An Alternative Exploration of Geopoliticsby Shiv Bhalla December 30 2014, 3:58 pm Estimated Reading Time: 9 mins, 19 secs
Hindsight is always 20/20. Subjective to the present, we often tend to overlook patterns and correlation until the objectivity parts the seas to a broader picture. It was only possible for example, for historians, political scientists and anthropologist to look back at events that ultimately lead to global conflicts such as the two world wars to fully understand the causality that lead to such climactic conflict
The geopolitical landscape the past decade has been tumultuous; an amorphous swamp of money and political agendas. The mainstream media does cover these events, but looks at them as mutually exclusive, failing to correlate them to the vested interests of a global ruling class. The purpose of this piece is not to create panic or demonize the global leadership, but rather offer an alternative perspective to geopolitics that the mainstream media conveniently neglects. Conflict in Syria and Iran for example, has been depicted in mainstream media as civil wars against unjust governments. With due evidence however, a case can be made that these are actually proxy wars orchestrated by Europe and America against the Eastern powers, namely Russia and China.
An interesting place to begin is the dollar. Since the 70??, the dollar has been the exclusive currency used to sell and purchase oil globally. The peculiar thing about the dollar is that in 1971, Richard Nixon officially disclosed that he was going to take the dollar off the gold standard, meaning that it was no longer backed by reserved gold, transforming the dollar into a debt based currency (essentially meaning that the creation of currency relied upon it being loaned at an interest by the Federal Reserve). This birthed the concept of fractional reserve banking, a process allegedly regulated by the Federal Reserve (http://www.investopedia.com/university/thefed/fed2.asp). Contrary to the implied, the Federal Reserve has no affiliation to any U.S government entities, and is in fact owned and controlled by a conglomerate of privately owned banks.
Fractional reserve banking essentially allows banks to loan out far more money than they have in reserve, with interest attached. They loan out money from the Federal Reserve to meet with these requirements. However, the money to pay the debt does not exist in circulation and the system, thus resulting in unsustainable debt always greater than currency in circulation. Here is a handy video that demonstrated how it works:?
What is baffling is that most people are unaware that the global reserve currency is in fact a debt based currency; it puts into perspective the gargantuan international debt levels. The dollar?? chokehold over geopolitics is however, is equally insidious.
During the 1973 OPEC oil crisis, Saudia Arabia and the US collaborated to establish the petrodollar, as the Saudis would sell their oil exclusively in dollars and invest their profits into American banks and markets (http://www.gao.gov/products/ID-79-7). The IMF would in turn loan the money to oil companies failing to keep up with the rising oil prices, the payment for these loans would of course only be accepted in denominations of the US dollars (http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/center/mm/eng/rs_sub_3.htm ). By 1975, the petrodollar system had the rest of OPEC in its clutches, causing the compounded debt to define the global energy market. The result was that the Federal Reserve now controlled the global money supply to trade for oil and the constantly increasing demand for oil ensured the dollar as the primary international trading currency. Because fossil fuels have been integrated into every aspect of civilization, America holds a disproportionate amount of global wealth in spite of the fact that it is consumer based economy. It also explains why the US economy has been able to find stability while running multibillion dollar trade deficits for years! As long as there is a demand for oil, the dollar will retain its value. The exploitative nature of such a system has not only manifested itself in a profusion of global poverty, but also provides the US with much global economic control through sanctions.
The petrodollar reigned the international market unchallenged until the year 2000, when Saddam Hussain announced that he would begin to trade Iraqi oil in Euros (http://edition.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/meast/10/30/iraq.un.euro.reut/). In the very same month, ??he project for a new American Century??an organization boasting influential members, including the likes of Dick Cheney released ??EBUILDING AMERICA?? DEFENSES Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century??(http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/pdf/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf).The document contained an aggressive rhetoric, imploring increase in military expenditure and a more contentious foreign policy to expand an imperial-like dominance globally. Eerily, the document acknowledged that implementation of the policy and ultimately achieving the goals outlined would take a tremendous amount of time ??bsent some catastrophic and catalyzing event ??like a new Pearl Harbor??
A year later, 911 reshaped the geopolitical schemes with unprecedented impact. The bush Administration was able to channel the public outrage and pass the patriot act, an act in direct opposition to the nation?? constitution and was further able to invade Afghanistan and Iraq with limited resistance. The mainstream media reported the reason why Iraq was invaded was due to the nation harbouring weapons of mass destruction. No such weapons were found. Largely ignored by the media were the Iraqi oil fields seized and sales were instantly shifted back to the dollar, bringing equilibrium to the petrodollar. The Bush administration attempted to extend these wars, now targeting Iran, alleging Iranian attempts at building a Nuclear bomb (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A24677-2005Jan20.html). Ultimately public outcry against the failed Iraqi wars impeded the administration?? momentum to continue the wars. The smear campaign demonizing Iran however, overflowed into the Obama administration (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/9122351/Obama-I-will-not-hesitate-in-using-force-to-block-Irans-nuclear-threat-from-Iran.html).
Outside the focus of the mainstream media, Iran had been in the process of organizing an independent oil bourse and were planning to forsake the dollar and look for alternative currencies to tie its sales to (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HA21Ak01.html). The first barrels were to be sold in July of 2011.
Unable to push for another expensive war that was against the wishes of the American people, the US used the UN to impose sanctions in order to topple the Iranian establishment (http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/nation-world/article/Goal-of-Iran-sanctions-is-regime-collapse-U-S-2520405.php). The measure failed, barely able to cripple Iran as Support from Russia, who?? policy involved bypassing American sanctions; and the Iranian economy was able to stay afloat.
Prior to the Lybian revolution assisted by the UN and NATO, Gaddafi was chairman of the African Union in 2009, and he proposed, following the footsteps of the EU, to instate a unified currency for the African Union, linking it to a gold standard. His plans came to fruition in March of that year.
What Gaddafi proposed would render the entire continent of Africa trading for oil in a new currency, a direct act of war to the petrodollar. In 2011, the CIA began financing militant groups campaigning to overthrow Gaddafi?? regime. Media reports were blind to the presence of Al Qaeda fighters in these rebel groups and reports only emerged later. With a brewing jihadit rhetoric, the Libiyan armouries were looted and the war was segued into Syria and the looted arms were transferred into Syria via Turkey to arm anti Assad rebels, many of them linked to Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The US government looked at these fundamentalist rebels as a necessary evil in order to stabilize the region (http://www.cfr.org/syria/al-qaedas-specter-syria/p28782)
The months that followed were ironically reminiscent of the formation of the Taliban in Afghanistan when the US funded anti Russian rebels in Afghanistan, unknowingly laying the framework for Al Qaeda and the twin tower attacks in 2001. It was from the vacuum created previously in Iraq, Iran and Syria that the nefarious group ISIS emerged.
Syria , now battling with forces from ISIS as well as local rebels had in 2009, in agreement with Qatar planned to run a pipeline directly to Europe, bypassing America?? allies, thus weakening the American position (http://www.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424053111903591104576467631289250392?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424053111903591104576467631289250392.html). Syria is also Iran?? closest ally and weakening Syria would ultimately weaken Iran.
Early in 2014, a third conflict in the Crimea region of Ukraine emerged, where pro Russia seperatists funded by Russian Authorities began open conflict with pro Ukraine movements. What is essentially a proxy war between the US and Russia over a geographically strategic location. The attempt by the US was to de-stabilize an economic agreement between Russia, India, China and Brazil that would once again threaten the petrodollar by establishing an energy market that would trade in a common currency established by the aforementioned nations (http://www.neurope.eu/article/russia-spearheads-common-energy-market-eurasian-union).
Looking back at history, catalyzed rearmament of allied oppositional powers with geopolitical tensions at fever pitch has resulted in open conflict in the form of world wars. It takes only an instant for proxy wars to turn into all out mass warfare. The contributing factors to both world wars, factors long term and short term have been almost synonymous as the current political climate. It take just one event, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the case of the first world war, or Germany?? invasion of Poland in the second that has lead to an explosion of conflict.
It is important for those aware and concerned to truly understand the nature and root of this problem. It is a systemic problem, the global wealth disparity indicators are testament to the compromised free market. Big players collude to rig the rules for their benefit. The elite are seldom sensitized to ground realities and will act on agenda?? that often contradict the preservation of the lower classes, rather exploiting them. Steps must be taken towards a reformulated system that does not reward large corporate agendas and allow them to play out in politics and policy. The system has been corrupted and the solution is not to look at events exclusively and attempt to stabilize them, but to assimilate a deeper understanding of the implicit forces that make the larger picture and attempt to make the systems that allow such corruption just and sustainable. The first step is awareness, for when awareness hits critical mass it will become increasingly difficult for the corporate media to distract and hoodwink the public and an honest conversation will set the ball rolling on rectifying an imbalanced system.
Critical thinking is crucial when judging the news, especially when the media is polarized by corporate and state agendas, panted with slants to suit these agendas and ultimately creating an elaborate mirage by masking the bigger picture and deeper understanding with frivolous speculation. It divides and conquers, obscuring foresight, consigning hindsight to oblivion; rendering us unable to learn from the past or pan for the future. We are instead frightened into submission; or worse yet, hoodwinked into supporting exploitations. With dwindling ratings on the free press index, the anarchy of the internet is shining beacon for truth and awareness.