Saturday, May 11, 2019

War and the Paper Standard - By L. Reichard White (So you think you know WTF Venezuela is all about? It aint Dumocracy! - CL)

Is there a hidden threat that explains chaotic U.S. foreign policy?
Maybe you’ve noticed the frenzied U.S. Government attempt to replace Venezuela’s duly elected hood-ornament — PresideNT Nicolas Maduro — with Juan Guaido, a nearly unknown U.S. prepped Venezuelan politician?
Why are they trying to do that?
With National. Security Advisor John Bolton suggesting a berth at Gitmo for Mr. Maduro if he doesn’t step down and flee the country — and Sen. Marco Rubio implying Muammar Gadaffi’s last minutes of life being intimate with a bayonett as another future for Mr. Maduro — “our” D.C. reprehensibles are displaying their unsavory colors.
Prominently showcasing this level of thuggery, usually hidden from polite society in smoke-filled back rooms, restricted C.I.A. workshops — and censored and classified “above top secret” for decades — marks a whole new phase in international relations.
But why?
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With Mr. “Art of the Deal” Trump & Company seriously abusing the standard Games Theory and negotiation baseline — you know, “All options are on the table” — they’ve already (March 3, 2019) played the “suggest a U.S. invasion” card.
And pulling out all the Art of War stops too, Trump & Company — clearly with maximum arm twisting — have wheedled, cajoled, bribed, bullied, and/or threatened about one quarter of the world’s governments into suddenly proclaiming this relatively unknown to be PresideNT of Venezuela. Despite — or maybe because of — Mr. Maduro’s democratic victory last year (May 20, 2018.)
Merely labeling the democratically elected Maduro “dictator” while proclaiming unknown Guaido “PresideNT” — without an invasion or bloody revolution so far or even a vote — though ingenuous is pure Sun Tsu genius. If it works.
But why are they doing that?
Now most folks, I among them, certainly prefer this so-far almost bloodless U.S. coup to the normal bloody ones that have become C.I.A./U.S. tradition since their finally confessed prototype over-turning Iran’s popular democratically elected Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953.
Uncle Sam, in cahoots with the Brits, replaced him with U.S. puppet Mohammad Reza “Shah of Iran” Pahlavi — and 24 years of bloody repression. Which may have something to do with why Iranians think we’re “exceptional,” just not in a nice way.
Now I want to go on the record as disaproving of Mr. Maduro and most other hood-ornaments, but this is a very dangerous precedent.
First, if the U.S. Government pulls this one off, the governments of the world — OK, only about a quarter of them — which will immediately be branded “The International Community” by Uncle Scam’s scripters — can replace leaders in any country merely by recognizing a replacement. Apparently any replacement — as long as it takes orders from Washington D.C.
Second, or maybe part of the first — and I have serious misgivings about reminding folks of this — Mr. Trump wasn’t democratically elected, which, despite the Maduro gambit, is still all the rage.
Remember, Ms. Clinton got more popular votes and thus won the democratic majority. So a quarter of the world’s governments — now “The International Community” remember — could declare her PresideNT of the U.S. with a heck of a lot more legitimacy than declaring Mr. Guaido presideNT of Venezuela.
Hold on while I clean the partially digested contents of my latest meal off my keyboard. And thoroughly wash my mind out with soap – – –
OK, that’s better.
But ignoring all the U.S. Government/C.I.A. election meddlings, coups, assassinations, regime changes, invasions, “wars,” (in total, at least 198 of them since WWII) — and sanctions — does Mr. Maduro have psychological problems?
After all, he did reject U.S. humanitarian aid because he thought it might be a Trojan Horse.
I know, I know, the U.S. set the precedent by rejecting aid from Cuba after Hurricane Katrina, but that’s different. Isn’t it? And then he blamed the C.I.A. for Venezuela’s current persistent blackout problems. AND, the water service disruption too.
Is he paranoid?
Well, O.K., there was that C.I.A. inspired August 2018 drone attempt on his life
Do you suppose they really are out to get him?
But why? Why this frenzied — “All options on the table” attempt to get this poor guy?
Unlke former H.W. Bush buddy, Panamanian PresideNT Manuel Noreiga, Mr. Maduro probably doesn’t have a dope-deal-gone-bad with the U.S. PresideNT.
Herr Bush Sr. morphed that breakup with Mr. Noreiga into the U.S. Government invasion of Panama, mis-named as usual, “Operation Just Cause.” According to a U.S. Army memo, that war crime killed at least 1,000 innocent Panamanian men, women and children.
Furthermore, Venezuela doesn’t have nukes (they may want to reconsider), we’ve never been at war with them, and it has never threatened the U.S. Has it? OK, at least never militarily. Hmmm – – –
So, why then?
Although D.C.’s illegal sanctions have reportedly killed 40,000 Venezuelan men, women and children by putting them on short rations, etc., I’m sure a few folks will still believe it’s for humanitarian reasons. You know, it’s to help them lose weight – – –
And then there’s a minor theme: “OMG, Venezuela is a socialist country and that scares us excrementless!”
O.K., so leave it alone and use it as yet another object lesson — like the U.S.S.R. (not Russia) — to prove once again that all folks of good will should avoid socialist governments like the plague. In fact, all governments period, but that’s another story.
The main story-line, however, mostly from the left, is that it’s to steal Venezuela’s heavy crude oil. And Mr. Bolton did make at least one comment that supports that idea.
But the U.S. is now one of the world’s top energy producers and doesn’t need Venezuela’s heavy crude.
So, what gives?
With all these U.S. Government interventions, at least 198 of them remember — and sanctions — it’s tempting to conclude there is no rational reason and “we” screw with other folks purely on whim, whimsey, and maybe as a hobby.
But sometimes, maybe there’s a method to this madness. And if so, it often does involve oil, just not quite the way most left-coasters think.
So we have this latest attempted Venezuela coup against Mr. Maduro. And you didn’t forget the previous one in 2002 against Mr. Maduro’s predecessor, super popular and, as certified by Jimmy Carter, overwhelmingly and democratically elected Hugo Chavez did you?
So, what about this persistent two-decade attack on Venezuela? Whim, whimsey, hobby, madness, or is there more to the story?
Consider this headline from September 2017, only a few months before Venezuela’s current problems started – – –
And this before the U.S. supported and/or instigated temporary coup against super-popular and certified by Jimmy Carter Mr. Chavez – – –
…it must be noted that Iraq is attempting to switch to the euro as its currency for settling oil exports, and that Venezuela is reportedly planning to follow suit. –The Japan Times: November 20, 2000
So,” you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal with that?”
Well, because of a 1974 agreement cobbled together by the Nixon administration between the U.S. and Saudis, nearly all oil trade in the world ended up requiring U.S. dollars.
Not coincidentally, this was just three years after Nixon, attempting to finish replacing the gold standard with the U.S. paper-dollar standard, closed the gold window and thus threatened to throw the world economy into chaos. This explains a lot more than most folks realize.
Remember the “petro dollar?” Well, thanks to the Saudi/U.S. established oil-for-dollars tradition, the Brits, Germans, Japanese — in fact just about everyone — had to keep dollars on hand to pay for their oil imports.
And the oil sellers also ended up with a lot of dollars. And so did the countries they bought stuff from. And the dollar tradition spread to trade in other commodities as well. That meant that a large aggregate of U.S. dollars stayed overseas and didn’t return to the U.S.
Experts estimate that “majority of cash … outside the United States” is as much as 80% of the U.S. dollars in circulation. All that money overseas has a lot to do with the fact that everyone has to pay for oil, etc., with dollars.
As Case Sprenkle of the University of Illinois puts it, “Insofar as the money remains abroad and is not used to purchase goods or services from the country that printed it, it serves as an interest-free loan from poor countries to the rich.”
That’s mostly how Uncle Sam is able to run-up such huge budget deficits without causing inflation. So far.
But what happens if people overseas stop using the dollar — and discover the only place they can spend it now is back here in the good ole’ U.S. of A.?
What would happen if the Saudi Arabians said they didn’t want to be paid [for oil] in dollars anymore, but wanted instead, to be paid, say in yen. There would be inflation that would make the 15 to 20 percent inflation in the early 80’s look good. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-NEW MEXICO, C-SPAN II, 18 May 1995 ~12:33:55 PM
Unfortunately, selling oil for something other than U.S. dollars isn’t the only thing threatening the paper-standard. It’s also become the norm for governments and central banks to stockpile U.S. Treasuries to support their own currencies.
So, if a country reduces its stock-pile of U.S. Treasuries, either by selling them off or no longer rolling them over when they reach maturity — and replaces them with something else, as in the past, gold perhaps — this also threatens the U.S. dollar paper-standard.
The problem is, the paper-standard is mostly psychological. It’s literally a con — that is, confidence — game and when the confidence evaporates, game over.
And it’s very difficult to enforce confidence, no matter how many aircraft carriers, etc. you deploy. Or to predict when the confidence will implode.
As former FED Chair Alan Greenspan confessed,
We can readily describe this process, but, to date, economists have been unable to anticipate sharp reversals in confidence. Collapsing confidence is generally described as a bursting bubble, an event incontrovertibly evident only in retrospect. –Alan Greenspan, “New challenges for monetary policy
And these days, instead of cash paper money, most of those Treasury bonds and dollars are now nothing more than electronic zeros and ones, just accounting entries in computer memories that circle the globe at about the speed of light — and can pretty much land anywhere instantly. Ah-oh!
So now we know the likely basis of this frenzied attempt to replace Venzuela’s current hood-ornament. Before he replaces the dollar. AND why Uncle was almost as desperate to replace the previous hood decoration, Mr. Chavez.
Perhaps you also noticed from that Nov. 2000 Japan Times article above that at the turn of the century, “Iraq [was] attempting to switch to the euro as its currency for settling oil exports” too?
Attempting” because as a result of the settlement ending the first U.S./Iraq so-called “War,” waged by Bush Sr., and otherwise known as “Desert Storm,” Iraq had to get U.N. permission. Yes, in case you don’t remember, there were two so-called Iraq “Wars.”
And, a little more substantial, Saddam Turns His Back on Greenbacks
In due course, the U.N. bureaucrats ruled that Iraq could indeed sell it’s oil for any currency it chose. In due course, Iraqi Food for Oil was paid for in euros rather than in dollars. Ah-oh!
Subsequently, seizing on the 911 attacks as the illegitimate and completely bogus excuse, George Bush Jr. and his cronies told at least 935 documented and recordedfalsehoods to get “us” to attack the men, women and children of Iraq for the secondtime.
Here’s the timeline:
March 2000, Iraq announces it’s intention to change Oil for Food to euros and, according to the Oct. 12, 2000 Oil & Gas News, as of Sunday, Oct. 8, the Iraq central bank announced it had begun to buy European currencies.
Twelve months later in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 “911” attacks — and using them as an illegitimate excuse — Bush Jr., Dick Cheney & Company start their bogus anti-Iraq propaganda campaign.
March 19, 2003, 18 months after 911, based on his 935+ lies, U.S. strongman Bush Jr., following in his fathers footsteps, again attacks the men, women and children of Iraq.
And, emphatically punctuating that paper-standard connection, one of the first executive orders Herr Bush Jr. signed after declaring victory on May 2, 2003 “switched trading on Iraq’s oil back to the dollar.”
So perhaps not all U.S. meddlings, assassinations, coups, invasions, regime changes, “wars,” and sanctions are done purely on whim or whimsey, although given the sheer volume of them — and with Operation Just Cause as an example — we can’t rule-out hobby and/or madness.
And there’s a missing piece. Ever since The Church Committee hearings uncovered it, we know the U.S. MSM (Main Stream Media) has been in cahoots with C.I.A./U.S. plots, lies, and scams. Bush Jr.’s Iraq war-crime with his minimum of 935 falsehoods is a good example. And unfortunately, little has changed.
In fact, it’s gotten worse. The one-sided coverage of Mr. Maduro proves nearly complete control in the U.S. Further, C.I.A. media meddling and control have expanded world-wide. Britain is particularly well controlled. German journalist Udo Ulfkotte explains the big picture this way — “We All Lie for the CIA.”
Because of this wide-spread CIA influence, there’s a marker for a standard U.S. Government tactic we can look for as a harbinger of interventions: Demonization – – –
“Well Jim, it is very important in a democracy that you have the support of the people. One of the reasons why [U.S. President] George [Herbert Walker] Bush had to demonize [Iraq’s President] Saddam Hussein was to get the support of the people, and [U.S. President] Bill Clinton has done the same thing, Vice President Gore has done the same thing with respect to [Serbian President] Milosevic.” Raymond Tanter, Fmr. Natl. Security Council Staffer, WATCH IT!, MSNBC, 2 Apr 1999, ~11:56:45 AM EST
However, demonization has a long pedigree. As described by perennial Bush Sec. of State James Baker III to top German news magazine Der Spiegel, like this for example – – –
“We made a monster of Hitler, a devil. That is why we could not, after the war, say otherwise. We had personally mobilised the masses against the devil. Thus we were forced after the war, to play along with this devils‘ scenario. We could not possibly have made it clear to our people that the war [WWII] was only an economic preventative measure!” James Baker, Der Spiegel, 13/1992
Find that hard to believe? I sure did. See how well it works?
And if you review the stories demonizing Mr. Maduro — and his popular predecessor Mr. Chavez — not to mention Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadaffi — you’ll see that demonization and the C.I.A./media/Deep-State relationship have blossomed.
There’s another central piece to the puzzle.
As revealed by the Wikileaks-liberated Army Unconventional Warfare Manual (us-fm3-05-130.pdf) , the U.S. War Department regularly uses the U.S. controlled IMF(International Monetary Fund), BIS (Bank for International Settlements) and even USAID, etc. as integral and important parts of its war strategy. Even though the U.S. Government hasn’t been legally at war since the end of WWII.
SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Transactions), the organization that makes it possible for banks to easily transfer funds among themselves, has also been compromised by the NSA and that’s an important part of what makes it possible for the U.S. Government to be passing out sanctions as if they were pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.
One of the best known examples of this evolving U.S. economic warfare was revealed when, in the early 1970s, Nixon told the CIA to “Make Chile’s economy scream” in an attempt to regime-change Chile’s popular president Salvador Allende. That didn’t work so they bombed the Presidential Palace, killing Mr. Allende. They replaced him with bloody dictator Augusto Pinochet, eventually charged with “crimes against humanity” for what his regime did to the men, women and children of Chile.
So now you know how D.C., using its illegal sanctions and other Unconventional Warfare, was able to put Venezuelans on short rations, reportedly killing 40,000 of them since 2017.
So, with complicit media, demonization — and Unconventional Warfare using IMF, BIS, USAID, and keeping SWIFT in mind for sanctions and other economic attacks — we have three tools to help us sort things out. Like this – – –
1.   Look for U.S. Government intervention against a country or its hood-ornament. These days (2019 A.D.) especially sanctions.
2.   Look for previous pressure on that country and/or it’s hood-ornament(s) from the U.S. MSM — even Brit and world-wide MSM. Particularly look for demonization.
3.   Look for a paper-standard (non-use-of-the-dollar) connection.
These points are also predictive. Our tactic is simple: If we see U.S. Government pressure on a country or its hood-ornament, look for a paper-standard connection. If we find one, look out, intervention(s) are highly likely.
And, even when non-use-of-the-dollar isn’t the main consideration, it’s often a strong contributing factor.
With Venezuela and Iraq, we have two pretty good examples of how all this works.
Let’s see if we can apply the formula to other countries.
You’ve probably noticed the on-going demonization of Mr. Putin and Russia? Or at least it’s effects. Perhaps you even took a sip of that kool-aid yourself?
Despite one of Mr. Putin’s favorite operational phrases, “Our friends and partners in the west” — and Mr. Trump’s observation that Russia “isn’t an enemy but just a competitor and could even become a friend” — the U.S. MIC/MSM/Deep-State amalgam is successfully exploiting the confusion Americans have between the old communist USSR and today’s non-communist Russia.
Why do you suppose?
The MIC part of the Deep-State must, of course, have a scary enemy to justify its runaway “Defense” spending and rampant waste and so, to make Uncle’s soap-opera work, has been busily creating Russia as its Essential Villain .
But is there a paper-standard connection too?
Here’s a clue – – –
“Dumping dollars” is now called, appropriately, “de-dollarization. The idea has been around for quite awhile, but with Uncle threatening and irritating nearly everyone — and Russia now taking the lead — well, all those dollar accounting entries circling the globe at the speed of light may be looking at Capistrano — or more likely, the banking centers of New York, Chicago, D.C. and San Francisco as places to land.
Despite trade negotiations, likely to fall far short of Trump’s stated goals, China has also begun to draw U.S. heat. Ironically, the U.S. periodically accuses China of currency manipulation for previously keeping the yuan pegged to the dollar.
Led by Steve Bannon and the resurrected “Committee On The Present Danger” there’s the ginned-up on-going narrative about China trying to impose it’s Belt and Road free-trade initiative on Europe, Africa and the Far East, take-over the South China Sea, and exaggerating its rather wimpy — compared to the U.S. — military build-up.
The main talking point is that “China is our greatest existential threat.”
Do you suppose there might be paper-standard connections?
And there’s Uncle’s perennial whipping-boy Iran. In violation of International Law as usual, Trump’s main morons are now — mostly using sanctions — attempting to stop allIranian oil trade. While stupid, immoral, illegal and dangerous, this is as usual, clearly in line with Uncle’s role as Israel’s female canine, but is there a paper-standard connection as well?
There are so many developments dissing the dollar lately, it’s difficult to attach them to particular countries. For example, there are two movements to replace SWIFT.
SPFS is a Russian based equivalent, created by the Russian Central Bank to circumvent U.S. initiated SWIFT interference with its financial transactions. Additionally in September 2018, Iran, the EU Commission, Germany, France, UK, Russia and China proposed developing an alternative to SWIFT, not including the U.S. —SWIFT use in sanctions
And – – –
Putin’s plan is similar to that of Iran, which announced that it would open an oil-bourse (oil exchange) on Kish Island in two months. The bourse would allow oil transactions to be made in petro-euros, thus discarding the dollar. … Vladimir Putin and the rise of the petro-ruble, Mike Whitney, May 21, 2006
Currently, China has started an oil exchange denominated in yuan.
And most troubling,
Could that threat be why Mr. Trump vetoed Congress’ first attempt in 70 years to control unconstitutional U.S. war involvement by ending support for the Saudi-led murder of the men, women and children in Yemen?
And not just incidentally, killing more men, women and children is a classic result of the the paper-standard. As Ferdinand Lips explains so well, compared to the gold standard, the paper-standard makes financing wars easy and so they happen more often, are longer, stronger, and kill more innocent men, women and children.
As some folks like to put it, “The U.S. dollar used to be supported by gold, now it’s supported by aircraft carriers, B-52s and killer drones.
I think we can safely add that it’s also supported by election meddling, coup, regime change, assassination, sanctions, invasion, and fake undeclared war. Perhaps, then, a more accurate title for this piece would be “Intervention and the Paper Standard.”
Keep in mind that, other than nuclear annihilation, by far the greatest and least controllable “existential threat” to the U.S., particularly the government, is the loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency and collapse of the paper-standard.
Maybe you were already aware this is a factor in U.S. foreign policy but, although available in plain sight, it’s usually avoided and/or hushed-up, especially in official communications. For example, during Federal Reserve hearings, you sometimes hear things like this: “Thank you Mr. Chairman. I know that you have to be careful in the terms you use and particularly of using terms that might become self-fulfilling prophecies.
And there’s a subtle but insidious problem with the way Trump and the U.S. Deep State are chronically implementing “All options are on the table” Games Theory. Originally a U.S. invention, Games Theory is based on poker.
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The problem with poker — and BTW mercantilism as well — is that, unlike voluntary exchange in unhanmpered markets, it’s a zero-sum game. If you’re in a game with someone who thinks they’re playing poker, someone wins and someone loses — and they intend to make sure you’re the loser.
Unhampered markets on the other hand — and other forms of normal co-operation — are, in the long run, nearly always win-win propositions. As long as they stay unhampered — and normal. But it looks to me like Mr. Trump and the Deep State are programmedto play all-in poker.
Understandably, Uncle doesn’t want the dollar to go quietly into the night. Unfortunately Uncle’s alternative seems to be raging against the passing of the light — maybe with a whole lot of nuclear flashes.
Is this acceptable? Will the world call Uncle’s bluff — or has he forgotten, especially with thoroughly nuked-up Russia, he’s playing a game where everyone loses?
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L. Reichard White [send him mail] taught physics, designed and built a house, ran for Nevada State Senate, served two terms on the Libertarian National Committee, managed a theater company, etc. For the next few decades, he supported his writing habit by beating casinos at their own games. His hobby, though, is explaining things he wishes someone had explained to him. You can find a few of his other explanations listed here.