing­ness to threat­en to use the oil weapon and to use his own export pro­gram to manip­u­late oil mar­kets. There­fore the US should con­duct an imme­di­ate pol­i­cy review toward Iraq includ­ing mil­i­tary, ener­gy, eco­nom­ic and political/diplomatic assess­ments. ‘The Unit­ed States should then devel­op an inte­grat­ed strat­e­gy with key allies in Europe and Asia, and with key coun­tries in the Mid­dle East, to restate goals with respect to Iraqi pol­i­cy and to restore a cohe­sive coali­tion of key allies.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

5. ” ‘Bak­er, who deliv­ered the rec­om­men­da­tions to Cheney, the for­mer chief exec­u­tive of Texas oil firm Hal­libur­ton, was advised by Ken­neth Lay, the dis­graced for­mer chief exec­u­tive of Enron, the US ener­gy giant which went bank­rupt after car­ry­ing out mas­sive accoun­tan­cy fraud.’ [The Sun­day Her­ald did not men­tion that the report begins with ref­er­ences to ‘recent ener­gy price spikes’ and ‘elec­tric­i­ty out­ages in Cal­i­for­nia,’ which we now know were engi­neered by Enron mar­ket manip­u­la­tions for which two Enron ener­gy traders have since plead­ed guilty to con­spir­a­cy charges (Forbes, 2/5/2003).]” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

6. “Behind the acknowl­edged con­cern about the ‘free flow’ of Per­sian Gulf oil are oth­er motives. Fol­low­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Task Force Report, the Bush admin­is­tra­tion wish­es to increase inter­na­tion­al (which may well turn out to mean US) invest­ment in the under-devel­oped Iraq oil­fields. On 1/16/03, the Wall Street Jour­nal report­ed that offi­cials from the White House, State Depart­ment, and Depart­ment of Defense have been meet­ing infor­mal­ly with exec­u­tives from Hal­libur­ton, Schlum­berg­er, Exxon­Mo­bil, Chevron­Tex­a­co and Cono­coPhillips to plan the post-war expan­sion of oil pro­duc­tion from Iraq (whose oil­fields were large­ly held by US com­pa­nies pri­or to their nation­al­iza­tion). The Jour­nal sto­ry has since been denied by Admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials; but, as the Guardian not­ed on 1/27/03, ‘It stretch­es creduli­ty some­what to imag­ine that the sub­ject has nev­er been broached.’ ” (Idem.)

7. “It is worth point­ing out that Sad­dam Hus­sein already has offered explorato­ry con­ces­sions (which remained inac­tive because of the UN sanc­tions) to France, Chi­na, Rus­sia, Brazil, Italy, and Malaysia. If Sad­dam is replaced by a new client regime, it seems like­ly that these con­ces­sions will be super­seded, although there are reports that the US has offered France, Rus­sia and Chi­na a share of post-war Iraqi oil, as an induce­ment to get their sup­port in the Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil. Last Sep­tem­ber for­mer CIA chief Woolsey threat­ened in the Wash­ing­ton Post (9/15/02) that the price for par­tic­i­pa­tion by France and Rus­sia in the post-war Iraq oil bonan­za should be their sup­port for ‘regime change.’ It would not take much of such men­ac­ing talk from offi­cial sources to turn the Bush cam­paign against Iraq into a cam­paign against Europe.” (Idem.)

8. “Iraq’s proven oil reserves are 113 bil­lion bar­rels, the sec­ond largest in the world after Sau­di Ara­bia, and eleven per­cent of the world’s total. The total reserves could be 200 mil­lion bar­rels or more, all of it rel­a­tive­ly easy and cheap to extract. Thus increas­ing Iraqi oil pro­duc­tion will dimin­ish the mar­ket pres­sure on oil-import­ing coun­tries like the US. It will also weak­en the pow­er of OPEC to influ­ence oil mar­kets by deci­sions to restrict out­put. Indeed, were Iraqi oil pro­duc­tion to expand to near its capac­i­ty, the quo­tas estab­lished by OPEC would cease to be hon­ored in today’s mar­ket.” (Idem.)

9. “But the US is not inter­est­ed in oil from Iraq, it is con­cerned to main­tain polit­i­cal dom­i­nance over all the oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries of the region. Sec­re­tary of State Col­in Pow­ell gave a glimpse of US inten­tions when he told the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee on Feb­ru­ary 6 that suc­cess in the Iraq war ‘could fun­da­men­tal­ly reshape that region in a pow­er­ful, pos­i­tive way that will enhance U.S. inter­ests.’ In con­ced­ing that it will be nec­es­sary to sta­tion US troops in occu­pied Iraq for the fore­see­able future, the US is serv­ing notice that the US will reassert its pres­ence as the dom­i­nant mil­i­tary pow­er in the region.” (Idem.)

10. Pro­fes­sor Scott dis­cuss­es the pric­ing of Mid­dle East­ern oil in dol­lars and the man­ner in which that dic­tates the pri­ma­cy of the dol­lar as a reserve cur­ren­cy. (Recall that in the pro­grams dis­cussing the euro and the dol­lar, Mr. Emory has dis­cussed the EMU as the ful­fill­ment of the pan-Ger­man the­o­rist Friedrich List’s for­mu­la for Ger­man world dom­i­na­tion. From the begin­ning of the EMU, For The Record has stressed that the cre­ation of the euro could do seri­ous dam­age to the unbal­anced US econ­o­my by erod­ing the dol­lar’s stature as a reserve cur­ren­cy. “Dom­i­nance of Mid­dle East­ern oil will mean in effect main­tain­ing dol­lar hege­mo­ny over the world oil econ­o­my. Giv­en its present strate­gies, the US is con­strained to demand no less. As I explain in this extract from my book, Drugs, Oil, and War, the present val­ue of the US dol­lar, unjus­ti­fied on pure­ly eco­nom­ic grounds, is main­tained by polit­i­cal arrange­ments, one of the chief of which is to ensure that all OPEC oil pur­chas­es will con­tin­ue to be denom­i­nat­ed in US dol­lars. (This com­mit­ment of OPEC to dol­lar oil sales was secured in the 1970’s by a secret agree­ment between the US and Sau­di Ara­bia, before the two coun­tries began to drift apart over Israel and oth­er issues.)” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

11. “The chief rea­son why dol­lars are more than pieces of green paper is that coun­tries all over the world need them for pur­chas­es, prin­ci­pal­ly of oil. This requires them in addi­tion to main­tain dol­lar reserves to pro­tect their own cur­ren­cy; and these reserves, when invest­ed, help main­tain the cur­rent high lev­els of the US secu­ri­ties mar­kets.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

12. “As Hen­ry Liu has writ­ten vivid­ly in the online Asian Times (4/11/02), ‘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 banks 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 because dol­lars can buy oil. The recy­cling of petro-dol­lars is the price the US has extract­ed from oil-pro­duc­ing coun­tries for US tol­er­ance of the oil-export­ing car­tel since 1973.’ ” (Idem.)

13. ” ‘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.’ ” (Idem.)

14. Assess­ing the dol­lar’s prospects in the future, Pro­fes­sor Scott takes note of the grow­ing trade and cur­rent accounts deficits in this coun­try, and the fact that these deficits are going to dam­age the US eco­nom­i­cal­ly, and dri­ve down the dol­lar as a reserve cur­ren­cy. As the pas­sage quot­ed here notes, it was at the end of the sec­ond Rea­gan Admin­is­tra­tion that this coun­try became a net debtor nation. In light of pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion, this is of more than pass­ing inter­est. The per­son­nel from the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion were select­ed by Helene von Damm, pro­tégé of Otto Von Bolschwing. By plung­ing the US in debt and bank­rupt­ing the Sovi­et Union, the Rea­gan Admin­is­tra­tions placed the US in its cur­rent posi­tion, to the advan­tage of the Under­ground Reich. (This process is described at greater length in RFA#37-available from Spit­fire.) “But cen­tral bankers around the world do not expect either the US dol­lar or the US stock mar­kets to sus­tain their cur­rent lev­els. As William Grei­der in The Nation (9/23/02) has point­ed out: ‘US econ­o­my’s net for­eign indebt­ed­ness-the accu­mu­la­tion of two decades of run­ning larg­er and larg­er trade deficits-will reach near­ly 25 per­cent of US GDP this year, or rough­ly $2.5 tril­lion. Fif­teen years ago, it was zero. Before Amer­i­ca’s net bal­ance of for­eign assets turned neg­a­tive, in 1988, the Unit­ed States was a cred­i­tor nation itself, invest­ing and lend­ing vast cap­i­tal to oth­ers, always more than it bor­rowed. Now the trend line looks most alarm­ing. If the deficits per­sist around the cur­rent lev­el of $400 bil­lion a year or grow larg­er, the total US indebt­ed­ness should reach $3.5 tril­lion in three years or so. With­in a decade, it would total 50 per­cent of GDP.’ ” (Idem.)

15. In light of the cur­rent nuclear cri­sis devel­op­ing in North Korea, it is inter­est­ing to con­tem­plate the pos­si­ble effects that an uncon­trolled esca­la­tion of these events could have on the Japan­ese econ­o­my. In turn, a Japan­ese col­lapse could have a tremen­dous effect on the US econ­o­my, and a very neg­a­tive one at that. “There is also a major poten­tial threat to the over­priced dol­lar in Japan’s unre­solved defla­tion­ary cri­sis. As observers like Lawrence A. Joyce have com­ment­ed, the dol­lar would take a major pum­mel­ing if the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment (as seems quite pos­si­ble) were sud­den­ly required to ful­fil its legal oblig­a­tions to bail out failed Japan­ese banks (which could eas­i­ly hap­pen if a sus­tained scarci­ty of oil were to keep oil prices at $40.00 a bar­rel or high­er): ‘There is only one place where the Japan­ese gov­ern­ment can get enough mon­ey to bail out its bank­ing sys­tem: The Japan­ese gov­ern­ment owns about 15% of our U.S. Trea­sury secu­ri­ties. And it would have to start sell­ing them if it found itself fac­ing a major bank­ing cri­sis.’ ” (Idem.)

16. ” ‘That would send the already ail­ing dol­lar down even fur­ther. And the ini­ti­a­tion of a sale of our Trea­sury secu­ri­ties by Japan, of course, would imme­di­ate­ly trig­ger a world­wide stam­pede to do the same before the secu­ri­ties become worth only a frac­tion of what they were pur­chased for. At the same time, inter­est rates in the U.S. would imme­di­ate­ly go through the roof.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 3–4.)

17. “Wash­ing­ton is of course aware of these prob­lems, and believes that over­whelm­ing mil­i­tary strength and the will to use it sup­ply the answer, per­suad­ing or forc­ing oth­er coun­tries to sup­port the dol­lar at its arti­fi­cial lev­el as they key to their own secu­ri­ty. In an arti­cle enti­tled ‘Asia: the Mil­i­tary-Mar­ket Link,’ and pub­lished by the U.S. Naval Insti­tute in Jan­u­ary 2002, Pro­fes­sor Thomas Bar­nett of the US Naval War Col­lege, wrote: ‘We trade lit­tle pieces of paper (our cur­ren­cy, in the form of a trade deficit) for Asi­a’s amaz­ing array of prod­ucts and ser­vices. We are smart enough to know this is a patent­ly unfair deal unless we offer some­thing of great val­ue along with those lit­tle pieces of paper. That prod­uct is a strong US Pacif­ic Fleet, which squares the trans­ac­tion nice­ly.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 4.)

18. “There is some mer­it to this argu­ment with respect to friend­ly coun­tries like Japan, whose defense costs have been low­ered by the US pres­ence in Asia. But of course the Islam­ic coun­tries of the world are less like­ly to appre­ci­ate the ‘great val­ue’ of a threat­en­ing US pres­ence. Instead they are more like­ly to fol­low the exam­ple of Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Mahathir Mohamad, and turn to the Islam­ic gold dinar as a way to dimin­ish dol­lar hege­mo­ny in world mar­kets and increase the pow­er of Islam­ic nations to chal­lenge US poli­cies. The Unit­ed States has at present lit­tle rea­son to fear a chal­lenge to the dol­lar from Malaysia. But Malaysia is an Islam­ic coun­try; and the US has every rea­son to fear a sim­i­lar chal­lenge from the Islam­ic nations in OPEC, were they to force OPEC to cease OPEC oil sales in dol­lars, and denom­i­nate them instead in euros.” (Idem.)

19. “Iraq was one of the first OPEC coun­tries, in 2000, to con­vert its reserves from dol­lars to euros. At the time a com­men­ta­tor for Radio Free Europe/Radio Lib­er­ty pre­dict­ed that Sad­dam’s polit­i­cal act ‘will cost Iraq mil­lions in lost rev­enue.’ In fact, Iraq has prof­it­ed hand­some­ly from the 17 per­cent gain in the val­ue of the euro against the dol­lar in that time. Oth­er coun­tries have grad­u­al­ly been climb­ing on to the euro band­wag­on. An arti­cle in the Iran Finan­cial News, 8/25/02, revealed that more than half of Iran’s Forex Reserve Fund assets had been con­vert­ed from dol­lars to euros. In 2002, Chi­na began diver­si­fy­ing its cur­ren­cy reserves away from dol­lars into euros. Accord­ing to Busi­ness Week (2/17/03), Rus­si­a’s Cen­tral Bank in the past year has dou­bled its euro hold­ings to 20 per­cent of its $48 bil­lion for­eign exchange reserves. And for a very good rea­son, accord­ing to its First Deputy Chair­man Oleg Vyu­g­in: ‘Returns on dol­lar instru­ments are very low now. Oth­er cur­ren­cy instru­ments pay more.’ ” (Idem.)

20. As was pre­dict­ed in FTRs 85, 100, 126, the Euro is indeed eat­ing into the dol­lar’s sta­tus as a reserve cur­ren­cy. “Busi­ness Week con­tin­ues: ‘The sto­ry is the same across the globe. Mon­ey traders say that insti­tu­tions as diverse as Bank of Cana­da, Peo­ple’s Bank of Chi­na, and Cen­tral Bank of Tai­wan are giv­ing more weight to the Euro­pean cur­ren­cy. By the end of this year, they pre­dict, the euro could account for 20% of glob­al for­eign cur­ren­cy reserves, which today amount to a cool $2.4 tril­lion. Lit­tle more than a year ago, the euro made up just 10%. ‘No one is say­ing that the euro’s going to replace the dol­lar as the pre­mier reserve cur­ren­cy,’ says Michael Klawit­ter, a cur­ren­cy strate­gist at West­LB research in Lon­don. ‘But it will increase in impor­tance for many cen­tral banks. The shift to the euro has big impli­ca­tions for the for­eign exchange mar­kets and the U.S. and Euro­pean economies. Cur­ren­cy spe­cial­ists say the yawn­ing U.S. cur­rent account deficit, now at 5%, is bound to dri­ve the dol­lar down fur­ther, and the euro still high­er, over the next two to four years. Although the green­back may stage a short-term recov­ery once the loom­ing war with Iraq is over, pre­dic­tions are that it will then con­tin­ue its down­ward trend, and that cen­tral banks will play their part in the descent. ‘Even if cen­tral banks increase their euro hold­ings by just a few [per­cent, it will have a major impact in the mar­kets,’ says Klawit­ter. ‘We’re talk­ing many bil­lions of dol­lar.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 4–5.)

21. “If not deterred, OPEC could fol­low suit. Libya has been urg­ing for some time that oil be priced in euros rather than dol­lars. Javad Yar­jani, an Iran­ian senior OPEC offi­cial, told a Euro­pean Union sem­i­nar in April 2002 that, despite the prob­lems raised by such a con­ver­sion, ‘I believe that OPEC will not dis­count entire­ly the pos­si­bil­i­ty of adopt­ing euro pric­ing and pay­ments in the future. . . ’ ” (Ibid.; p. 5.)

22. No hypocrisy is greater than that of Ralph Nad­er, whose pre­pos­ter­ous, fun­da­men­tal­ly dis­hon­est cam­paign was instru­men­tal in plac­ing this admin­is­tra­tion in pow­er. (For more about mul­ti-mil­lion­aire stock investor Ralph Nad­er and his invest­ments in com­pa­nies he crit­i­cizes, see FTR#264.) “. . . With respect to oil, Ralph Nad­er has just writ­ten, ‘The demand is sim­ple: Stop this war before it starts and imme­di­ate­ly estab­lish a same nation­al ener­gy secu­ri­ty strat­e­gy.’ In fact, one key ingre­di­ent of such a strat­e­gy, restric­tion of demand, can be found in san­er parts of the Bak­er Insti­tute reports that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion has so far cho­sen to ignore.” (Idem.)

23. The pro­gram excerpts sec­tions of a paper by Kevin Coogan dis­cussing the con­nec­tions between the far right and Islam­o­fas­cist ele­ments. One of the points of spec­u­la­tion that Kevin engages in con­cerns the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the fascist/Islamist link-up may be intend­ed to shift the eco­nom­ic pow­er of the Mid­dle East­ern oil-pro­duc­ing nations to finan­cial insti­tu­tions asso­ci­at­ed with the far right­ists dis­cussed here. “My own belief is that it is less the appar­ent­ly fan­tas­tic and ‘James Bond’-like qual­i­ty of this analy­sis that is most dif­fi­cult to under­stand. The real dif­fi­cul­ty is the utter igno­rance of most West­ern­ers (Amer­i­cans in par­tic­u­lar) about the very exis­tence of such peo­ple as Fran­cois Genoud. Thus when Ernst Back­es, one of Europe’s lead­ing experts in mon­ey laun­der­ing, told the Lux­em­bourg-based eco­nom­ic jour­nal Plus Minus last year that he believed the finan­cial source of funds for the 9/11 ter­ror­ists would ulti­mate­ly be traced back to Swiss bank accounts estab­lished by Genoud, few Amer­i­cans had any idea what Back­es could pos­si­bly be talk­ing about. For this same rea­son there has been vir­tu­al­ly no inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion into SICO’s Bau­doin Dunand’s rela­tion­ship to Genoud or (for that mat­ter) the role of Syr­i­an-born Muham­mad Mar­dam Bay (believed to be relat­ed to a for­mer Syr­i­an for­eign min­is­ter) has played both as a mem­ber of Magnin, Dunand & Asso­ciates as well as Bay’s pos­si­ble links with Genoud. And what does it mean when we are told that Youssef Nada, for exam­ple, is believed by Egypt­ian author­i­ties to have worked for Ger­man intel­li­gence in World War II?” (“Report on Islamists, The Far Right, and Al Taqwa” by Kevin Coogan; p. 15.)

24. “It is not at all impos­si­ble that net­works first devel­oped in the 1930’s and who saw their eco­nom­ic pow­er fan­tas­ti­cal­ly mul­ti­plied in the wake of the enor­mous hike in oil prices in 1973 are now engaged in try­ing to enact a major finan­cial shift away from the dol­lar and Anglo-Amer­i­can finan­cial net­works and to shift the vast wealth of the Mus­lim oil states into a new Euro-based finan­cial net­work that would vast­ly increase the pow­er of those banks and finan­cial inter­ests in Europe asso­ci­at­ed with ele­ments of far right elites that sur­vived World War II rel­a­tive­ly intact.” (Idem.)

25. “If this were at all the case, it would not be a new devel­op­ment. The very same attempt to devel­op an inde­pen­dent Sau­di-Ger­man hookup to sub­vert the U.S. and British dom­i­na­tion of the Sau­di oil mar­kets was actu­al­ly attempt­ed in the mid-1950’s. At that time, the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly-using the advise of the famous Ger­man banker Hjal­mar Schacht-attempt­ed to employ Aris­to­tle Onas­sis to trans­port Sau­di oil on new oil tankers that would be con­struct­ed in the ship­yards of Ger­many. This attempt to break the West­ern oil con­trol over Sau­di Ara­bia was final­ly blocked by the Unit­ed States, a sto­ry well doc­u­ment­ed in Jim Hougan’s book Spooks (New York: William Mor­row, 1978.)” (Ibid.; pp. 15–16.)

26. “The doc­u­men­ta­tion regard­ing this com­plex ques­tion is there for any­one who wants to exam­ine it. Of course I am NOT attempt­ing to sug­gest a sim­ple mono-causal expla­na­tion for the cur­rent cri­sis. What I am sug­gest­ing is that soon­er or lat­er these con­nec­tions between the far right and groups like the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood that began in the 1930’s and con­tin­ue today will have to become the sub­ject of seri­ous and sober research in order to help us shed new light on the extra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances we are liv­ing under today.” (Ibid.; p. 16.)

27. Detail­ing the attempt at gain­ing con­trol of the Sau­di oil wealth allud­ed to in the con­clu­sion of Kev­in’s paper on the von Dohnanyi book, the broad­cast sets forth the maneu­ver­ing of for­mer Third Reich finance min­is­ter Hjal­mar Schacht. Note that Schacht was very close to Genoud, as well as to Allen Dulles, a major fig­ure in the estab­lish­ment of Sau­di Ara­bia and an impor­tant engi­neer of the Bush fam­i­ly’s invest­ments on behalf of the Third Reich. “Anoth­er key fig­ure involved in Ger­man intrigue in the Mid­dle East was Hjal­mar Schacht. He first came to Egypt as Gen­er­al Naguib’s ‘guest of hon­or’ after the coup against King Farouk. Schacht’s most dar­ing Mid­dle East pow­er-play was the ‘Jid­dah Agree­ment’ between Ger­man indus­try and Sau­di Ara­bia in Jan­u­ary 1954. Under the terms of the deal, Sau­di Ara­bia agreed to estab­lish a fleet of super­tankers to be built in Ger­man ship­yards) that would car­ry Sau­di oil around the world. Aris­to­tle Onas­sis was cho­sen to man­age the ship­ping side of the oper­a­tion. Besides mak­ing the Ruhr indus­tri­al­ists fan­tas­ti­cal­ly wealthy, Jid­dah threat­ened to break the ‘Sev­en Sis­ters’ oil com­pa­nies’ hege­mo­ny over the dis­tri­b­u­tion of Mid­dle East oil. The Jid­dah Agree­ment was ulti­mate­ly blocked by the West­ern oil car­tel with help from the CIA. Yet Allen Dulles’s CIA was sur­pris­ing­ly hes­i­tant to con­front Schacht. Robert Maheu, one of the coor­di­na­tors of the Amer­i­can attack on Jid­dah, said of the CIA: ‘You can’t imag­ine how hard it was to con­vince them that the nation­al inter­est was at stake.’ ” (Dream­er of the Day: Fran­cis Park­er Yock­ey and the Post­war Fas­cist Inter­na­tion­al Copy­right 1999 [SC]; Autono­me­dia; ISBN 1–57027-039–2; p. 383.) One won­ders to what extent some of the Bush-relat­ed petro­le­um inter­ests impli­cat­ed in the back­ground of the 9/11 attacks have proven sim­i­lar­ly recal­ci­trant to the con­cept of the nation­al inter­est.

28. In the “cyn­i­cism Olympics,” it would be dif­fi­cult to best the Ger­mans (who, along with the French) are block­ing the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s oil run in Iraq for domes­tic polit­i­cal rea­sons and (pos­si­bly) to exer­cise “diplo­ma­cy as the con­tin­u­a­tion of war by oth­er means.” (For more on this sub­ject, see-among oth­er programs-FTR#‘s 395–399.) It should be not­ed that the cur­rent Ger­man for­eign min­is­ter, Josch­ka Fis­ch­er, is a for­mer fel­low-trav­el­er of the milieu of the RAF/Baad­er-Mein­hoff gang. This milieu, in turn, is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with that of the afore­men­tioned Fran­cois Genoud and the Al Taqwa/Islamist milieu involved with 9/11. “In 2001, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment put on tri­al your old friend Hans-Joachim Klein, who had been an under­ground ‘sol­dier’ in the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Cells, an ally of the red Army Fac­tion and the Pop­u­lar Front for the Lib­er­a­tion of Pales­tine. The Rev­o­lu­tion­ary cells [accord­ing to author Kel­ly] helped in the mur­der of the Israeli Olympic ath­letes in Munich in 1972, and Klein him­self took part in a 1975 joint assas­si­na­tion oper­a­tion with Car­los the Jack­al in which three were killed. Dur­ing your tes­ti­mo­ny at Klein’s tri­al, you were accused of hav­ing har­bored Red Army Fac­tion mem­bers in your Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Strug­gle house, the Frank­furt cen­ter for the group Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Strug­gle, which you co-found­ed with house­mate Daniel ‘Dan­ny the Red’ Cohn-Ben­dit. You were forced to admit there was some truth in the accu­sa­tion after it was revealed, as Berman report­ed, that Margrit Schiller, ‘who had served jail time for her con­nec­tions to the Red Army Fac­tion,’ had in her mem­oirs ‘plain­ly stat­ed that she had spent a ‘few days’ in the ear­ly 1970’s liv­ing in the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary house.’ ” (“Ger­many’s Tough Guy” by Michael Kel­ly; Wash­ing­ton Post; 2/12/2003; p. A9.)

29. The cen­ter-right gov­ern­ment of France is equal­ly cyn­i­cal with its cor­po­rate mas­ter-Ger­many. (Note that Total, the French oil com­pa­ny, is deeply involved with the CDU fund­ing scan­dal and the com­plex milieu revealed by that imbroglio.) “The French oil com­pa­ny Total has signed sev­er­al oil explo­ration deals with Iraq’s gov­ern­ment. France is one of Iraq’s biggest trad­ing part­ners; it received about $700 mil­lion in rev­enue in 2001 from exports to Iraq. French car­mak­ers Renault and PSA Peu­geot Cit­roen attend­ed Bagh­dad’s inter­na­tion­al trade fair last Novem­ber. As prime min­is­ter in the 1970’s, Chirac nego­ti­at­ed with Sad­dam to sell Iraq France’s nuclear tech­nol­o­gy and 60 Mirage fight­er jets.” (“Chirac Plays to France’s Pow­er­ful Past” by Vivi­enne Walt; USA Today; 2/27/2003; p. 8A.)

30. Not­ing an obser­va­tion shared by many, the pro­gram dis­cuss­es the fact that coun­tert­er­ror­ism experts feel that Osama bin Laden will ben­e­fit from a US attack on Iraq. “Osama bin Laden is like­ly to gain sup­port and foot sol­diers should the U.S. mil­i­tary lead an inva­sion of Iraq, warn lead­ing coun­tert­er­ror­ism experts and a senior U.S. intel­li­gence offi­cial. The ana­lysts, whose view that the al-Qai­da ter­ror net­work stands to gain from a U.S. inter­ven­tion are dis­put­ed by Defense Depart­ment and White House offi­cials, who say that bin Laden had tai­lored sev­er­al recent audio mes­sages to fit with long­stand­ing Arab fears of West­ern mil­i­tary dom­i­na­tion.” (“Al-Qai­da Stands to Gain from War, Ana­lysts Say” by Phillip Smuck­er; San Jose Mer­cury News; 2/25/2003; p. 7A.)

31. After not­ing the fact that George Bush has slashed life­time med­ical ben­e­fits for vet­er­ans and shaved fed­er­al aid for the school­ing of the chil­dren of active-duty mil­i­tary per­son­nel, the broad­cast high­lights the cyn­i­cism of right-wing pun­dit Ann Coul­ter, who ver­bal­ly assailed a dis­abled Viet­nam vet­er­an. “She even­tu­al­ly left her job as a com­men­ta­tor on MSNBC after telling a dis­abled Viet­nam vet in a debate, ‘Peo­ple like you caused us to lose the war.’ ” (Blind­ed by the Right: The Con­science of an ex-Con­ser­v­a­tive; by David Brock; Copy­right 2002 by David Brock; Three Rivers Press [SC]; 1–4000-4728–5; p. 198.)

32. The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of the role of Ram­sey Clark in lead­ing Inter­na­tion­al Action Cen­ter, the par­ent orga­ni­za­tion of Inter­na­tion­al ANSWER, a major coali­tion group that has been orga­niz­ing demon­stra­tions against the war. Not­ing that Clark played a para­mount role in cov­er­ing up the assas­si­na­tion of Dr. Mar­tin Luther King, the pro­gram high­lights the fact that, in keep­ing with the cyn­i­cism so evi­dent in con­nec­tion with the Iraq issue, ANSWER staged major events on the week­end of the hol­i­day cel­e­brat­ing Dr. King’s birth­day.


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