We are continuing to publish on our site the fragments from the book AMERICA’S PLANS FOR WORLD HEGEMONY, by Romanian author Calistrat M. Atudorei which was published in English version very recently
by printing house ”ePublishers” in Bucharest.
Chapter 9/1. 9/11 and Offensive in the Middle East
In January 1998, the influential group that had created the Project for a New American Century Project (PNAC) sent an open letter to President Bill Clinton calling for a tougher policy towards Iraq. The main reason was that Saddam Hussein would seek to avoid UN inspections on the possession of weapons of mass destruction. The signers of the letter appreciated that “we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War.” They urged a strategy that “should aim at, above all, the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power.” The PNAC stressed that “Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon (…) the cooperation with Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate.” The firm recommendation of the PNAC was “That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy” and “We urge you to act decisively.”1
As Bill Clinton was quite hesitant about the PNAC’s request, on the occasion of the 2001 elections, the group strongly supported George W. Bush’s coming to power. In this context when Bush jr. was elected president of the United States, in January 2001, many of the PNAC members occupied leading positions in the Pentagon, the Department of Defense and the White House. That is why, after the September 11, 2001 New York terrorist attack, PNAC policies were widely adopted and implemented by the entire US administration, being publicly known as the “Bush Doctrine.”
In 2002, the PNAC set up an organization called the Iraq Liberation Committee (CLI2). Led by PNAC members, the organization’s stated goal was to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime. To this end, the Committee announced that “it will engage in educational and counseling efforts to support policy in the United States and around the world to liberate the Iraqi people from tyranny.”3
As reported by a press release issued in November 2002 by US Newswire, CLI had access to the highest circles of the US administration ever since its inception, being allowed to participate to official meetings with representatives of the White House. CLI leaders were, for example, received by Secretary of Defense George Schultz and his assistant, Condoleezza Rice, “to discuss Iraq-related policies.”4 In its November 21, 2002 issue, Financial Times reported in very praiseworthy terms that George Schultz said about CLI that “A committee like this gets a lot of impetus from the White House.”5
There is conclusive information that CLI, the prolongation of the PNAC, received intensive US funding for the main opposition group in Iraq, called the National Congress of Iraq (INC6). For example, an article in The Ecologist in 2003 shows that the PNAC “funded with millions of dollars of US taxpayers money to support the Iraqi National Congress and its leader, Ahmad Chalabi.”7
Apparently, INC wasn’t supported only by CLI. A 2015 article in New York Times entitled Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi politician who contributed to the US invasion, reports that “Chalabi was probably the closest Iraqi to President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq and to suppress the dictator Saddam Hussein.” New York Times shows that the invasion decision came mainly from “Chalabi’s testimony, shared by US intelligence agencies” according to which “Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.” The information was provided by other “INC affiliates” too. Interestingly, “The Iraqi National Congress received more than $ 100 million from the CIA and other agencies from its establishment in 1992 to the start of the war in 2003.” Related to Ahmad Chalabi, New York Times also writes that “he had been convicted in absentia for fraud in Jordan in 1992, and sentenced to 22 years in prison, for embezzling almost $300 million from Petra Bank.” However, as the article describes, Chalabi had close ties with journalists in Washington and London, and “he cultivated friendships with a circle of hawkish Republicans — Dick Cheney, Douglas J. Feith, William J. Luti, Richard N. Perle and Paul D. Wolfowitz — who were central in the United States’ march to war with Iraq.”8
The Financial Times confirmed in 2015 that the INC opposition group was supported by the US administration and specified that “between 1991 and 2003, Chalabi’s opposition group was heavily funded by Washington, receiving at least 100 million dollars.” The American paper also indicated that the news in the American media published about the “huge supplies of weapons of mass destruction” that Saddam Hussein had supposedly owned, was provided by Chalabi, who “used his contacts in the media to disseminate information.”9
The nature of the premises that were used as a justification for the invasion of Iraq began to get clear a year later. In September 2004, a Senate report on the information provided by INC was presented to the US Congress. The conclusion? Data from the INC were completely invented and in reality Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction! The report, however, conveniently placed the entire responsibility of Iraq’s invasion on INC: “False information provided by affiliated sources in the Iraqi National Congress (INC) was used to support key Iraqi assessments and was shared on a large scale within the US services before the war.”10 In other words, the CIA and other US secret services, the Pentagon, the White House, and the media—all of whom praised and encouraged INC’s democratic virtues—now claimed they were misled by Iraqi “insiders.” Of course, this version is hilarious first of all because of huge cock-and-bull story with the hoax staged, apparently, precisely by the American protégés. It is also far-fetched the so-called “certitude,” absolutely innocent, of every American structure (secret services and others) that INC told the truth without having, so to speak, the slightest suspicion of this outrageous lie that led to the destructive attack on Iraq. A proof of the very close relationship that further remained between scammers and fools is that Chalabi did not suffer any penalty from his American financiers, but was even rewarded generously, since, in conformity with Financial Times, in the new US-led command structure in Iraq, after the war, “Chalabi was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in January 2005” and then “oil minister.”11 Subsequently, according to New York Times12, Chalabi led the Iraqi Parliament’s financing committee until the year he died, in 2015.
Regarding the role that PNAC group had in US foreign policy, there are some very interesting accounts from Wesley Clark, a four-star general, former supreme commander of NATO in 1997–2000, the one who made backstage disclosures about NATO’s invasion in Yugoslavia as well. At a conference held in San Francisco in October 2007 (but also on other occasions when he spoke in public), Clark stated that in 1991 he had a meeting with Paul Wolfowitz, at the time the third in the Pentagon hierarchy. During that meeting Wolfowitz explained to him that “we need between five and ten years to clean up the area of these old clients of the Soviet regime: Syria, Iran, Iraq… before the next great superpower comes to face us.”13 Ten years later, General Clark said, after the US already invaded Afghanistan at the end of 2001, a Pentagon officer informed him that they firmly established that “the US intends to attack and remove governments from seven countries over five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran!” Clark points out that these countries had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks, which for him was confusing, leading him to ask: “Is the purpose of military action to start wars, overthrow governments, invade countries?” Correlating to what he had found out in 1991 from Paul Wolfowitz, Clark concluded that after 9/11 in the US there was a “political coup” by which “A group of very tough people took control of American politics and never bothered to inform us, the others.” Among them he named “Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and we can still name half a dozen of other collaborators of the New American Century Project” who “wanted us destabilize the Middle East, turn everything upside down, bring it under our control.” The rhetorical questions addressed by Clark to the public are also significant, as well as the de facto acknowledgement of our situation: “Has anyone ever told you that? Did senators and congressmen stand up to denounce this plan? Was there a national debate on this issue? Absolutely none! And there still isn’t any!”14
America’s Targets and Petrodollar System
Although disclosures made by General Wesley Clark had hardly been taken over by Western media, more specialists found them particularly revealing. This is also the case with Ellen Brown, a well-known political, economic and legal specialist, chairperson of the think-tank of the Public Banking Institute. Ellen Brown highlighted some distinctive dates in 2011 that underlined the reason why US strategists chose the seven countries that General Wesley Clark spoke about:
What do these seven countries have in common? In the context of banking, one that sticks out is that none of them is listed among the 56 member banks of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). That evidently puts them outside the long regulatory arm of bankers who control central banks of BIS countries. The most renegade of the lot could be Libya and Iraq, the two that have actually been attacked.15
Brown referred to the fact that all of these seven states had their central banks exclusively owned by their own governments, an element closely related to the economic independence and sovereignty of a country. She also made a significant reference to the opinion of economics expert Kenneth Schortgen Jr. posted on examiner.com. Schortgen noted that six months before the US moved into Iraq to take down Saddam Hussein, the oil nation had made the move to accept Euros instead of dollars for oil, and this became a threat to the global dominance of the dollar as the reserve currency, and its dominion as the petrodollar.16
Indeed, after the country had already been devastated by the US military in 1991, the Iraqis decided not to sell their main resource, the oil, in the enemy’s currency, that is, in dollars. So in 2000 they opted for the euro. In line with The Guardian “Nearly all Iraq’s oil exports under the United Nations oil program were paid in euro since 2001.”17 Soon, however, there were negative signals from big global corporations. Fadhil Chalabi, CEO of the Center for Global Energy Studies, said that Iraq’s decision “was seen as a bad economic move because all international oil trade is in dollars.”18 Actually, not incidentally, shortly after the US invasion of 2003, Iraqi oil companies began, under US patronage, to sell their oil in US dollars again.
Similarly, Libya gave up dollar transactions in 2010 and was invaded by the US in 2011, after which it began selling its oil in dollars again. As far as Syria is concerned, they stopped selling oil for dollars in 2006 and became a field of intervention of the US in 2014. Iran also completely stopped trading its oil in US dollars since 2008. Immediately after that, it became a target of US harassment, the option of military intervention being explicitly and officially formulated by the US administration several times.
It is useful to know that the US economy is based on the so-called petrodollar system, which provides massive rolling and automatic growth of US currency reserves stemming precisely from oil dollar trading. At the same time, the US dollar is also the monetary benchmark of the global business environment, regulated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This is why Western financial elites need the control and stability of the current petrodollar-based system, which largely supports their international authority.
The Petrodollar system is an agreement negotiated in the 1970s, whereby OPEC nations19 sell their oil in dollars, which in this way generates artificial demand for the American currency. According to Investopedia, the petrodollar system was set up by American elites to replace the Bretton Woods system, which collapsed in 1971, after the principle of equivalence of financial values with standard gold quantities could not be maintained. The reason was that after the Vietnam War (1961–1975) US debt grew uncontrollably, which led to the issuance (printing) of dollars without gold cover and then inflation. Nixon administration therefore decided to end the convertibility of the US dollar into gold because it was no longer able to make international payments in gold. As a replacement solution for the old system in 1973, the United States struck a deal with Saudi Arabia to standardize oil prices in dollar terms. Through this deal, the petrodollar system was born, along with a paradigm shift away from pegged exchanged rates and gold-backed currencies to non-backed, floating rate regimes.20
Through this petrodollar system, the US dollar remained the world’s (basic) reserve currency as all oil sale transactions take place in US dollars, continuing to stimulate international demand for the US currency. Keep in mind that the petrodollar system continuously provides the US financial markets with liquidity sources and foreign capital inflows. This creates permanent surplus of US dollar reserves for oil producing countries, which then sustains a circuit of recycling this surplus through various other massive investments made with US dollars as well. The United States was thus able to support its objective of becoming hegemonic power in the global economy, not just military.
These observations make us better understand the role of the US dollar in the international economic system, as well as the stake for which the Washington administrations very strictly and even aggressively targeted the economic and political control of the Middle East oil countries. As I showed above, the series of US force interventions in these states began with Iraq in 2003. Obviously, US military interventions had entirely other official motivations, which apparently had absolutely nothing to do with the petrodollar and hegemony plans.
(To be continued)