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
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
Bryan Cranston is famous for his role as meth cook “Walter White” on the AMC drama series, “Breaking Bad.” He may become infamous for something else later this year. He is playing the role of Stalinist Communist and Hitler apologist Dalton Trumbo in the new film, “Trumbo.”
The film is said to be in its “post-production” phase, and Cranston may not have known what he was getting into. It’s hard to believe he would have played this role had he known the facts about Trumbo’s service to the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Once the facts get out, his role could derail what looked like a promising career.
Allan H. Ryskind, author of the new book, Hollywood Traitors, anticipates that the film “Trumbo” will be “celebrating Dalton Trumbo, a major Hollywood Ten figure and longtime Communist enthusiast…” He notes that the advance publicity for the film says that Trumbo bravely took a “stand against the Communist-witch-hunt at the height of the Cold War” and was “punished for his principled stand for free speech and the Constitution.”
Indeed, the conventional wisdom is that Trumbo and all other members of the “Hollywood Ten were innocent victims of a ‘blacklist.’” The facts show something very different. Trumbo was in fact a Soviet/Nazi agent of influence in Hollywood. All of the “Ten” were communists but Trumbo was one of the worst.
Ryskind, the son of famous Hollywood screenwriter Morrie Ryskind, reports that “Trumbo, in truth, was a full-fledged Stalinist who had the distinction of siding with three of the most barbarous dictators in the 20th century: Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and North Korea’s Kim-Il Sung.”
Ryskind, a long-time editor of the newspaper Human Events, worked on this book for many years and combed through Trumbo’s papers at the Wisconsin Historical Society in Madison. He goes on to write, “Like so many of his comrades, he [Trumbo] became a Hitler apologist after Stalin joined Hitler in that 1939 pact. In order to poison the well against Hitler’s enemies, he demonized the Fuehrer’s foes. England was no democracy, he argued in his 1941 novel, The Remarkable Andrew, because it had a ‘king.’ FDR was guilty of ‘treason’ and ‘black treason’ for his pro-England policy. No drop of American blood should be risked or spilled for the selfish and deceitful British.”
On the matter of Trumbo’s support for the communist North Korean regime, Ryskind notes, “When North Korea waged war against South Korea in 1950, where did Dalton stand? In an unpublished movie script dedicated to several Hollywood Ten figures, he has the heroine declare that North Korea’s invasion was perfectly justifiable, for this is “Korea’s fight for independence, just as we had to fight for our own independence in 1776.”
Ryskind provides more details in a special report that accompanies the release of his book. He says, “Communist Dalton Trumbo, a prominent screenwriter, a Hollywood Ten figure and a Hollywood icon, led the fight in America to ease Hitler’s burden of conquest. He did this by demonizing Hitler’s enemies, assailing Great Britain as deceptive and dishonorable and suggesting it was unworthy of assistance because it was a monarchy not a democracy. England, he also noted, had declared war against Hitler, not the other way around, and he accused FDR, previously a Communist Party favorite, of being guilty of ‘treason’ and ‘black treason’ for giving England military assistance. Trumbo vigorously presented his views in speeches and in writing, and laid out his case most explicitly in his 1941 novel, The Remarkable Andrew.”
The rest of the story is also provided by Ryskind: “The Hollywood Communist contingent, including Trumbo, quickly turned against Hitler after the Fuehrer betrayed Stalin in June of 1941, launching a massive invasion of the Soviet Union. Then, and only then, did the radical screenwriters switch sides again, now demanding America give massive assistance to the Soviet Union to combat fascism and help it survive the Nazi onslaught. Only after Hitler invaded the USSR did the Communist screenwriters become ‘patriotic,’ since they believed US assistance was crucial to the Soviet Union’s survival.”
After examining the historical record, including Trumbo’s papers, Ryskind concludes, “…I’ve never found a paragraph, or even a phrase, where he ever publicly or privately condemns Stalin’s Soviet Union in a meaningful way, certainly not when the Caligula in the Kremlin was dispatching his own citizens by the millions, egging Hitler on as he invaded the Western democracies, cheering Goering’s air force as it rained death and destruction on London and eagerly devouring Eastern Europe in the post-World War II era. Not a peep of protest or regret from a man whom Hollywood longs to lionize.”
It may be the case that Cranston was not aware of the facts about Trumbo’s service to the Soviet Union and Hitler’s Germany. That is why I recently sent him a letter setting forth the facts contained in this column. If he was deceived about Trumbo’s true character, he has the right to raise hell.
Whatever the ultimate fate of the film and Cranston’s role in it, Ryskind’s book about the days when communists were trying to dominate Hollywood has suddenly taken on more importance.
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
When the New York Times sees a gaffe made on Fox News, it blasts the network in article after article, in this case at least three times, but when its own reporters make basic fact-checking mistakes, the paper’s readers receive casual notice at the bottom of an article.
In some editions of the Times, Stephen Castle and Robert Mackey misidentified the parent company of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch’s title at News Corporation, and “paraphrased incorrectly in some editions” Rupert Murdoch’s Twitter comments. That’s three errors in one article.
These errors were in an article criticizing Steven Emerson, a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi and Executive Director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, who mistakenly said that “[A]nd in Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”
Emerson retracted his statement, saying that he “clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry,” and Fox News issued an on-air apology regarding the incident. Emerson even made a donation to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Will The New York Times make similar donations on behalf of its numerous errors in the Castle and Mackey article?
Writers for the Times didn’t hold back: “Maybe if these ‘journalists’ left their bubble and actually talked to more Muslims, they wouldn’t spew nonsense—such as that Pakistan is an Arab country or that Birmingham, England, is entirely Muslim and a no-go area for Christians,” wrote Nicholas Kristof for the Times. “That paranoid claim by a Fox News ‘expert,’ later retracted, led wags to suggest that the city had renamed itself Birming, since Muslims avoid ham.”
The New York Times repeatedly labeled Emerson a “self-described expert on Islamist terrorism.” Investigative reporter Gary Weiss, in an outstanding blog post on this controversy, noted, “When you call someone a ‘self-described expert’ it’s a bit like calling someone a ‘self-described doctor.’…He or she is a phony.”
Weiss suggested that Kristof was perhaps carrying a grudge against Emerson for an article years earlier in which “Emerson raked [Kristof] over the coals for a column that criticized the U.S. and Israel for isolating the Hamas terror group.
But as Weiss pointed out, the late New York Times managing editor A.M. Rosenthal called Emerson “one of the nation’s best national security correspondents” whose “investigative work on radical Islamic fundamentalism is absolutely critical to this nation’s national security. There is no one else who has exhibited the same expertise, courage and determination to tackle this vital issue.” And Weiss cited other examples of praise for Emerson on the pages of the Times: “In this article in the Times in 1988,” wrote Weiss, “veteran Times reporters Martin Tolchin and Richard Halloran described Emerson as ‘an expert on intelligence.’”
But the Times are a-changing.
Times executive editor Dean Baquet has announced that the paper won’t publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons “primarily” because doing so might offend its Muslim readers.
While Emerson clearly was wrong on the specifics of what he said, he was referring to the undeniably expanding Islamization occurring in parts of Europe. This news story from CBN in 2010 captured this very real phenomenon, which does exist, and continues to grow.
Accuracy in Media’s Cliff Kincaid cited some of the outstanding work that Emerson has done through the years, which is the reason that the left has come after him so hard: “For his part, Emerson has been consistently correct about the development of the Islamic extremist networks that now threaten America and the world,” writes Kincaid. “His latest film, ‘Jihad in America: The Grand Deception,’ describes how Muslim Brotherhood fronts, such as CAIR, have pursued a strategy described in secret documents as the ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ of destroying Western civilization from within.” He also referred to Emerson’s 1994 documentary, “Jihad in America,” which “included previously unknown videos of the clandestine activities of radical Islamic terrorist groups in the United States.”
Besides, the Times, as AIM has cited for 45 years, often gets the big things wrong as well. For example, we debunked their December, 2013 story on Benghazi that they intended as the definitive statement. We’re still waiting for their retraction or correction on that one.
Despite his mistake, Emerson is one of the nation’s leading experts on Islamic terrorism. The New York Times, on the other hand, has shown itself time after time to be hypocritical and agenda-driven.
By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The disease known as political correctness has infected Fox News. First, anchor Bret Baier withdrew from a Catholic conference under pressure from his management and the homosexual lobby. Now, Fox News has bowed to pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood lobby, issuing an embarrassing “correction” that was not warranted for having reported factually on the existence of Muslim-dominated “no-go zones” in Europe.
These zones, which are better understood as Muslim-dominated enclaves or ghettos, were the scene of much-publicized violent riots in France in 2005.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) decided to target Fox News after several programs featured commentators who noted the existence of no-go Muslim-dominated areas where Islamic terror cells take root and find recruits.
In response to CAIR’s criticism, Fox News has apologized, even saying the coverage of the no-go zones was offensive. It is as if the forces of the global Jihad have acquired a veto over what appears on the air on the channel.
While CAIR’s pressure was certainly a factor in the capitulation to the Muslim Brotherhood lobby, another factor could well have been the influence of the Saudi billionaire, Alwaleed bin Talal, who controls an influential number of voting shares in the Fox News parent company. We noted that Alwaleed had prompted the Fox News Channel to dramatically alter its coverage of the Muslim riots in France after he admitted calling the channel to complain.
At that time, Fox News and other media outlets had noted that “Muslim riots” had erupted in the mostly Muslim suburbs of Paris and other French cities. These are some of the no-go zones. Acting offended, Alwaleed said he had called Rupert Murdoch to complain and that Fox News anchors changed the term “Muslim riots” to “civil riots.”
In the latest case, CAIR called on Fox News to stop using “Islamophobic commentators,” a smear term for critics of radical Islam, and focused on terrorism expert Steven Emerson’s description of Birmingham, England as “totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.” Emerson admitted he was wrong and had misquoted his sources.
Although Emerson exaggerated the problem, the fact is that Muslim groups and even gangs are known to be a problem in the city and a threat to some non-Muslims. In 2008, for example, two evangelists said they were threatened with arrest and warned by a police officer in Birmingham that they should not hand out Christian literature in a certain area of the city because they could get “beaten up” by mobs and charged with a hate crime.
At the time, a senior Church of England bishop, the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali, had warned about “already separate communities” in Britain turning into no-go areas. During a 2009 visit to the United States, he was reported to have said that “Christians have been prevented from advertising church events in these parts of town and even police have been reluctant to enter these communities.”
So while Emerson made a mistake, his basic point about Muslim intimidation of outsiders remains valid.
Evidence of the problem has been available for years. In Belgium, for example, the district of Molenbeek was investigated in an undercover capacity by Moroccan-Belgian journalist Hind Fraihi, who wrote a 2006 book, Undercover in Klein-Marokko (Undercover in Little Morocco). She found the area to be an essentially ungovernable hotbed of extremism, anti-Semitism, and a breeding ground for jihad. The book “shocked” Belgium, one television news reporter noted. “Many police officers are afraid that the state no longer wields authority here, at least not the sole authority,” the reporter said. “They know that Islamists view Molenbeek as subject only to Muslim law.”
This is the same general area where Muslim riots are reported to have just taken place, following the anti-terror raid by police that left two terror suspects dead. The suspected leader of the terror cell, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, is described as a 27-year-old Belgian of Moroccan origin who once lived in Molenbeek.
The term “no-go zone” is certainly politically incorrect. For that reason, other more obscure terms have been put forward to refer to the Muslim-dominated areas. For example, the term “Territories of Identities in France” has emerged as one of the descriptions. One academic analyst traced their emergence in France to a French Socialist Party policy in 1981 which allowed foreigners to create their own “voluntary associations,” based on a supposed “right to difference.”
Another more popular term is “exclusion areas.” Whatever they may be called, there can be no doubt they exist. And that was the main point of the Fox News coverage. There was nothing to correct except for Emerson’s inaccuracy about Birmingham. And he had already apologized for that.
Yet, anchor Julie Banderas said in her on-air correction and apology that the channel was sorry for being offensive.
Banderas said the channel had “made some regrettable errors on air, regarding the Muslim population in Europe, particularly with regard to England and France.” She explained, “Now this applies especially to discussions of so-called no-go zones, areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren’t allowed in, and police supposedly won’t go.”
But she went on to distort what the channel had actually put on the air. She said, “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country, and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion. There ARE certainly areas of high crime in Europe, as there are in the United States and other countries, where police and visitors enter with caution. We deeply regret the errors, and apologize to any and all who may have taken offense, including the people of France and England.”
Of course, nobody claimed on the air that these enclaves are “formal” or “specific” areas in the sense that the national government has decided to recognize or categorize them as such. In addition, they don’t “exclude individuals based solely on their religion” in a government-recognized legal sense. Rather, these areas take the form of segregated neighborhoods or enclaves. That was the point made by several commentators.
The dramatic correction from Fox News is proof that the Muslim Brotherhood lobby, of which CAIR is a part, has demonstrated clout at the channel, perhaps through figures such as the Saudi billionaire Alwaleed, who also happens to be a financial contributor to CAIR.
There’s no reason for the channel to pander to radical Islam in this dramatic fashion. Clearly, the dramatic Fox News correction of its coverage of the no-go zones was overblown and unnecessary, since Emerson had already admitted his mistake. As a result of the Fox News “correction,” many media outlets are now saying that the concept of no-go zones in Europe for non-Muslims has been thoroughly “discredited.”
What is desperately needed is more, not less, coverage of the Islamization of Europe. Fox should have let Emerson’s correction speak for itself and moved on.
Several observers point to the 1980 book, Muslim Communities in Non-Muslim States, published by the Saudi-funded Islamic Council of Europe, as helping to develop this deliberate strategy of establishing Islamic enclaves in European countries that are marked by religious customs and rules. This is shariah—the supremacy of Islamic law.
Political figures can keep the debate going, even if the media now shy away from it. Bucking the tide of appeasement, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal framed the issue in specific and accurate terms in a January 15 speech in London, saying, “It is startling to think that any country would allow, even unofficially, for a so called ‘no-go zone.’ The idea that a free country would allow for specific areas of its country to operate in an autonomous way that is not free and is in direct opposition to its laws is hard to fathom.”
In a column, Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney praised Governor Jindal, saying that he said what has been “the unsayable about Islam’s supremacist ideology known as shariah and the holy war, or jihad, it demands all of its adherents to engage in or support.”
However, it appears that the “unsayable” may now be left unsaid on Fox, a channel many conservatives have come to rely on for information about jihad. It’s “highly unlikely” that Emerson will “ever be booked again” on Fox News, a spokesman for the channel said.
If true, this will be a great victory for CAIR and its collaborators, including what Gaffney calls in a new report “The Global Jihad Movement.” The report identifies a victory strategy, in part by identifying the components of this movement, including CAIR.
For his part, Emerson has been consistently correct about the development of the Islamic extremist networks that now threaten America and the world. His latest film, “Jihad in America: The Grand Deception,” describes how Muslim Brotherhood fronts, such as CAIR, have pursued a strategy described in secret documents as the “Civilization-Jihadist Process” of destroying Western civilization from within.
It is this kind of work that has made Emerson into a target.
As far back as 1994, Emerson had served as the executive producer and reporter for the public television documentary “Jihad in America.” The film included previously unknown videos of the clandestine activities of radical Islamic terrorist groups in the United States. Oliver Revell, former associate deputy director of the FBI, stated that Emerson’s program had discovered details about these terrorist networks that the FBI didn’t have.
Emerson testified before Congress on the subject of “Foreign Terrorists in America” in 1998. It was five years after the first World Trade Center attack and three years before 9/11.
Emerson has been proven correct again and again about the terrorist problem we face.
But to make matters worse, Fox media reporter Howard Kurtz made much of the fact that Emerson was only a “guest” on the January 10 edition of the “Justice with Judge Jeanine” show, and not a paid contributor. It was as if he was also trying to separate Emerson from the channel.
For being right about the threat over the course of decades, Emerson deserves our thanks. We need more journalism of this quality. He deserves better treatment from a channel that has now clearly shown it could use more and not less of his expertise.