Bush Still Sees Threat After 9-11

The Financial Times margin story lead frames President Bush’s anniversary remarks around the September 2001 attack and its aftermath.  The United States president is still suggesting that “after 9/11, Saddam Hussein posed a risk that the world could not afford to take.”  Now what, exactly, was that risk?

It was not a link to Osama bin Laden.  It was not weapons of mass destruction.  It was not nuclear development and delivery against Israel or the US.  It was not an invasion of “Kuwait” (yeah, it’s in quotes, dammit – look it up).  It could not have been that he treated his own citizens so poorly.  The US foreign policy has never countenanced such action.  After all, the US has close ties to China and Saudi Arabia.  They used to have close ties to apartheid South Africa.  They used to have close ties to fascist Germany and Italy.  It’s even been revealed that the US has a hand in the current carnage in East Africa.  So, the “freedom” aspect of this is little more than a red herring.  Moreover, it isn’t even worth discussing unless someone can demonstrate how the citizenry of a sovereign state gained greater control over the material wealth of their homeland – post US intervention.  This pattern is not in evidence in Central America, South America, Asia or Africa. 

So, what was this threat posed by Saddam Hussein that the world could not afford to take?

I’ve suggested that Hussein proposed a move that threatened US dollar hegemony.  He proposed selling Iraqi oil on global markets in euros, thereby eliminating the need for foreign central banks to retain large dollar holdings.  Japan, China and other net importers of energy hold large dollar reserves in order to purchase oil from Saudi Arabia and other nations in which oil is only traded in dollars.  Since it costs the US government nothing (relatively speaking) to print dollars – and since those dollars are not backed by a material reserve (gold), other governments are effectively taxed by the United States.  By switching to euros, Saddam Hussein threatened to challenge the US’ capacity to tax other nation states.  One of the first actions taken by the US following the removal of Hussein from office was to scrub all actions relating to trading Iraqi in euros.  That option is off the table.  Nations purchasing Iraqi oil must do so using US dollars. 

It is unlikely that W will get around to revealing this as a possible cause of the conflict.  After all, national surveys continue to reveal that Americans have woefully inadequate knowledge of economics and geography.  How can you begin to understand your world without a grasp of these two areas of study?  The populace is not entirely to blame.  While Americans embrace the notion of free will, democracy and choice, many are unaware of the extent to which school curricula has been constructed and reconstructed to dumb down the electorate.  Subjects like economics and history are not taught in American public schools.  Social studies is neither history nor economics nor politics.  It is a watered-down hodge podge of decontextualized factoids.  The result, unfortunately, has been a decreasing capacity to make connections that would seem obvious to others around the world. 

Questions of geography, ethnicity, resources and such remain unasked by the students and the teachers.  The context has been shifted from one of rights and resources for sovereign people to implied threats from boogie men.  We live in a time where men like Bush and his cabal will escape persecution for engaging in an illegal war based on willfully falsified “evidence.”  Their evasion is only made possible by the absence of clarity among US citizens.  The world has already voted.


  1. Their evasion is only made possible by the absence of clarity among US citizens.

    Methinkst you give Cobb’s pet “basically decent” demographic a too charitable pass. Plenty enough of these muta’fikkas understand exactly what’s at stake and have no compunction about maintaining their(our?) “way of life” by any means necessary.

    There are no innocents…,

  2. It’s funny that you say that. I’ve used that exact phrase before re: innocents. I would agree that the majority of folks are aware – and choose from vested interest…but on the flip side, I know that plenty of folks are dumber than a box of rocks when it comes to this stuff and know nothing of what they speak. Their words are like Windows Media Player – it’s bundled with shit they already paid for.

    I thinking explcitly about the John Gatto books on “dumbing us down.” I can’t have it both ways here. Everyone can’t be in the know – and still be dumbed down. That critical mass, though, is definitely in the know. Plenty enough do know – I’ll never disagree with that. While you were at MIT, I was at Colgate and/or U-M and we clearly agree that you can’t tell the lie unless you know the truth.

    That covers the teachers – but it doesn’t cover all the students.

    Please don’t get to linkin’ me with Cobb and givin’ folks passes. I could have been more specific about the # of US citizens in a fog – but I believe the ignorance outpaces the dogma with many of these folks…

    That said, I don’t believe the solution is more information or training. I’m with Bobby Wright on this one. The psychopathic racial personality will not be negotiated or taught out its illness.

  3. Please don’t get to linkin’ me with Cobb and givin’ folks passes.

    Now, now…, I wasn’t suggesting that you’re employing Cobb’s strategery, which IMHO is a massive role play in which he seeks to don the garb of sympathetic common ground with white conservatives, and yes, I’m of the opinion that he’s intentionally playing make believe, but actually knows better, and, that his work is directed at building bridges.

    No, what I was suggesting was that the demographic to whom Cobb directs outreach, is actually not so ignorant or unclear concerning what is being done in their name. I think that a considerable % of what Cobb would allege are “basically decent” do in fact know where and how American sausage is made, and simply choose not to give a phuk because they like the taste of sausage.

    There’s simply too much history beginning with the Phillipine/American and Spanish/American wars in which Murka began picking up thangs, you know little thangs, like Puerto Rico and the Phillipines, and that shit has just continued in a unbroken series ever since. I believe the American mass has great clarity on the what, why, and wherefore of our presence in Iraq as being tied to resource appropriation.

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