February 18, 2008

Is It Time To Bomb Iran, Dick?

Wow!? Iran has just opened it's new (non-US-dollar) oil bourse! Well,... um... not quite:
Iran established its first oil products bourse Sunday in a free trade zone on the Persian Gulf Island of Kish, the country's oil ministry said.

A statement posted on the ministry's Web site said 100 tons of polyethylene consignment was traded at the market's opening on the island, which houses the offices of about 100 Iranian and foreign oil companies.

Oil and petrochemical products will be traded in Iranian Rials, as well as all other hard currencies, the statement quoted Iranian Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari as saying. About 20 brokers are already active in the market, it said.
Seems this "Iran Mercantile Exchange" is only a halfway step towards trading oil in Euros, which is the real goal:
Iran has already registered for another oil bourse, in which it has said it hopes to trade oil in Euros instead of dollars, to reduce any American influence over the Islamic Republic's economy.

A bourse official, Mahdi Karbasian, told the IRNA official news agency that such an oil market would begin operating within the next year.
How will the USA react to this news? AP and Bloomberg are running stories, but I can't see any US media picking it up yet...

The new bourse uses spot contracts (immediate payments) and there is a lot of political pressure against getting involved, so analysts (some, at least) are not expecting this bourse to have much impact.


Bukko_in_Australia said...

Gandhi, it's an interesting thesis that's getting some traction in the popular imagination. However, deep thinkers have gone beyond that. I have probably pushed William Engdahl's analysis on you before, but have you read his article "Why the Iranian Oil Bourse Won't Break the Buck"?Basically, any country that starts buying from Iran on this bourse is declaring war on the U.S., and they're not willing to do that. I give you the nut paragraphs here:

A full challenge to the domination of the US dollar as the world central-bank reserve currency entails a de facto declaration of war on the "full-spectrum dominance" of the United States today. The mighty members of the European Central Bank Council well know this. The heads of state of every EU country know this. The Chinese leadership as well as the Japanese and Indians know this. So does Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Until some combination of those Eurasian powers congeal in a cohesive challenge to the unbridled domination of the United States as sole superpower, there will be no euro or yen or even Chinese yuan challenging the role of the dollar. The issue is of enormous importance, as it is vital to understand the true dynamics bringing the world to the brink of possible nuclear catastrophe today.

This guy is one of the ones who comes up with angles that I see months later in the forward-thinking blogs that are months ahead of concepts that eventually reach the MSM. I read him and I'm amazed. And he's not just some tinfoil hatter, as far as I can tell, and I'm innately sceptical of conspiracy theories.

gandhi said...

Thanks, Bukko.

And thanks again for sticking around all this time. I do appreciate all your thoughtful comments, even if I have no idea why you bother!

I do have a problem with Engdahl's expression "a de facto declaration of war".

We've seen the metaphor of war mis-used for some time, starting with Reagan's bogus "war" on drugs.

The only way the word "war" can literally apply in this situation is if the USA chooses to respond to the ROTW's dropping of the dollar by military means. And what are they going to do - attack the whole world?

And how would they justify any such attack to their citizens, given that opportunities for selecting the currency you trade in are just part of market demand, and freedom of choice, and the glory of Capitalism (TM)?

Bush made it pretty plain: he told the ROTW you are either with US or against US. Nobody is with US any more.... We are all waiting to see who comes next. If it's a President McCain, I think the international community might just join together and walk away from the almighty US Dollar.

Whaddaya reckon? Brand USA is on the nose. It's a hard sell to the citizens of the world, and an anit-US stance might soon be a big political bonus. Once we reach that tipping point, anything could happen...

In more diplomatic language, I think it's called "realignment". The world seems to be well overdue for some...

Bukko_in_Australia said...

First off, I stick around because I learn stuff here. And make comments because it's like having a chat at a pub, without having to talk loud to overcome the music, but also without the booze to make the conversation more enthusiastic. I still don't know why you, or my favourite American blogger (that JurassicPork who commented a few days ago after I blogwhored "BushOut" on his site) don't get more of a cross-conversation going. Larvatus Prodeo does, even though to my mind, it's sorta drifty and lacks fire in the belly.

"Brand USA" on the nose? You don't have to tell me, mate! I deal with it by being the most anti-American American any of my workmates will ever meet. As the token seppo, I get all the "What's wrong with America?" questions. While I praise the landscape there, and the copious quantities of food, I take the piss on American politics in ways that even leave the America-haters in the dust.

As for war on the ROTW, there are many ways for the U.S. to do it without bombs. Financial relations are deep and complex, in ways that I don't understand, despite much study.

For instance, Engdahl has another article about how the interest-rate hike wave of the 1970s and 80s, which nearly destroyed the world economy, was deliberately engineered by Paul Volcker, the Federal Reserve chairman who preceeded Greenspan, as a way of ensuring dollar dominance. The U.S. jacked up its rates to suck in more money from the rest of the world, to support U.S. consumption after the oil price shocks. This forced the rest of the world to raise rates to compete, which caused mass suffering.

There are more tricks the U.S. can do with currency manipulation, control of the activities of multinational companies, military support for legitimate political groups and/or armed insurgents within target countries and things I can't even imagine, that would stop short of outright war.

In my deeper tinfoil moments, I wonder whether the coming collapse might be a planned catastrophe by the U.S. Powers-That-Be. It's like a "Samson Option" (named after the Biblical character Samson pulling down the temple where the Philistines had him chained) in which the U.S. crashes the entire world economy in the belief that it can emerge stronger from the wreckage than any of its rivals. Massively evil if true, but that's what powers do...

I had a couple of points to make about the Bloomberg article (the AP one was simplistic, and that's all that was available at the Washington Post and New York Times) but this has gotten too long already.

gandhi said...

Larvatus Prodeo does, even though to my mind, it's sorta drifty and lacks fire in the belly.

Yeah, it has potential and I like most of Mark's stuff, but some of the other posters are a bit full of themselves. I had a pretty innocuous comment deleted a while back and haven't commented much since... A pity, it would be good to have a single energetic Aussie political blog site. An Onymous Lefty's blog seems to get bogged down in nonsense very quickly, and his posts are all over the place. Possum's doing well, but I haven't even bookmarked him - kinda pedantic chat.

Guess I am happy to remain a bit of a sad and lonely bastard! LOL

As for your Greenspan comment, I never know what to make of those conspiracy theories about "Did they do it on purpose?" Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I don't think these guys are all as smart as they pretend.

Truth is, my head is so full of conspiracy theories these days that I can't even think straight. When you look into things like JFK, Diana, etc you can keep digging and digging forever without finding a "smoking gun"...


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