In the age of derivatives, swaps, and electronic money transfers, a new form of warfare has emerged: financial warfare.
An estimated 68 percent of Russia’s government revenue is derived from oil and gas exports, while 80 percent of Iran’s revenue comes from oil exports. That presents a very large target for the use of financial weapons.
To understand why financial warfare is now so commonplace, one must understand how it came into existence and what has been achieved taking such an approach.
The oil weapon first came into existence in 1965, when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. What resulted from this was a declaration of war by France, England, and Israel. As a way to counter this invasion, Saudi Arabia decided to ban exports to England and France. This embargo turned out to have minimal economic impact, as the US increased shipments to Europe, and international oil companies redirected shipments to England and France.
The next embargo imposed was in 1967, when Arab states imposed an embargo on the US, Britain, and West Germany. This embargo was enacted after a rumor surfaced that Britain and the US were providing air cover for Israeli planes, after Israel bombed Egyptian military airports in the 1967 war. This embargo failed, due to the fact that Arab oil revenues declined. This embargo also wasn’t enforced properly, as Western countries were still receiving oil from Arab countries.
But the most famous incident came in 1973. This was when OPEC issued a new embargo on countries that provided military aid to Israel, in the Yom Kippur war. This proved to have a greater economic impact on Europe and the US, because Saudi Arabia displaced Texas as the world’s swing producer.
The 1973 embargo led to an increase in domestic fuel prices, shortages of gasoline, and the rationing of gasoline fuel. This embargo changed the dynamics of US foreign policy.
After the 1973 embargo, Richard Nixon sent his secretary of state Henry Kissinger to Saudi Arabia with a proposed deal, to ensure that an embargo such as this would never happen to the United States again.
After some revisions, in 1976, the House of Saud and Henry Kissinger finally reached an agreement. The agreement did the following things, according to Marin Katusa’s 2014 book, “The Colder War.” The Saudi’s agreed to:
1. Give the US as much oil as it desired, for general consumption and national security measures. Thus increasing or decreasing oil production to the benefit of the US
2. To only sell oil for US dollars, and to reinvest profits in US treasury securities.
In return, the US guaranteed:
1. The protection of the Saudi Kingdom from rival Arab countries
2. The protection of Saudi oil fields
3. Protection from an Israel invasion.
The Saudi’s agreed to this because, even though they had vast amounts of oil, they didn’t possess an army which could protect them from its surrounding enemies; which included Iran, Iraq, and Israel.
This deal not only secured a steady supply of oil to the US, but allowed the US to expand its global footprint.
How the US and the Saudi’s colluded to topple the USSR
In 1982, a secret declaration for economic war with The Soviet Union was signed. This declaration included:
• No new contracts to buy Soviet natural gas
• Accelerate development of an alternate supply to Soviet gas for parts of Europe
• A plan to substantially raise interest rates on credit to the USSR
• The requirement of higher down payments and shorter maturities on Russian bonds.
This declaration made the USSR’s debt load much more burdensome, but what delivered the final blow to the USSR was the doubling of oil production from Saudi Arabia in 1986. This pushed oil prices down to roughly 10 dollars per barrel, thus vastly decreasing the USSR’s government revenue. This declaration combined with low oil prices, according to James Norman, author of the 2008 book, “The Oil Card,” is what led to the collapse of the USSR.
Today, the international financial system is much more sophisticated. Still, using financial sanctions with the intention of creating a de facto embargo on oil is a widespread practice today – just look at the cases of Iran and Russia.
By John Manfreda of Oilprice.com
Hat Tip: BB
Hat Tip: BB
Caught on hidden camera, Deputy Veterans Administration Chief of Patient Services (for the entire VA) Maureen McCarthy, MD, said many of our military veterans “have drug problems, some of which are caused by us and our prescribing.”
In the undercover video, she admitted that the combination of “opiates, like morphine and benzodiazepine like Ativan and Klonopin” are like “candy” for a lot of veterans, “it’s like they want it, they want it, they want it.”
“He had a ten foot step ladder and a rope,” says Bob Cranmer, the father of a Marine Iraq veteran named David who recently took his own life. “And for some reason decided to hang himself.”
On average each day, twenty-two U.S. veterans take their own life. In David’s case, he waited over a year to be seen by the VA, and when they did eventually see him, they prescribed him a combination of opiates and psycho-pharmaceuticals very similar to the ones described by Dr. McCarthy in the undercover video. When you watch the video above/on the right, you will see one VA official after another saying what Nurse-Anesthetist Joe Salmon admitted: “The VA does push pills.”
“In my opinion, they are creating drug addicts,” opined a senior volunteer at a New York Veterans Administration facility.
A VA facility in Wisconsin is under heavy fire for patient deaths due to over medication. This video illustrates that the over-medication problem extends to facilities in Pittsburgh, Little Rock, Buffalo, Minneapolis and the DC area. As an institution, the VA is far too eager to simply write prescription after prescription and quickly move on to the next patient, instead of dealing with the actual problems veterans face on a daily basis.
Bob Cranmer blames his son’s suicide on the VA. So do a lot of VA staffers, when caught on undercover video. Watch it here to find out why.
Our veterans deserve better!
P.S. Please forward this to the veterans (and their family members) on your list so they know they aren’t alone.
Once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!
Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were all disgusting, but one of them stood out as an almost unanimous choice. The envelope please…
The Monster Who Tortured And Abused This Dog
Don Surber: The known-only-to-God-and-the-Devil expletive who did this. The bastard.
Ah, but he’s not only known to G-d and the devil anymore, but to the world.
This man (and I use the term loosely) is William Leonard Dodson, of Charleston, South Carolina’s northside Chicora Cherokee neighborhood and he’s in much better conditions than he left a helpless animal.
Caitlyn, a 15-month old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix, was left chained up with her muzzle taped tightly shut with electrical tape. That meant the dog was left in intense pain for what authorities estimate was 48 hours without being able to eat or drink, and her ability to cool herself was impaired.
The dog eventually broke free and was found on a neighbor’s porch, who turned her into the local animal shelter for treatment. Because her teeth were clamped down by the tape on to her tongue and the blood flow was cut off, a large part of it may have to be amputated, affecting her ability to drink or cool herself normally by panting for the rest of her life.
In fact, it was one of Dodson’s neighbors who turned him in:
Court documents allege Dodson purchased the dog, which was known as “Diamond” at the time, for $20 on May 25. A witness who said she sold him the dog told investigators Dodson approached the woman who sold him the dog and said he had taped the dog’s face with electrical tape because she would not stop barking. The witness said Dodson was laughing about the claim, court documents state.
Dodson also reportedly told the witness he had chained the dog in his front yard, but that the dog had broken free and escaped, the affidavit states.
The dog was found the following day, Wednesday morning, on someone’s doorstep with electrical tape wrapped around her muzzle.
A medical report from Veterinary Emergency Care described the dog’s muzzle as “markedly swollen with evidence of tape around its muzzle,” and its tongue as “significantly swollen, significantly bruised, discolored (dark purple) and oozing blood,” court documents state.
After this story broke, donations for Caitlyn’s treatment poured in from as far away as Mexico, Ireland, Australia, Guatemala, England, Germany, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Canada, Belgium, Scotland, Indonesia, Estonia, the Philippines, Iceland, Hungary and Japan as well as from many people in the United States. If she heals, Caitlyn has a waiting list of fifty people who have applied to adopt her.
Dodson was issued a $50,000 surety bond Tuesday by Magistrate Priscilla Baldwin and told he had to surrender a second dog he has at his residence. He’s been charged with felony animal cruelty, which carries a maximum penalty of 5 years and/or a $5,000 fine.
As one Council member remarked, Dodson isn’t quite Weasel material being simply cruel and sadistic. That’s true, but while it’s stretching it a bit, there more than a bit of weasel in treating a dog like this and then giggling about how clever you are and how this was going to teach the dog a lesson. You see, one thing Weasels have in common… they’re largely amoral. And I’d be willing to bet better than even money that Dodson doesn’t even think what he did was wrong.
You see, Dodson is a career criminal, with extensive convictions for drug and weapons violations:
At the time of his arrest Monday, Dodson was on probation for a weapons conviction and out of jail on bail on a more recent drug and gun charge.
Dodson was convicted in May 2013 of possession of a firearm by a convicted violent felon, sentenced to six years and put on probation, according to a criminal background check with the State Law Enforcement Division.
Dodson was arrested again this March and charged with possession of cocaine and unlawful carrying of a weapon, according to SLED. He was released from the Charleston County jail on $110,000 bail.
I’m sure these are just the latest highlights in a long career.
There’s been a lot said about how ‘warehousing criminals’ is both expensive for society and morally wrong. So, quite a few criminals simply get released early, or plea bargain to a shocking degree and get probation or sharply reduced penalties for lesser charges.
There is a fiscal argument there, but it falls apart when you consider the high cost, human and financial of repeat offenses, which are typically more egregious and deadly than prior ones.
The reason for that is because prison time is increasingly less of a deterrent these days and not taken overly seriously by the William Leonard Dawsons of the world. Even the death penalty is hardly a deterrent these days when it consists of a painless drug cocktail administered after decades of appeals ad delays… if the death penalty is even applied at all.
No, I’m not advocating daily whipping or drawing and quartering murderers. But making prison a lot less pleasant and a lot more of a place to stay out of and bringing back the traditional methods of executions with limits on appeals might have an amazing effect on society and even encourage the William Leonard Dawsons to think twice.
Mr. Dawson isn’t here to get his Weasel, which is fine by me. I will see to it that it’s delivered to The Charleston Animal Society for him to pick up there. Being that it’s the South, a place where many traditional values hold forth, I have a feeling some of the members might take the opportunity to make their feelings known about this to Mr. Dawson in a personal way if he shows up to obtain it. At any rate, I would hope so.
Well, there it is!
Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!
Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.
It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.