Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Black Commentator

While running through my pleasurable (in an agonizing way) RSS feeds, I ran across a link (via The Sideshow) to a June 11, 2007 article from Rediff India Abroad that talks about how the US Dollar is going to collapse. It's a dismally gloomy, pessimistic article about impending doom for the world economy, but set that aside. What caught my attention was this bit:
Late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was fully aware of this paradigm. Seeking to exploit the inherent weakness of the US dollar, Saddam wanted to trade his crude in Euros, which would have lead to a lower demand for the US Dollar and thereby triggered a dollar collapse. And those were his 'weapons of mass destruction -- WMD.'

This reminded me of an article from the freakin' February 20, 2003 issue of The Black Commentator, which mentioned that...
Our country is the largest consumer of the world's oil, but our economy is tied to oil in more ways than one. Since the 1940s, oil has been denominated in U.S. dollars only, making our dollar the world's preeminent reserve currency. Nations buy and hold dollars like they buy and hold gold because they can't purchase oil without dollars. With this support for our currency, U.S. foreign debt has grown to $2.8 trillion, or $10,000 owed to foreigners by every man, woman and child in our country. Last year's trade deficit alone was more than $500 billion and shows no sign of slowing. Any other country with our lack of fiscal discipline would see its currency and stock market crash hard. But the dollar's value is essentially backed by oil, which allows our Treasury to simply print money as needed to finance our debt. Since accounting makes no allowance for fiat money, the General Accounting Office has been unwilling to certify our nation's financial statements for several years. We can operate this way only while our dollar is the world's preeminent reserve currency; without dollar preeminence, there is hell to pay.

Enter the real "weapon of mass destruction," the euro. Eleven European countries formed a monetary union around this currency on January 1, 1999; Britain and Norway, the major European oil producers, were conspicuously absent. Due to the strength of European economies, the euro now presents a serious challenge to the dollar in its role as key reserve currency. The rise of the euro also threatens to hobble the British pound's eventual entry into Europe's monetary union. Britain and the U.S. have mutual interests in oil to match their interests in the euro. Of the five largest oil companies in the world, two (ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco) are U.S.-based, two (Royal Dutch/Shell and BP) are based in Britain, and one (TotalFinaElf) is French. U.S. and British oil companies are all but banned from exploration in Iraq, while French, Russian and Chinese companies have contracts waiting for the lifting of sanctions. France and Germany, the largest economies in the Euro-zone, can diminish U.S. credibility and keep the euro on track to become the key reserve currency by preventing war with Iraq.

You didn't see that kind of analysis in your precious Economist or Wall Street Journal in February of '03, did you?

Why aren't you reading The Black Commentator?

On December 5, 2002, they opined:
The figure had been bouncing around think tanks and Capitol Hill for months, and on December 1 made the front page of the Washington Post: Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq will cost the American taxpayer between $100 and $200 billion.

Think of this fantastic sum as a mountain of contracts, because that is precisely the way the gang that runs America looks at it. Citizens see the $200 billion figure as a mind-numbing cost of war. But Dick Cheney and George Bush represent the people who will soon pocket much of this money. For them, war is the ideal business environment.

The rest of us, normal human beings attempting to live in as civilized a way as we can manage, find it difficult to imagine that the world as we know it may be destroyed in a mad rush for war-generated contracts. Bush and Cheney, on the other hand, work tirelessly to achieve that result. They smell gold.

That's just an early example, to show you how dead-on this publication has been over the years. I could give you a ream of them.

This month's "Quote to ponder" is from Sterling Allen Brown (1930): "Propaganda, no matter how legitimate, can speak no louder than the truth."

You should be reading The Black Commentator. Really, you should. The art alone is worth your time.

If, someday, you find yourself reading photocopies of broadsides written by these folks, furtively scattered (late at night) on the street by the Resistance, I want you to remember that I tried to hook you up while there was still time.

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