"News Fit to Transmit in the Post Cassini Flyby Era"
Stop the War * Ritter's Predictions * Oil&Currency * Kucinich
27 March 2003"We are not liberating Iraq, we are destroying Iraq."
– Scott Ritter
1) UNITING FOR PEACE - ACTION - NOW -
2) Scott Ritter Predicts - US Will Lose in its War on Iraq
3) Oil, Currency and the War on Iraq
4) Kucinich: The Workers' White House
It may appear impossible, but we must at least try to stop this war before the military assault continures on the ground against Baghdad.. Why? According to Greenpeace, "Thanks to an initiative from the Arab League, the UN is not hiding its head in the sand over the war in Iraq. We now have a crucial opportunity for the world to condemn the war in Iraq." The world united can stop the senselessness of a terror-rising war.
In item 2 Scott Ritter says, "We're in Iraq --carrying out the right-wing neo-conservative motives of a handful of people. The Richard Perle's, Paul Wolfowitz's; the Dick Cheney's. And we've allowed them to hijack our foreign policy." This statement reminds me of the critical video that Flyby News presented this last week: "What I've Learned About US Foreign Policy: The War on the Third World."
This video is the best overview of the history of a secret government enforcing a ruthless foreign policy that may have included involvement and/or cover-up of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and others. The evidence of the ruthlessness and the distorted aims of the neoconservatives (referred to by Ritter), the criminal conduct against the US Constitution, is atrocious. It is time for a change. The video details the trail of the conspirators of US foreign policy since the signing of the National Security Act of 1947. Scott Ritter predicts in this current undeclared war that the US will lose in Iraq. The people most faithful in supporting our troops will call for an end to this aggression and preemptive strike on Iraq, and return to a peaceful process for inspections and rule of International Law.
Item 3 gives some explanations for the US military scourge in Iraq, how it interplays with oil and the Euro and US currencies. The author, Cóilín Nunan, concludes: "The fear for Washington will be that not only will the future price of oil not be right, but the currency might not be right either. Which perhaps helps explain why the US is increasingly turning to its second major tool for dominating world affairs: military force."
In item 4 is excerpts from Dennis Kucinich's speech to members of the Iowa AFL-CIO on Monday February 17. This was near the time when he announced his decision to run for President. The Iowa primaries are coming up, next January. This is the time to choose to make a commitment to help build such a powerful grass roots campaigns that no dirty tricks can stop the power of the people to reclaim their government, integrity, and freedom.
Please take actions to support ‘Uniting for Peace', the UN's initiative, and help the campaign for the people to elect Dennis Kucinich for US President.
Such actions are in support of our troops, and for those innocent people being harmed by the politics of deceit, fear, and destruction.
**********************************************************************1) UNITING FOR PEACE - ACTION - NOW -
Greenpeace: Urgent Peace Opportunity
Thanks to an initiative from the Arab League, the UN is not hiding its head in the sand over the war in Iraq. We now have a crucial opportunity for the world to condemn the war in Iraq.
On Wednesday, 26 March, there was an 'open session' of the UN Security Council, and members are expected to put forward a resolution condemning the war and calling for a ceasefire. The debate is expected to carry on until Thursday, but it is clear that any such resolution will be vetoed by the US and UK.
Arab League Foreign Ministers, as well as their colleagues in the non-Aligned Movement, have said that if there is no Security Council resolution, they will invoke Resolution 377 ('Uniting for Peace'), and call for an Emergency Session of the UN General Assembly, where a resolution calling for an end to the war would get overwhelming support.
We have chosen several countries whose support for this move is key to its success. Any country that puts this forward, will have to be able to withstand diplomatic and economic blackmail from the US and the UK in order to exercise their democratic right to speak on behalf of their people.
Please use this link:http://act.greenpeace.org/ams/e?a=733&s=wr
to write to the Foreign Ministers of Cuba, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Fiji, Mexico, Chile, Germany, Russia, and France, and ask them to support 'Uniting for Peace'.
You can discuss the campaign for a 'Uniting for Peace' resolution here:http://act.greenpeace.org/1048719593
For information on the Greenpeace Cyberactivist Community, visit:http://act.greenpeace.org
For Flyby's updated ‘Uniting for Peace to Resolve the Iraq Crisis'
2) Scott Ritter Predicts - US Will Lose in its War on Iraq
US WILL LOSE
THE IRAQ WAR
—says Scott Ritter
25th March, 2003
by Fintan Dunne, Editor
Thorn in the side of the American administration, and former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter, has warned that America will lose the Iraq war and the American military "will leave Iraq with its
tail between its legs."
In an interview with Irish radio, Mr. Ritter said that the conflict would become an "absolute quagmire," and the US-UK advance would stall outside Baghdad and fail to capture the city.
"We find ourselves... facing a nation of 23 million, with armed elements numbering around 7 million --who are concentrated at urban areas. We will not win this fight. America will lose this war," said Mr. Ritter.
According to Mr. Ritter, too many in the Pentagon have listened to "the blithering of Iraqi expatriates," whose agenda coincides with neo-conservatives in the White House.
"We're in Iraq --carrying out the right-wing neo-conservative motives of a handful of people. The Richard Perle's, Paul Wolfowitz's; the Dick Cheney's. And we've allowed them to hijack our foreign policy," he told Irish broadcaster, Vincent Browne on the RTE1 radio "Tonight Show."
He warned that Shia Muslims in the South were not fighting because of intimidation by the Iraqi government, but because of nationalistic and religious reasons.
"They're doing it because, the American Crusader Infidel has invaded and violated Holy Iraq, and they will resist us, and they will resist us strongly," said Mr. Ritter. "We are not liberating Iraq, we are destroying Iraq," he added later in the interview.
Scott Ritter, is a former U.N. weapons inspector and author of the book "Endgame." Ritter, a ballistic-missile technology expert, worked in military intelligence during his 12-year career in the U.S. armed forces. In 1998, Ritter resigned from the U.N. Special Commissions team to protest Clinton Administration policies that he said subverted the weapons inspection process.
For Full Transcript & Audio, see:http://www.gulufuture.com/news/scott_ritter030325.htm
3) Oil, Currency and the War on Iraq
Cóilín Nunan: Oil, Currency and the War on Iraq
It will not come as news to anyone that the US dominates the world economically and militarily. But the exact mechanisms by which American hegemony has been established and maintained are perhaps less well understood than they might be. One tool used to great effect has been the dollar, but its efficacy has recently been under threat since Europe introduced the euro.
The dollar is the de facto world reserve currency: the US currency accounts for approximately two thirds of all official exchange reserves. More than four-fifths of all foreign exchange transactions and half of all world exports are denominated in dollars. In addition, all IMF loans are denominated in dollars.
But the more dollars there are circulating outside the US, or invested by foreign owners in American assets, the more the rest of the world has had to provide the US with goods and services in exchange for these dollars. The dollars cost the US next to nothing to produce, so the fact that the world uses the currency in this way means that the US is importing vast quantities of goods and services virtually for free.
Since so many foreign-owned dollars are not spent on American goods and services, the US is able to run a huge trade deficit year after year without apparently any major economic consequences. The most recently published figures, for example, show that in November of last year US imports were worth 48% more than US exports1. No other country can run such a large trade deficit with impunity. The financial media tell us the US is acting as the ‘consumer of last resort' and the implication is that we should be thankful, but a more enlightening description of this state of affairs would be to say that it is getting a massive interest-free loan from the rest of the world.
While the US' position may seem inviolable, one should remember that the more you have, the more you have to lose. And recently there have been signs of how, for the first time in a long time, the US may be beginning to lose.
One of the stated economic objectives, and perhaps the primary objective, when setting up the euro was to turn it into a reserve currency to challenge the dollar so that Europe too could get something for nothing. This however would be a disaster for the US. Not only would they lose a large part of their annual subsidy of effectively free goods and services, but countries switching to euro reserves from dollar reserves would bring down the value of the US currency. Imports would start to cost Americans a lot more and as increasing numbers of those holding dollars began to spend them, the US would have to start paying its debts by supplying in goods and services to foreign countries, thus reducing American living standards. As countries and businesses converted their dollar assets into euro assets, the US property and stock market bubbles would, without doubt, burst. The Federal Reserve would no longer be able to print more money to reflate the bubble, as it is currently openly considering doing, because, without lots of eager foreigners prepared to mop them up, a serious inflation would result which, in turn, would make foreigners even more reluctant to hold the US currency and thus heighten the crisis.
There is though one major obstacle to this happening: oil. Oil is not just by far the most important commodity traded internationally, it is the lifeblood of all modern industrialised economies. If you don't have oil, you have to buy it. And if you want to buy oil on the international markets, you usually have to have dollars. Until recently all OPEC countries agreed to sell their oil for dollars only. So long as this remained the case, the euro was unlikely to become the major reserve currency: there is not a lot of point in stockpiling euros if every time you need to buy oil you have to change them into dollars. This arrangement also meant that the US effectively part-controlled the entire world oil market: you could only buy oil if you had dollars, and only one country had the right to print dollars - the US.
If on the other hand OPEC were to decide to accept euros only for its oil (assuming for a moment it were allowed to make this decision), then American economic dominance would be over. Not only would Europe not need as many dollars anymore, but Japan which imports over 80% of its oil from the Middle East would think it wise to convert a large portion of its dollar assets to euro assets (Japan is the major subsidiser of the US because it holds so many dollar investments). The US on the other hand, being the world's largest oil importer would have, to run a trade surplus to acquire euros. The conversion from trade deficit to trade surplus would have to be achieved at a time when its property and stock market prices were collapsing and its domestic supplies of oil and gas were contracting. It would be a very painful conversion.
The purely economic arguments for OPEC converting to the euro, at least for a while, seem very strong. The Euro-zone does not run a huge trade deficit nor is it heavily indebted to the rest of the world like the US and interest rates in the Euro-zone are also significantly higher. The Euro-zone has a larger share of world trade than the US and is the Middle East's main trading partner. And nearly everything you can buy for dollars you can also buy for euros - apart, of course, from oil. Furthermore, if OPEC were to convert their dollar assets to euro assets and then require payment for oil in Euros, their assets would immediately increase in value, since oil importing countries would be forced to also convert part of their assets, driving the prices up. For OPEC, backing the euro would be a self-fulfilling prophesy. They could then at some later date move to some other currency, perhaps back to the dollar, and again make huge profits.
But of course it is not a purely economic decision.
So far only one OPEC country has dared switch to the euro: Iraq, in November 20002,3. There is little doubt that this was a deliberate attempt by Saddam to strike back at the US, but in economic terms it has also turned out to have been a huge success: at the time of Iraq's conversion the euro was worth around 83 US cents but it is now worth over $1.05. There may however be other consequences to this decision.
One other OPEC country has been talking publicly about possible conversion to the euro since 1999: Iran2,4, a country which has since been included in the George W. Bush's ‘axis of evil'.
A third OPEC country which has recently fallen out with the US government is Venezuela and it too has been showing disloyalty to the dollar. Under Hugo Chavez's rule, Venezuela has established barter deals for trading its oil with 12 Latin American countries as well as Cuba. This means that the US is missing out on its usual subsidy and might help explain the American wish to see the back of Chavez. At the OPEC summit in September 2000, Chavez delivered to the OPEC heads of state the report of the 'International Seminar on the Future of Energy', a conference called by Chavez earlier that year to examine the future supplies of both fossil and renewable energies. One of the two key recommendations of the report was that ‘OPEC take advantage of high-tech electronic barter and bi-lateral exchanges of its oil with its developing country customers'5, i.e. OPEC should avoid using both the dollar and the euro for many transactions.
And last April, a senior OPEC representative gave a public speech in Spain during Spain's presidency of the EU during which he made clear that though OPEC had as yet no plans to make oil available for euros, it was an option that was being considered and which could well be of economic benefit to many OPEC countries, particularly those of the Middle East6.
As oil production is now in decline in most oil producing countries, the importance of the remaining large oil producers, particularly those of the Middle East, is going to grow and grow in years to come(7).
Iraq, whose oil production has been severely curtailed by sanctions, is one of a very small number of countries which can help ease this looming oil shortage. Europe, like most of the rest of the world, wishes to see a peaceful resolution of the current US-Iraqi tensions and a gradual lifting of the sanctions - this would certainly serve its interests best. But as Iraqi oil is denominated in euros, allowing it to become more widely available at present could loosen the dollar stranglehold and possibly do more damage than good to US economic health.
All of this is bad news for the US economy and the dollar. The fear for Washington will be that not only will the future price of oil not be right, but the currency might not be right either. Which perhaps helps explain why the US is increasingly turning to its second major tool for dominating world affairs: military force.
Anon., ‘Trade Deficit Surges to a Record High', Reuters, (January 17, 2003),http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/4970891.htm
Recknagel, Charles, ‘Iraq: Baghdad Moves to Euro', Radio Free Europe (November 1, 2000),http://www.rferl.org/nca/features/2000/11/01112000160846.asp
Anon., ‘A Look At The World's Economy', CBS Worldwide Inc., (December 22, 2000), http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/12/22/2000/main259203.shtml
Anon., ‘Iran may switch to euro for crude sale payments', Alexander Oil and Gas, (September 5, 2002), http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/news/ntm23638.htm
Hazel Henderson, ‘Globocop v. Venezuela's Chavez: Oil, Globalization and Competing Visions of Development', InterPress Service, (April 2002),http://www.hazelhenderson.com/Globocop%20v.%20Chavez.htm
Javad Yarjani, ‘The Choice of Currency for the Denomination of the Oil Bill', (April 14, 2002),http://www.opec.org/NewsInfo/Speeches/sp2002/spAraqueSpainApr14.htm
The Association for the Study of Peak Oil, Newsletter 26, (February 2003),http://www.asponews.org
‘The Real Reasons for the Upcoming War With Iraq:
A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth', (January 2003), see:http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/RRiraqWar.html
This item is posted at: http://www.feasta.org/documents/papers/oil1.htm
Copyright © Feasta. All rights reserved.
For more information on Feasta and Energy, see:http://www.feasta.org/energy.htm
4) Kucinich: The Workers' White House
The Workers' White House
U.S. Representative Dennis J. Kucinich
The Iowa AFL-CIO
Monday, February 17, 2003
Brothers and Sisters. I am Dennis Kucinich. I am a dues-paying member of the camera operator's union, IATSE Local 600, of the AFL-CIO. Tomorrow I am filing papers in Washington, DC to explore becoming President of the United States of America. Let us make 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue the address of Worker's Local Number One.
On this President's Day 2003, let us reflect upon another address. One made at Gettysburg, where Lincoln prayed that "a government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from this earth." If I am elected President, this union membership card will be placed on my desk as a reminder that in America the people rule.
You are the "people" to whom the spirit of Lincoln speaks today. You in this room and you, who clean the streets of snow, who pick up the garbage, repair the potholes, keep the tap water running, keep the lights burning, and put out the fires. You, who plant and grow America's food, who sell the food in supermarkets, who prepare and serve it in restaurants. You, who drive the trucks and buses that deliver people and goods. You who work at the post office and deliver the mail. You who protect our neighborhoods. You who protect the future by educating our children. You who protect our health, who nurse the sick. You who make steel, who make machines which turn the wheels of society, make cars coursing through the streets of big cities, make trains which stream across the country side, and planes which soar through the air. It is you and you. You are the people of whom Lincoln spoke when he proclaimed a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
This election is about your right to have a government you can call your own, a people's President, a Workers' White House.
We know workers' influence has been diminished in our national government. The passage of NAFTA was proof enough. NAFTA promised new manufacturing jobs, but NAFTA has been devastating to America's workers. Three million jobs, many of them in manufacturing, have been lost since NAFTA passed. Each lost job represents dreams deferred or shattered. Each lost job represents a family and a home that was threatened. Health insurance that was lost. Retirement benefits jeopardized. Children's educational opportunities postponed. The US Trade deficit was $417 billion in 2001. NAFTA has exported jobs and imported poverty..
What would a Workers' White House look like? It would protect the right to strike. ". . . There is no other bargaining but collective bargaining," civil rights attorney Clarence Darrow said. As President I will reject any request to force workers back to work against their will. Employers would have to negotiate in good faith with the workers.
What would a Workers' White House look like? It would fight every single day for national health care for all. No one in America should be without adequate health care. No one should be afraid to go to a doctor because they cannot pay for it. No one should have to worry about losing everything they have worked for in life because of a major illness.
Globalization, NAFTA, and national health care are three issues which even Democratic candidates do not want to talk about. I'll tell you a fourth. Everyone knows it is the sons and daughters of America's working men and women who are the first called into battle. It has always been that way. Except this Administration has not made its case to go to war against Iraq.
I am the only candidate in this race who actually voted against the war, who led the efforts in the House of Representatives over the last year, who organized 126 Democrats to vote against the war.
The facts are these: Iraq was not responsible for 911, for Al-Qaeda's role in 911, for the anthrax attacks on our country. The Administration has not made its case for war. Iraq does not have missile technology which can reach our shores. Iraq has not been demonstrated to have usable weapons of mass destruction.
Inspections should continue. They worked before. They can work again. Iraq was contained. It can continue to be contained. America's power is a deterrence to an attack by any nation.
This war is wrong. It puts at risk the lives of our servicemen and service women. It puts at risk the lives of innocent civilians in Iraq. Surely everyone understands that if we kill thousands of civilians, anger against America will rise and we will increasingly become less safe here at home.
We have a right to defend ourselves. It is a foundational principle. We also have an obligation not to make America less safe. Every grade school athlete knows the difference between defense and offense and America is about to go on the offensive in the world, for empire, for oil but not for us. This Administration, which is run by energy interests, gave a trillion dollar tax cut to the rich and is prepared to accelerate the transfer of wealth through a war which will cost at least $200 billion dollars and perhaps much more. No money for health care. No money for child care. No money for living wages. No money for Social Security. No money for Medicare. Only money for tax cuts for the rich and only money for war. That's your money they are spending to send your sons and daughters to their war. And in the end corporate interests will win while fresh new graves will be dug on two continents.
What would a Worker's White House do? Protect this nation when we are attacked, but not attack another nation so we are forced to protect the nation once again. Use diplomacy to work for disarmament everywhere, not only in Iraq. We have proven that deterrence is the way to avert annihilation. It is the only way. Once we set these weapons at work in the world the situation goes out of control and war breaks loose around the world.
Once again the hopes of people of two nations are being smashed by weapons in the name of eliminating weapons. Let us abolish weapons of mass destruction at home. Corporate control of government is a weapon of mass destruction. Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Homelessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction. Poor education is a weapon of mass destruction. Discrimination is weapon of mass destruction.
Let us use hundreds of billions of our tax dollars instead for the restoration of the dreams of the American worker, to rebuild our economy and to expand opportunities for all. We have a duty to assert our human needs as a people and not to yield them for the base concerns of an unresponsive government: We have a right to a job. We have a right to decent housing. We have a right to health care. Peace is a precondition which makes all other rights possible.
Peace will protect the rights of workers. The administration has already used national security to try to roll back the rights of the American Federation of Government Employees. It is attempting to frustrate efforts of airport security workers to organize. Its anti-worker agenda includes not only strike breaking, attacking collective bargaining, it also includes cheating workers out of time and a half for overtime. This is the moment for workers all over America to strengthen the cause of peace and for all those who work for peace to rally to the cause of the American worker.
You can change the course of this election. Labor has the power. You, Iowa's union members, are the gatekeepers to the Democratic nomination. I call on you to use your power to put globalization on the agenda. Use your power to put NAFTA back on the table. Use your power to put national health insurance back on the table. And let's stop this war before it starts. I ask you to consider using your power to choose a nominee from the House of Labor, one of Labor's sons, one of your brothers. You can change the course of this election.
What would a Worker's White House do? It would unite people. It would show them their power. It would work for prosperity and peace. It would create solidarity. The kind of solidarity which birthed this nation, the kind of solidarity which births unions, the kind of solidarity which will create a rebirth in America.
The complete speech is posted:http://www.kucinich.us/speech11.htm
For the official web for the campaign to elect Dennis Kucinich for US President in 2004, see: www.kucinich.us
For Flyby News's updated "K" page with links to other speeches, articles, etc., and about a new film documentary in the works, see: Kucinich for US President
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