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a_century_of_war [2008/02/11 09:53]
dan
a_century_of_war [2014/11/10 12:00] (current)
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-**A Century of War, William Engdahl**+**[[wp>​William Engdahl]], 2004 (revised edition), //A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order//London: Pluto**
  
 ====== 1. The Three Pillars of the British Empire ====== ====== 1. The Three Pillars of the British Empire ======
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 ^ Russia (before the revolution) ​ | Ottoman Armenia and Kurdistan, south of Jerevan (although I don't think this promise was honoured?). | ^ Russia (before the revolution) ​ | Ottoman Armenia and Kurdistan, south of Jerevan (although I don't think this promise was honoured?). |
  
-The Balfour declaration was a private letter from Balfour, Britain'​s foreign secretary to Lord Rothschild, a member of the British Federation of Zionists in November 1917.  It committed Britain to supporting a Jewish homeland in Palestine after the war.  It is significant that this declaration was made to a representative of a *BritishJewish organisation that was already involved in financing the emigration of European (primarily Polish and Russian) Jews to Palestine. ​ The concept was to establish a European community in the heart of an area in which Britain had few natural allies, which required British power projection due to its oil reserves, and also due to its commanding position for dominating the Mediterranean,​ overlooking Suez, still crucial to British economic interests as the link between the UK and India. ​ A Jewish settlement in Palestine would provide a long-term excuse for a British protectionary force, and would clearly permanently back British interests against the Arabs. ​ It fitted very much into the Round Table vision of a British Empire extending uninterrupted from the Cape of Good Hope to Suez and from Palestine to British India, alongside the annexation of German possessions in Southern Africa which helped to complete the picture. ​ The Round Table had instigated the Boer War of 1899-1902 to unite South Africa and its massive gold reserves under British control.+The Balfour declaration was a private letter from Balfour, Britain'​s foreign secretary to Lord Rothschild, a member of the British Federation of Zionists in November 1917.  It committed Britain to supporting a Jewish homeland in Palestine after the war.  It is significant that this declaration was made to a representative of a //British// Jewish organisation that was already involved in financing the emigration of European (primarily Polish and Russian) Jews to Palestine. ​ The concept was to establish a European community in the heart of an area in which Britain had few natural allies, which required British power projection due to its oil reserves, and also due to its commanding position for dominating the Mediterranean,​ overlooking Suez, still crucial to British economic interests as the link between the UK and India. ​ A Jewish settlement in Palestine would provide a long-term excuse for a British protectionary force, and would clearly permanently back British interests against the Arabs. ​ It fitted very much into the Round Table vision of a British Empire extending uninterrupted from the Cape of Good Hope to Suez and from Palestine to British India, alongside the annexation of German possessions in Southern Africa which helped to complete the picture. ​ The Round Table had instigated the Boer War of 1899-1902 to unite South Africa and its massive gold reserves under British control.
  
 ====== 5. Combined and Conflicting Goals: The United States Rivals Britain ====== ====== 5. Combined and Conflicting Goals: The United States Rivals Britain ======
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 By the end of the 1950s, American manufacturing capital and education was lagging that of Continental Europe, whose productivity was still soaring in a continued post-war boom.  The New York banks were central in channelling investment abroad rather than into American manufacturing,​ sealing America'​s industrial fate over the following two decades. ​ New York earned far higher profits investing abroad, particularly in Western European firms. ​ The stagnation of the American industrial base, coupled with a realignment of higher education away from sciences and engineering towards softer subjects and the intervention in Vietnam created a massive US deficit, large dollar accounts were accumulating in European banks and American gold reserves, which had been almost total at the end of the war, were continually being drained. ​ The dollar was, apparently, overvalued compared to gold; France called for a 50 per cent devaluation. ​ Kennedy attempted to stem the outflow of investment by taxing American investment abroad, but by exempting Canada and loans to US citizens, the result was to force all US foreign investment to be channelled through British banks in Toronto, Montreal and London. By the end of the 1950s, American manufacturing capital and education was lagging that of Continental Europe, whose productivity was still soaring in a continued post-war boom.  The New York banks were central in channelling investment abroad rather than into American manufacturing,​ sealing America'​s industrial fate over the following two decades. ​ New York earned far higher profits investing abroad, particularly in Western European firms. ​ The stagnation of the American industrial base, coupled with a realignment of higher education away from sciences and engineering towards softer subjects and the intervention in Vietnam created a massive US deficit, large dollar accounts were accumulating in European banks and American gold reserves, which had been almost total at the end of the war, were continually being drained. ​ The dollar was, apparently, overvalued compared to gold; France called for a 50 per cent devaluation. ​ Kennedy attempted to stem the outflow of investment by taxing American investment abroad, but by exempting Canada and loans to US citizens, the result was to force all US foreign investment to be channelled through British banks in Toronto, Montreal and London.
  
-The UK was undergoing a similar lack of investment, coupled with high interest rates designed to draw money into the Sterling area to support London'​s continued bid to be a financial capital. ​ However, the pound was even weaker than the dollar, and Britain was forced to devalue from $2.80 to $2.40 in 1967.  Afterwhich all attention switched to the dollar, clearly in an unmaintainable position with a war-deficit ballooning out of control as Tet approached and no productivity recovery in sight. ​ In the beginning Vietnam had provided a boost to the American economy, but apart from narrow sections of military industry and the financial elite who managed the war bonds, the overall effect was to weaken America'​s position relative to her trading partners. ​ The government backed insurgents to create riots across the US in an attempt to fuel racist division between the predominantly white unionised northern cities (Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York) against cheap, nonunionised black labour in the south. ​ King's assassination was designed to prevent his support for a drive to unionise black labour in south. ​ Kennedy'​s assassination was to prevent a range of anti-financial elite policies, including his plans to withdraw from Vietnam and to force US investment capital into domestic projects.+The UK was undergoing a similar lack of investment, coupled with high interest rates designed to draw money into the Sterling area to support London'​s continued bid to be a financial capital. ​ However, the pound was even weaker than the dollar, and Britain was forced to devalue from $2.80 to $2.40 in 1967.  Afterwhich all attention switched to the dollar, clearly in an unmaintainable position with a war-deficit ballooning out of control as Tet approached and no productivity recovery in sight. ​ In the beginning Vietnam had provided a boost to the American economy, but apart from narrow sections of military industry and the financial elite who managed the war bonds, the overall effect was to weaken America'​s position relative to her trading partners. ​ The government backed insurgents to create riots across the US in an attempt to fuel racist division between the predominantly white unionised northern cities (Detroit, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York) against cheap, nonunionised black labour in the south. ​ King's assassination was designed to prevent his support for a drive to unionise black labour in the south. ​ Kennedy'​s assassination was intended ​to prevent a range of anti-financial-elite policies, including his plans to withdraw from Vietnam and to force US investment capital into domestic projects.
  
  
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 The Anglo-American planned response was to create a pretence under which military forces could once more take tight control of Middle Eastern oil, to resecure the "veto power" that control of these supplies granted America over continental Europe, Russia and Japan. ​ Iraq seemed like the obvious choice: thought to be the largest source of unexplored oil fields after the Soviet Union, and far more closely allied with France and Russia than Saudi. The Anglo-American planned response was to create a pretence under which military forces could once more take tight control of Middle Eastern oil, to resecure the "veto power" that control of these supplies granted America over continental Europe, Russia and Japan. ​ Iraq seemed like the obvious choice: thought to be the largest source of unexplored oil fields after the Soviet Union, and far more closely allied with France and Russia than Saudi.
  
-Iraq had been tempted into war with Iran by spurious American intelligence promising easy victories, and emerged from the Iran-Iraq war in 1988 with massive war debts to the Russia and Eastern Europe (who expected to be repaid in oil), Kuwait, Saudi and French, British and American banks: a total of $65bn. ​ Kuwait had been encouraged by the UK-US to extend extensive credit to Iraq in order to prevent the Iraqis suing for peace, because of the profits the UK-US was making from arms sales. ​ In the spring of 1990, with UK-US encouragement Kuwait changed tack, rapidly increasing oil output and forcing the price down from $19 to $13 a barrel. ​ Iraq and other OPEC members pleaded with Kuwait to return within its OPEC quota, but the Kuwaitis refused. ​ Iraq became unable to service its debt.+Iraq had been tempted into war with Iran by spurious American intelligence promising easy victories, and emerged from the Iran-Iraq war in 1988 with massive war debts to Russia and Eastern Europe (who expected to be repaid in oil), Kuwait, Saudi and French, British and American banks: a total of $65bn. ​ Kuwait had been encouraged by the UK-US to extend extensive credit to Iraq in order to prevent the Iraqis suing for peace, because of the profits the UK-US was making from arms sales. ​ In the spring of 1990, with UK-US encouragement Kuwait changed tack, rapidly increasing oil output and forcing the price down from $19 to $13 a barrel. ​ Iraq and other OPEC members pleaded with Kuwait to return within its OPEC quota, but the Kuwaitis refused. ​ Iraq became unable to service its debt.
  
 Saddam started drawing attention to the American insistence on maintaining a large naval presence in the Middle East, despite Russia'​s increasing incapacity to project force in the region and the end of the Iran-Iraq war.  He called for greater pan-Arab cooperation and the use of oil wealth to forge better relations with Europe, Russia and Japan. Saddam started drawing attention to the American insistence on maintaining a large naval presence in the Middle East, despite Russia'​s increasing incapacity to project force in the region and the end of the Iran-Iraq war.  He called for greater pan-Arab cooperation and the use of oil wealth to forge better relations with Europe, Russia and Japan.
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 Washington is now therefore committed, before all else, to dominating all oil and gas reserves, everywhere. ​ Classical imperial conquests of Iraq and Afghanistan,​ coupled with the associated building of massive military installations in the former Soviet empire (Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan) have effectively turned the entire Middle East into an American protectorate. ​ Iraq is a colony, dismantling extensive agreements with France, Russia and China to develop Iraqi oilfields. ​ Afghanistan is a colony. ​ Georgia (on the route of Baku-Ceyhan) has been a protectorate since the 2004 elections. ​ Kuwait is a protectorate. ​ Pakistan is dependant on US support. Washington is now therefore committed, before all else, to dominating all oil and gas reserves, everywhere. ​ Classical imperial conquests of Iraq and Afghanistan,​ coupled with the associated building of massive military installations in the former Soviet empire (Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan) have effectively turned the entire Middle East into an American protectorate. ​ Iraq is a colony, dismantling extensive agreements with France, Russia and China to develop Iraqi oilfields. ​ Afghanistan is a colony. ​ Georgia (on the route of Baku-Ceyhan) has been a protectorate since the 2004 elections. ​ Kuwait is a protectorate. ​ Pakistan is dependant on US support.
  
-Moves for other oil reserves have met less resistance, but have been no less assiduous. ​ In early 2003, Washington reached agreements over the use of the Pacific ​islands of Sao Tomao and Principe, both within striking distance of the west African oilfields from Morocco to Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Angola. ​ Up to 25 per cent of US oil needs will soon come from west Africa, according to some predictions. ​ Military aid continues to pour into Colombia. ​ The removal of Chávez was attempted in 2002.  The US imports more oil from Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador than the entire Middle East.  Libya returned to Washington'​s circle of friends in January 2004, throwing out agreements to develop oil with Japan, Italy, China and France (countries not bound by US sanctions). ​ Somebody was impressed by the Iraqi invasion? ​ New US military bases have been built in Indonesia under terrorist pretexts. ​ Washington has so far managed to block Japanese agreements to develop Iranian oil and is locked in ongoing attempts to become more involved in Russian oil developments.+Moves for other oil reserves have met less resistance, but have been no less assiduous. ​ In early 2003, Washington reached agreements over the use of the East Atlantic ​islands of Sao Tomao and Principe, both within striking distance of the west African oilfields from Morocco to Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Angola. ​ Up to 25 per cent of US oil needs will soon come from west Africa, according to some predictions. ​ Military aid continues to pour into Colombia. ​ The removal of Chávez was attempted in 2002.  The US imports more oil from Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador than the entire Middle East.  Libya returned to Washington'​s circle of friends in January 2004, throwing out agreements to develop oil with Japan, Italy, China and France (countries not bound by US sanctions). ​ Somebody was impressed by the Iraqi invasion? ​ New US military bases have been built in Indonesia under terrorist pretexts. ​ Washington has so far managed to block Japanese agreements to develop Iranian oil and is locked in ongoing attempts to become more involved in Russian oil developments.
  
->> "If you want to rule the world, you need to control oil.  All the oil.  Anywhere."​ --Michel Collon+> "If you want to rule the world, you need to control oil.  All the oil.  Anywhere."​ --Michel Collon
  
->> "The basic and generally agreed plan is unilateral world domination through absolute military superiority,​ and this has been consistently advocated and worked on by the group of intellectuals close to Dick Cheney and Richard Perle since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s... For the group around Cheney, the single most important consideration is guaranteed and unrestricted access to cheap oil, controlled as far as possible at its source."​ --Anatole Leven (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)+> "The basic and generally agreed plan is unilateral world domination through absolute military superiority,​ and this has been consistently advocated and worked on by the group of intellectuals close to Dick Cheney and Richard Perle since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s... For the group around Cheney, the single most important consideration is guaranteed and unrestricted access to cheap oil, controlled as far as possible at its source."​ --Anatole Leven (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
  
->> "​Let'​s look at it simply. ​ The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically,​ we just had no choice in Iraq.  The country swims on a sea of oil." --Paul Wolfowitz (President of the World Bank, former Deputy Defence Secretary under Rumsfeld during Iraq II)+> "​Let'​s look at it simply. ​ The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically,​ we just had no choice in Iraq.  The country swims on a sea of oil." --Paul Wolfowitz (President of the World Bank, former Deputy Defence Secretary under Rumsfeld during Iraq II)
  
 Washington'​s plan is "total spectrum dominance",​ through which it hopes to gain a virtual monopoly of global oil supplies, controlled by military might at the source. ​ As circumstances in the global oil market inevitably develop through Peak, this will place it in a position to determine who receives oil and at what price -- it will gain the discretion to offer sufficient oil at a low enough price for some economies to develop and thrive, but at the same time it will be in a position to deny many a sufficient energy supply to maintain a viable economy -- giving it even greater political power to determine which administrations shall succeed and which will be thrown out amid economic chaos than it has ever known before. ​ The Iraqi "​disaster"​ is not a reflection of American overconfidence or misjudgement -- the issue of controlling oil at source is about to become so dominant that the costs of an anomic Iraq are insignificant besides the direct control of world affairs that America is set to inherit. ​ There is no limit to how messy Iraq may become -- no cost can possibly be great enough to make a withdrawal the more profitable option for Washington. Washington'​s plan is "total spectrum dominance",​ through which it hopes to gain a virtual monopoly of global oil supplies, controlled by military might at the source. ​ As circumstances in the global oil market inevitably develop through Peak, this will place it in a position to determine who receives oil and at what price -- it will gain the discretion to offer sufficient oil at a low enough price for some economies to develop and thrive, but at the same time it will be in a position to deny many a sufficient energy supply to maintain a viable economy -- giving it even greater political power to determine which administrations shall succeed and which will be thrown out amid economic chaos than it has ever known before. ​ The Iraqi "​disaster"​ is not a reflection of American overconfidence or misjudgement -- the issue of controlling oil at source is about to become so dominant that the costs of an anomic Iraq are insignificant besides the direct control of world affairs that America is set to inherit. ​ There is no limit to how messy Iraq may become -- no cost can possibly be great enough to make a withdrawal the more profitable option for Washington.
  
->> "Every single empire, in its official discourse, has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilise, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort."​ --Edward Said+> "Every single empire, in its official discourse, has said that it is not like all the others, that its circumstances are special, that it has a mission to enlighten, civilise, bring order and democracy, and that it uses force only as a last resort."​ --Edward Said
  
a_century_of_war.1202723623.txt.gz · Last modified: 2008/03/17 12:00 (external edit)