Are oil, armaments, drugs, and the dollars the cornerstones of the American empire? From Dr. T. P. Wilkinson at globalresearch.ca:
In 1973, the world economy was brought almost to a halt by a supposed shortage of oil. The ostensible trigger for this alleged shortage was the so-called Yom Kippur War in which the armed forces of the Anglo-American Empire’s settler-colonial offshore enterprise in Palestine, also known as the State of Israel, repelled the forces of Egypt and Syria, which had moved to reoccupy the territory stolen from them by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War. One response to the Anglo-American Empire’s support of its client state against those states Israel wished to conquer was an oil embargo proclaimed by OPEC, with the largest producer– the autocratic Anglo-American protectorate Saudi Arabia at the lead.
Portrayed in the mainstream Western media as a sign of Arab economic strength– also as anti-Semitism in some quarters– the embargo led to massive economic disruption in all the countries that had to import oil, mainly Europe and its former colonies.
This embargo created the impression of a global oil shortage—which although there was none, could not be overcome without violating the power of the oil cartel. While the OPEC embargo formally restricted the sale of crude oil to Israel’s sponsors, there was no real oil shortage since oil supplies to Europe and the US have always been in the hands of the majors (now super-majors), then known as the “seven sisters”. OPEC’s announcement of an embargo at the well had no impact on the enormous upstream reserves held by the mainly American majors. However it did provide the pretext for massive price increases at the pump– presented as shortage-induced.
Unnoticed except in the aftermath and ignored generally in popular debate or historical literature was the far more insidious deal made secretly while everyone from Bonn to Boston and Lyon to Los Angeles was queuing for petrol or the dole. In 1971 Richard Nixon had announced that the US dollar would no longer be redeemable for gold– at any price. This decision had been largely induced by the enormous debt incurred funding the US war against Vietnam. In the course of this fateful decision, secret negotiations were undertaken with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which led to an agreement that Saudi Arabia and OPEC would not sell oil in any currency except US dollars. The oil crisis pushed the price of oil to such heights that many countries in Europe and especially the newly independent countries, soon exhausted their foreign exchange reserves and were compelled to borrow US dollars to pay for oil imports. The result was a boom for the US regime, e.g. oil and banking– not its ordinary citizens– as the demand for US currency led to an inflow of foreign exchange and an overall improvement in its current accounts. Meanwhile the US Treasury could literally print dollars to buy oil– when the time was right.
The US is waging a war on Russian energy supplies to Europe, and it may not be as futile as many people believe. From Andrew Koryobko at oneworld.press:
The US is ruthlessly waging an intense Hybrid War on Russian energy interests in Europe by targeting the Eurasian Great Power’s relevant projects in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, banking on the fact that even the partial success of this strategy would greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked “decoupling” between Moscow and Washington’s transatlantic allies.
The Newest Front In The New Cold War
The New Cold War is heating up in Europe after the US intensified its HybridWar on Russian interests there over the past two months. This proxy conflict is being simultaneously waged in Germany, Belarus, and Bulgaria, all three of which are key transit states for Russian energy exports to the continent, which enable it to maintain at least some influence there even during the worst of times. The US, however, wants to greatly advance the scenario of an externally provoked “decoupling” between Moscow and Washington’s transatlantic allies which would allow America to reassert its unipolar hegemony there even if this campaign is only partially successful. This article aims to explore the broad contours of the US’ contemporary Hybrid War strategy on Russian energy in Europe, pointing out how recent events in those three previously mentioned transit states are all part of this larger plan.
From north to south, the first and largest of these targets is Germany, which is nowadays treating Russian anti-corruption blogger Navalny. The author accurately predicted in late August that “intense pressure might be put upon the authorities by domestic politicians and their American patrons to politicize the final leg of Nord Stream II’s construction by potentially delaying it as ‘punishment to Putin’”, which is exactly what’s happening after Berlin signaled that it might rethink its commitment to this energy project. America isn’t all to blame, however, since Germany ultimately takes responsibility for its provocative statements to this effect. Dmitri Trenin, Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, published a thought-provoking piece titled “Russian-German Relations: Back To The Future” about how bilateral relations will drastically change in the aftermath of this incident. It’s concise and well worth the read for those who are interested in this topic.
There may be some residual sanity out there, but you have to look pretty hard for it. From the Saker at unz.com:
We all know that we are living in crazy, and dangerous, times, yet I can’t help being awed at what the imperial propaganda machine (aka the legacy ziomedia) is trying to make us all swallow. The list of truly batshit crazy stuff we are being told to believe is now very long, and today I just want to pick on a few of my “favorites” (so to speak).
First, of course, comes the “Novichok Reloaded” scandal around the alleged poisoning of the so-called “dissident” Alexei Navalnyi. I already mentioned this absolutely ridiculous story once, so I won’t repeat it all here. I just want to mention a few very basic facts:
Navalnyi is pretty much a discredited non-entity in Russia. “Putin” (because this is how the imperial propaganda machine always personalizes the evils of Russia: “Putin” did this or that, as if Putin was personally in every alleged Russian evil deed) had absolutely and exactly zero reasons to harm Navalnyi in any way. I would even add that IF Navalnyi was poisoned in Russia (which I do not believe) then the FSB screwed up by not offering him 24/7 protection, especially in the current political climate (i.e. struggle for the completion of North Stream 2).
The Empire always likes to produce a “sacrificial lamb” to symbolize the putative evil of the nation which dares to resist. In Iran it was Neda, in Kuwait the infamous “incubator babies”, in Syria anonymous kids killed by Russian gas, and in Russia it was Nemtsov (did not really work) and now Navalnyi (I wonder who the sacrificial lamb will be in Belarus (Tikhanovskaia?). The FSB should have seen this coming, especially after Nemtsov.
California Governor (and Gesundheitsfuhrer) Gavin Newsome has simply decreed – via “executive order” – that anything that isn’t “zero emissions” (at the tailpipe) must be “phased out” by 2035. This means only electric cars since they are the only vehicles considered to be “zero “emissions” by the regs – no matter their elsewhere emissions – including the substantial carbon dioxide “emissions” produced by the utility plants that generate the electricity they run on.
Which there will be more of when the only cars permitted on California roads are electric. But never mind. It feels good – to the Gesundheitsguv – like the wearing of any old rag to “stop the spread” of a virus you haven’t got.
The effects will also be felt a lot sooner than fifteen years from now.
And not just in California, either.
The car companies are going to stop putting R&D money toward cars they can’t sell in California – the biggest market for cars in the country – and toward the ones they’ll be forced to sell.
In other states, too. Because it’s likely at least some will follow California’s lead – having their own Gesundheitsguvs in charge.
Development of new non-electric cars nationally will stagnate.
The ones that remain in production will sell for more, to offset the costs of developing electric cars. The more states that force-electrify, the more expensive the non-electric car will become – until the goal is achieved of making the non-electric car at least as expensive as electric cars.
SACRAMENTO, CA—Gavin Newsom, governor of the state with the highest people-to-electricity ratio in the nation, banned gasoline cars yesterday via executive order. The order takes effect in 2035, meaning by that time, everyone in the state with no electricity will only be able to plug in their cars to the power grid that does not work.
“Everyone, plug in those cars!” Newsom said proudly in a room lit only by candlelight, since, you know, the whole electricity thing. “Other states run on backward, outdated fossil fuels. We are the state of the future, so we will run solely on electricity. Which, you know, we’re working on. We could have power by 2035. You never know.”
There was an awkward silence.
“SCIENCE!” Newsom said, regaining his momentum and drawing applause from the reporters gathered.
By the year 2035, the move is expected to completely eliminate all gasoline car carbon emissions, smog, and California residents.
Is there method to President Trump’s foreign affairs madness? Probably. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
A few weeks ago I wrote a piece wondering if there was a deeper meaning behind the Trump administration’s bizarre maneuvers in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) over snapback sanctions on Iran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the resumption of these sanctions by the U.S. and demands that all the signatories to the JCPOA abide by them or face serious consequences.
In that article I noted the following:
Now at the same time, Trump and Pompeo have been very active across Europe rewriting the U.S. troop deployment map there to pressure Russia into signing new INF and START treaties under threat of U.S. expanded deployments in Poland.
The U.S. government is once again sticking its nose into a situation it doesn’t really belong. From the Strategic Culture Editorial Board at strategic-culture.org:
Twice in the past week, the United States has clumsily weighed into mounting tensions in the East Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey.
First, Washington announced last weekend the opening of a maritime security base on the island state of Cyprus, which is allied with Greece. Then the U.S. followed up by formally clearing the way to send weapons to Cyprus, ending a 33-year arms embargo. Washington claims the arms are “non-lethal”, but we have seen that semantic ruse played before with regard to U.S. weaponizing Ukraine and other places. Never mind the hairsplitting, the move is a military involvement whichever way it’s presented.
Both U.S. moves have infuriated Turkey, which lies to the north of Cyprus and which maintains territorial claims over the northern part of the island populated by Turkish-Cypriots. The main part of the island, the Republic of Cyprus, is historically aligned with Greece. Cyprus became divided in 1974 after Turkey invaded following a coup led by the Greek military. The territory has been a source of tensions ever since and a recurring cause for confrontation between Greece and Turkey over competing claims.
This year tensions have flared up again over disputed rights to oil and gas exploration in the East Mediterranean Sea. The area is reckoned to be rich in untapped hydrocarbon resources. There are even fears of a military confrontation escalating between patrolling Greek and Turkish navy vessels.
The government wants to force diesel cars off the market and promote electric cars, as Mercedes Benz is finding out. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
It’s not just VW’s diesels that were targeted for termination. Mercedes has also found itself in the crosshairs – allegedly for the same reason, i.e., “cheating” on government emissions certification tests. In fact, for selling cars that posed an existential threat to the electric car.
There is no other reasonable explanation.
Car companies are routinely choke-chained for running afoul of various regulatory ukase; mostly, though, it’s not a garish public inquisition and ruinous fines are not applied. As an example, the treatment meted out to Ford over the Pinto’s tendency to burst into flames if hit just right in the tail (the actual number of fires was low relative to the huge number of Pintos built). In that case, there were actual victims – i.e., human beings actually killed.
Not many – but some, at least.
Which was enough to justify action by any reasonable standard.
Neither VW nor Mercedes diesels have actually harmed anyone – let alone killed anyone. The unreasonable basis for VW’s persecution, which far exceeded the fury felt by Ford over the Pinto’s tendency to cremate its occupants.
Harm has, of course, been asserted.
But one can also assert that the WuFlu Bogeyman will get you – and that wearing a dirty old bandana “face covering” will keep him at bay.
It says nothing about the truth of the assertion.
Nonetheless, VW was practically totaled – by fines amounting to tens of billions of dollars – and forced to fund its own public excoriation and signal the virtue of its government-mandated “competition” – the EV – via cringeworthy TeeVee spots.
The shit is hitting the fan all at once. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
And so, America has a new manufactured crisis, ElectionGate, as if all the other troubles piling up like tropical depressions marching across the September seas were not enough. Let me remind you what else is going on. The Wuhan pandemic is still on the scene, the economy is collapsing, a domestic race-war is escalating, the whole west coast is burning, and US oil production is crashing. Oh… and slow-moving tropical storm Sally is forecast to come ashore as a hurricane on the Gulf Coast today, dumping up to two feet of rain.
America needs a constitutional crisis like a hole in the head, and that’s exactly what’s being engineered for the holiday season by the clever folks in the Democratic Party’s Lawfare auxiliary. Here’s how it works: the complicit newspapers and cable news channels publish polls showing Joe Biden leading in several swing states, even if it’s not true. Facebook and Twitter amplify expectations of a Biden victory. This sets the stage for a furor when it turns out that he loses on election night. On cue, Antifa and BLM commence to riot all around the country. Meanwhile, a mighty harvest of mail-in votes pours into election districts utterly unequipped to validate them.
Lawfare cadres agitate in the contested states’ legislatures to send rogue elector slates to the electoral college. The dispute ends up in congress, which awaits a seating of newly-elected representatives on January 4, hopefully for Lawfare, mostly Democrats. Whoops…! Turns out the Dems lost their majority there too. Fighting in the streets ramps up and overwhelms hamstrung police forces in Democratic-run cities. January 20 — Inauguration Day — rolls around and the Dems ask the military to drag Trump out of the White House “with great dispatch!” as Mr. Biden himself put it so nicely back in the summer. The US military breaks into two factions. Voilà: Civil War Two.
There are two ways to break up a relationship: walk away, or get the other party to walk away. Is Trump trying to break up NATO by getting the other parties to walk away? From Patrick Armstrong at strategic-culture.org:
While we are no closer to knowing whether this is indeed Trump’s strategy or an unintended consequence of his behaviour, it is clear that the “Gordian knot of U.S. imperial entanglements” is under great strain.
German-American relations provide an observation point. There are four demands the Trump Administration makes of its allies – Huawei, Iran, Nord Stream 2 and defence spending – and all four converge on Germany. Germany is one of the most important American allies; it is probably the second-most important NATO member; it is the economic engine of the European Union. Should it truly defy Washington on these issues, there would be fundamental damage to the U.S. imperium. (And, if George Friedman is correct in stating that preventing a Germany-Russia coalition is the “primordial interest” of the USA, the damage could be greater still.) And yet that is what we are looking at: on several issues Berlin is defying Washington.
Unlike many websites, Straight Line Logic does not solicit donations. If you're going to lay out your hard-earned money, you should get something in exchange. If you like the site and want to support it, buy The Golden Pinnacle or The Gordian Knot, either as a book or download. The links are on the right-hand side of the page, in the Blogroll section. You'll be supporting the site, and getting a great book and hours of enjoyable reading.