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Cause of Iraq war?

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Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Posts: 247
Location: Northern California

PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:09 pm    Post subject: Cause of Iraq war? Reply with quote

Here is an interesting idea from Sara Robinson at Orcinas:

Energy is what backs money (as gold once did) -- and thus supports the currencies that sustain empires. The best lay explanation of this I've seen was the one Kevin Phillips outlined in "American Theocracy." He pointed out that all modern empires controlled large quantities of energy as their core source of not only physical power, but also economic and political power as well. I'd refer you to it for a good, deep history of this idea.

The British empire was built on coal. The American empire superceded it when the world moved to oil (which we had more of domestically, and also aggressively controlled internationally). The US dollar is the world's basic currency because it's the currency used to trade oil. As long as that's so, we will continue to be the world's dominant economic force.

Saddam's one great unforgiveable sin, at least in BushCo's eyes, was that he was trying to change that by trading his oil in Euros. If he'd succeeded, he'd have cut the legs out from under the American dollar, thus diminishing our power and our standard of living as well. Someday soon, somebody else will succeed -- and the petro-euro or petro-yuan will spell the end of the American empire. Going to Iraq was supposed to dodge this bullet -- but this is not a problem we're going to be able to invade our way out of.

But, yes, moving off oil to another primary energy source (or, more likely, several sources) is going to restructure money and power around the globe. And that change could be good for us in all kinds of ways -- if we start planning for it, instead of thrashing around in self-destructive denial.


"Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men, for the nastiest of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all."
--John Maynard Keynes
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