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View Diary: When Jon Stewart & Diane Feinstein Both Blast the Israel Lobby, You Know the Game Is Changing (104 comments)

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  •  You need a big score card (11+ / 0-)

    to follow the players in all these conflicts and even then it gets confusing but it all boils down to being the biggest player in the oil field

    "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013

    by TheMomCat on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:42:19 PM PST

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    •  The Saudi years (15+ / 0-)

      as the biggest player are numbered.

      There is serious concern that some of their most productive fields, including Gharwar, will be nearing the ends of their productive lives around the end of this decade.

      We are beginning to shop around. Support for the petro-dollar is very important to the PTB.

      One benefit is the oil producers’ role in sending surplus revenues to the US via bank deposits, purchases of US securities, and other investments. In the period 1970-1982, about 30 percent of the Gulf producers’ $750 billion in oil revenues went toward foreign investment, mostly in notes of various Western banks, corporations, and governments. The huge surpluses earned by OPEC countries during the 1970s ($173 billion between 1974 and 1977) were mostly placed in unregulated offshore branches of Chase Manhattan and other banks. Prior to the first Gulf War, Kuwait had vast Western investments including US Treasury bonds, portfolios managed by Citibank, gold reserves in the Federal Reserve and Bank of England, and a 10% stake in BP - which largely explains why it was okay for Iraq to invade Iran but not Kuwait. Thomas Ferguson wrote at the time that "petrodollar surpluses of the leading Middle East states no longer represent the Amazon of world capitalism…[but] the Gulf certainly qualifies as a world economy’s Mississippi, a father of financial waters that still flows majestically into New York and London (where the largest US banks…have branches)."

      Arms sales are another means by which petrodollars are recycled back to the US, which boosts the domestic arms industry while engendering strategic cooperation and building military capability for enforcement of US hegemony. The Shah of Iran was an especially voracious customer; by the late 1970s Iran had become the largest foreign purchaser of US arms, spending $17 billion over the decade. With this assistance the Shah performed many useful tasks, such as confronting Iraq and the Soviet Union, helping put down an insurgency in Oman, and maintaining a secret police (SAVAK, created by the CIA) for quelling internal dissent. Saudi Arabia is an important patron, as in 1981 when it purchased AWACS surveillance planes. These were part of an integrated region-wide air defense system built to US specifications for hosting the US Rapid Deployment force (later the Central Command headed by Norman Schwarzkopf). Military analyst Anthony Cordesman noted that $8.5 billion sale agreement would "help strengthen US ability to deploy forces from the eastern Mediterranean and project them as far east as Pakistan…No conceivable buildup of US strategic mobility…could act as a substitute for such facilities in Saudi Arabia." In other words, Saudi oil money funded US strategic objectives. The first Gulf War furthered these objectives considerably: not only did the US move closer to long-desired Saudi land bases, but by five months after the war the US had sold massive quantities of arms throughout the region, including Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.

      The above is from an essay by A.J. Chien which I had downloaded and saved. I can no longer find a link to it.

      Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

      by truong son traveler on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:12:05 PM PST

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    •  As I said to another poster (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheMomCat, kyril

      I completely forgot about the oil situation in Saudi Arabia.  

      Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011) Voting is a louder voice than a bullhorn but sometimes you need that bullhorn to retain your vote.

      by Rosalie907 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:47:28 PM PST

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