After receiving some excellent responses from informed readers, I have decided to write a follow up my March 17 article entitled “War with Iraq: is oil really a motive.”
In that article I argued that the current war in Iraq is actually being fought for strategic reasons, such as using market reforms in Iraq to undercut the price of oil. This drop in the price of oil would deliver a metaphoric piledriver to OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) as its real power, in the form of oil revenues, would be exponentially reduced. In a nutshell, I state that the war is not being fought over the direct control of oil, but as a strategic weapon to crush United States enemies and increase the United States’ relative power throughout the Middle East and Central Asia.
Thanks to some informed readers, I have uncovered another very interesting possibility for the war in
Iraq. I must warn you that this theory is not commonly accepted or discussed on those corporate news stations that promise to bring you the most general, non-specific, one-dimensional slant on news anywhere in the world.
In October and November of 2000, the UN authorized Iraq to sell its oil in exchange for euros, the European Union’s currency.
This caused Iran, and later North Korea, to shift the currency they use for oil deals from the dollar to the euro. This was a potentially huge problem for the United States considering that the dollar is two things. One is the commonly accepted world currency. Instead of a gold standard, most banks and foreign reserves back up their currency with substantial sums of United States dollars.
Were that common currency to shift to the euro, the United States’ ability to import about 50 percent more than it exports would be completely obliterated. The dollar is also the only currency used by OPEC for oil transactions. This shift away from the seemingly imperialistic and unilateralist foreign policy of the United States, toward the seemingly multilateralist and good-willed EU could be viewed as an economic assault on United States global dominance.
Of course the EU is in neither of the two aforementioned adjectives, which really paints this as an economic breakout of sorts from United States dominance. The subsidization of the United States economy through the dominance of the dollar could end, and as a result the already shaken United States economy would plunge even further than it already has.
All of the power and benefits that come from controlling the common currency would shift to Europe, and Americans would grow to be just as annoying and sneaky as the French. With that in mind, the answer to the question, “Why are we invading Iraq at this particular time?” becomes a bit more clear. The realist unilateralists in the executive branch right now will not allow another political body like the EU, OPEC, or the Russians (whose Siberian oil is anything but cost-effective) to take any power away from the United States. In a zero-sum game, any loss could prove to be fatal.
Instead, the United States with Britain – who actively opposes the euro – are going to do to everybody else what they were going to do to them: deliver an international headlock and make them beg for mercy.