October 2004


This was a comment made by Dr Gavin R. Putland for a post I wrote on a political forum on 4 Nov 2003. It remains significant today: From 1944 to 1971, the U.S. dollar was backed by gold, meaning that the government agreed to buy and sell gold for a fixed price in dollars. Other governments did likewise, leading to fixed exchange rates between their currencies.

In 1971, when US President Nixon abandoned gold backing, the exchange rate system began to unravel. Domestically, the U.S. dollar became a fiat currency, i.e. a currency whose only backing is the legal obligation to accept it as final payment of debts. Internationally, however, there is no such thing as a fiat currency, and no currency will be accepted as payment unless it is guaranteed to buy some valuable commodity.

In 1973, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quadrupled the price of oil but continued to accept only U.S. dollars in payment, so that the demand for dollars soared. From then on, the dollar was effectively backed by oil instead of gold — and the U.S. government didn’t even have to own the oil!

Because dollars can buy OPEC oil, countries that need to import oil — i.e. most developed countries — will accept dollars as payment for their exports. Hence everyone who needs to buy from those exporters will accept dollars as payment for other things, and so on, so that the dollar is the preferred global currency.
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Land of the Elite and Home of the Rich? by Roshan Muhammed Salih: Critics say that history proves the US president is always a rich white man who governs the country on behalf of moneyed special-interest groups rather than the American people.

Critics say campaign contributions are a form of legalised bribery and make it inevitable that candidates will represent the interests of those who fund them. They point to alleged conflicts of interest such as the award of lucrative Iraq contracts to oil-services company Halliburton, formerly headed by Vice-President Dick Cheney and a major Republican party donor.

Or the political power wielded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), whose board members contribute significantly to campaigns and political committees, and which includes top fundraisers for both Kerry and Bush.

… Around 50% of Americans will not bother to vote in November’s elections because of the alienation they feel from the electoral process. In the 2000 presidential elections, only 54% of potential voters cast their ballots, with George Bush winning after receiving the backing of only 27% of the voting-age population.

Global Exchange’s Ted Lewis says voter apathy is a major threat to US democracy. “People don’t vote because they feel detached and they don’t feel that voting will make a difference,” he said.

“It is usually the poor and desperate who don’t vote while the wealthy vote in very high numbers.”

ostrich.jpeg    While the world despairs over the situation in Iraq and in Palestine, and civilians lament over the loss of lives and the insanity of politics, the United Nations leadership seems to turn a blind eye.

So while the Powers that can positively change things merely sit back, leaving the fate of the world in the hands of those out of touch with rationality, we too, merely sit back on our sofas and watch Nemo as he finds his way into the ocean, or the amnesiac Jason finds those who want to bring him in from the cold.

You think that the world will somehow find its senses? I don’t think so. The world is being run by those who haven’t hold of their senses. They are blinded by greed or power, and you will find that it is the little people who see, those who have nothing to lose and nothing to gain, like you and me.

But we don’t go around carrying placards, do we? We are not fanatically political, are we? No, we prefer to sit on our sofas and see what Bart is up to this time, and wonder why Walker’s village needs to rely on a mythical demon to keep the people in tow.

Then when the world becomes unbearable and chaotic–and it starts to invade your life, only then you decide to stand up from your sofa and raise your fist at the world. But by that time, it would be too late.

Kerry said of Iraq:

“As I understand it, we’re building some 14 military bases there now, and some people say they’ve got a rather permanent concept to them. When you guard the oil ministry, but you don’t guard the nuclear facilities, the message to a lot of people is maybe, “Wow, maybe they’re interested in our oil.” Now, the problem is that they didn’t think these things through properly. And these are the things you have to think through. I will make a flat statement: The United States of America has no long-term designs on staying in Iraq. And our goal in my administration would be to get all of the troops out of there with a minimal amount you need for training and logistics as we do in some other countries in the world after a war to be able to sustain the peace.”

Tom Dispatch | Withdrawal On the Agenda
US military to build four giant new bases in Iraq

M26A1grenade.jpg   “Mog, did you know that the CIA trained cadres of Filipinos to protect America’s commercial interests in the Philippines? They labelled unhappy farmers as subversives or communists. We have not been able to metamorphose as a nation with the Americans supporting the suppression of dissent against the ills of our society. We therefore could not, and even now cannot, manage our own economic development effectively. There are many links in this chain that bind the people to a hand-to-mouth existence.”

“Torture and murder,” Mog added, “is America’s definition of protection. Yes, I know the CIA recruited locals to do their dirty work for them. My question is: Why?”

“There is one outstanding reason,” said Yaw. “Let’s say a wolf came uninvited to a traditional dinner party. Everybody would shun him, of course, and most probably kick him out. So he goes home and puts on a star-studded tuxedo, with dollar bills peeping out of his waistcoat pockets. He returns, and some guests loll their tongues like dogs at the sight of the contents of his pockets. He becomes the life of the party, and anything he says is believed, no matter how absurd. He gorges himself on the buffet. But that form of deceit cannot continue for long, as his pockets are soon emptied. So he goes back home and returns with a gun. Wanting to leave the party with their lives, some guests attach themselves to him, thinking it is better to be at the right paw of the wolf than to be his prey. He becomes arrogant because the gun gives him supreme superpower–and he thinks that power gives him permission to do anything he wishes.

“Their military machinery projects this power, making certain that their commercial interests around the world are protected. They are gorging themselves on someone else’s buffet–the natural resources of other countries.

“They show no respect for the sovereignty of other nations, especially those incapable of retaliating. Only if a country has military capabilities do they lay their hands off. Having no authority to force foreign governments to co-operate in sustaining their national interests, they go through international bodies to impose sanctions and embargoes–ways they use to coerce uncooperative governments to conform to their agenda.”

“My God!” Mog exclaimed in shock. “But what was the CIA really established for then? Wasn’t it their mandate to contain the Soviet menace?”

“What the Americans really saw, Mog, in communism was an economic system that would not complement their own,” Yaw answered. “But the CIA have done a lot that had very little to do with the Soviets. Instead, their work revolved around containing perceived threats to their commercial interests and those of their allies.

“The CIA intervened in Guatemala when the freely-elected President wanted to redistribute land to peasants, thereby threatening an American banana fruit company that owned the largest parcel of land in the country. The CIA rendered the country unstable by creating the illusion of social instability. They operated death squads, snatching individuals in the streets and killing them. They would place bombs in churches and then put communist leaflets in the aftermath. The Americans even poisoned their water supply. They have murdered more than 100,000 of Guatemala’s people.

“The CIA intervened in Chile, when Allende, a social democrat, while retaining a democratic form of government, attempted to restructure Chilean society on socialist lines by nationalising American-owned copper companies, foreign banks and monopolistic enterprises. The CIA-led military coup killed President Allende and installed a military dictatorship under Pinochet.

“When Asia was emerging from colonial rule, Asians believed that their hopes and aspirations for their respective countries could develop along socialist lines. They did not have the necessary ingredients to make a capitalist system work. The Americans intervened to topple the fragile scaffolding. Together with the US military, the CIA ran Operation Phoenix, an assassination project that has killed at least 40,000 Asians.

“CIA covert operations took the form of creating an illusion of mass revolt in order to destabilise governments and wreak havoc with the socio-economic infrastructure. The Americans have made themselves the object of hatred.”

“But this imperialistic attitude is a habit long abandoned by what has become a more civilised world. So where’s the outcry of condemnations in the press and by international organisations that keep tabs on such atrocities?” Dulmog demanded.

“Propaganda,”Abayaw answered in one word. “The American propaganda machinery tightly controls information fed to the public. Their distortion of the truth is calculated to orient the world’s attitude towards a direction in their favour. They paint themselves as champions of freedom and liberty, and there is so much more to know that the world may never know, owing to America’s manipulation of the media.”

The CIA: America’s Terrorist Organisation
The Largest Covert Operation in CIA History
A Summary of CIA Incursions

unclesam-thumb.jpg (This message will probably never reach the President of the United States, and the only people who might be reading this are those who have somehow wandered on to this site. But who knows? He might be googling for something and find himself here, like you have. If I had sent him a letter instead, it would probably never go beyond the secretary’s desk. He must receive thousands of letters. So, here my message is).

Who am I to tell a First World Power what it should have done and what it has to do?

I have managed a company with 200 people under me and some of my best criticisms and suggestions came from employees in non-management functions. So here I am, one of the little people and I would like to suggest, Mr. President, a thing or two to help you in your job, and make this world not only a better place to live, but also make the international community have a better regard for the United States.

The single most compelling issue that you must change is America’s foreign policy. Your imperialistic stance towards the world makes the United States the object of contempt and hatred. Your national interests abroad is so closely tied to your financial interests–and this must change.

You must dismantle the agency in charge of so-called protecting your economic interests abroad. I am not telling you to get rid of the Central Intelligence Agency. I am saying that you must abolish the department in charge of covert operations related to “protecting” your national interests abroad. You must redefine America’s national interests.

Related to this, I would like to ask: Does Israel own the American government? Why America’s gung-ho support of Israel and its attack on the Palestinian people who just so happen to have lived in their own country for centuries?

Israel conveniently does not recognise Palestine, and the entire Arab world does not recognise Israel’s right to exist. But because Israel has strong friends in high places, and because of this support, Israel considers this a nod for their wanton land grabbing and killing of Palestinians.

This must be a two-way relationship. It can only be that. So my question is: In what way does Israel own your government? Jewish political lobbies must be paying quite a bit of money to have the United States on their side.

And finally and more importantly, leave responsibilities of détente with the United Nations. Your arrogance is despised by the civilised world. But if you are too blind to see that, then I suppose this admonition falls on deaf ears.

updates:

Pro-Israel Lobby on Capitol Hill
Israel’s true power lies with Jewish lobby in U.S.

Israel lobby: The power behind the throne: Since about 1975, but especially over the last decade, critics have claimed that Israel, via pro-Israel lobby groups such as the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the American Enterprise Institute, and numerous other lobby groups, asserts disproportionate influence on US foreign policy.

Because of its lobbying expertise and its ability to direct huge campaign donations, AIPAC has become “a de facto agent of a foreign government that has a stranglehold on Congress,” asserted mainstream US history professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt recently, “with the result that US policy towards Israel is not debated there.” Mearsheimer and Walt’s article appeared in a March 2006 issue of the London Review of Books, after the Atlantic Monthly refused to run it. The authors said they doubted any large US magazine would run the article. The question of the pro-Israel lobby’s impact in Washington DC is strictly off limits in the mainstream press.

The Historical City of Samarra: Samarra is located on the east bank of the middle Tigris in Iraq, 125 km north of Baghdad and was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphs in the 9th century. It is one of the largest archaeological sites in the world.

Mesopotamia

Scores Killed in Samarra: The US military in Iraq has launched a major offensive against insurgents in the town of Samarra, north of Baghdad. In an assault that began overnight, US and Iraqi government troops, backed by armoured vehicles and warplanes, advanced through the city neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, in Baghdad, nine members of radical Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr’s militia and three civilians are reported to have been killed during clashes with US forces in the Sadr City area. Thursday saw a triple bomb attack in the city kill more than 40 people, most of them children.

Attacks on Iraq

01 May 2003: Bush Says Military Phase in Iraq Has Ended: Mr. Bush’s speech tonight, 43 days after he announced to the nation from the Oval Office that the war had begun with a surprise bombing of a compound where Mr. Hussein had been sighted, ended the combat phase of one of the swiftest wars in American military history…

Speaking from the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln before thousands of uniformed sailors and aviators as the ship approached San Diego Harbor, he argued that by vanquishing Mr. Hussein’s government, he had removed “an ally of Al Qaeda, “and he vowed to continue to search for banned weapons in Iraq–a search that so far has been largely unsuccessful…

President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended

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