To many Americans, the last few decades of American Foreign policy may seem curious. The press takes note of human rights violations in the Middle East, but ignores those in other regions. While Amnesty International has proven the existence of approximately 200,000 North Korean prisoners within the state’s own concentration camps, countries like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran are given heavy scrutiny. This scrutiny is typically followed by military intervention, and as the current narratives run, intervention seems imminent in the Middle East. While this observation alone doesn’t necessarily prove that these military campaigns have unjust causes, a brief look at history will reveal a pattern of occupation and intervention that should lead every American to reconsider one of the most fundamental questions he or she can ask:
“What are we fighting for? Why do we bury our sons and brothers in lonely graves far from home? Our men are dying to preserve a way of life. These courageous, these rights are precious enough to fight for, precious enough to die for. “
Every American may have his or her own beliefs regarding why we fight and where, but upon the examination of recent events in historical context, it becomes clear that our military intentions are not what they seem.
The U.S. military intervention in the Middle East hasn’t resulted in any direct theft of oil; however, it has always followed after an indirect attack on the dollar. Without government intervention like a minimum wage or taxes, all products in the world like iPods, clothes, cars, oil, ets…, are priced according to the laws of supply and demand. If many people want a product like oil or gold, their prices tend to go up. If fewer people demand these products, or the supply shifts, prices go down. Currencies like the dollar and Euro lose and gain value based on supply and demand, too. If more people want to use the dollar for trade or to buy products from the U.S, the dollar becomes more valuable. If countries stop trading in the dollar or Euro, their values fall. By forcing the countries in the Middle East to use the dollar, we are using our military to keep it more valuable.
In the more recent past, countries based their currencies on things like gold or silver. The value of the dollar used to be based on gold as well. From 1944 to 1971, the value of the dollar was fixed to 34$ for an ounce of gold. Why was it taken off? The U.S., through L.B. Johnson’s “Great Society” social spending and the costly war in Vietnam, it was obvious we had printed more dollars to pay for government than we could back up in gold. Fearing a run on gold, many countries began trading their dollars for the U.S.’s gold. Realizing a run on gold would break the U.S. financial system, Nixon takes the dollar off gold.
So then what was the dollar based on? Other countries began asking the same question, and the value of the dollar plummeted. As the value declines, we get what’s seen as inflation. Rampant inflation during the coming years, including over 13% during the Carter administration, stemmed from speculation of the dollar’s worth. To prop up demand for the dollar, we begin making deals in the Middle East. In 1973, Saudi Arabia, and eventually all of OPEC, agreed to sell their oil only in dollars.
Anytime since then when a country tries to remove their oil sales from the dollar, the CIA or military overthrows the government or goes to war. Leading up until the Iraq invasion, Salaam was in the process of removing Iraqi oil from the dollar and selling in Euros. The President and media quickly scared the public into believing he had “weapons of mass destruction.” We all know since then these were lies, intended or unintended. More recently in Libya, when Gadhafi tried to sell his oil in gold, the U.S. supported rebels that overthrew the government. Now, Iran is trying to sell its oil in the Chinese Yuan… and guess who has “weapons of mass destruction” again? The government and media are quickly rallying support for Israel and antagonizing violence with Iran and its ally Syria. Harsh sanctions are being imposed on Iran that have led to thousands of civilian deaths. Malnutrition from lack of food due to similar sanctions in the ‘90’s accounted for the death of 500,000 children in Iran. Is there anything moral about killing 500,000 children, and repeating the same policy?
Everyone is free to believe what they will. You can believe Iran is a threat to national security, that Sadaam was evil and needed to be overthrown, that Ghadaffi was bad guy, etc… That is still perfectly fine, and they may have all been really nasty dudes. That doesn’t change the fact that we only use the negative aspects of these countries as an excuse for war. We ignore genocide in all other corners of the world except the Middle East. We will force these countries to use our crumbling dollar until even the high demand of oil can’t prop it up or our military runs out of money to force its use. So to answer the opening question:
“What are we fighting for? Why do we bury our sons and brothers in lonely graves far from home?”
Well, what do you think? Is it for moral reasons? Are we supporting peace by overthrowing dictators? Are we protecting Israel from another holocaust? Are our men are dying to preserve a way of life?
… or are we paying for irresponsible economic policies by letting our troops die in currency wars? Are we propping up our debt by bombing other countries? Are we really trading blood for oil?
Stay thinking my friends,
Source: Amnesty.org, Geomentary.tv, Fsmitha.com, RT.com