Saturday, February 04, 2012

Propping Up a Papier-Maché Diety

Where oh where to start? We've got the reignition of unrest in Egypt; fresh massacres in Syria ahead of a potential UN Security Council resolution; Russia fucking with said resolution whilst insisting others stop fucking with Russia (an imperative with which not even Russians are content to comply)... so much going so terribly wrong (as though that's news), what shall we examine & precisely curse this day?

Rising tensions with Iran! The sabre-rattling grew to a cacophonous din this past Thursday when a Washington Post piece revealed concerns within the Pentagon that Israel "will strike Iran in April, May or June" - to which Israeli officials replied by complaining about how itchy their trigger finger is getting.

This comes mere weeks after the absurd geopolitical blind item, "Which U.S.-baked Middle-Eastern spy agency is murdering Iranian nuclear scientists?" Mossad has shrugged off these accusations with the deflection that, while it may or may not have blown up a scientist or two, Iranian agents are definitely attacking Israeli covert operatives in retaliation.

Of course, clever commentators will note that Iran's nuclear program is the MacGuffin within this tangled yarn: the real engine of all this amplifying hostility is oil. After all, America & Israel can abide other potentially hostile nations possessing nuclear technology (Pakistan, China, France) but neither America, Israel, the EU, nor any other Occidental nation can allow any one nation a stranglehold upon the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20% of the global oil supply is exported.

And yet that's still just the skin of the issue, not the bone & meat. The biggest war drum being beaten is the survival & primacy of the Petrodollar. For over four years already, Iran's had the gall to establish its own oil bourse and sell crude in currencies other than the dollar. Japan, the world's No. 3 consumer of crude, signed up immediately (a decision which seems very prescient given the dizzy heights to which the Yen has recently risen). Less than a month ago, Russia (the world's fourth-greatest consumer of oil) and Iran announced that they'd ditched the dollar to conduct bilateral trade in their respective national currencies.

But the real game-changer came days later when Indian officials opened talks with Tehran to purchase Iranian oil with gold. Many observers think this move ostensibly gives permission for China - second only to America in oil-consumption - to follow suit. That would mean four of the six oil-hungriest countries on earth had abandoned the dollar as fiat currency. This could become the first domino to tip in the eventual collapse of the American economy. But the choice of gold as the new default currency is what has excited the fertile, frayed imaginations of conspiracy-spinners & online paranoids:
The sale of Iranian oil for gold is a mortal blow to any plans by the globalists to replace the fiat dollar with some other “new and improved” fiat currency. If India and China are allowed to start paying their debts with gold, the next “world reserve currency” could only be gold. No more fiat currencies. No more “spinning money (fiat currency) out of thin air”. No more big governments. No more central bankers.

...I doubt that the globalists will allow the gold-for-oil deal to go through. They won’t attack China or India, but the deal would be easily terminated if Iran were invaded, destroyed and stopped from selling its crude oil to anyone for anything.

...With or without pretext, the globalists will invade Iran as a matter of survival.
Of course, visions of a gold-paved future unshackled from the N.W.O. are as much cotton-candy fantasy as the dollar's worth. The only value that may be assigned to gold that cannot be assigned to any paper currency is physical scarcity, but gold's exchange-value is no less phantasmic.

What is real, what will not evaporate into smoke overnight, and what will put up a motherfucker of a fight is the American empire. Remember, this is a country whose citizens have been known to shoot gas station attendants rather than pay after pumping when prices peak above $4 per gallon. Now imagine what this country would do to avoid the pant-soiling mayhem that would result in hyperinflation & a flood of useless T-bill trash, were certain other nations to buy oil with alternative currencies.

For a succinct (if somewhat maddened) history of the Petrodollar & its geopolitical victims, please read Michael T. Winter's essay over at RT - my personal favourite site for anti-Neoliberal muckraking, though fuck if you'll find a word about any domestic Russian unrest.


JM said...

The Homs massacre was somewhat overblown.
And speaking of Russia, this is gold

Seb said...

Gosh, only 130 dead and 800 wounded? Well, then, fuck it, why get our knickers in a twist, eh?

Not to mention using the past-tense with regard to Homs is, perhaps, overconfident.

And the article on Russia, while interesting, is too infatuated with Putin-as-gadfly, forgiving him his cryptofascistic lust for control, while painting the entire opposition as the illegitimate marionette army of some Reagan-era CIA soft-power initiative. Anyone who forgives one power-mad imperialist while opposing another (in this case, the U.S.) can go fuck themselves.

A bit brusque, forgive me, I'm still on my first cup of coffee.

Jeffrey said...

"Of course, clever commentators will note that Iran's nuclear program is the MacGuffin within this tangled yarn: the real engine of all this amplifying hostility is oil."

Oil has nothing to do with it. Oil is a commodity traded on the world market with sources all over the world. The U.S. doesn't even get most of it's oil from the Middle East.

This is Israel's party and, yes, the U.S. is along for more than the ride, but not for oil.

If you insist in seeing a McGuffin in all this, then it's oil and not the nuclear issue.

Seb said...

Actually, I double-MacGuffined, hiding the Petrodollar inside oil, inside the nuclear issue, like Russian dolls. You're right, of course, that oil is the most widely-traded (legal) commodity, and Iran only produces 4.77% of the world's supply - that's less than half of what the U.S. itself produces. But you know what fucks up the commodities & futures markets even more than control of 5% of the supply? When the World Reserve Currency collapses.

My basic point is that, even if it's about nukes in Israel's eyes, it ain't about oil, it's about money in a very literal sense.