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March 09, 2006
Head Spinning

Everything I read about our history in the Middle East leaves me more informed, but more confused, about the whole situation.

At this point, I'm inclined to think we've been treating oil and the Middle Eastern countries that produce so much of it as plastic counters in an inexplicable game where no one bothers to look past the current round of play. (More likely, this is just another example of neo-con insistence on seeing reality as they want it to be, or think it should be, instead of as it is.)

Foreign dollar-holders began dumping their dollars as a protest against the foreign policies of the administration of US president Jimmy Carter. It was to deal with that dollar crisis that Carter was forced to bring in Paul Volcker to head the Federal Reserve in 1979. In October 1979 Volcker gave the dollar another turbocharge by allowing interest rates in the US to rise some 300% in weeks, to well over 20%. That in turn forced global interest rates through the roof, triggered a global recession, mass unemployment and misery. It also "saved" the dollar as sole reserve currency. The dollar was not a "petrodollar". It was the currency of issue of the greatest superpower, a superpower determined to do what it needed to keep it that way.

We were never who I thought we were, were we?

I wish I could believe that we're determined on global domination for good reasons, but hanging the health (and supremacy) of the dollar off the end of a gun really doesn't incline me that direction. Nor does the explanation of the way the oil industry works, favoring (corporate) banking interests and business over those of the producer or the consumer.

Posted by AnneZook at 09:55 AM