Tony's HomeThe picture immediately below is from a 7 April 2003 UGAsports.com web page by Steve Patterson:
This map (from The Times Atlas of World History, Hammond 1993) shows oil fields as dark magenta, gas fields as dark red, pipelines as red lines, and oil terminals as red cylinders. Much of the oil in the region is in Kuwait and the parts of Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia that are near the Persian Gulf Coast. Most of the people in that oil-rich area follow Shia Islam. Another oil-rich region is around Kirkuk, in the Kurdish region of Iraq near Turkey.
Consider "Why Attack Iraq?" from the perspective of a CIA man from Alabama: according to a 27 January 1991 article by Norman Moss in the Manchester Guardian Weekly,
"... Miles Copeland ... once said in a radio programme ... ".. governments ... know why they've been elected ... It's to ensure that their people can maintain their standard of living. And they have to see that they have access to the raw materials that enable them to do this. That's what they care about in the Third World. ...".
The Kosovo Conflict was a NATO war, but the prime mover against Iraq is the USA alone, not NATO. Why? Because NATO includes both the USA (dollar base) and the European Union (euro based), and the fundamental reason for the USA to attack Iraq is to support the dollar against the euro, something that conflicts with the interests of the "Old Europe" EU.
The Big Prize of the Kosovo Conflict and related activities was Caspian Sea Oil, but, according to an article by W. Clark in ratville times (January 2003, revised 20 February 2003):
"... Since the mid-late 1990s the Caspian Sea region of Central Asia was thought to hold approximately 200 billion barrels of untapped oil (... comparable to Saudi Arabia's reserve base) ... these oil reserves were a central component of Cheney's energy plan released in May 2001. ... After three exploratory wells were built and analyzed, it was reported that the Caspian region holds only approximately 10 to 20 billion barrels of oil (although it does have a lot of natural gas) ... The oil is also of poor quality, with high sulfur content. ... this recent realization about the Caspian Sea region has serious implications for the U.S., India, China, Asia and Europe, as the amount of available hydrocarbons for industrialized and developing nations has been decreased downward by 20%. (Global estimates reduced from 1.2 trillion to approximately 1 trillion) [The 1997 total World production was about 25 billion barrels per year, or about 250 billion barrels per decade.] ... The Bush administration quickly turned its attention to a known quantity, Iraq, with its proven reserves totaling 11% of the world's oil reserves. ...".
According to a 16 February 2003 article by Faisal Islam in The Observer: "...
The changeover was announced on almost exactly the same day that the euro reached its lowest ebb, buying just $0.82, and the G7 Finance Ministers were forced to bail out the currency.
from that time. ... The marked appreciation of the euro, higher interest rates, and the ability to pay mainly European suppliers in euros is believed to have made hundreds of millions for ...[Iraq]...".
According to a January 2003, revised 20 February 2003, article by W. Clark (including quotes from an "anonymous former-government employee/macroeconomist", among others) in ratville times:
"... The United States economy is intimately tied to the dollar's role as reserve currency. ... The real reason for this ... war is ...[the USA]... goal of preventing further Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) momentum towards the euro as an oil transaction currency standard. ... especially... Iran -- the 2nd largest OPEC producer who is actively discussing a switch to euros for its oil exports ...
... during 2002 the majority of reserve funds in Iran's central bank have been shifted to euros. It appears imminent that Iran intends to switch to euros for their oil currency. ... the [USA] ... are eyeing Iran and even Saudi Arabia. As one senior British official put it: 'Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.'" ...
... in order to pre-empt OPEC, ...[the USA needs]... to gain geo-strategic control of Iraq along with its 2nd largest proven oil reserves. ... the ... framework entails a large and permanent military presence in the Persian Gulf region in a post-Saddam era, just in case ...[the USA needs]... to surround and control Saudi's Ghawar oil fields ...
... the dollar-euro threat is powerful enough that ...[the USA]... will rather risk much of the economic backlash in the short-term to stave off the long-term dollar crash of an OPEC transaction standard change from dollars to euros. All of this fits into the broader Great Game that encompasses Russia, India, China. ...
... This information about Iraq's oil currency is being censored by the U.S. media and the Bush administration as the truth could potentially curtail both investor and consumer confidence ...[and]... create political pressure to form a new energy policy that slowly weans us off Middle-Eastern oil ...
... What would happen if OPEC made a sudden (collective) switch to euros, as opposed to a gradual transition? ... oil-consuming nations would have to flush dollars out of their (central bank) reserve funds and replace these with euros. The dollar would crash anywhere from 20-40% in value ... You'd have foreign funds stream out of the U.S. stock markets and dollar denominated assets, there'd surely be a run on the banks much like the 1930s, the current account deficit would become unserviceable, the budget deficit would go into default, and so on. ...
... a large spike in oil prices could create huge problems for the imperiled Japanese banking system, the world's largest holder of U.S. dollar reserves. ....
... other OPEC members including Venezuela ... the fourth largest producer of oil ... may switch to euros just as Saddam did in November 2000. ... North Korea ... recently decided to officially drop the dollar and begin using euros for trade, effective Dec. 7, 2002. ... developing countries ... Venezuela and China ...[are]... diversifying their currency reserves away from dollars and balanced with euros. ... the Russian central bank said it was lowering the U.S. asset portion of its foreign exchange reserves -- in other words selling Treasurys -- calling the dollar a low-yielding currency. ... some of the large Asian central banks -- that between them hold the lion's share of the world's dollar reserves -- are also considering rejigging their Treasury holdings. ...
... The U.S. economy has acquired significant structural imbalances, including our record-high trade account deficit (now almost 5% of GDP), a $6.3 trillion dollar deficit (60% of GDP), and the recent return to annual budget deficits in the hundreds of billions. ... The reality is that the strength of the U.S. dollar since 1945 rests on its being the international reserve currency. ...
... The U.S. prints hundreds of billions of these fiat petro-dollars, which are then used by nation states to purchase oil/energy from OPEC producers (except Iraq, to some degree Venezuela, and perhaps Iran in the near future). These petro-dollars are then re-cycled from OPEC back into the U.S. via Treasury Bills or other dollar-denominated assets such as U.S. stocks, real estate, etc. In essence, global oil consumption provides a subsidy to the U.S. economy. ...
... an Asia Times article discusses the ...[USA]... fiat oil currency and dollar hegemony ..."Ever since 1971, when US president Richard Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard (at $35 per ounce) that had been agreed to at the Bretton Woods Conference at the end of World War II, the dollar has been a global monetary instrument that the United States, and only the United States, can produce by fiat. The dollar, now a fiat currency, is at a 16-year trade-weighted high despite record US current-account deficits and the status of the US as the leading debtor nation. The US national debt as of April 4 was $6.021 trillion against a gross domestic product (GDP) of $9 trillion.
World trade is now a game in which the US produces dollars and the rest of the world produces things that dollars can buy. The world's interlinked economies no longer trade to capture a comparative advantage; they compete in exports to capture needed dollars to service dollar-denominated foreign debts and to accumulate dollar reserves to sustain the exchange value of their domestic currencies. To prevent speculative and manipulative attacks on their currencies, the world's central banks must acquire and hold dollar reserves in corresponding amounts to their currencies in circulation. The higher the market pressure to devalue a particular currency, the more dollar reserves its central bank must hold. This creates a built-in support for a strong dollar that in turn forces the world's central banks to acquire and hold more dollar reserves, making it stronger. This phenomenon is known as dollar hegemony, which is created by the geopolitically constructed peculiarity that critical commodities, most notably oil, are denominated in dollars. Everyone accepts dollars because dollars can buy oil. The recycling of petro-dollars is the price the US has extracted from oil-producing countries for US tolerance of the oil-exporting cartel since 1973.
By definition, dollar reserves must be invested in US assets, creating a capital-accounts surplus for the US economy. Even after a year of sharp correction, US stock valuation is still at a 25-year high and trading at a 56 percent premium compared with emerging markets.
. . . The US capital-account surplus in turn finances the US trade deficit. Moreover, any asset, regardless of location, that is denominated in dollars is a US asset in essence. When oil is denominated in dollars through US state action and the dollar is a fiat currency, the US essentially owns the world's oil for free. And the more the US prints greenbacks, the higher the price of US assets will rise. Thus a strong-dollar policy gives the US a double win."
... in December 2002 ten additional countries were approved for full membership into the E.U. In 2004 this will result in an aggregate GDP of $9.6 trillion and 450 million people, directly competing with the U.S. economy ($10.5 trillion GDP, 280 million people). ... This does not include other potential E.U./euro entrants such as the ... major oil producers in the North Sea ... U.K. ...[and]... Norway ...[and]... Denmark and Sweden. ...
... The American people are not aware of the issues discussed in this essay because the U.S. mass media has been reduced to a handful of consumption/entertainment and profit-oriented conglomerates that filter the flow of information within the U.S. Sadly, part of today's dilemma lays within these U.S. media conglomerates that have failed in their responsibilities to inform the People. ... The Internet should not be our only source of real, unfiltered news. ...
... Below are excerpts from ...[Coilin Nunan's www.feasta.org]... article "Oil, Currency, and the War on Iraq":"... The purely economic arguments for OPEC converting to the euro, at least for a while, seem very strong. The Euro-zone does not run a huge trade deficit nor is it heavily indebted to the rest of the world like the US and interest rates in the Euro-zone are also significantly higher. The Euro-zone has a larger share of world trade than the US and is the Middle East's main trading partner. And nearly everything you can buy for dollars you can also buy for euros -- apart, of course, from oil. ...
... Which perhaps helps explain why the US is increasingly turning to its second major tool for dominating world affairs: military force." ...".
According to a 27 January 1991 article by Norman Moss ( entitled CIA man from Alabama - a modern Machiavelli ) in the Manchester Guardian Weekly,
"... Miles Copeland, born July 16, 1913; died January 14, 1991 ... at his home near Oxford [England], aged 77 ... played the "game of nations" ...[and]... then set out to describe the real world of power politics and the motivations that lie behind the moves. ... In his first book, The Game of Nations (1969) ... at a time when nobody thought of Congressional hearings into the Agency's doings ... he always presented himself a "a longtime subscriber to that now unfashionable and much derided old slogan, "My country right or wrong" ... he ... depicted ... the CIA's clandestine activities as a necessary part of government operations ... he explained and justified subversin, deceit, bribery and assassination ...
... he once said in a radio programme ... ".. governments ... know why they've been elected ... It's to ensure that their people can maintain their standard of living. And they have to see that they have access to the raw materials that enable them to do this. That's what they care about in the Third World. ...
... An Alabaman with a marked Southern accent, and a one-time jazz trumpeter (one of his sons was to become a drummer in the band called The Police, and another a millionaire entrepreneur in the world of pop music), Copeland joined the intelligence world during the Second World War, in the US Army's Counter-Intelligence Corps and then in "Wild Bill" donovan's OSS. ... he went back to Washington and sat in on the committee that created the Central Intelligence Agency. After formally leaving the agency, he went into private consultancy, advising international corporations, which increasingly conducted their own foreign policy ... However, Copeland claims in his 1988 autobiography, The Game Player, that ... "I have been ... a "loyal alumnus", doing jobs that needed doing but the agency wouldn't dare to do." ...
... W L Webb adds [to the Guardian article]:
Miles Copeland, loyal to the firm as ever, spent part of he summer of 1980 campaigning for its former director, "Bush for President," until Reagan got the nomination. Thereafter, "I rallied a number of former CIA officers to form something we called the "Bush League" to ensure that on international affairs George Bush would be the best-informed vice-president in history." ...
...[in the]... Epilogue to his memoirs (The Game Player ... 1988) ...[he says]...
"We could take on a war with another great power tomorrow, and probably win. But, even with the help of the Israelis - especially with the help of the Israelis! - we couldn't defeat the Iranians, the "Arabs", the world of Islam or the whole Third World if it should turn against us. ...".
According to an article by W. Clark in ratville times (January 2003, revised 20 February 2003), quoting an unnamed "expert friend":
"... One of the dirty little secrets of today's international order is that the rest of the globe could topple the United States from its hegemonic status whenever they so choose with a concerted abandonment of the dollar standard. This is America's preeminent, inescapable Achilles Heel for now and the foreseeable future. ...
... That such a course hasn't been pursued to date bears more relation to the fact that other Westernized, highly developed nations haven't any interest to undergo the great disruptions which would follow - but it could assuredly take place in the event that the consensus view coalesces of the United States as any sort of 'rogue' nation. In other words,
if the dangers of American global hegemony are ever perceived as a greater liability than the dangers of toppling the international order
if an 'every man for himself' crisis ... spirals out of control and forces their hand).
The Bush administration and the neo-conservative movement has set out on a multiple-front course to ensure that this cannot take place, in brief by a graduated assertion of military hegemony atop the existent economic hegemony. ...".
According to a Yale lawmeme web page, initial post 19 February 2003: "... Laurie Garrett is a science journalist and Pulitzer prize-winner; her best-known work is The Coming Plague. She's a medical and science writer for Newsday, a daily New York City newspaper; last month, she attended the World Economic Forum in Davos ... and writes her friends an email about the experience. Two weeks later, that email is ... archived on the Web ...". Here are some excerpts from Laurie Garretts' archived e-mail:
"... Welcome to Earth: meet the leaders. ...
... Overall, here is what I learned about the state of our world: ...
... The mood was very grim. ... These WEF folks are freaked out. ... Entire sessions were devoted to arguing which poses the greater asymmetric threat: nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. ...
... The global economy is in very very very very bad shape. Last year when WEF met here in New York all I heard was, "Yeah, it's bad, but recovery is right around the corner". This year "recovery" was a word never uttered. Fear was palpable -- fear of enormous fiscal hysteria. The watchwords were "deflation", "long term stagnation" and "collapse of the dollar". All of this is without war. ...
... I learned that the US economy is the primary drag on the global economy, and only a handful of nations have sufficient internal growth to thrive when the US is stagnating. ...
... If the U.S. unilaterally goes to war, and it is anything short of a quick surgical strike (lasting less than 30 days), the economists were all predicting extreme economic gloom: falling dollar value, rising spot market oil prices, the Fed pushing interest rates down towards zero with resulting increase in national debt, severe trouble in all countries whose currency is guaranteed agains the dollar (which is just about everybody except the EU), a near cessation of all development and humanitarian programs for poor countries. Very few economists or ministers of finance predicted the world getting out of that economic funk for minimally five-10 years, once the downward spiral ensues. ...
... Except for diehard American Republicans, a few Brit Tories and some Middle East folks ... The rich -- whether they are French or Chinese or just about anybody -- are livid about the Iraq crisis primarily because they believe it will sink their financial fortunes. ...
... I learned from American security and military speakers that, "We need to attack Iraq not to punish it for what it might have, but preemptively, as part of a global war. Iraq is just one piece of a campaign that will last years, taking out states, cleansing the planet." ...
[ If the Euro were to become an alternative Reserve and Petroleum Currency, the only way the USA could get the rest of the world to take its Dollars and support its current standard of living would be to use military force to "cleanse the planet" of those who refuse to go along. ]
... there were ... several Middle East respresentatives who ... believe bringing down Saddam Hussein and then pushing the Israel/Palestine issue could actually result in a Golden Age for Arab Islam. ...[However]... the King of Jordan, the Prime Minster of Malaysia, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia ... believe that the Islamic world must recapture the glory days of 12-13th C Islam. That means finding tolerance and building great education institutions and places of learning. ..
... I learned that the only economy about which there is much enthusiasm is China, which was responsible for 77% of the global GDP growth in 2002.
[ According to an 8 May 2003 Independent article by Jasper Becker: "... In January , China was described as the motor of economic growth. ... the effect of Sars is being compared in Asia to the disastrous plunge after the 1997 Asian financial crisis ... every foreigner who can is leaving [China] ... Chinese businessmen also fear going abroad in case they are put into quarantine ... Hong Kong's Dragonair airline, which serves mainland cities, says it is carrying only 700 passengers a day, compared with 13,000 at the year's start, and has grounded nine of its 21 aircraft. ... Sales of computers in China, the world's second-biggest market, are dropping so quickly that the price of computer chips is already down. ... Big state companies that were planning to lift spirits in the world's ailing financial services sector with big public stock offerings are holding off. The huge People's Insurance Company is delaying its $600m stock market float until the autumn, as are Sinotrans, Shanghai Forte Land and Soho China. Standard & Poor's is predicting that bank profits could slide this year by as much as 45 per cent in Hong Kong and 25 per cent in Singapore if the slowdown lasts until the end of the year. ... Foreign investment is also bound to fall steeply. The number of contracts signed at the Guangzhou trade fair this year was down by three quarters ... The 1997 Asian financial crisis had political as well as economic ramifications across the region, including the downfall of the Suharto regime in Indonesia and the independence of East Timor. China escaped unscathed then, but it may not be so lucky this time. ...". ]
But the honcho of the Bank of China, Zhu Min, said that fantastic growth could slow to a crawl if China cannot solve its rural/urban problem. Currently 400 million Chinese are urbanites, and their average income is 16 times that of the 900 million rural residents. Zhu argued China must urbanize nearly a billion people in ten years! ...".
According to a 25 February 2003 article by George Monbiot in the Guardian:
"... Already, strategists in China are suggesting that the yuan should replace the dollar as East Asia's reserve currency. Over the past year, as the Observer revealed on Sunday, the euro has started to challenge the dollar's position as the international means of payment for oil. The dollar's dominance of world trade, particularly the oil market, is all that permits the US Treasury to sustain the nation's massive deficit, as it can print inflation-free money for global circulation. If the global demand for dollars falls, the value of the currency will fall with it, and speculators will shift their assets into euros or yen or even yuan ...".
Although the US/UK have such a vast superiority over Iraq in weaponry, industry, and population that it is likely that the US/UK will eventually prevail, some tactical problem with their attack on Iraq have become evident:
Acccording to a BBC article by Jonathan Marcus on 28 March 2003:
"... "The enemy we're fighting is different from the one we had war-gamed against," says Lieutenant General William Wallace, the senior US ground commander in Iraq. ...".
According to a 21 August 2002 article by Julian Borger in The Guardian:
"... The biggest war game in US military history, staged this month at a cost of £165m with 13,000 troops, ...[was]... designed to test experimental new tactics and doctrines advocated by the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld ... General Paul Van Riper, a retired marine lieutenant-general, told the Army Times that ... that the Pentagon might wrongly conclude that its experimental tactics were working. ... as commander of a low-tech, third-world army, Gen Van Riper ... repeatedly outwitted US forces. ... He sent orders with motorcycle couriers to evade sophisticated electronic eavesdropping equipment. When the US fleet sailed into the Gulf, he instructed his small boats and planes to move around in apparently aimless circles before launching a surprise attack which sank a substantial part of the US navy. The war game had to be stopped and the American ships "refloated" so that the US forces stood a chance. ...".
According to a 6 September 2002 article by Nicholas D. Kristof, at NYTimes.com, as quoted on a blackj bigmagic.com web page:
"... The game, Millennium Challenge 2002 ... was not directly about Iraq. It was scripted as a war against Iran set in 2007. ... The people running the war games ... ordered the enemy to pull its forces back in order to allow American units to land safely ...[and]... ordered the enemy to disclose some of its troop locations so that the Americans could find them ... when the enemy figured out how to move its chemical weapons around so that the Americans could not find them, that caused problems for the simulation - so control of the chemical weapons was handed over to the Americans, who then managed to destroy them. The Pentagon view of the exercise, not surprisingly, is ... glowing: U.S. technology and coordination shined (and the U.S. crushed the enemy in the end). ...".
Acccording to a BBC article on 25 March 2003 ( 22 Muharram 1424 ):
"... Fierce sandstorms are holding up US-led forces in their advance towards the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. ...
... BBC correspondents travelling with coalition troops say units have been halted, with visibility reduced to just a few metres. However, the weather has not prevented US B-52 aircraft from dropping huge payloads of bombs south of the capital. Coalition troops are now in Karbala, about 80 km (50 miles) south of Baghdad, facing the Medina division ... The approaches to Baghdad are flat, but there are also villages, small towns, orchards and crops, which could provide plenty of cover for Iraqi troops. The Iraqi authorities say the US-led forces will be in for a surprise when they reach cities, our correspondent there says. ...".
According to a Reuters report in the 29 March 2003 New York Times:
"... Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld repeatedly rejected advice from Pentagon planners that substantially more troops and armor would be needed to fight a war in Iraq, New Yorker Magazine reported ...[in an]... article ... by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh ... It also said Rumsfeld had overruled advice from war commander Gen. Tommy Franks to delay the invasion until troops denied access through Turkey could be brought in by another route and miscalculated the level of Iraqi resistance. ... Rumsfeld is known to have a difficult relationship with the Army's upper echelons while he commands strong loyalty from U.S. special operations forces, a key component in the war. ... Hersh, however, quoted ... an unnamed former high-level intelligence official ... as saying the war was now a stalemate. Much of the supply of Tomahawk cruise missiles has been expended, aircraft carriers were going to run out of precision guided bombs and there were serious maintenance problems with tanks, armored vehicles and other equipment ... "The only hope is that they can hold out until reinforcements arrive,'' the former official said. The article quoted the senior planner as saying Rumsfeld had wanted to "do the war on the cheap'' and believed that precision bombing would bring victory. ...".
According to a World Tribune article on 25 March 2003 ( 22 Muharram 1424 ):
"... The first five days of the Iraq War proved that several vital conclusions reached by U.S. military intelligence and the State Department were wrong ... the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff drafted and approved a rapid ground force drive through Iraq along two fronts that was meant to be accompanied by punishing air strikes on Baghdad, Tikrit and other major regime strongholds. The allied war strategy was based on the assumption[s] that the United States would receive significant help from Turkey as well as Kurdish and Shi'ite opposition forces. ...[and]... that Iraq's military would collapse on the first day of fighting and that the Republican Guard would soon follow. ...
... Instead ... Iraq's military held firm, Turkey refused to allow the deployment of U.S. troops to form a second front, and opposition forces failed to battle Iraqi forces. ... The Kurds are simply not moving against the Iraqis ... They are preparing to fight the Turkish military, which plans to enter northern Iraq. In the south, the Shi'ite opposition hasn't raised a finger to help us and there is information that they might attack us if we enter such cities as Karbala and Najaf. ...
... the bombing of what was to have been a meeting by the Iraqi leadership had no significant affect on the regime ... Saddam, his son and heir-apparent Qusay, Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan all escaped serious injury. The only one who might be hurt is Saddam's elder son, Uday, who is not regarded as a significant element in regime survival. ...
... U.S. military commanders have called the Medina division - deployed around 80 kilometers south of Baghdad [near Karbala and Najaf] - the linchpin of the Republican Guard force. On Tuesday [25 March 2003], a Marine Corps division attacked the Medina unit in what was described as a fierce engagement. ... two Apache helicopters were downed and 30 others, which included the advanced AH-64D Longbow model, were struck by Iraqi small arms and anti-aircraft fire. ... Commanders cut short the air attack before the U.S. helicopters could incur heavy damage on the T-72 tank force of the Republican Guard. ...
... Retired U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey ... a leading commander in the 1991 Gulf war ... said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld underestimated Iraqi resistance as well as the nature of the conflict that would take place in Iraq. The result was that Rumsfeld dismissed the appeals of U.S. military chiefs to send additional troops and ground force platforms to Iraq. ...
... lines of communications, logistics and supplies are dangerously overstretched ... Moreover ... there are insufficient number of U.S. troops to maintain a siege of Baghdad. ... the Iraqi capital is huge, with an estimated population of 8 million.
At this point ... the State Department is urging the White House to consider an Arab initiative to convince Saddam to abdicate. Saudi Arabia has urged for a ceasefire and what the kingdom termed an honorable way to end the war. But ... President George Bush is determined to achieve a military victory and drive Saddam from power. ... What I think you're going to see over the next few days is the kind of war that the president thought he'd avoid -- heavy air bombing and a bloody fight that will lead to claims of numerous Iraqi civilian casualties ...".
The failure of US President Bush Senior in 1991 is history. So is the 2003 Attack on Iraq by US President Bush Junior.
is to, first, establish in the Persian Gulf Oil Region a democratic regime tolerant of religious and ethnic minorities. Their oil wealth could be used to foster region-wide cooperative prosperity, perhaps even leading to reconciliation of long-standing disputes such as those between Turkey and the Kurds and between the world of Islam and Israel.
Then, the USA/Israel could embark on a joint massive government capital program (at least on the scale of the Manhattan Project and the USA Interstate Highway System) to construct an energy system based on hydrogen fuel produced by nuclear power, plus nuclear seawater desalting plants, with natural gas as an interim fuel.
Then the people of Earth would have enough energy for everybody to have a high standard of living, there would be enough fresh water for the Deserts of Earth to Bloom, and present-day Miles Copelands could use their skills to secure that high standard of living for everyone on Earth, not just citizens of a particular nation.
comes from looking at the Happy Ending and asking:
The current USA program for Hydrogen fuel seems to me to be woefully inadequate.
The USA National Roadmap plan of US President Bush Junior says:
"... Efforts should focus on existing commercial processes such as steam methane reforming, multi-fuel gasifiers, and electrolyzers, and on the development of advanced techniques such as biomass pyrolysis and nuclear thermochemical water splitting, photoelectrochemical electrolysis, and biological methods. ...".
Its emphasis on small-scale things like reformers, and the absence of a big bold nuclear plan, seem to me to be too-little-too-late, in light of the unpleasant truth that:
all the worlds' children born in 2003 will, after they hit age 40, live the rest of their lives in a world without oil.
Since nobody on Earth is now embarking on any massive government capital program (at least on the scale of the Manhattan Project and the USA Interstate Highway System) to construct an energy system based on hydrogen fuel produced by nuclear power, plus nuclear seawater desalting plants, with natural gas as an interim fuel,
and since such a program may well require a few decades (maybe 40 years or more) to complete Earth-wide,
the next 40 years will probably be an Unhappy Fight among nations for access to the declining amount of oil on Earth.
The 2003 Iraq War is the first such fight, with the USA/UK trying to take Persian Gulf Oil away from Euro/France/Germany/Russia, and keep it away from Japan and China.
At the end of the 40 years, everybody will be in energy-poverty.
For the long run, only nuclear energy can support a large Earth population with a present-day-energy standard of living.
According to a 30 March 2003 article by James Webb in The New York Times:
"... Iraq's leaders have reviewed their mistakes in the first gulf war and have also studied the American efforts in Somalia and Kosovo.... Within a week ... [t]he War in Iraq ... had degenerated into an unexpected ugliness in virtually every populated area where American and British forces have come under fire. Those who believed from intelligence reports and Pentagon war planners that the Iraqi people, and particularly those from the Shiite sections of the southeast, would rise up to greet them as liberators were instead faced with persistent resistance. Near Basra, as The Financial Times reported, "soldiers were not being welcomed as liberators but often confronted with hatred." In the increasingly messy fights around Nasiriya, Marine units, which earlier were ambushed while responding to what appeared to be a large-scale surrender, had by the end of the week destroyed more than 200 homes. ... Snippets of news from Nasiriya give us a picture of chaotic guerrilla warfare, replete with hit-and-run ambushes, dead civilians, friendly fire casualties from firefights begun in the dead of night and a puzzling number of marines who are still unaccounted for. ... These actions ... are nothing more than classic guerrilla warfare, no different in fact or in moral degree from what our troops faced in difficult areas of Vietnam. ...
... even considering the strong likelihood of an allied victory, it is hard to imagine an end point without an extremely difficult period of occupation.
In fact, what will be called an occupation may well end up looking like the images we have seen in places like Nasiriya. Do Iraqis hate Saddam Hussein's regime more deeply than they dislike the Americans who are invading their country? That question will still be with this administration, and the military forces inside Iraq, when the occupation begins, whether the war lasts a few more days or several more months.
Or worse, the early stages of an occupation could see acts of retribution against members of Saddam Hussein's regime, then quickly turn into yet another round of guerrilla warfare against American forces. This point was made chillingly clear a few days ago by the leader of Iraq's major Shiite opposition group, who, according to Reuters, promised armed resistance if the United States remains in Iraq after Saddam Hussein is overthrown. Welcome to hell. ...".
In order to secure all the Iraqi oil, the USA?UK would have to control Iraq from the Kirkuk fields near Turkey/Kurdistan to the Persian Gulf. Long-term order, and hence long-term occupation, by the USA/UK would require a large standing occupying army, which in turn might be larger than the USA could maintain with a volunteer army. The USA has not had a military draft since the 1970s, and drafting people to go to Iraq to occupy a land full of guerrilla resistance is not likely to be popular.
The difficulty of such an occupation is illustrated by the problems that Israel still has with Palestinian terrorists, even within Israeli home territory.
The USA/UK could avoid occupying all of Iraq by letting Turkey have Kurdistan and the Kirkuk oil fields (which would then probably go into the Euro currency zone, to help buy admission for Turkey into the European Union), and letting the central part of Iraq go its own way, and only trying to keep control of the Gulf Coast Oil Fields in the area of Basra. Even such a reduced area would have guerrilla problems at least as bad as those faced by Israel, and might still require the USA to institute an unpopular military draft.
If USA/UK fail to pacify and unify Iraq, then it is possible that Euro nations (France, Germany, Russia, et al), perhaps allied with China and/or Japan, may attempt to form alliances in the Persian Gulf to bring much of its oil production into the Euro (and/or yen and/or yuan) sphere. What could Euro/Japan/China offer for such an alliance?
Since the USA is inflating its money supply to cover huge trade and consumer debt,
the USA must export the inflation-depreciated US Dollars to foreign investors
or suffer declining USA living standards.
Since the USA no longer manufactures anything (except military weapons) that foreigners might want to buy, why should foreign investors hold US Dollars?
If the US Dollar were the only reserve currency on Earth, foreigners would have nothing else to buy. However, since 2000 the Euro has been a possible alternative reserve currency.
How can the USA force foreigners be forced to buy US Dollars?
Until the year 2000, the USA saw to it that all oil sales on Earth were made in US Dollars. Then, in 2000, Iraq changed its oil sales from US Dollars to Euros.
Since the Euro has increased in value from about US$ 0.86 in 2000 to almost US$ 1.10 in 2003, Iraq has made money by switching to Euros, and other countries, including Venezuela and Iran, have begun to contemplate switching.
In order to stop the profitable trend to the Euro, the USA has fallen back onto covert action against the Venezuela government (according to an article by W. Clark: "... the Bush administration quickly endorsed the failed military-led coup of Hugo Chavez in April 2002. Although the coup collapsed after 2 days, various reports suggest the CIA ... approved and may have been actively involved ...".), direct military force against Iraq, and preliminary threats of military force against Iran.
So far, the covert action against Venezuela has failed and the attack against Iraq looks problematic in the long term, so
The last time the USA faced a crisis of that type was in the1970s
when US President Nixon took the US Dollar off the gold standard and inflated the money supply to such an extent that the price of oil also greatly inflated, causing in the USA gasoline shortages and skyrocketing interest rates (prime rates on the order of 20% around 1980). The USA economy was stabilized only by constructing the petrodollar system by which oil was sold for US Dollars which were invested back into the USA. The petrodollar system has worked for about 20 years, keeping USA standards of living high even with huge trade deficits, consumer debt, and money-supply inflation.
However, as the Euro replaces the US Dollar in oil sales, the petrodollar system will collapse, foreigners will not want US Dollars, and the trade deficits, consumer debts, and inflation-depreciated US Dollar will create a crash in the USA standard of living.
The only advantage the USA will have over the rest of Earth will be military might, and, as the attack on Iraq shows, the USA will be tempted to use its military to force foreigners to support the USA standard of living. If use of force fails in Iraq, then it is not likely to succeed anywhere else, so
The way the USA got out of the Great Depression was to embark on the massive government investment program that was World War II.
Such programs are consistent with my view that a purpose of government should be to provide basic energy, housing, education, and medical care to all its citizens.
It is also my opinion that the USA government is controlled by money, and money is controlled by institutions who are more interested in short-term (i.e., quarterly) profits than long-term (i.e., years) consequences. Since the above progams are long-term profitable but short-term unprofitable, I expect that the USA will be unable to implement them because the dominant institutions of the USA will not realize the folly of their policies until it is too late. The energy program, which is the key, will take a long lead time for completion, and the deadline of exhaustion of Earth's oil supply is not likely to be extended, no matter how much the USA institutional bureaucrats whine.
Whichever way the Attack on Iraq (begun on 20 March 2003, the day after Shushan Purim) ends, Happy or Realistic, everybody on Earth will be in the same boat, and, either way,
Stan Tenen, in a "belated Happy Purim" e-mail message, said:
"... My trusty Hebrew-English dictionary tells me that the word "Moshiach" is spelled Mem-Shin-Yud-cHet in Hebrew. Mem= "source of" Shin (or Sin)= "expression of" Yud is a point cHet is a circle The point, of course, is the One, and the circle is the Many. Also, cHet-Yud (the reversal of Yud-cHet) is the Hebrew word "cHai", meaning "life". So, Moshiach would be "the source of the expression of the [reversal of] life". . . . In other words, an expression of ego-death, or an expression of the unification of the One (mind) and the Many (world). Of course, in Hebrew we can break words up in different ways. Mem is a common prefix, meaning "source of" or "from" or "out of". Then, we can look up Shin (or Sin)-Yud-cHet. Now, the payoff. Sin-Yud-cHet in Hebrew - - according to my dictionary, bless its soul - - means "Bush" or "shrub". ...".