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The Oil Boil

Anwaar Hussain

oil-wars.jpg

May 8, 2006

As America’s naval armadas continue to surf the Persian Gulf, hovering just off the Iranian waters, the supreme commander of the US armed forces recently said that threats from Mr Ahmadinejad, particularly towards Israel, had to be "dealt with". He told Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper that if Mr Ahmadinejad was ready to destroy one country (Israel), "then he would also be ready to destroy others". President Bush added: "This is a threat that needs to be dealt with."

Are the Iranian president’s blustering statements towards Israel really the cause for this ominous proclamation from the US president? Or is it Iran’s nuclear ambitions that have caused it? Or is the oil boil finally reaching its global critical temperature?

The answer most probably lies in events likely to unfold in the very near future in a tiny Iranian island by the name of Kish.

A little bit about Kish first.

This beautiful oval-shaped Iranian island in the Persian Gulf is roughly a hundred square kms in area and is located only 18 km off the southern coast of the Islamic Republic. Because of its beauty, Kish has historically become known as the Pearl of the Persian Gulf since ancient times.

In the year 325 BC, Alexander the Great commissioned one of his naval commanders by the name of Niarkus to set off an expedition voyage into the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Niarkus's writings indicate that he visited Araracta in the 4th century BC. Araracta is one of the the olden names of the present day Kish Island.

Kish has a long history of about 3,000 years. It has been called under various names such as Kamtina, Arakia, Arakata, and Ghiss in the course of time. Other than Niarkus, two other great travellers of their times, Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta, too wrote about the beauty of the island.

In the year 2006, Kish is about to re-enter history in a most momentous style. A few days from now, the first Iranian Oil Bourse will come into being on this island.

The question is, why this outwardly innocuous looking Iranian bid in pursuit of their legitimate national interests may seem so menacing to some in the West, particularly in America?

To answer this question, let us first have a look at America’s current financial health. Here are the main highlights;

* America, already the world's largest international debtor with $5.7 trillion in cumulative trade deficits in goods since 1985, exploded international trade deficits to new records as it depends more and more on the production and savings of others than on itself (see International Trade Report ).

* With a total debt of $44 trillion, and rising rapidly, America now has the highest debt ratio in history that translates to $147,312 per man, woman and child - - or $589,248 per family of 4, $44,312 more debt per family than last year.

* Last year debt increased $3.5 Trillion, 5 times more than GDP. Household debt soared 12%.

The debt level of US is increasing at an alarming 80 million dollars per hour. To sustain this American trend, the world’s readiness to soak up the soon to be worthless American dollars is increasingly becoming a key issue. China and Japan, the two main debt holders of America for example, who together hold an accumulated $1.7 trillion in US securities and currency, are already steadily moving away from the dollar towards the Euro.

America’s financial health report, to say the least, is grim and the future prospects grimmer.

Currently there are only two exchanges for trading oil in the world. One is called the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and the other as International Petroleum Exchange (IPE). Oil remains the chief commodity on both exchanges.

NYMEX, together with its subsidiary New York Commodities Exchange (COMEX), is the world's largest physical commodity futures exchange located in New York City. Together they handle the buying and selling of billions of dollars worth of energy products, metals, and a whole range of other commodities. Needless to say, all transactions are done in US dollars and the prices quoted for these deals on the exchange are the basis for prices that people pay for those items throughout the World.

The IPE, based in London, is another one of the world’s largest energy futures and options exchanges. Brent Crude is a world benchmark for oil prices. This exchange additionally handles futures contracts and options on Oil Gas, natural gas and electricity.

In simpler language, these two institutions presently ensure that the world stays awash with US dollars. Their locations too are not a very faint hint at the names of the two main coalition partners that attacked and occupied Iraq.

Although since 1971 the US $ value has not been openly linked to any commodity, it has in fact stayed linked to the Middle Eastern oil after the US secured the oil-for-US $ deal with Saudi Arabia in return for supporting the House of Saud. Since then, however, the US dollar has continued to lose value and now stands at a mere 10% of what it was forty years back.

With the arrival of Euro on the scene, the US dollar’s hegemony started to wane at even greater pace. The Euro began to appeal to many oil selling countries. In 2000, for example, Iraq converted all its oil transaction to Euros. To stem the trend and send a chilling warning to other would-be Euro lovers, Iraq was attacked and occupied by the dollar keepers immediately later. When U.S. took over Iraq in 2003, one of the first things it did was to return oil sales from the Euro to the U.S. dollar.

Likewise, in 2001 Venezuela's ambassador to Russia spoke of them switching to Euro for all oil sales. Within a year there was a coup attempt on democratically elected Hugo Chavez, reportedly with the assistance of the CIA. Chavez has been, since then, called a Hitler and a dictator and his name has been promoted on America’s most wanted list to immediately below Iran’s Ahmadinejad's.

Now let us come to Iran's cardinal sin. Since the beginning of 2003, Iran has required Euros in payment of exports toward Asia and Europe, though prices are still expressed in US dollars. Now Iran is planning to open a commodity exchange, the Iranian Oil Bourse, for the sole purpose of trading oil, petrochemicals and gas in various non-dollar currencies, primarily the Euro. When successful, this would establish a Euro-based pricing mechanism for oil trading. That would, in time, break the stranglehold of NYMEX and IPE on the world’s financial market by sending the US dollar into a graveyard spin. The US economy would be an unfortunate, but sure, accompaniment.

To imagine that the American and British bankers, the principle war profiteers, are unaware of the coming fate of the US dollar, is hoping for an ice flake to survive in hell. To keep blinders on the US dollar’s coming instability, they have already taken their first action. The United States Federal Reserve, from March 23, 2006, has stopped reporting the M3 money supply data of the U.S. dollar. (M3 is the quantity of money available within the economy to purchase goods and services.)

Any wonder then that the chief spokesman of the bankers, the president of United States, says that Iran "is a threat that needs to be dealt with."?

Kish is at an aerial distance of 1052 kms from Tehran, more than 10,000 kms from Washington DC and roughly half that distance from London. Also, unless something is done about it, Kish is now a mere breath away from becoming a host to an institution that may begin the final unraveling of The Empire.

Copyrights : Anwaar Hussain

Sources :

1. Various articles on Wikipedia
2. A Guardian Report
3. http://mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat.htm


:: Article nr. 23158 sent on 09-may-2006 03:28 ECT

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Link: malakandsky.blogspot.com/2006/05/oil-boil.html



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