Tuesday, September 25, 2007

USA/Half Off

The dollar hit an all time low against the euro again today, trading at $1.44 and heading further south. This would be dry news for most, except that it ties in with Iran's President Ahmadinejad's visit to New York this week. That was some ugly business at Columbia University yesterday. I believed that Columbia showed courage and honored freedom of speech by allowing Ahmadinejad a forum, but it was anything but courageous for the University's president to sucker punch him like a bitch. Ahmadinejad sat and took it like Edwin Booth returning to the stage after his brother killed President Lincoln, and Columbia's Bollinger succeeded in actually making him look sympathetic. Had he left it to the students, it would have been an informative enough exchange since they asked scalding questions. The student response to the statement that there are no homosexuals in Iran was with derisive laughter and ridicule. That is what effectively defangs a clever liar, but I haven't seen such grandstanding by a university president since S.I. Hayakawa at San Francisco State in 1968.

Ahmadinejad's entire anti-Israel, holocaust denial, Palestinian propaganda carnival is strictly for Middle Eastern consumption, since I have learned from Iranian exiles that Persians are quick to point out that they are not Arabs. Neither am I moved by his semi-admission of the holocaust before a New York audience. He knows that all holocaust deniers are about to get a Third Reich Smackdown in the soon to be opened trove of documents that have been sitting in the German town of Bad Arolsen since 1945. Just because the Nazis attempted to disguise their genocide against the Jews while it was happening, doesn't mean they weren't proud of it. They kept meticulous records of every soul they sent to a death camp, and it has taken 60 years to unseal these files. Millions of records will soon be available to the public, and the answers may yet tell a worse story than previously thought.

No one today, and no one tomorrow, will ask Ahmadinejad the important questions about the IOB, or the Iranian Oil Bourse. The Bourse, or exchange, began last year and is the third such exchange for oil, futures, petroleum products, and all other financial instruments, joining those in London and New York. The IOB is the first located in the Middle East and the first to trade exclusively in euros. You know the term "petrodollars?" If that changes to petro-euros and other oil consuming countries like Russia and India go along, we're in for a wild ride. In his book, "Reefer Madness," describing the U.S. underground economy, Eric Schlosser already maintains that the one hundred dollar bill, once the staple of smugglers the world over, has been abandoned for the euro by money launderers and all manner of dealers in contraband, not just for the value, but because the euro comes in notes of 500. When the euro was launched, it was ridiculed in some quarters of this country. Don't be surprised to reach in your pocket one of these days for an Amero.

In this insane economy where President Chuckles thinks we can have guns and butter, if the perception of the almighty dollar collapses, so does our economy. Our trade deficits are obscene because we all want cheap stuff, yet there is no market for our consumer goods; not in autos, software, or even underwear. We do, however, lead the world in the gross output of porno. We are a debtor nation, $200 billion in hock to China alone, who buys our debt in Treasury Bills and transfers a large percentage to euros. Russia has followed suit in transferring their dollar reserves, and the country of Dubai, of the infamous Dubai Ports World debacle, has found their convergence of dollar reserves to the euro to be so profitable, they are poised to purchase the NASDAQ stock exchange; wholesale. The kings of the no-bid contract, Halliburton, home of the Cheney School of Business Ethics, have just moved their entire operation to Dubai. So much for that good corporate citizen nonsense.

This collapsing dollar is great for Europeans and other non-Americans using the euro, including Canadians, who are crossing borders for terrific bargains. Not only are all of our consumer goods on sale for half price, so is our land, our institutions, our landmarks, and our way of life. If there is a crisis in our currency, it could show the Bush economic policy as the Darwinian/Milton Friedman, free market, free-for-all, grab bag that it has always been, and then the tent poles could come down. What makes this scary story even more frightening is that if President Chuckles has populated the Departments of Commerce and the Treasury with his conservative cronies like he did in the Justice Department, you could wake up in a few years in a third world country, and still be in your own bed. The Hurricane Katrina of finance could hit and the first responders will blame it on gay marriage. Someone needs to ask President Ahmadinejad if his intention was to declare economic war on the United States by accepting oil payments only in euros and further weakening the dollar? His views on the holocaust may make him look like a fool, but his views on oil and the euro make him look like a fox.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Oil, Ya'll

On the eve of the sixth anniversary of the attack on our country by nineteen fanatical Saudis with boxcutters, I am not too cynical to pause and remember the innocent people killed that day and those that struggle still with the after effects. Whatever grievance Islamic extremists had with this country was nullified by the strategy to make their odious point by killing Mommies and Daddies. It's also worth remembering that under the the cover of the Twin Tower attacks, our government responded by unleashing two hundred 9/11's in the invasion and occupation of Iraq. We bombed their innocents, incapacitated the Iraqi Army, and set up a puppet government, and we ain't going nowhere. Does anyone feel avenged?

The Rumsfeld strategy to allow looting and lawlessness in major cities while securing the oil fields first, should have been the giveaway. Iraq never had anything to do with freedom, or 9/11, or anything other than oil, and our troops will be there until the oil leases are signed. The Bush/Cheney All-Oil team was ramrodding a bill through the Iraqi parliament, opening Iraq's oil fields to exploration by foreign companies, but it stalled before they went on Summer vacation. Not because of "sectarian strife," but because of what oil industry watchdog The Platform described as "sign(ing) away Iraq's future." Though the bill offered "revenue sharing," with Iraq's ethnic communities, it's real intent was to offer up Iraq's oilfields to the international Oil Lobby on more favorable terms than in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, with the promise of even greater returns.

Regardless of what General Patraeus says today about "the surge," or President Chuckles says about the "possibility" of troop withdrawals, our soldiers will be in Iraq until the oil deals are settled and the fields are open for business. BushCo needs these leases to act as quasi-legal documents when the whole pathetic venture implodes. Only, our CEO and MBA government might all be on a compound in Paraguay clipping their Halliburton coupons by the time that happens. And any discussion of the Democrats defunding the war will be drowned out by the clamor for the essential needs of our troops and Bush's mercenaries. The troops are hostages to Cheney's oil deal and protesting in the streets is no longer viable. Osama Bin Laden can now release 9/11 anniversary tapes with the regularity of an Andy Williams Christmas Show. They have you over the old oil barrel and the only way to stop it is to demand impeachment.

On "Meet The Press" yesterday, Joe Biden suggested a similar solution to the one that I expressed on 4/7/06 (My Exit Strategy); Islamic peacekeepers from neighboring countries to remove the targets from our soldiers' backs. But this President will commission more studies and ask for more patience until his last day in office. Hopefully, under a less venal executive, the next president can begin to repair the damage by returning control of Iraqi natural resources to the Iraqis. Then we can remove our apparatchiks and uproot KBR from Saddam's palaces and return them to the people. Finally, we can hand over the most elaborate palace of them all, the gargantuan American Embassy that was to serve as our personal "Nerve Central" in the Middle East. Like Senator Biden said earlier, all the troops we can send will not accomplish reconciliation among the Iraqis. If that fails, we will be pulling desperate people off of the roof of that new U.S. Embassy in helicopters. All for oil, ya'll.