[this interview was made for the Unz Review]
Introduction: After posting Michael Hudson’s article “America Escalates its “Democratic” Oil War in the Near East” on the blog, I decided to ask Michael to reply to a few follow-up questions. Michael very kindly agreed. Please see our exchange below.
The Saker: Trump has been accused of not thinking forward, of not having a long-term strategy regarding the consequences of assassinating General Suleimani. Does the United States in fact have a strategy in the Near East, or is it only ad hoc?
Michael Hudson: Of course American strategists will deny that the recent actions do not reflect a deliberate strategy, because their long-term strategy is so aggressive and exploitative that it would even strike the American public as being immoral and offensive if they came right out and said it.
President Trump is just the taxicab driver, taking the passengers he has accepted – Pompeo, Bolton and the Iran-derangement syndrome neocons – wherever they tell him they want to be driven. They want to pull a heist, and he’s being used as the getaway driver (fully accepting his role). Their plan is to hold onto the main source of their international revenue: Saudi Arabia and the surrounding Near Eastern oil-export surpluses and money. They see the US losing its ability to exploit Russia and China, and look to keep Europe under its control by monopolizing key sectors so that it has the power to use sanctions to squeeze countries that resist turning over control of their economies and natural rentier monopolies to US buyers. In short, US strategists would like to do to Europe and the Near East just what they did to Russia under Yeltsin: turn over public infrastructure, natural resources and the banking system to U.S. owners, relying on US dollar credit to fund their domestic government spending and private investment.
This is basically a resource grab. Suleimani was in the same position as Chile’s Allende, Libya’s Qaddafi, Iraq’s Saddam. The motto is that of Stalin: “No person, no problem.”
The Saker: Your answer raises a question about Israel: In your recent article you only mention Israel twice, and these are only passing comments. Furthermore, you also clearly say the US Oil lobby as much more crucial than the Israel Lobby, so here is my follow-up question to you: On what basis have you come to this conclusion and how powerful do you believe the Israel Lobby to be compared to, say, the Oil lobby or the US Military-Industrial Complex? To what degree do their interests coincide and to what degree to they differ?
Michael Hudson: I wrote my article to explain the most basic concerns of U.S. international diplomacy: the balance of payments (dollarizing the global economy, basing foreign central bank savings on loans to the U.S. Treasury to finance the military spending mainly responsible for the international and domestic budget deficit), oil (and the enormous revenue produced by the international oil trade), and recruitment of foreign fighters (given the impossibility of drafting domestic U.S. soldiers in sufficient numbers). From the time these concerns became critical to today, Israel was viewed as a U.S. military base and supporter, but the U.S. policy was formulated independently of Israel.
I remember one day in 1973 or ’74 I was traveling with my Hudson Institute colleague Uzi Arad (later a head of Mossad and advisor to Netanyahu) to Asia, stopping off in San Francisco. At a quasi-party, a U.S. general came up to Uzi and clapped him on the shoulder and said, “You’re our landed aircraft carrier in the Near East,” and expressed his friendship.
Uzi was rather embarrassed. But that’s how the U.S. military thought of Israel back then. By that time the three planks of U.S. foreign policy strategy that I outlined were already firmly in place.
Of course Netanyahu has applauded U.S. moves to break up Syria, and Trump’s assassination choice. But the move is a U.S. move, and it’s the U.S. that is acting on behalf of the dollar standard, oil power and mobilizing Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi army.
Israel fits into the U.S.-structured global diplomacy much like Turkey does. They and other countries act opportunistically within the context set by U.S. diplomacy to pursue their own policies. Obviously Israel wants to secure the Golan Heights; hence its opposition to Syria, and also its fight with Lebanon; hence, its opposition to Iran as the backer of Assad and Hezbollah. This dovetails with US policy.
But when it comes to the global and U.S. domestic response, it’s the United States that is the determining active force. And its concern rests above all with protecting its cash cow of Saudi Arabia, as well as working with the Saudi jihadis to destabilize governments whose foreign policy is independent of U.S. direction – from Syria to Russia (Wahabis in Chechnya) to China (Wahabis in the western Uighur region). The Saudis provide the underpinning for U.S. dollarization (by recycling their oil revenues into U.S. financial investments and arms purchases), and also by providing and organizing the ISIS terrorists and coordinating their destruction with U.S. objectives. Both the Oil lobby and the Military-Industrial Complex obtain huge economic benefits from the Saudis.
Therefore, to focus one-sidedly on Israel is a distraction away from what the US-centered international order really is all about.
The Saker: In your recent article you wrote: “The assassination was intended to escalate America’s presence in Iraq to keep control the region’s oil reserves.” Others believe that the goal was precisely the opposite, to get a pretext to remove the US forces from both Iraq and Syria. What are your grounds to believe that your hypothesis is the most likely one?
Michael Hudson: Why would killing Suleimani help remove the U.S. presence? He was the leader of the fight against ISIS, especially in Syria. US policy was to continue using ISIS to permanently destabilize Syria and Iraq so as to prevent a Shi’ite crescent reaching from Iran to Lebanon – which incidentally would serve as part of China’s Belt and Road initiative. So it killed Suleimani to prevent the peace negotiation. He was killed because he had been invited by Iraq’s government to help mediate a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. That was what the United States feared most of all, because it effectively would prevent its control of the region and Trump’s drive to seize Iraqi and Syrian oil.
So using the usual Orwellian doublethink, Suleimani was accused of being a terrorist, and assassinated under the U.S. 2002 military Authorization Bill giving the President to move without Congressional approval against Al Qaeda. Trump used it to protect Al Qaeda’s terrorist ISIS offshoots.
Given my three planks of U.S. diplomacy described above, the United States must remain in the Near East to hold onto Saudi Arabia and try to make Iraq and Syria client states equally subservient to U.S. balance-of-payments and oil policy.
Certainly the Saudis must realize that as the buttress of U.S. aggression and terrorism in the Near East, their country (and oil reserves) are the most obvious target to speed the parting guest. I suspect that this is why they are seeking a rapprochement with Iran. And I think it is destined to come about, at least to provide breathing room and remove the threat. The Iranian missiles to Iraq were a demonstration of how easy it would be to aim them at Saudi oil fields. What then would be Aramco’s stock market valuation?
The Saker: In your article you wrote: “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.” I want to ask a basic, really primitive question in this regard: how cares about the balance of payments as long as 1) the US continues to print money 2) most of the world will still want dollars. Does that not give the US an essentially “infinite” budget? What is the flaw in this logic?
Michael Hudson: The U.S. Treasury can create dollars to spend at home, and the Fed can increase the banking system’s ability to create dollar credit and pay debts denominated in US dollars. But they cannot create foreign currency to pay other countries, unless they willingly accept dollars ad infinitum – and that entails bearing the costs of financing the U.S. balance-of-payments deficit, getting only IOUs in exchange for real resources that they sell to U.S. buyers.
This is the situation that arose half a century ago. The United States could print dollars in 1971, but it could not print gold.
In the 1920s, Germany’s Reichsbank could print deutsche marks – trillions of them. When it came to pay Germany’s foreign reparations debt, all it could do was to throw these D-marks onto the foreign exchange market. That crashed the currency’s exchange rate, forcing up the price of imports proportionally and causing the German hyperinflation.
The question is, how many surplus dollars do foreign governments want to hold. Supporting the dollar standard ends up supporting U.S. foreign diplomacy and military policy. For the first time since World War II, the most rapidly growing parts of the world are seeking to de-dollarize their economies by reducing reliance on U.S. exports, U.S. investment, and U.S. bank loans. This move is creating an alternative to the dollar, likely to replace it with groups of other currencies and assets in national financial reserves.
The Saker: In the same article you also write: “So maintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency became a mainstay of U.S. military spending.” We often hear people say that the dollar is about to tank and that as soon as that happens, then the US economy (and, according to some, the EU economy too) will collapse. In the intelligence community there is something called tracking the “indicators and warnings”. My question to you is: what are the economic “indicators and warnings” of a possible (probable?) collapse of the US dollar followed by a collapse of the financial markets most tied to the Dollar? What shall people like myself (I am an economic ignoramus) keep an eye on and look for?
Michael Hudson: What is most likely is a slow decline, largely from debt deflation and cutbacks in social spending, in the Eurozone and US economies. Of course, the decline will force the more highly debt-leveraged companies to miss their bond payments and drive them into insolvency. That is the fate of Thatcherized economies. But it will be long and painfully drawn out, largely because there is little left-wing socialist alternative to neoliberalism at present.
Trump’s protectionist policies and sanctions are forcing other countries to become self-reliant and independent of US suppliers, from farm crops to airplanes and military arms, against the US threat of a cutoff or sanctions against repairs, spare parts and servicing. Sanctioning Russian agriculture has helped it become a major crop exporter, and to become much more independent in vegetables, dairy and cheese products. The US has little to offer industrially, especially given the fact that its IT communications are stuffed with US spyware.
Europe therefore is facing increasing pressure from its business sector to choose the non-US economic alliance that is growing more rapidly and offers a more profitable investment market and more secure trade supplier. Countries will turn as much as possible (diplomatically as well as financially and economically) to non-US suppliers because the United States is not reliable, and because it is being shrunk by the neoliberal policies supported by Trump and the Democrats alike. A byproduct probably will be a continued move toward gold as an alternative do the dollar in settling balance-of-payments deficits.
The Saker: Finally, my last question: which country out there do you see as the most capable foe of the current US-imposed international political and economic world order? whom do you believe that US Deep State and the Neocons fear most? China? Russia? Iran? some other country? How would you compare them and on the basis of what criteria?
Michael Hudson: The leading country breaking up US hegemony obviously is the United States itself. That is Trump’s major contribution. He is uniting the world in a move toward multi-centrism much more than any ostensibly anti-American could have done. And he is doing it all in the name of American patriotism and nationalism – the ultimate Orwellian rhetorical wrapping!
Trump has driven Russia and China together with the other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including Iran as observer. His demand that NATO join in US oil grabs and its supportive terrorism in the Near East and military confrontation with Russia in Ukraine and elsewhere probably will lead to European “Ami go home” demonstrations against NATO and America’s threat of World War III.
No single country can counter the U.S. unipolar world order. It takes a critical mass of countries. This already is taking place among the countries that you list above. They are simply acting in their own common interest, using their own mutual currencies for trade and investment. The effect is an alternative multilateral currency and trading area.
The United States is now turning on the screws demanding that other countries sacrifice their growth in order to finance the U.S. unipolar empire. In effect, foreign countries are beginning to respond to the United States what the ten tribes of Israel said when they withdrew from the southern kingdom of Judah, whose king Rehoboam refused to lighten his demands (1 Kings 12). They echoed the cry of Sheba son of Bikri a generation earlier: “Look after your own house, O David!” The message is: What do other countries have to gain by remaining in the US unipolar neoliberalized world, as compared to using their own wealth to build up their own economies? It’s an age-old problem.
The dollar will still play a role in US trade and investment, but it will be as just another currency, held at arms length until it finally gives up its domineering attempt to strip other countries’ wealth for itself. However, its demise may not be a pretty sight.
The Saker: I thank you very much for your time and answers!
What a truly superb interview!
Another one that absolutely stands for me out is the below link to a recent interview of Hussein Askary.
As I wrote a few days ago IMO this too is a wonderful insight into the utterly complicated dynamics of the tinderbox that the situation in Iran and Iraq has become.
Conflict in the ME has traditionally almost always been about oil [and of course Israel]. This situation is different. It is only partially about oil and Israel, but OVERWHHEMINGLY it is about the BRI.
The salient factor as I see it is the Oil for Technology initiative that Iraq signed with China shortly before it slid into this current mess.
This was a mechanism whereby China would buy Iraq oil and these funds would be used directly to fund infrastructure and self-sufficiency initiatives and technologies that would help to drag Iraq out of the complete disaster that the US war had created in this country. A key part of this would be that China would also make extra loans available at the same time to speed up this development.
In essence, this would enable the direct and efficient linking of Iraq into the BRI project. Going forward the economic gains and the political stability that could come out of this would be a completely new paradigm in the recovery of Iraq both economically and politically. Iraq is essential for a major part of the dynamics of the BRI because of its strategic location and the fact that it could form a major hub in the overall network.
It absolutely goes without saying that the AAA would do everything the could to wreck this plan. This is their playbook and is exactly what they have done. The moronic and extraordinarily impulsive Trump subsequently was easily duped into being a willing and idiotic accomplice in this plan.
The positive in all of this is that this whole scheme will backfire spectacularly for the perpetrators and will more than likely now speed up the whole process in getting Iraq back on track and working towards stability and prosperity.
Please don’t anyone try to claim that Trump is part of any grand plan…nothing could be further from the truth…he is nothing more than a bludgeoning imbecile foundering around, lashing out impulsively indiscriminately. He is completely oblivious and ignorant as to the real picture.
I urge everyone involved in this Saker site to put aside an hour and to listen very carefully to Askary’s insights. This is extremely important and could bring more clarity to understanding the situation than just about everything else you have read put together. There is hope, and Askary highlights the huge stakes that both Russia and China have in the region.
This is a no brainer. This is the time for both Russia and China to act and to decisively. They must cooperate in assisting both Iraq and Iran to extract themselves from the current quagmire…the one that the vicious Hegemon so cruelly and thoughtlessly tossed them into.
Cheers from the south seas
And the link to the Askary interview:…. https://youtu.be/UD1hWq6KD44
Of course, it has to be said that this situation is to a degree still about Israel.
But this is only from the perspective that their lobby in US politics is so massively influential that it has a huge say in certain the actions of the Hegemon.
In other words, they have a say in these individual idiotic deeds but the overall plan remains firmly in the clutches of the Hegemon.
Just a humble suggestion…would there be any chance you could do an interview with Askary?
Col…’the farmer from NZ’
It’s debatable if US foreign policy is decided independently of Israel, bearing in mind the power of the neocons in the US. Here I disagree with Michael Hudson. He also made one technical mistake. It was not Joseph Stalin who uttered that famous remark “You have a man, you have a problem. No man, no problem”. That honor goes to Lavaranti Beria, chief of the NKVD, forerunner of the KGB.
Why did those 150 neocons sign the letter saying “we’re for Hilary”? Why the pervasive venom for Trump from the Bushites rivaling even that spewed by Obama’s groupies and the Clintonites? Because she was a “known quantity”? The only certainty is that she would have moved to crush all remaining political opposition in the US, driving for national dominance at the level of what they have done to NY and the other Big Blue states. Seizure of ammo plants would have been one I believe. The globo-elitists despise their own citizenry and want them collared. Look at the way they cheerlead for US domestic lockdown.
No, Trump is a very real independent phenomenon and it’s almost comical to watch the various DC “swampers” squeal and squirm. There is the very real prospect of a Day of Reckoning for the State conspirators in the offing. The establishment media is going insane. I love it. Both the cons who fronted for Bush and the posers who said Bush was the dumbest/worst/ president ever now wax nostalgic. Too bad about 9/11 and that Iraq war thing huh? (I do intend to follow that Youtube link though.)
Also interesting is what Simon Watkins reports in his recent article entitled “Is Iraq About To Become A Chinese Client State?”
To quote from the article:
“Iraq’s Finance Ministry that the country had started exporting 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to China in October as part of the 20-year oil-for-infrastructure deal agreed between the two countries.”
“For Iraq and Iran, China’s plans are particularly far-reaching, OilPrice.com has been told by a senior oil industry figure who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry and Iraq’s Oil Ministry. China will begin with the oil and gas sector and work outwards from that central point. In addition to being granted huge reductions on buying Iranian oil and gas, China is to be given the opportunity to build factories in both Iran and Iraq – and build-out infrastructure, such as railways – overseen by its own management staff from Chinese companies. These are to have the same operational structure and assembly lines as those in China, so that they fit seamlessly into various Chinese companies’ assembly lines’ process for whatever product a particular company is manufacturing, whilst also being able to use the still-cheap labour available in both Iraq and Iraq.”
“The second key announcement in this vein made last week from Iraq was that the Oil Ministry has completed the pre-qualifying process for companies interested in participating in the Iraqi-Jordanian oil pipeline project. The U$5 billion pipeline is aimed at carrying oil produced from the Rumaila oilfield in Iraq’s Basra Governorate to the Jordanian port of Aqaba, with the first phase of the project comprising the installation of a 700-kilometre-long pipeline with a capacity of 2.25 million bpd within the Iraqi territories (Rumaila-Haditha). The second phase includes installing a 900-kilometre pipeline in Jordan between Haditha and Aqaba with a capacity of 1 million bpd. Iraq’s Oil Minister – for the time being, at least – Thamir Ghadhban added that the Ministry has formed a team to prepare legal contracts, address financial issues and oversee technical standards for implementing the project, and that May will be the final month in which offers for the project from the qualified companies will be accepted and that the winners will be announced before the end of this year. Around 150,000 barrels of the oil from Iraq would be used for Jordan’s domestic needs, whilst the remainder would be exported through Aqaba to various destinations, generating about US$3 billion a year in revenues to Jordan, with the rest going to Iraq. Given that the contractors will be expected to front-load all of the financing for the projects associated with this pipeline, Baghdad expects that such tender offers will be dominated by Chinese and Russian companies, according to the Iran and Iraq source.”
And the link…https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Middle-East/Is-Iraq-About-To-Become-A-Chinese-Client-State.html#
Admittedly, I didn’t hear the entire interview. However, if Askary fails to explain the powerful links of the US$$$ and Saudi Arabia’s oil, then his argument may not be that relevant to the discussion.
THIS key component is what Dr. Michael Hudson clearly understands and you can see that in this interview with The Saker.
Thank you, The Saker for providing us this interview with Dr. Hudson.
Hudson is so good. He’s massively superior to most so called military analysts and alternative bloggers on the net. He can clearly see the over arching picture and how the military is used to protect and project it. The idea that the US is going to leave the middle east until they are forced to is so blind as to be ridiculous. They will not sacrifice the (free) oil until booted out by a coalition of Arab countries threatening to over run them and that is why the dollar hegemonys death will be slow, long and drawn out and they will do anything, any dirty trick in the book, to prevent Arab/Persian unity. Unlike many peoples obsession with Israel and how important they feel themselves to be I think Hudson is correct again. They are the middle eastern version of the British – a stationary aircraft carrier who will allow themselves to be used and abused whilst living under the illusion they are major players. They aren’t. They’re bit part players in decline, subservient to the great dollar and oil pyramid scheme that keeps America afloat. If you want to beat America you have to understand the big scheme, that and the utter insanity that backs it up. It is that insanity of the leites, the inability to allow themselves to be ‘beaten’ that will keep nuclear exchange as a real possibility over the next 10 to 15 years. Unification is the only thing that can stop it and trying to unite so many disparate countries (as the Russians are trying to do despite multiple provocations) is where the future lies and why it will take so long. It is truly breath taking in such a horrific way, as Hudson mentions, that to allow the world to see its ‘masters of the universe’ pogram to be revealed:
“Of course American strategists will deny that the recent actions do not reflect a deliberate strategy, because their long-term strategy is so aggressive and exploitative that it would even strike the American public as being immoral and offensive if they came right out and said it.”
Would be to allow it to be undermined at home and abroad. God help us all.
They’re bit part players in decline, subservient to the great dollar and oil pyramid scheme that keeps America afloat.
So who owns the dollar? And who owns the oil companies?
If the USA is not doing Israel’s bidding, it is certainly doing Yahweh’s.
I’d never thought of that “stationary aircraft carrier” comparison between Israel and the British, very apt.
Clever would be a better word. Looking at my world globe, I see Italy, Greece, and Turkey on that end of the Mediterranean. Turkey has been in NATO since 1952. Crete and Cyprus are also right there. Doesn’t Hudson own a globe or regional map?
That a US Admiral would be gushing about the Apartheid state 7 years after the attempted destruction of the USS Liberty is painful to consider. I’d like to disbelieve the story, but it’s quite likely there were a number of high-ranking ***holes in a Naval Uniform.
The world situation reminds us of the timeless fable by Aesop of The North Wind and the Sun.
Trump et al assassinated someone who was on a diplomatic mission. This action was so far removed from acceptable behavior that it must have been considered to be “by any means and at all costs”.
Perhaps the most potent weapon Iran or anyone else has at this critical juncture, is not missiles, but diplomacy.
“Therefore, to focus one-sidedly on Israel is a distraction away from what the US-centered international order really is all about.”
Thank you for saying this sir. In the US and around the world many people become obsessively fixated in seeing a “jew” or zionist behind every bush. Now the Zionists are certinly an evil, blood thirsty bunch, and certainly deserve the scorn of the world, but i feel its a cop out sometimes. A person from the US has a hard time stomaching the actions of their country, so they just hoist all the unpleasentries on to the zionists. They put it all on zionisim, and completly fail to mention imperialism. I always switced back and forth on the topic my self. But i cant see how a beachead like the zionist state, a stationary carrier, can be bigger than the empire itself. Just look at the major leaders in the resistance groups, the US was always seen as the ultimate obstruction, while israel was seen as a regional obstruction. Like sayyed hassan nasrallah said in his recent speech about the martyrs, that if the US is kicked out, the Israelis might just run away with out even fighting. I hate it when people say “we are in the middle east for israel” when it can easily be said that “israel is still in the mid east because of the US.” If the US seized to exist today, israel would fall rather quickly. If israel fell today the US would still continue being an imperalist, bloodthirsty entity.
Great comment Ahmed!
“But i cant see how a beachead like the zionist state, a stationary carrier, can be bigger than the empire itself.”
I certainly take Hudson’s word for it.
Yet this comment of yours seems to fail to take into account the stranglehold that Zionist money has on our political system, and hence on our choices. (“our” here is largely figurative . . . )
In this sense the tail of Zionist and Jewish $$$ is wagging the dog in our political and electoral system.
Not to mention our media.
Surely you understand that this Zionist fifth column makes and breaks domestic politicians and hence delinieates their policy options. And frames permissible discussion of permissible issues.
The financial center of Zionism has historically been London (remember the infamous Balfour letter to Rothschild).
Today, as yesterday, what governs the world is money. WWI and WWII (and Napoleonic wars, and etc etc) were allowed and in part driven by the banksters, and anybody who read Eustace Mullins’s Book understand that.
Today, it looks like the financial hegemon has been wanting for some time to dump the dollar and the US empire altogether (hence Trump’s election and Brexit) as it previously dumped all Europeans empires , and wanted to replace it by a IMF fiats’s money. There has been for a while a ferocious battle between US empire supremacists and the financial hegemon (see Dominique Strauss-Kahn problems). Still, it seems that today the financial hegemon is left without a solution, as it is dubious that China (and Russia) will accept now an IMF’s fiat money (China pushed for it in 2009-2010) under the auspices of the BIS/IMF/banksters.
Good comment! All of the zionist, fascist, socialist, nationalist, environmentalist, humanist, whatever-ist, is just another facade for the Bankers.
Life is more than who we are.
“A person from the US has a hard time stomaching the actions of their country, so they just hoist all the unpleasentries on to the Zionists”
Bam! You nailed it. It’s called scapegoating and/or projecting, and it’s downright embarrassing.
Americans, sitting on 3,8000,000 square miles of stolen land, with the remaining few of the natives they came very close to wiping out living in squalor on pieces of land without running water, sewers or electricity, point their fingers at people living on 8,000 square miles of stolen land, with 12 million descendants of the 250,000 people kicked out 70 years ago living with basic amenities, and scream ”You Evil Genociders, you make us do Bad Things that we would never do on our own”.
And it never stops, even in the comments on an article in which Michael Hudson points out basic truths about US imperialism and the ruthless way they intend to hang onto control of the world’s oil supply and dollar hegemony.
Logic doesn’t apply when hypocrisy rules.
The Deeper Story behind the Assassination of Soleimani
This article, published by Strategic Culture, features a translation of Mahdi’s speech to the Iraqi
parliament in which he states that Trump threatened him with assassination and the US admitted
to killing hundreds of demonstrators using Navy SEAL snipers.
Well what do you know, I just tried to share this on Facebook and was promptly blocked.
The plot thickens!
Thank you for finding this.
I was in middle of reading this at a site not VT…. when my device froze.
I lost the site and couldnt find it again… as I had clicked thru from a link in a comment.
Fascinating. Me thinks Iraqi PM may be suicided soon…..
This description provided by Mr Hudson is no Moore than the financial basis behind the Cebrowski doctrine instituted on 9/11.
I wish the Saker had asked Mr Hudson about some crucial recent events to get his opinion with regards to US foreign policy. Specifically, how does the emergence of cryptocurrency relate to dollar finance and the US grand strategy? A helpful tool for the hegemon or the emergence of a new currency that prevents unlimited currency printing? Finally, what is global warming and the associated carbon credit system? The next planned model of continuing global domination and balance of payments? Or true organic attempt at fair energy production and management?
Much thanks for this interview, Saker
With all due respect, these are huge questions in themselves and perhaps could to be addressed in separate interviews.
IMO it doesn’t always work that well to try to cover too much ground in just one giant leap.
I have never understood the Cebrowski doctrine.
How does the destruction of Middle Eastern state structures allow the US to control Middle East Oil?
The level of chaos generated by such an act would seem to prevent anyone from controlled the oil.
I have never heard of Cebrowski or his doctrine, but the method of dissolving government and other social structures is standard operating procedure for the USA.
A legitimate sovereign government with its own armed forces, police, etc. makes it harder for US corporations to plunder the country. They have ask for permission, negotiate, sometimes even pay. Shocking!
Once the government is destroyed or rendered impotent – as in Libya, Syria a few years ago, Afghanistan, or Russia in the 1990s – US corporations can simple muscle in with their private armies of mercenaries and simply take whatever they want. Any locals who interfere are just killed or imprisoned.
Moreover, once the local law and justice system has been rendered impotent, Americans can invoke US law as and when they want to – while ignoring it when they don’t.
I have always felt this technique is similar to the way a spider consumes its prey. First it paralyzes it with a bite, then it wraps it up in silk, and when it is good and ready it injects a powerful digestive fluid that dissolves the prey’s innards. Then the spider just sucks it all out like a kid with a milk shake.
The Cebrowski doctrine is exactly what you describe.
But I actually think that historically there are at least two ways to extract resources from another nation.
One is the “comprador” method. The US puts a puppet in place to keep the locals under control Examples are Shah Rezi Pahlevi, Saddam Hussein (until he fell out of favor) and so on. The puppet and/or his cronies are well compensated for selling out their people. US multinationals come in and clean out the country.
The second is the “bust out scheme method.” The “bust out scheme method” is the supposed Cebrowski Doctrine. The country is completely destroyed and looted. Such as Libya.
The first scheme seems to work better than the second. I actually think that Russia was supposed to be a “comprador state” but Putin refused to play along and now has become a pariah in the West.
In any event, that is why I don’t understand the Cebrowski Doctrine. It doesn’t seem to work very well.
By the way, I am not trying to justify any of this. It is absolutely monstrous. I just think that these are the two ways in which countries have been looted.
The “comprador” method is apparently the same as the Angola Variant:
See this at Meyssan’s site –
General Wesley Clark has spoken about this plan many times. Actually, we are in the process of “breaking” many more than the six or seven countries Clark lists from Cebrowski.
Also check out the work of Cebrowski’s staffer Thomas P.M. Barnett on this that goes way back to 2003
Thank you for that link. I had, however, read that article before. And I still don’t understand it. I understand that the supposed intent of the Cebrowski doctrine is to destroy state structures and the take control of a country’s assets.
I understand that. The problem that I have is two fold.
One, I don’t think that it could work. The way to keep a population under control is to give that population just enough to live and then threaten to take it away. That is, indeed, a horrible thing to do to people, but it has worked throughout human history. People only revolt when they have nothing left to lose. Under the Cebrowski Doctrine, the aggressors simply take away absolutely everything from the victims and expect that the victims, who now have nothing to left to lose, will simply lay down and die. I just don’t think it will work. I can’t imagine how anyone would think that it could work.
Two, I have a hard time believing that even the Neocons are crazy enough to adopt such a policy. I mean, seriously – the Nuremberg trials actually did take place. People were actually hung for doing things like this. And that means that just because a person works with the elite of a powerful government, that does not ensure that there will never be payback for crimes of such a magnitude.
Now, maybe the Neocons are that crazy but I just have a hard time believing it.
Barnett divided the world into two camps; those that are stable and civilized (the Core) and those who are poor and unruly (the Gap).
This is from his Wikipedia entry –
“Key to Barnett’s geostrategic ideas is that the United States should “export security” to the Gap in order to integrate and connect those regions with the Core, even if this means going to war in Gap countries, followed by long periods of nation-building.”
Two deadly euphemistic terms are contained therein. Can you spot them? :-)
Bart, you wrote:
Well, by golly, I believe I can.
“Export Security” mean “impose a police state.”
“Nation Building” means “creating a permanent vassal state.”
“the Nuremberg trials actually did take place. People were actually hung for doing things like this.”
So what? the descendant of the people that supported Hitler’s rise are now behind this Cebrowski doctrine. And those same people were the ones who organized Nuremberg.
The country is in chaos, but the part of the country with the resources is courted by the US, who make alliances with powerful warlords. It is like the Saddam Hussein situation, but just in the part with the oil, or the lithium, or whatever.
So the rest of the country sinks into poverty, destitution and civil war, but the part with the resources is stable, thanks to the US backing and arming the warlords who sell the resources, dole out subsistence rations and stomp out any dissent.
Dr. Hudson often appears on RT’s “Keiser Report” where he covers many contemporary topics with its host Max Keiser. Many of the shows transcripts are available at Hudson’s website. Indeed, after the two Saker items, you’ll find three programs on the first page. Using the search function at his site, you’ll find the two articles he’s written that deal with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, although I think he’s been more specific in the TV interviews.
As for this Q&A, its an A+. Hudson’s 100% correct to playdown the Zionist influence given the longstanding nature of the Outlaw US Empire’s methods that began well before the rise of the Zionist Lobby, which in reality is a recycling of aid dollars back to Congress in the form of bribes.
Nils: Good Article. The spirit of Nihilism.
Quote from Neocon Michael Ladeen.
“Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”
@NILS As far as crypto currency goes it is a brilliant idea in concept. But since during the Bush years we have been shown multiple times, who actually owns [and therefore controls] the internet. Many times now we have also been informed that through the monitoring capability’s of our defense agency’s, they are recording every key stroke. IMO, with the flip of a switch, we can shut down the internet. At the very least, that would stop us from being able to trade in crypto, but they have e-files on each of us. They know our passwords, or can easily access them. That does not give me confidence in e=currency during a teotwawki situation.
Thierry Meyssan writes in his article titled “The US military project for the world”: “One of
the great differences between the thinking of Barnett and that of his predecessors is that
war should not be waged against specific states for political reason, but against regions of
the world because they are not integrated into the global economic system.”
According to Karlheinz Isensee (born 1948 in Suttgart, member of the AfD party – Alternative
for Germany): Thomas P. M. Barnett – the mentally disturbed pioneer of the NWO; the angel
of death of everything human!
The 4 New Laws of Globalization
1. The dogma of globalization is the privatization of all real values. The word “privatization”
comes from “privare” – and that means “rob”. EVERYTHING is privatized, internationalized
and Marketed for profit. EVERYTHING is a commodity; EVERYTHING has a price;
EVERYTHING can be bought and sold!
2. Employees are just “cost factors” and “human resources” that can be exchanged at any
time. The control of all natural Resources, energy supply, drinking water supply, the world
currency and genetically manipulated food are an essential prerequisite for rule nowhere
3. No government should hinder the “free movement of capital” and the return of profits.
The countries must be in mutual Dependency so that they can no longer exist on their own.
4. States that oppose this are “rogue states”. Opponents of this globalization must be
destroyed, it demands at least the globalization ideologist Thomas Barnett: “We shall
Source: Deutsche Sammlungsbewegung – Diskussionsforum – Thema1 / en. German
Collection Movement – Discussion Forum – Thema1;
The Pentagon’s New Map – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pentagon's_New_Map
Israeli PM Menachem Begin (1977-1983), New Statesman, June 25, 1982,
entitled “Begin and the Beasts” written by Israeli journalist Amnon Kapeliouk.
“Our race is the Master Race. We Jews are divine gods on this planet. We are
as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared
to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are
considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races.
Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses
will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves.”
Didn’t Germany under Hitler believe this same kind of philosophy but in the end its lack of oil and control of it ultimately doomed its thousand year Reich?
As I’ve said before and do believe no nation has more to lose politically, religiously and economically than the Zionists. If Hertzl and his gang had any idea that the age of oil was not going to be there for their glorious empire would they have embarked upon their course of action?
Oil, truly the big unknown.
In the early days it was only four or five nations at the most that used oil so plenty to go around. Heck, we had only 5 car manufacturers worldwide but today too many really. Vietnam and its Vinfast has got to be the most short-sighted startup in the world wanting to compete in the USA?
So today practically every nation in the world uses oil and the country that has the most in abundance really will be the winners economically. But doesn’t this raise huge questions and concerns about those countries which have the worlds industrial manufacturing which the worlds economy depends upon for everything. Today we live in a very connected world where the supply chain has to work and work well otherwise everything collapses. So an industrial society like America for it to lose its manufacturing base would not just be a loss to itself but to the whole world really. So my guess is the world can’t afford to lose a nation like America or for that matter I guess China today is the big one really. However, the indispensable nation is America. Who having a choice would choose to live under a Stalin or a Mao or what should have been a constitutional republic?
In the mean time guess who keeps getting richer and richer by the day the oil nation which would cause her to become more and more powerful politically, a monarchy in the case of Arabia?
As for Israel this clamouring for a savior to arrive well yeah looks to me like that is exactly what she will need and he was promised to them by God. Unfortunately, they rejected this Savior for another like unto Stalin who will usher in an Abomination unparralled in human history. Just imagine Stalin claiming itself god and having in his hands technocracy the control of everything financially, politically, economically and ultimately religiously?
A truly superb interview, thanks Michael Hudson.
One thing that troubles me about the petrodollar thesis is that ANNUAL trade in oil is about 2 trillion DAILY trade in $US is 4 trillion. I can well believe the US thinks oil is the bedrock if dollar hegemony but is it? I see no alternative to US dollar hegemony.
The lines that really got my attention were these:
That is so completely true. I have wondered why – to date – there had not been more movement by Europe away from the United States. But while reading the article the following occurred to me. Maybe Europe is awaiting the next U.S. election. Maybe they hope that a new president (someone like Biden) might allow Europe to keep more of the “spoils.”
If that is true, then a re-election of Trump will probably send Europe fleeing for the exits. The Europeans will be cutting deals with Russia and China like the store is on fire.
The critical player in forming the EU WAS/IS the US financial Elites. Yes, they had many ultra powerful Europeans, especially Germany, but it was the US who initiated the EU.
Purpose? For the US Financial Powerhouses & US politicians to “take Europe captive.” Notice the similarities: the EU has its Central Bank who communicates with the private Banksters of the FED. Much austerity has ensued, especially in Southern nations: Greece, Italy, etc. Purpose: to smash unions, worker’s pay, eliminate unions, and basically allowing US/EU Financial capital to buy out Italy, most of Greece, and a goodly section of Spain and Portugal.
The US govt. have long since paid off most every European politician. Thusly, Europe, as separate nations that should be remain still under the yolk of the US Financial/Political/Military power.
I have a hard time wrapping my head around this but it sounds like he is saying that the U.S. has a payment deficit problem which is solved by stealing the world’s oil supplies. To do this they must have a powerful, expensive military. But it is primarily this military which is the main cause of the balance deficit. So it is an eternally fuelled problem and solution. If I understand this, what it actually means is that we all live on a plantation as slaves and everything that is happening is for the benefit of the few wealthy billionaires. And they intend to turn the entire world into their plantation of slaves. They may even let you live for a while longer.
Actually, oil underlies everything.
I didn’t know this until I read a history of World War I.
As you know, World War One was irresolvable, murderous, bloody trench warfare. People would charge out of the trenches trying to overrun enemy positions only to be cutdown by the super weapon of the day – the machine gun. It was an unending bloody stalemate until the development of the tank. Tanks were immune to machine gun fire coming from the trenches and could overrun enemy positions. In the aftermath of that war, it became apparently that mechanization had become crucial to military supremacy. In turn, fuel was crucial to mechanization. Accordingly, in the Sykes Picot agreement France and Britain divided a large amount of Middle Eastern oil between themselves in order to assure military dominance. (The United States had plenty of their own oil at that time.)
In any event, it is the same today. Energy underlies, not only the military but, all of world civilization. Oil and gas are overwhelmingly the source of energy for the modern world. Without it, civilization collapses. Thus, he who controls oil (and gas) controls the world.
That is one third of the story. The second third is this.
Up till 1971, the United States dollar was the most trusted currency in the world. The dollar was backed by gold and lots and lots of it. Dollars were in fact redeemable in gold. However, due to Vietnam War, the United States started running huge balance of payments deficits. Other countries – most notably France under De Gaulle – started cashing in dollars in exchange for that gold. Gold started flooding out of the United States. At that point Nixon took the United States off of the gold standard. Basically stating that the dollar was no longer backed by gold and dollars could not be redeemed for gold. That caused an international payments problem. People would no longer accept dollars as payment since the dollar was not backed up by anything. The American economy was in big trouble since they were running deficits and people would no longer take dollars on faith.
To fix the problem, Henry Kissinger convinced the Saudis to agree to only accept dollars in payment for oil – no matter who was the buyer. That meant that nations throughout the world now needed dollars in order to pay for their energy needs. Due to this, the dollars was once again the most important currency in the world since – as noted above – energy underlies everything in modern industrial cultures. Additionally, since dollars were now needed throughout the world, it became common to make all trades for any product in highly valued dollars. Everyone needed dollars for every thing, oil or not.
At that point, the United States could go on printing dollars and spending them since a growing world economy needed more and more dollars to buy oil as well as to trade everything else.
That leads to the third part of the story. In order to convince the Saudis to accept only dollars in payments for oil (and to have the Saudis strong arm other oil producers to do the same) Kissinger promised to protect the brutal Saudi regime’s hold on power against a restive citizenry and also to protect the Saudi’s against other nations. Additionally, Kissinger made an implicit threat that if the Saudi’s did not agree, the US would come in and just take their oil. The Saudis agreed.
Thus, the three keys to dominance in the modern world are thus: oil, dollars and the military.
Thus, Hudson ties in the three threads in his interview above. Oil, Dollars, Military. That is what holds the empire together.
Mike from Jersey,
I agree with much of what you write. However, the struggle for oil started well before WW1. Royal Navy ships moved to oil much earlier. In fact, great efforts were make to keep Germany away from Iraqi and Persian oil
“A FAREWELL TO KING COAL: GEOPOLITICS, ENERGY SECURITY, AND THE TRANSITION TO OIL, 1898–1917”
Actually it was the electric light bulb that threatened to eliminate the need for kerosene lamps, and at the time the oil industry in general. The industry had a nuisance problem, it was called gasoline, they were disposing of it b/c it was too volatile. But as luck would have it, just about that time, the combustion engine was invented and this is what fueled the need to produce and transition to oil.
To Alfred and Alabama,
This is why I love this site. You get comments from intelligent, well-read people who add to the understanding of a topic.
Thanks for all that work Mike. I actually knew all those points but you pulled them all together in a simple presentation that even an old fart can understand.
Those running the Anglo/Zionist empire don’t just have a balance of payments problem. they also have a huge attitude problem. This demand to be the schoolyard bully. Eventually, every bully falls.
I wonder what they will do when somebody else discovers a new kind of energy to power everything and their precious oil isn’t worth as much anymore?
I really wish Iran had not made an announcement that they have discovered a huge oil deposit. Mexico has recently done the same. And I’m sitting there thinking ‘guys, shut up. you are inviting the beast to invade’. And then Donald the trump started talking about designating Mexican cartels terrorist groups
Thank you for thinking through this. Yes, the link between the US $$$ and Saudi Oil, is the absolute means of the American Dollar to reign complete. This payment system FEEDS both the US Military, but WALL STREET, hedge funds, the US/EU oligarchs – to name just a few entities.
The USD may be worthless in the future.
The US-MIL (JUSA Mercenary Armys) are the largest user of oil on earth.
Securing the oil, before the USD is kaput is essential, once the USD is kaput how would they finance war to steal oil?
The only thing that makes sense, is steal now, and the US-MIL goes into the oil biz and sells for for gold.
The US-MIL (JUSA) IMHO is already off the reservation and besides they went full-zionism back in 2001 when the zionist coup took over the pentagon
Thank YOU for interviewing Dr. Michael Hudson!! Your questions were very pertinent and Dr. Hudson answered them with his deep knowledge of how empires come and go.
Excellent, and thank you!
I should make one note only to this. That “no man, no problem” was Stalin’s motto is a myth. He never said that. It was invented by a writer Alexei Rybnikov and inserted in his book “The Children of Arbat”.
Wow! Absolutely beautiful summation of the ultimate causes that got us where we are and, if left intact, will get us to where we’re going!
So, the dreamer says: If only we could throw-off our us-vs-them BS political-economic ideology & religious doctrine-faith issues, put them into live-and-let-live mode, and see that we are all just humans fighting over this oil resource to which our modern economy (way of life) is addicted, then we might be able to hammer out some new rules for interacting, for running an earth-resource sustainable and fair global economy…We do at least have the technology to leave behind our oil addiction, but the political-economic will still is lacking. How much more of the current insanity must we have before we get that will? Will we get it before it’s too late?
Only if we, a sufficient majority from the lowest economic classes to the top elites and throughout all nations, are able to psychologically-spiritually internalize the two principles of Common Humanity and Spaceship Earth soon enough, will we stop our current slide off the cliff into modern economic collapse and avert all the pain and suffering that’s already now with us and that will intensify.
The realist says we’re not going to stop that slide and it’s the only way we’re going to learn, if we are indeed ever going to learn.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report of 2018 claimed that a global mean temperature of 1.5 C. degree centigrade above baseline (1750 Industrial Revolution) would be disastrous, and 2.0 C. above baseline a total catastrophe. Why? Loss of habitat for humanity.
It took 150 years, from 1750 to 1900, for global mean temperature to increase 0.5 C., another 85 years to hit 1.0 C. in 1985, 30 more years to hit the next increment in 2015, 4 more years to hit next increment in 2019, and 2 more years, maybe.
This is global warming. And the swamp people know all about it.
So now we know why Michael Hudson avoids the Israel involvment – Like Pepe.
Having read this article several times, I am amazed, at how superficial, rudimentary or perhaps deliberately muddy and illogical Mr. Dr. Hudson´s responses are. Comparing the israhelli influence with that of Turkey is at best misleading. One has to ask Mr. Hudson, how many wars usa has started for the sake of Turkey? Comparing the colonial relationship between usa and the whorehouse with that of usa and israhell is specially for an economist questionable. The fact of the matter is, that while israhell is being showered with money and arms, even the usa congressmen have to sign letters of loyalty towards israhell, and while any person being it congressman or presidential hopeful in the usa has to stand in line to kiss the behind of the jewish state, the relationship between usa and the whorehouse of saud is one of colonial relationship, where there is no “ebb and flow” but a onesided flow of money and resources from the whorehouse of saud to the usa. It is in fact the mark of a colonial economic relationship, where even the money made by the colonized vassal through the sale of raw materials has to be returned to the motherland. In this case in form of financial investments and purchase of military hardware.
Mr. Hudson argues, that usa is usa and what they do is what THEY do, which is a ridiculous argument as if anybody is in doubt, that these are usa bombs or usa soldiers killing people in west asia. Still 300 000 000 americans are not of the same opinion and do not speak with one voice., not to mention the political puppet masters, influencers or money masters. Maybe there are no lobbyists in the usa, maybe there are no books about israeli influence either. Mr. Hudson´s amateurish cover for israhell could be because of: ” traveling with … Uzi Arad (later a head of Mossad and advisor to Netanyahu)”. When is the last time any of the readers partied with the head of Mossad? Maybe Mr. Hudson is blinded by his loyalties!
Thank you for this excellent interview. You ask the kind of questions that we would all like to ask. It’s regrettable that Chalmers Johnson isn’t still alive. I believe that you and he would have a lot in common. Naxos has produced an incredible, unabridged cd audiobook of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. One of Gibbon’s observations really resonates today: “Assassination is the last resource of cowards”. Thanks again.
As far as the assassination of Sulaymani Michael Hudson is speaking and repeating netanyahu’s language: Sulaimani’s assassination is exclusively an American affair.
By doing so Michael Hudson is asking us to ignore the elephant taking all the space in the room which is israel and its vital intelligence and lobbying effort and power for a long time for the US to follow its criminal examples of targeted assassinations of Palestinian leaders. Let alone the long standing push for an all out war against Iran.
If Michael Hudson connected the dots to the Zionist state of Israel he would lose his job as America is occupied by the Zionist ideologues whither they be Anti-Semitic “jews” or “christians’.
The Overton window is narrowing as tyranny expands.
Hudson, like most doctrinaires, attaches too much to articulated entities and too little to motive. States and corporate entities are but creatures of motive. The roles assigned to these entities inform his analysis to useful but not wholly accurate conclusion. This may well be a convenience to his own purpose.
Thank you ! You are making a very important observation here.
Can you,Please,elaborate a little more ?
Well, well, here is an interesting quote I stumbled upon this morning:
“…Ex-Im Bank has been active in developing Russia’s oil and gas industry. Almost 50 percent of our portfolio in Russia is in this area. We have helped support modernization efforts of more than a dozen oil companies with medium- and long-term financing, and we are looking at several pipeline projects that would help bring Russian oil and gas to market.” Jeffrey L. Miller, Senior Vice President, Export-Import Bank of the United States, July 22, 2004 
It is Alexañdr Solzhenitsyn speech however that is surely the most poignant and which apparently had been or tried to be expunged? June 30, 1975
You cannot understand the tragic events that are taking place throughout the world today, or the terrible events that lie ahead, unless you understand the alliance that exists between the leaders of the communist world, and the CFR-Globalists who control our nation. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn discussed that relationship when he addressed the AFL-CIO convention in Washington, D.C. on June 30, 1975, but he didn’t understand it. Since Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s June 30, 1975, address is not readily available on the Internet, the first segment of his talk is reproduced in this letter:
“The Iranian missiles to Iraq were a demonstration of how easy it would be to aim them at Saudi oil fields.” I would add: or at Israeli assets, including, God forbid, Tel Aviv. Hudson also indicates that “there is little left-wing socialist alternative to neoliberalism at present.” I would further observe that the abject failure of the left to articulate a viable political vision for half a century, the left’s inability to produce postmodern thinkers of substance and imagination, is among the greatest tragedies of our time.
It seems Israel is more influential on US foreign policy than is credited here.
The general’s clap on the shoulder is telling, but the military doesn’t decide policy.
A more telling symbol of power was Bibi’s 2015 speech to Congress – done without Obama’s consent.
Israel was able to steal nukes from the US. Israel deliberately attacked our military (USS Liberty), and our president covered it up. Israel receives the most US foreign aid of any country. Israel is relentlessly protected in the UN Security Council by the US. Israel is blatantly caught spying on the US (Sep. 2019), hardly a peep from anyone. Israel has the most powerful lobby in DC, such that non-pro Israel congressmen risk losing future election as the lobby will support an opponent. Israel drives our Iran policy. Israel drove Iraq 2003. There’s Oded Yinon plan. Then there are the numerous claims (some reasonable) like Israel’s involvement in Kennedy assassination, 9/11, selling US military secrets to the Chinese, etc.
Israel seems much more than a landed aircraft carrier.