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Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar Paperback – May 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865715149
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865715141
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

William Clark is Manager of Performance Improvement at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research on oil depletion, oil currency issues and U.S. geostrategy received a 2003 Project Censored award, published in Censored 2004. He lives in Columbia, Maryland.

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Customer Reviews

In fact, most countries must buy or trade for dollars to buy oil, propping up the value of the dollar.
Richard H. Burkhart
Petrodollar Warfare is the best attempt at explaining the recent free fall of the U.S. Dollar and giving another reason to why we hold onto this failed war in Iraq.
niccolo raven
Clark warns America’s belligerency will be thwarted by the international community in nonviolent economic warfare of abandoning the dollar.
Mikio Miyaki

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Richard H. Burkhart on September 30, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd been somewhat skeptical of claims that Bush's Invasion of Iraq had much to do with the dollar versus the euro. After reading "Petrodollar Warfare" I came to understand that the strength of the dollar, and its status as the world reserve currency, came from the fact that it has, in effect, been backed by oil since Nixon went off the gold standard. That is, you can always trade in your dollars at a reasonable exchange rate for the world's most valuable resource, oil. In fact, most countries must buy or trade for dollars to buy oil, propping up the value of the dollar. The International Monetary Fund has been a key enforcer of this dollar monopoly, especially among the poorer countries of the world.

The "warfare" comes from the fact that Saddam Hussein switched his oil sales from dollars to euros in 2000, also that Iran is planning to open an energy market (Bourse) in euros in the spring of 2006. Clark makes a compelling case that "maintaining the dollar as the World Reserve Currency was a major component of the Bush administration's push for the Iraq War". Because of this the US enjoys almost unlimited credit compared to other countries, way beyond its actual economic productivity. Loss of this credit would entail dramatic belt-tightening in the US combined with major inflation, rivaling the Great Depression.

So far Bush's strategy has worked. But there is widespread fear, even by some financial authorities, that this is about to end as US debt spirals into the stratosphere to finance militarization and consumption, not productive investments. Clark points out that China, which recently signed a $70 billion oil and gas deal with Iran, could decide to dump its dollars if the US attacks Iran to head off the new Bourse.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Richard Kerver on September 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
The people of the United States must regain its democratic control over the large rogue politic which underpins the Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz administration, which allows for economic warfare disguised as, take your pick: 'war on terror', 'liberation of the Iraqi people', 'the preservation of democracy', etc. ad nauseum. Those in the broader community who understand Peak Oil as the natural limit by which the US economy can grow, also understand what Richard Heinberg aptly describes as the option of "last one standing - The path of competition for remaining resources."

There are other options and William Clarks's book adds considerably to the necessary public debate by which we, the American people, must first understand what is happening, and secondly, assert our values which choose life and freedom. The path is clear and it entails a shift to renewable fuels on a massive scale, huge conservation efforts, and vastly improved energy efficiencies. Its the option to "powerdown." Unfortunately, the time is quickly running out for choosing that path. War with Iran, by Israel, with considerable US backing, may now be inevitable, because of Iran's necessary choice for economic self preservation in the face of US hegemony to preserve the petrodollar. And when the bombs start dropping, we'll be irrevocably locked into World War III. Its time for all of us to become strident, with ourselves in our inanity, each other, and most importantly, with our representatives in Congress.

A few notable quotes from the book:

"Only in the United States and Britain did the majority of people indicate that the campaign against terror was a sincere effort to reduce international terrorism.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Craig Hall on September 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book challenges us to comprehend the macroeconomic motivations of our U.S policy makers over the last 60 years to do two things. 1. Make the U.S. dollar the standard world currency for oil. 2. Ensure that the U.S. can control oil resources in order to sustain this dominance through superpower military superiority. William R. Clark makes a compeling case against our current positions in foreign and economic policies based on the fact that the world's oil supplies have reached peak production and are now in decline. His scenarios are not all bleak and depressing. His solutions for the next generations of energy supply give us some hope that the human species may be sustainable through alternative energy sources and a change in the way we American's squander carbon based fuels.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 18, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was tempted to give this book only four stars, because as some reviewers suggest, it is mostly a summative work, drawing heavily on several books I have already reviewed, as well as a number of studies and article. In the end I decided to go with five stars because this is the only book I have found that really drew my attention to the turning point in US-Iraq relations: not Gulf I, but rather Iraq's declared intention to break the dollar monopoly and begin trading oil in Euros. Today of course we have Iran, Russia, and Venezuela trading in currencies other than the dollar.

First off, this is one of those rare books where in addition to carefully studying the table of contents, which is superbly devised, almost an executive summary on its own, you should also *first* read the End Notes and also the Afterword by LtCol Karen Kwiatkowski, now retired, who earned lasting recognition for resigning and challenging the lies coming out of the politically-appointed Pentagon officials.

Although this book is labeled by some (who would have us ignore it) as part of the "conspiracy" literature, I find myself reading more and more books in this vein, spanning 9-11, peak oil, corporate personality, and Wall Street-Washington corruption. I have to say, with all humility, if there is one privilege I would claim as the #1 Amazon reviewer of non-fiction, it is the privilege of stating clearly and on the record that this book, and other books in this vein, are NOT conspiracy literature, but rather the survivors, the vanguard that has avoided censorship.
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