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Petrodollar Warfare: Oil, Iraq and the Future of the Dollar Paperback – May 1, 2005
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The invasion of Iraq may well be remembered as the first oil currency war. Far from being a response to 9-11 terrorism or Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, Petrodollar Warfare argues that the invasion was precipitated by two converging phenomena: the imminent peak in global oil production, and the ascendance of the euro currency.
Energy analysts agree that world oil supplies are about to peak, after which there will be a steady decline in supplies of oil. Iraq, possessing the world's second largest oil reserves, was therefore already a target of U.S. geostrategic interests. Together with the fact that Iraq had switched its oil payment currency to euros-rather than US dollars-the Bush administration's unreported aim was to prevent further OPEC momentum in favor of the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency."
Meticulously researched, Petrodollar Warfare examines U.S. dollar hegemony and the unsustainable macroeconomics of "petrodollar recycling," pointing out that the issues underlying the Iraq war also apply to geostrategic tensions between the U.S. and other countries including the member states of the European Union (EU), Iran, Venezuela, and Russia. The author warns that without changing course, the American Experiment will end the way all empires end-with military over-extension and subsequent economic decline. He recommends the multilateral pursuit of both energy and monetary reforms within a United Nations framework to create a more balanced global energy and monetary system-thereby reducing the possibility of future oil depletion and oil currency-related warfare.
A sober call for an end to aggressive U.S. unilateralism, Petrodollar Warfare is a unique contribution to the debate about the future global political economy.
See review from Hopedance(2004-11-30)
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It is not clear if Saddam Hussein initiated the idea of transitioning to a petroeuro or if the EU approached him with the idea. Clark verifies the fact Iraq War was ignited by Hussein’s declaration of adopting the euro for its oil-export transactions from various aspects. He criticizes the Bush administration overplayed its hand and exposed the weakness of US hegemonic status in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion. He alleges the use of deception and manipulation in the US policy flows directly from the doctrine espoused by German political philosopher Leo Strauss. Strauss’ philosophy, deception is the normal process in politics, contradicts with American spirits of individualism, liberalism, and relativism, which founders of the United States viewed as most desirable things. The United States is standing at the crossroad of their future. Clark warns America’s belligerency will be thwarted by the international community in nonviolent economic warfare of abandoning the dollar. To maintain the unsustainable status quo means ultimate damage to the essential principles of liberty and freedom that founded the United States. Instead, he advocates, to rejoin the community of nations as an equal among allies and collectively work on future challenges.
The United States is facing difficult challenges like global monetary reform, re-organizing US fiscal policies, developing a national energy strategy, repairing damaged foreign relationship, reigning in the unwarranted power of the millitary-industrial-petroleum-intelligence branch of government. As history tells us a fleeting empire recklessly pursued global domination only to generate catastrophic warfare. Imperial pursuits abroad, the way taken by America so far, invariably lead to sacrifices democratic principles, and the diminishment of liberty and freedom. If Americans let destroy their freedom and liberty, it’ll be the only time a terrorist attack succeed in destroying the US. International terrorism is a specific crime against humanity. It should be solved within the international rules of law. Hegemonic power, as Clark says, is most effective and long-lasting when it is kept in stock, always building up the perception that it is actively restricting itself even when showing its power. A long-lived enlightened Democratic republic heeds the wisdom of the founding fathers while resisting the temptation of empire. If Americans truly practiced the values in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, the US would regain the world’s respect and admiration, not the world’s fear and hate.
He condemns American media for playing up to the government so far. Clark deplores free and open media in the US becomes a myth, not reality. For decades the links between the US government and the major military-industrial-petroleum conglomerates are said to have grown into a seamless unit. The US was ranked at 17th in the worldwide press freedom index. He illustrates the Internet is the last and only bridgehead of free speech and unfiltered news in the US. Until the US media conglomerates are reformed into more independent and free media organizations, the American people will continue to be at risk for extensive manipulation by political leaders. Various political subjects needs public attention and decided through widely held discussion. The concept of dissent has served to strengthen US democracy. His points sound quite natural to Japanese who have experienced severe opinion control by military in the past.
To develop a multilateral compromising approach to Peak Oil is the foremost challenge for who live in the 21st century. Conserving energy and seeking alternative energy can save not only America but also all nations from devolving into despotism. The effective adoption of a domestic energy strategy could provide a vast opportunity to revive the industry within countries. Real wealth creation comes from manufacturing and production. Energy reconfiguration requires huge amount of money for new investment and creates new jobs domestically. Also an equitable global monetary system is in the long-term national security interest of the world. Clark asserts the most appropriate US strategy is compromise with the EU and OPEC toward a dual-currency system for international oil trades. To rebalance the global economy and promote energy conservation and alternative energy success will be a great help in restoring the US international stature while reducing current “anti-American” sentiments.
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. This book may not be perfect, it may overstate the case (personally I think Bush is as dim as Feith and did not understand the Euro issue while having a childish mind easily led by Dick Cheney), but it is part of an emerging literature that cannot be denied and must be given full attention.
The book highlights and reminds that we have lost the Republic to four interacting influences: concentrated wealth including perpeptual compounded wealth concealed in corporations improperly given personality rights; a completely corrupt Congress serving corporations rather than the public interest; the end of a free press with five media conglomerates happily practicing perception management on an ignorant and inattentive public; and a Federal Reserve that is not part of the government and not acting in the public interest, but instead creating credit out of thin air, and selling that to the government at a price that is both dear, and unconstitutional.
Having come late to much of this literature, the term "proto-fascism" was new to me, but it fits: Wall Street wealth, plus political corruption, plus a military too eager to follow orders without thinking. I remind all who care to understand a military perspective that General Smedley Butler's book, "War is a Racket," recounts his disdain for being a an "enforcer" for corporations.
The author of this book on petrodollar warfare does an excellent job of recounting the history of the dollar, setting the stage for both the end of the gold standard under Nixon, and the manner in which petrodollars from the 1970's were recycled as loans to the Third World.
There are two really superb charts from other sources in this book, one on page 105 showing "The Lie Factory" led by Dick Cheney and Doug Feith; and another on page 112 showing the claims by Cheney and others about Iraq having Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), both before (of course they do) and after (none found).
Today an attack on Iran looms. I have done everything I could as an individual citizen, including a protest package to the Senate, press releases, a fax to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and a posting at OSS.Net of Howard Bloom's memorandum on a potential nuclear ambush by Iran, and Webster Tarpley's powerpoint on the fragile ground supply line from Kuwait to Baghdad. I share his view that the Siege of Baghdad will make the Siege of Stalingrad look like mercy killings. Think Black Hawk Down times a million.
This is a very fine book. It took me a year to notice it, but I will be more attentive now. New Society Publishers is in my view a national treasure. I admire them and will look forward to reading and reviewing many more books that they publish for the right reasons: to inform citizens and improve society.