by Michael Hudson exclusively for the Saker Blog
The mainstream media are carefully sidestepping the method behind America’s seeming madness in assassinating Islamic Revolutionary Guard general Qassim Suleimani to start the New Year. The logic behind the assassination this was a long-standing application of U.S. global policy, not just a personality quirk of Donald Trump’s impulsive action. His assassination of Iranian military leader Suleimani was indeed a unilateral act of war in violation of international law, but it was a logical step in a long-standing U.S. strategy. It was explicitly authorized by the Senate in the funding bill for the Pentagon that it passed last year.
The assassination was intended to escalate America’s presence in Iraq to keep control the region’s oil reserves, and to back Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi troops (Isis, Al Quaeda in Iraq, Al Nusra and other divisions of what are actually America’s foreign legion) to support U.S. control o Near Eastern oil as a buttress o the U.S. dollar. That remains the key to understanding this policy, and why it is in the process of escalating, not dying down.
I sat in on discussions of this policy as it was formulated nearly fifty years ago when I worked at the Hudson Institute and attended meetings at the White House, met with generals at various armed forces think tanks and with diplomats at the United Nations. My role was as a balance-of-payments economist having specialized for a decade at Chase Manhattan, Arthur Andersen and oil companies in the oil industry and military spending. These were two of the three main dynamic of American foreign policy and diplomacy. (The third concern was how to wage war in a democracy where voters rejected the draft in the wake of the Vietnam War.)
The media and public discussion have diverted attention from this strategy by floundering speculation that President Trump did it, except to counter the (non-)threat of impeachment with a wag-the-dog attack, or to back Israeli lebensraum drives, or simply to surrender the White House to neocon hate-Iran syndrome. The actual context for the neocon’s action was the balance of payments, and the role of oil and energy as a long-term lever of American diplomacy.
The balance of payments dimension
The major deficit in the U.S. balance of payments has long been military spending abroad. The entire payments deficit, beginning with the Korean War in 1950-51 and extending through the Vietnam War of the 1960s, was responsible for forcing the dollar off gold in 1971. The problem facing America’s military strategists was how to continue supporting the 800 U.S. military bases around the world and allied troop support without losing America’s financial leverage.
The solution turned out to be to replace gold with U.S. Treasury securities (IOUs) as the basis of foreign central bank reserves. After 1971, foreign central banks had little option for what to do with their continuing dollar inflows except to recycle them to the U.S. economy by buying U.S. Treasury securities. The effect of U.S. foreign military spending thus did not undercut the dollar’s exchange rate, and did not even force the Treasury and Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to attract foreign exchange to offset the dollar outflows on military account. In fact, U.S. foreign military spending helped finance the domestic U.S. federal budget deficit.
Saudi Arabia and other Near Eastern OPEC countries quickly became a buttress of the dollar. After these countries quadrupled the price of oil (in retaliation for the United States quadrupling the price of its grain exports, a mainstay of the U.S. trade balance), U.S. banks were swamped with an inflow of much foreign deposits – which were lent out to Third World countries in an explosion of bad loans that blew up in 1972 with Mexico’s insolvency, and destroyed Third World government credit for a decade, forcing it into dependence on the United States via the IMF and World Bank).
To top matters, of course, what Saudi Arabia does not save in dollarized assets with its oil-export earnings is spent on buying hundreds of billion of dollars of U.S. arms exports. This locks them into dependence on U.S. supply o replacement parts and repairs, and enables the United States to turn off Saudi military hardware at any point of time, in the event that the Saudis may try to act independently of U.S. foreign policy.
So maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency became a mainstay of U.S. military spending. Foreign countries to not have to pay the Pentagon directly for this spending. They simply finance the U.S. Treasury and U.S. banking system.
Fear of this development was a major reason why the United States moved against Libya, whose foreign reserves were held in gold, not dollars, an which was urging other African countries to follow suit in order to free themselves from “Dollar Diplomacy.” Hillary and Obama invaded, grabbed their gold supplies (we still have no idea who ended up with these billions of dollars worth of gold) and destroyed Libya’s government, its public education system, its public infrastructure and other non-neoliberal policies.
The great threat to this is dedollarization as China, Russia and other countries seek to avoid recycling dollars. Without the dollar’s function as the vehicle for world saving – in effect, without the Pentagon’s role in creating the Treasury debt that is the vehicle for world central bank reserves – the U.S. would find itself constrained militarily and hence diplomatically constrained, as it was under the gold exchange standard.
That is the same strategy that the U.S. has followed in Syria and Iraq. Iran was threatening this dollarization strategy and its buttress in U.S. oil diplomacy.
The oil industry as buttress of the U.S. balance of payments and foreign diplomacy
The trade balance is buttressed by oil and farm surpluses. Oil is the key, because it is imported by U.S. companies at almost no balance-of-payments cost (the payments end up in the oil industry’s head offices here as profits and payments to management), while profits on U.S. oil company sales to other countries are remitted to the United States (via offshore tax-avoidance centers, mainly Liberia and Panama for many years). And as noted above, OPEC countries have been told to keep their official reserves in the form of U.S. securities (stocks and bonds as well as Treasury IOUs, but not direct purchase of U.S. companies being deemed economically important). Financially, OPEC countries are client slates of the Dollar Area.
America’s attempt to maintain this buttress explains U.S. opposition to any foreign government steps to reverse global warming and the extreme weather caused by the world’s U.S.-sponsored dependence on oil. Any such moves by Europe and other countries would reduce dependence on U.S. oil sales, and hence on U.S. ability to control the global oil spigot as a means of control and coercion, are viewed as hostile acts.
Oil also explains U.S. opposition to Russian oil exports via Nordstream. U.S. strategists want to treat energy as a U.S. national monopoly. Other countries can benefit in the way that Saudi Arabia has done – by sending their surpluses to the U.S. economy – but not to support their own economic growth and diplomacy. Control of oil thus implies support for continued global warming as an inherent part of U.S. strategy.
How a “democratic” nation can wage international war and terrorism
The Vietnam War showed that modern democracies cannot field armies for any major military conflict, because this would require a draft of its citizens. That would lead any government attempting such a draft to be voted out of power. And without troops, it is not possible to invade a country to take it over.
The corollary of this perception is that democracies have only two choices when it comes to military strategy: They can only wage airpower, bombing opponents; or they can create a foreign legion, that is, hire mercenaries or back foreign governments that provide this military service.
Here once again Saudi Arabia plays a critical role, through its control of Wahabi Sunnis turned into terrorist jihadis willing to sabotage, bomb, assassinate, blow up and otherwise fight any target designated as an enemy of “Islam,” the euphemism for Saudi Arabia acting as U.S. client state. (Religion really is not the key; I know of no ISIS or similar Wahabi attack on Israeli targets.) The United States needs the Saudis to supply or finance Wahabi crazies. So in addition to playing a key role in the U.S. balance of payments by recycling its oil-export earnings are into U.S. stocks, bonds and other investments, Saudi Arabia provides manpower by supporting the Wahabi members of America’s foreign legion, ISIS and Al-Nusra/Al-Qaeda. Terrorism has become the “democratic” mode of today U.S. military policy.
What makes America’s oil war in the Near East “democratic” is that this is the only kind of war a democracy can fight – an air war, followed by a vicious terrorist army that makes up for the fact that no democracy can field its own army in today’s world. The corollary is that, terrorism has become the “democratic” mode of warfare.
From the U.S. vantage point, what is a “democracy”? In today’s Orwellian vocabulary, it means any country supporting U.S. foreign policy. Bolivia and Honduras have become “democracies” since their coups, along with Brazil. Chile under Pinochet was a Chicago-style free market democracy. So was Iran under the Shah, and Russia under Yeltsin – but not since it elected Vladimir Putin president, any more than is China under President Xi.
The antonym to “democracy” is “terrorist.” That simply means a nation willing to fight to become independent from U.S. neoliberal democracy. It does not include America’s proxy armies.
Iran’s role as U.S. nemesis
What stands in the way of U.S. dollarization, oil and military strategy? Obviously, Russia and China have been targeted as long-term strategic enemies for seeking their own independent economic policies and diplomacy. But next to them, Iran has been in America’s gun sights for nearly seventy years.
America’s hatred of Iran is starts with its attempt to control its own oil production, exports and earnings. It goes back to 1953, when Mossadegh was overthrown because he wanted domestic sovereignty over Anglo-Persian oil. The CIA-MI6 coup replaced him with the pliant Shah, who imposed a police state to prevent Iranian independence from U.S. policy. The only physical places free from the police were the mosques. That made the Islamic Republic the path of least resistance to overthrowing the Shah and re-asserting Iranian sovereignty.
The United States came to terms with OPEC oil independence by 1974, but the antagonism toward Iran extends to demographic and religious considerations. Iranian support its Shi’ite population an those of Iraq and other countries – emphasizing support for the poor and for quasi-socialist policies instead of neoliberalism – has made it the main religious rival to Saudi Arabia’s Sunni sectarianism and its role as America’s Wahabi foreign legion.
America opposed General Suleimani above all because he was fighting against ISIS and other U.S.-backed terrorists in their attempt to break up Syria and replace Assad’s regime with a set of U.S.-compliant local leaders – the old British “divide and conquer” ploy. On occasion, Suleimani had cooperated with U.S. troops in fighting ISIS groups that got “out of line” meaning the U.S. party line. But every indication is that he was in Iraq to work with that government seeking to regain control of the oil fields that President Trump has bragged so loudly about grabbing.
Already in early 2018, President Trump asked Iraq to reimburse America for the cost of “saving its democracy” by bombing the remainder of Saddam’s economy. The reimbursement was to take the form of Iraqi Oil. More recently, in 2019, President Trump asked, why not simply grab Iraqi oil. The giant oil field has become the prize of the Bush-Cheney post 9-11 Oil War. “‘It was a very run-of-the-mill, low-key, meeting in general,” a source who was in the room told Axios.’ And then right at the end, Trump says something to the effect of, he gets a little smirk on his face and he says, ‘So what are we going to do about the oil?’”
Trump’s idea that America should “get something” out of its military expenditure in destroying the Iraqi and Syrian economies simply reflects U.S. policy.
In late October, 2019, The New York Times reported that: “In recent days, Mr. Trump has settled on Syria’s oil reserves as a new rationale for appearing to reverse course and deploy hundreds of additional troops to the war-ravaged country. He has declared that the United States has “secured” oil fields in the country’s chaotic northeast and suggested that the seizure of the country’s main natural resource justifies America further extending its military presence there. ‘We have taken it and secured it,’ Mr. Trump said of Syria’s oil during remarks at the White House on Sunday, after announcing the killing of the Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”  A CIA official reminded the journalist that taking Iraq’s oil was a Trump campaign pledge.
That explains the invasion of Iraq for oil in 2003, and again this year, as President Trump has said: “Why don’t we simply take their oil?” It also explains the Obama-Hillary attack on Libya – not only for its oil, but for its investing its foreign reserves in gold instead of recycling its oil surplus revenue to the U.S. Treasury – and of course, for promoting a secular socialist state.
It explains why U.S. neocons feared Suleimani’s plan to help Iraq assert control of its oil and withstand the terrorist attacks supported by U.S. and Saudi’s on Iraq. That is what made his assassination an immediate drive.
American politicians have discredited themselves by starting off their condemnation of Trump by saying, as Elizabeth Warren did, how “bad” a person Suleimani was, how he had killed U.S. troops by masterminding the Iraqi defense of roadside bombing and other policies trying to repel the U.S. invasion to grab its oil. She was simply parroting the U.S. media’s depiction of Suleimani as a monster, diverting attention from the policy issue that explains why he was assassinated now.
The counter-strategy to U.S. oil, and dollar and global-warming diplomacy
This strategy will continue, until foreign countries reject it. If Europe and other regions fail to do so, they will suffer the consequences of this U.S. strategy in the form of a rising U.S.-sponsored war via terrorism, the flow of refugees, and accelerated global warming and extreme weather.
Russia, China and its allies already have been leading the way to dedollarization as a means to contain the balance-of-payments buttress of U.S. global military policy. But everyone now is speculating over what Iran’s response should be.
The pretense – or more accurately, the diversion – by the U.S. news media over the weekend has been to depict the United States as being under imminent attack. Mayor de Blasio has positioned policemen at conspicuous key intersections to let us know how imminent Iranian terrorism is – as if it were Iran, not Saudi Arabia that mounted 9/11, and as if Iran in fact has taken any forceful action against the United States. The media and talking heads on television have saturated the air waves with warnings of Islamic terrorism. Television anchors are suggesting just where the attacks are most likely to occur.
The message is that the assassination of General Soleimani was to protect us. As Donald Trump and various military spokesmen have said, he had killed Americans – and now they must be planning an enormous attack that will injure and kill many more innocent Americans. That stance has become America’s posture in the world: weak and threatened, requiring a strong defense – in the form of a strong offense.
But what is Iran’s actual interest? If it is indeed to undercut U.S. dollar and oil strategy, the first policy must be to get U.S. military forces out of the Near East, including U.S. occupation of its oil fields. It turns out that President Trump’s rash act has acted as a catalyst, bringing about just the opposite of what he wanted. On January 5 the Iraqi parliament met to insist that the United States leave. General Suleimani was an invited guest, not an Iranian invader. It is U.S. troops that are in Iraq in violation of international law. If they leave, Trump and the neocons lose control of oil – and also of their ability to interfere with Iranian-Iraqi-Syrian-Lebanese mutual defense.
Beyond Iraq looms Saudi Arabia. It has become the Great Satan, the supporter of Wahabi extremism, the terrorist legion of U.S. mercenary armies fighting to maintain control of Near Eastern oil and foreign exchange reserves, the cause of the great exodus of refugees to Turkey, Europe and wherever else it can flee from the arms and money provided by the U.S. backers of Isis, Al Qaeda in Iraq and their allied Saudi Wahabi legions.
The logical ideal, in principle, would be to destroy Saudi power. That power lies in its oil fields. They already have fallen under attack by modest Yemeni bombs. If U.S. neocons seriously threaten Iran, its response would be the wholesale bombing and destruction of Saudi oil fields, along with those of Kuwait and allied Near Eastern oil sheikhdoms. It would end the Saudi support for Wahabi terrorists, as well as for the U.S. dollar.
Such an act no doubt would be coordinated with a call for the Palestinian and other foreign workers in Saudi Arabia to rise up and drive out the monarchy and its thousands of family retainers.
Beyond Saudi Arabia, Iran and other advocates of a multilateral diplomatic break with U.S. neoliberal and neocon unilateralism should bring pressure on Europe to withdraw from NATO, inasmuch as that organization functions mainly as a U.S.-centric military tool of American dollar and oil diplomacy and hence opposing the climate change and military confrontation policies that threaten to make Europe part of the U.S. maelstrom.
Finally, what can U.S. anti-war opponents do to resist the neocon attempt to destroy any part of the world that resists U.S. neoliberal autocracy? This has been the most disappointing response over the weekend. They are flailing. It has not been helpful for Warren, Buttigieg and others to accuse Trump of acting rashly without thinking through the consequences of his actions. That approach shies away from recognizing that his action did indeed have a rationale—do draw a line in the sand, to say that yes, America WILL go to war, will fight Iran, will do anything at all to defend its control of Near Eastern oil and to dictate OPEC central bank policy, to defend its ISIS legions as if any opposition to this policy is an attack on the United States itself.
I can understand the emotional response or yet new calls for impeachment of Donald Trump. But that is an obvious non-starter, partly because it has been so obviously a partisan move by the Democratic Party. More important is the false and self-serving accusation that President Trump has overstepped his constitutional limit by committing an act of war against Iran by assassinating Soleimani.
Congress endorsed Trump’s assassination and is fully as guilty as he is for having approved the Pentagon’s budget with the Senate’s removal of the amendment to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that Bernie Sanders, Tom Udall and Ro Khanna inserted an amendment in the House of Representatives version, explicitly not authorizing the Pentagon to wage war against Iran or assassinate its officials. When this budget was sent to the Senate, the White House and Pentagon (a.k.a. the military-industrial complex and neoconservatives) removed that constraint. That was a red flag announcing that the Pentagon and White House did indeed intend to wage war against Iran and/or assassinate its officials. Congress lacked the courage to argue this point at the forefront of public discussion.
Behind all this is the Saudi-inspired 9/11 act taking away Congress’s sole power to wage war – its 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, pulled out of the drawer ostensibly against Al Qaeda but actually the first step in America’s long support of the very group that was responsible for 9/11, the Saudi airplane hijackers.
The question is, how to get the world’s politicians – U.S., European and Asians – to see how America’s all-or-nothing policy is threatening new waves of war, refugees, disruption of the oil trade in the Strait of Hormuz, and ultimately global warming and neoliberal dollarization imposed on all countries. It is a sign of how little power exists in the United Nations that no countries are calling for a new Nurenberg-style war crimes trial, no threat to withdraw from NATO or even to avoid holding reserves in the form of money lent to the U.S. Treasury to fund America’s military budget.
- https://www.axios.com/trump-to-iraqi-pm-how-about-that-oil-1a31cbfa-f20c-4767-8d18-d518ed9a6543.html. The article adds: “In the March meeting, the Iraqi prime minister replied, ‘What do you mean?’ according to the source in the room. And Trump’s like, ‘Well, we did a lot, we did a lot over there, we spent trillions over there, and a lot of people have been talking about the oil.’” ↑
- Michael Crowly, “‘Keep the Oil’: Trump Revives Charged Slogan for new Syria Troop Mission,” The New York Times, October 26, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/26/us/politics/trump-syria-oil-fields.html. The article adds: “‘I said keep the oil,’ Mr. Trump recounted. ‘If they are going into Iraq, keep the oil. They never did. They never did.’” ↑
Well done, Dr. Hudson! You highlight some viable reasons for this horrible attack against the great Solemani and the Iranian people.
Many others have their own conjectures on *why* the US assassinated Solemani, and his military associates:
Could there be Home Politics that are fomenting against Trump & the impeachment hearings? Has Trump caught wind of some recalcitrant Republican senators who may secretly want to impeach Trump, because they’ve been bought off by the US military, or capitalists?
As the days go by, we should begin to see a clearer picture behind this heinous act.
The Democrats are not going to bring any different. They assassinated Gadaffi.
‘We came, we saw, he died. Ha ha ha’ (Hilary Clinton)
I love Michael Hudson’s work and wish more people were exposed to it.
Please run this article through a spell checker. ‘O’ is not a word. Even if you used it twice!
This kind of grade school mistake makes people disbelieve the analysis presented in Hudson’s excellent piece.
Wow. Just amazing. Thanks for spelling all that out. Some how I had missed the looting of Libya’s gold and I shouldn’t have. Thanks for the post.
The British government has also refused to repatriate $250 billion of Venezuela’s gold bullion currently stored in London.
How much gold disappeared from the World Trade center on 911 ? Possibly 8 tons.
$8.7 billion in gold was stolen from Libya after the NATO bombing.
Nord-Stream is a gas pipeline laid through the Baltic sea, not an oil pipeline.
So what your saying in effect is if oil were to be burned up with nothing left the world would be a safer place essentially? There would be no reason for us to be in the ME.
Yeah, as I read on Gail Tverberg blog ourfiniteworld some commentator said the world will not end by a lack of oil but fighting over what’s left and what’s left is sitting mostly in the ME.
Wow when I first learned of peak oil some 20 years ago now it horrified me the implications and consequences and here you are talking ‘oil is the key.’
It certainly is isn’t it? The lifeblood of our economy and if it wasn’t for our wars over the last 200 hundred years we would have enough oil for 5 generations. As it stands now will we be lucky to make it past 2050?
You are poor informed.
We have infinite energy from the sun, thus also infinite oil and water resources. The inner earth burn unlimited abiotic oil seen as the old empty oil reserves are slowly being filled again.
Our drinking water comes from evaporation of the sea who cover 75% of our planet.
You have been lied to big by Wall Street.
“The question is, how to get the world’s politicians – U.S., European and Asians – to see how America’s all-or-nothing policy is threatening new waves of war,……”
Most of the world is too intertwined into the corrupt economic monetary system. The financial elites are allies of one another.
Thank you Dr. Hudson!
I never fully understand “balance of payments” until now!! It was obvious that the USA always attacked nations with oil reserves that tried to stop trading in USD but your explication of that, the volunteer army, KSA roles and where Iran fits into the puzzle was enlightening. Now I understand why trumps first overseas visit was to KSA with the announcement that they’d buy billions in military equipment.
Troops have been legally ordered out of Iraq, but will they listen. Bro what say you?
knowing the American way they will stay where they are, such in Syria and other places..they will simply say: “if you want us getting out of here, come and fight against us..”
basically they will continue bullying every country they think hasn’t enough military power to overthrow them..
honestly I cannot see a peaceful solution against US, they will have to suffer a military defeat in ME before understanding their project of World Domination is over..
USA troops are in Syria illegally so I can’t see why they’d think they have to leave Iraq over the vote today. After reading Dr.Hudsons article I don’t see how USA/empire can back down because it would lead to our economic collapse. I’ve said for years the only hope for USA is a total collapse and a reset.
No, the US will not listen. Where you find oil, gas and raw materials, you will find US meddling. Iran, with it’s vast oil and gas deposits, is virtually part of the Euro-Asian Economic Union. Now imagine if Iraq, Libya and others did the same, in the process abandoning the US dollar. What would happen in the US ? Easy to guess.
Well lets just wait and see and return here once a decision is made, credibility is on the line and the military does not have much political capital left in it’s arsenal.
” It is a sign of how little power exists in the United Nations that no countries are calling for a new Nurenberg-style war crimes trial “.
Yes Michael. Until now the United-Nations can’t resist the bully. But the bully’s power is rapidly dwindling and the day comes when the US crashes financially. That is the day when the community of nations shall eventually find the courage to punish the US’ most visible actors of war crimes through a new Nurenberg-style tribunal…
Now is the time to circulate the idea of such a new Nurenberg-style war tribunal. It has to take the force of an unforgettable meme, that after the fall of the US, forces the community of nations to act in order to discourage any future such un-civilized behaviors.
Saker you are well placed to start the ball rolling…
Put all other noise aside
Congress should be in emergency session, failure to do so is betrayal of American People and dereliction of duty.
Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution
A President who tries to subvert this and force war by intent of actions (even if considered legal on individual merit) should be immediately removed from office.
After the U.S. failed to form an international coalition last month in the Persian Gulf, the question is: Are the Washington’s neocons manufacturing another false flag operation inside US territory, like another 9/11 terrorist attack to blame Iran? There is desperation right now in Washington, and you can expect anything from these psychopaths. I hope I’m wrong, but right now anything is possible.
Agreed. Given our knowledge on this:
“Furthermore, immediately after FDR died and Harry S. Truman became President, the US CIA (then as its predecessor organization the OSS) provided protection and employment in Germany for top members of Hitler’s equivalent to the CIA, the Gehlen Organization. (America’s CIA continues flagrantly to violate the law and hide from Congress and the American people crucial details of its relationship with the Gehlen Organization.)
By contrast, the Soviet Union was unremitting in killing Nazis whom it captured. So: while the USSR was killing any ‘ex’-Nazis it could find, the USA. was hiring them either in West Germany or else into the US itself.”
Nazi forces are not seeking mere modifications in colonial maps or in minor European boundaries. They openly seek the destruction of all elective systems of government on every continent-including our own; they seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers who have seized power by force. These men and their hypnotized followers call this a new order. It is not new. It is not order.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
I wouldn’t be surprised if our very political structures in DC would become a FF target. They’ve gone to exceeding lengths to dismantle governmental departments as it is.
“Mayor de Blasio has positioned policemen at conspicuous key intersections to let us know how imminent Iranian terrorism is – as if it were Iran, not Saudi Arabia that mounted 9/11, and as if Iran in fact has taken any forceful action against the United States.”
“America’s long support of the very group that was responsible for 9/11, the Saudi airplane hijackers.”
I was astonished and extremely disapointed by these remarks of Prof. Hudson’s otherwise very valuable article. It’s as if he believes the official government lies about the Saudi “hijackers” and the rest of the nonsense. Is it possible that the he is unfamiliar with the raft of material readily available on the critique of the government narrative, Much of which is very conveniently found at the “Select 9/11 Truth Links” on this Saker site?
I absolutely agree…I damn near fell off my chair when I read this.
No dispute…Professor Hudson is one of the most brilliant economists on the globe…sadly this one sentence demonstrates his woeful and almost childlike ignorance of the facts behind the most horrendously cruel false flag event in history. It simply beggars belief that anyone with his obvious intelligence could possibly buy into this narrative.
If you believe any part of the official narrative on 9/11 then you may as well believe in the tooth fairy.
I am both gobsmacked and bitterly disappointed
Look at it this way: It’s a testimony to the power of the “Mighty Wurlitzer” consent-manufacturing machine that even intelligent, educated people continue to passively accept and fail to examine parts of its narrative. Having grown up in the US in the 1950s and having spent the last 42 years or so slowly peeling away the delusions and illusions, I am still amazed at their tenacity and at the continued power of the machine to manufacture further illusions.
Dr. Michael Hudson is not naive with regard to nein eleven, he is merely parroting the official story, so that he does not become embroiled in a very controversial issue. Those who cross this line soon lose their jobs and their ability to publish their work, notably Dr. Steven Jones, and American nuclear physicist, who was dismissed from Brigham Young University for suggesting the WTC building were demolished using nano thermite.
How is accusing KSA as (one) of the culprits a capitulation to the final 9/11??
Agreed. His 9/11 trollop ndermines his authority, as does the usual recitation of the anthropocentric global warming meme, which is unfortunate, as his central thesis certainly rings true.
I agree, I have noticed it before and put it down to publicist survival instinct.
Agreed 100%, otherwise an excellent piece.
Yes, I was astonished that such an informed and articulate article would include support for the official 9/11 story. How did those dastardly Saudi’s cause the now irrefutable controlled demolition of all three WTC towers. The redacted “Saudi pages” are just waiting there to be used if Saudi Arabia goes rouge.
Now isn’t sanctioning Iraq like killing the Golden Goose?
Can’t the General Assembly of the U.N. meet online and vote to censor this madman?
It could be broadcast worldwide. Who cares about meeting in NYC where the US bullies the Russian delegation, hassles the Venezuelans and mocks the Iranians.
Enough is enough. Ya basta
Good analysis by Mr., Hudson except for the references to glow bull warming, and his minimization of the Israel lobby’s interest in attacking Iran.
Hay JOE, I’ve got a twenty pound hammer; you can use it to drive that nail deeper!
Assuming this was not a random act of a demented lunatic, but a desired and studied scalation, who will replace suleimani?
If there are obvious targets, wouldnt that mean those are compromised. Otherwise it wouldnt make sense to make the hit?
I don’t agree with Michael Hudson on some points.
There is no Peak Oil (Russia is the proof that there is no such a nonsense called peek oil)
The USA has already stolen the oil from the Gulf of Mexico.The don’t fear running out of oil what they don’t want is too much oil in the market because it will ruin that useless shale Ponzy.
The Black Assassin sent 20000 troops to Haiti to stop Doctors without borders from seeing that the oil was floating on top of the water. Oil is a mineral ,it comes from the crust of the earth very deep inside .Certainly not from some silly Dinosaurs . You will need Nineteen kilometers of dead dinosaurs stack together in order to get what Saudi Arabia has .And why dinosaurs choose to go die together in Arabia ?
There is no Climate Change . (It will be too long to prove here .)
Saudi Arabia got nothing to do with 911. The pentagon list does not correspond with the airliners list. Some people in the pentagon list are still alive and well in Saudi Arabia.
I like Michael Hudson and Dmitri Orlov but i don’t get the infatuation with Climate Change.
If oil is so plentiful as you believe why do we have to mine it out of the ground, drill into the ocean, frack it out of the ground, and go after it in the arctic? Sure even if oil is a mineral as you say what took the planet millions of years to create man has depleted to such an extant that it could never be replenished in the time we need it to.
Whatever the case the real issue is the costs involved now in extraction refining and distribution. Gail Tverberg over at ourfiniteworld writes extensively on it and see’s a problem of affordability where the producers can’t get a high enough price and the consumers can’t afford the increasing costs. So we are reaching a problem:
“Actually, peak oil will never happen, the way peak oilers expected it to happen. Instead, we will reach financial collapse that few people will connect with energy or oil. Oil Prices will stay too low for producers to extract the oil that seems to be available. The 50 or so years of supply that seems to be available is an illusion.”
I also thinks she is right to when she says that if the wages of non elite workers could rise high enough to pay for the output of the economy we likely wouldn’t have a problem. that however, is clearly not happening.
Lastly there is this Financial Post dated Tuesday June 17, 2008 which reads:
“World crude oil production has topped out at 85 million barrels per day even as demand keeps climbing, helping to drive a stunning surge in prices, billionaire oil investor T. Boone Pickens said on Tuesday.
“I do believe you have peaked out at 85 million barrels a day globally,” Mr. Pickens, who heads BP Capital hedge fund with more than US$$ billion under management, said during testimony to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
The United States alone has been using 21 million barrels of the 85 million and producing about 7 of the 21, so if I could take just a minute on this point, the demand is about 86.4 million barrels a day, and when the demand is greater than the supply, the price has to go up until it kills demand, ” Mr Pickens told lawmakers.
U.S. crude futures have risen by a third since the start of the year and more than sixfold since 2002 as surging demand from China and other developing nations outpaces new production.
Oil slipped on Tuesday, a day after touching a record high near US $140 a barrel, but remained above US 133 a barrel.
Mr. Pickens who announced a US 2 billion investment in wind energy earlier this year, told lawmakers during a hearing on renewable electricity that he expected “the price of oil will go up further.” Without alternatives, the cost of foreign oil will drain the United States of more resources, he said.
Thank you Zoobal.
I liked this article, it spelled out many truths on US imperialism and explained the petrodollar very well. However I totally agree with you on oil being abiotic and therefore “Peak Oil” is just a scheme to pump up the oil price. I have used the (simplified) dinosaur argument many times and I always get scolded for it, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. I also object to the nonsense about “global warming”, it is non-existent and being pushed for political control and financial gain.
There was neo-con support for ‘peak oil’ in the early 2000s. Micheal Ruppert ran into arch-neocon James Woolsey at ‘peak oil’ meeting and was (literally) spooked by his presence. I have no opinion on ‘peak oil’ but I distrust anything Woolsey promotes…
Currently oil prices are low despite blockades, civil war and coup attempts crippling the flow of oil from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Venezula and Yemen off the market. The frack-happy US is content to cripple the global flow of oil – a war in the Gulf would do wonders for price of oil…
Indeed, a good report Dr Hudson.
This in particular appears likely:
“The logical ideal, in principle, would be to destroy Saudi power. That power lies in its oil fields. They already have fallen under attack by modest Yemeni bombs. If U.S. neocons seriously threaten Iran, its response would be the wholesale bombing and destruction of Saudi oil fields, along with those of Kuwait and allied Near Eastern oil sheikhdoms. It would end the Saudi support for Wahabi terrorists, as well as for the U.S. dollar.”
Why now? I suspected when this assassination occurred that it was designed to mess with the status quo and distract from something more economic — most likely a need to hide and disappear various financial issues at a national scale. Similar perhaps at a different scale to the 9/10 issue that Rumsfeld pointed out and the next day (9/11) saw a ‘passenger plane’ magically maneuver itself into the very audit offices of said Pentagon while everyone else was out ‘war gaming’.
The same reset was long over due and I think Trump and his criminal gangs (or should we say the criminal gangs and their Trump) are in process of another ‘reality show’ episode in time for February refinancing/budget etc.
Foolish as US is the biggest oil exporter. Hitting Saudi oil will only raise the price for US oil export, hurt China and Europe and the usual third countries.
I like and respect Michael Hudson, but he’s wrong on three of his assertions.
The WTC was not about Saudis or airplanes: See c/o Veterans Today …
“We knew about the WTC Kellogg Corporation’s WTC/UNbuilding/Chicago Sears tower demolition systems back in 1966-1974, and THE DAY it was mandated by Rothschilds, Rockefellers and the Nixon-Agnew-Bush White House to be installed. Check out the Kellogg Corporation.”
Secondly, in the early 1970s, the Arabs were offering long term contracts for oil at $1.25 per barrel. David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank immediately queered this offering, and next we heard Arabs were selling oil at $4.25 per barrel.
Lastly, Hudson thinks climate change is negotiable. Well, Hudson is dead wrong. In fact, we are in the midst of the 6th Mass Extinction.
Back in 2004, the Department of Defense released a report assuring the world Climate Change would destroy all of us by the year 2020. The DOD was dead right, if a couple of years early.
The Deep State knows all this, of course, and plans to be the last man standing.
First, Europe will never ever “wake up” in opposition to US as so many third nations ridiculously hope for.
If Europe, in an exceptional case strengthen, they will follow the same mad policy even worse.
Second, forget the global warming bs.
Obama made the statutes before becoming President, fraudster Director from Goldman Sachs Al Gore made the CO2 exchange Companies, Obama signed an CO2 exception to Pentagon and Nato the worst polluters.
So whatever it is, its clear that CO2 can only have marginal if any effect on our weather, and that only ordinary people are forced into increased payments on their transport, their houses and their jobs in hard value factories.
The usual idiots on the left can see the fruits of their eco flirt with Wall Street Bankers on 100 000s of car factory jobs in Germany disappear the next 2-3 years while Al Gore and other Bankers get billionaires.
Excellent, clearly written article. Follow the money.
“After 1971, foreign central banks had little option for what to do with their continuing dollar inflows except to recycle them to the U.S. economy by buying U.S. Treasury securities. ”
What happens if a central bank decides to limit or stop, its intake of dollars?
US Treasury Bills/Bonds are sold via select primary dealers at a discount to their face value, the discount being relative to their maturity date. The US Treasury now has $23 trillion of these Bills that will mature at some point in the future. When that happens, the US Treasury is obliged to pay out the face value of the Bills using digital Federal Reserve Notes, that it must either borrow from the private sector and/or fund from Federal income taxes.
The sellers of the US Treasury Bills/Bonds thus have $23 trillion US Federal Reserve Notes aka US dollars credited to their bank accounts that can be offshore. But what happens to this money ? Likely it can only be used to purchase US real estate, or US shares in corporations.
“It has not been helpful for Warren, Buttigieg and others to accuse Trump of acting rashly without thinking through the consequences of his actions. That approach shies away from recognizing that his action did indeed have a rationale”
It is in the contract of such people not to talk about the reality of the situation. Anyone who does will be removed from public office.
You can always count on a non-ideological, solid Marxist economic analysis to get to the crux of a matter.
Michael Hudson is just a lighthouse of intelligence and humanity in this ocean of darkness. We are so grateful Mr Hudson that you were one of the very few who dared to kick Austrian Milton Friedmaniac ass from the very minute they started their satanic devastation in the early 80s.
Any disinterested peer-reviewed scientist who has neither a book to sell nor stock in oil companies knows that abiotic oil is BS. Oil is chemically a hydrocarbon. It does not arise de novo from the center of the earth. Even if it did, the simple fact is that it is really a distraction to the fact that thermodynamically, it costs more and more oil to get a barrel of oil out of the ground whether it is fossil fuel or abiotic derived. Add to it the financial Ponzi of raiding yield-starved pension funds to “invest” in a return on an investment loser like shale oil basically means we are burning the candle at both ends: financially and thermodynamically. (It costs more and and more oil to get each barrel out of the ground and shale companies are going deeper into debt to produce oil.) Steven St Angelo at http://www.srsroccoreport.com and Gail Tverberg at our http://www.ourfiniteworld.com have made pretty good arguments.
Whether climate change is ongoing or not is also a diversion. There are arguments for the grand solar minimum and ice core samples evidence even suggest that cause and effect are reversed: that global warming precedes the release of CO2. Then there are lag effects. Just as December 21, the winter solstice is not the coldest day but rather later in January, the warming trend of the 2000s may take a several years to reverse. But either way, climate change is a diversion to slip in political and financial control on the masses.
Of course the government is so corrupt and dishonest, I now want to see clear cut convincing evidence of Solemani’s crimes that justified his execution. As with Kadafi, the explanations are not straightforward. Yes, he had a “bad” past record, but that clearly was not the reason for his execution. He wanted to ditch the US dollar and sell Libya’s oil to enrich its citizens starting with a gold backed Dinar, not fund the US war machine through a circuitous route of investing petrodollars into the US Treasuries which in turn financed the US war machine which in turn was used against him. Talk about making the rope to hang yourself!
i heard Adolf Hitler telling something very similar;”the only government this international cabal allowed is the one that let them loot their own people”.
If Iran is such an strategic threat for this take over of the west(an it is)i just can imagine losing a nation like Germany may have been when Hitler decide to take her from the financial system controlled from Manhattan and the city of London.
i wondered if ww2 was already a war to keep financial and political control of the west for the few, impossible with an independent Germany in the hart of Europe ,and , as it is now with Iran in front of our own eyes,the narrative did not match the reality of the motive and the why?
The stage was set for WW2 at the Treaty of Versailles in 1918, when the bankers who had loaned money to Germany, Russia and Britain wanted to make sure that their loans were repaid by imposing draconian reparations on Germany. Hitler’s Nazi Party sought revenge by initiating a pogrom on the Jewish population of Europe. They also figured out that they could create their own money supply without incurring further debt to private banks. This is the real reason why the British government declared war on Germany in 1939.
Lengthy hot air, firmly cognizant of many historical markers, but ending up in the air. Michael Hudson is part of the bubble. Alternative energy is my hint to him.
Professor Michael Hudson is a very astute economist, and that is his focus. It seems that he does not want to become involved in subjects that demand expertise in engineering, chemistry, physics and biology, that are required for critical analysis of climate science and/or forensic investigation of building demolitions.
An excellent article marred only by such jaw-dropping silliness as “accelerated global warming and extreme weather” and such. Failing to oppose American policies in the ME will have no effect whatsover on global warming and extreme weather. No human activity or inactivity affects or will affect the temperature of the earth’s surface and atmosphere.
The weapon beyond all weapons is environment controlled spoon fed propaganda.. coupled to informational denied policies. The worker ants in a colony which live beneath the surface of the earth, except for those trusted few, who have signed non disclosure and never tell agreements, are not allowed to the surface. Those few allowed to surface for short periods can never tell what they see. The only news the worker Ants get comes from the mouth and pen of the neoants.. when the man with can of ant poison shows up at the entrance to the subterrain homes to the worker ant, none of the worker ants will recognize the situation for what it is, 911 will not work, the worker ants have been brain washed, fed psychologically designed, search engine targeted personally tailored mis-information, threatened, evil spooked and denied access to the truth for so long, the worker ants just ignore what ever it is they hear, for they know it is more of the same.
There is a great need to develop and deploy information that cannot be blocked. Time is running out, soon the neoants will have complete control over all the ants, after that, there will be no needs for worker ants, and already the neoants are preparing to dispose of the unneeded bodies.
Where is Israel in this article??? Just Saudi Arabia?? Does not smell good! The author is carefully avoiding mentioning Israel for some reason
Hudson writes that Trump’s strategy vis-à-vis Iran is not new, but “a long-standing application of U.S. global policy” of maintaining “control of Near Eastern oil as a buttress to the US dollar.” QUESTION: Was JCPOA merely a different application (or tactic) of the same strategy, and if so how? Or was JCPOA a departure from the strategy?
Saudi Arabia mounted 9/11?
Evidence points to Zionists did 9/11
“the Senate’s removal of the amendment to the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that Bernie Sanders, Tom Udall and Ro Khanna inserted an amendment in the House of Representatives version, explicitly not authorizing the Pentagon to wage war against Iran or assassinate its officials.”
Hudson is a brilliant economist but does not keep up with our fine Congressmen. Bernie Sanders and Tom Udall in the Senate now, so had nothing to do with the House version of the bill.
Actually it was “she whose name must not be spoken” in the media, Tulsi Gabbard:
“Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) secured two separate provisions in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, passed by the House Armed Services Committee, ensuring that no measure in the bill may be used as an authorization for the use of military force against either Iran or Venezuela.”
Which was removed by both Senate and House for the final bill.
Michael Hudson is clearly a limited hangout. His analysis is disinformation. How do I know. Easy!
Any shithead who repeats any part of the 911 lie should not be believed.
Behind all this is the Saudi-inspired 9/11 act taking away Congress’s sole power to wage war – its 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, pulled out of the drawer ostensibly against Al Qaeda but actually the first step in America’s long support of the very group that was responsible for 9/11, the Saudi airplane hijackers.
If he had written:
Behind all this is the Israeli 9/11 act taking away Congress’s sole power to wage war – its 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force, pulled out of the drawer ostensibly against Al Qaeda but actually the first step in America’s long support of the very group that was responsible for 9/11, the Israeli Mossad conspirators.
I would take him seriously.
How long can the USD’s perceived value survive? Surely that is the weak link to be used to bring these brigands to heal.
This is the one area I find disappointing in this otherwise excellent review of the recent past and its relationship to US strategies over the past 75 years or so. What can U.S. anti-war groups do? Obviously making voices heard, making it clear that there are more than just a smattering of people who want to halt the hugely destructive patterns that the U.S. is engaged in. Can you perhaps suggest some specifics in this vein: locations, policymakers, institutions that might be amenable to persuasion or where nawly aware people might be influenced?
Kudos to you, Michael Hudson. Your work continues to be a beacon of intellectual and moral integrity in an ocean of lies. Your insight has changed my outlook on many occasions. Please keep it up!
Mr. Hudson chooses not to identify Mr. Allen Dulles as hosting the disposed Shah to a meeting with Wall Street oil moguls [with promises of millions if they put him back on the throne] in 1947–even before Dulles was director of the new CIA which he had helped create for his cronies from Wall Street—so their nefarious war-mongering could be hidden behind a cloak of ‘national security.’ The CIA’s agent, Kermit Roosevelt, led the Iranian coup to oust the elected leader and put the monarch Shah back on the throne.
Mr. Hudson additionally does not identify the Trump statement “We will keep the oil.” really means Wall Street gets the money. Wall Street is setting the foreign war mongering policy in Iran.
Much of this goes back to what George Kennan stated in 1948: That America had only 6.3 percent of the world’s population yet controlled 50 percent of its resources; that this would cause envy and resentment. That America should eschew worthless slogans as a beneficent power; that it should refrain from such notions as democratization and raising other people’s living standards. That America was a Big Power and should act like one . . . it has.
Amazingly, while the truth of these matters is fairly easy for the rational mind to comprehend, the propagandization of America’s “Ministry of Obedience” has guaranteed quite a following. One must wonder, do people fear the truth – as Germans did during the Nazi Regime? Or do they reject the truth as a form of psychological comfort, because it is too painful to accept what America truly represents?
Even at Zero Hedge, where this article (and others like it) are published or shared, the commenters (real and paid shills perhaps) seem divided on Truth vs. Neocon Politburo Propaganda.
We live in a world, the future of which appears doomed to pain, poverty and anguish for all but the truly evil. Perhaps this is why religion still exists. In the end, we should all be glad that we will not live long enough to be fully numbed the insanity of it all.
I agree with everything Mr. Hudson reveals here, with one exception. Global warming. It is my understanding that GW came eight out of the Report From Iron Mountain, and basically it is another means to control the population.
So, I welcome and will respect a followup by Mr. Hudson that may sway my gut feeling on this most important subject
Dr Hudson has needlessly used official though false global warming and 9/11 narratives, Discrediting the entire argument . His work is great and didn’t need false supports
Michael Hudson, beside other things, nails something in a way that feels absolutely natural and obvious: “…Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi troops (Isis, Al Quaeda in Iraq, Al Nusra and other divisions of what are actually America’s foreign legion)…”.
Isn’t this more appropriate than calling them by their nom du jour: the American Foreign Legion? Where we need to be more specific we can say “the Al Nusra branch of the American Foreign Legion” a.s.o.
I will make this my habit. Thank you Mr. Hudson
– A good story I agree with for say 90%. The US does have a weak (financial) spot that is overlooked by Michael Hudson. And that’s the US domestic financial situation. If the US recession deepens even more (and it will deepen) then we will see 2 things happening: 1) the Current Account Deficit will shrink 2) the US budget deficits will grow as well. In combination with rising interest rates and a giant pile of debt that will the recipe for the demise of the US Empire.
Please cite the sentence in the defense funding bill that “explicitly” calls for the assassination of Soleimani.
When this guy started talking about global warming he blew the whole thesis for his article. WE are now in a solar minimum,which means cooler,wetter weather ahead and maybe a little ice age. Posted this article with a coverups,deceptions and propaganda tag. It was a great article until the guy went off on global warming.
The clearly proven fact is that Saudi Arabia was not behind the 09/11/2001 attacks. Surely Mr. Hudson you are aware of the ae911truth research, and numerous articles, by founder Richard Gage and others – that scientifically and forensically point to explosive demolition (and near free-fall speed}, of the twin towers AND of bldg.#7 on that day. Along with molten slag – seen by space satellites for weeks – at all THREE sites. Although many Americans simply cannot accept it, and the saying is somewhat trite, “Nine-Eleven was an inside job!!”