to 30 million people in 600
cities worldwide marched in opposition to U.S. war against
Iraq last weekend, six million in Europe, most of them in nations
ruled by governments that support Washington. Two million Spaniards
- five percent of the citizenry - took to the streets, the equivalent
of 15 million Americans in loud and public defiance of their
States stands isolated and alone on the globe, a truth that
American corporate media exert Herculean efforts to obscure.
Everywhere, and according to every poll, the overwhelming preponderance
of the people of the world say No to George Bush's War. The
next word on six billion lips is, Why? Why is Washington intent
on shredding an international order that has served the United
States so well for more than half a century? What compels Bush
to risk the wrath of a billion Muslims, shred strategic alliances
with Europe, and so terrify the human species in general that
cohabitation on the same planet with the United States becomes
dreadful to contemplate. Could easy American access to oil be
worth such a horrific price?
is: No. But keeping oil priced exclusively in dollars
is more than enough cause for war against the planet. As Dr.
Sonja Ebron writes in this issue's lead
commentary, "An OPEC switch from the dollar to the
euro would bring a quick and devastating dollar and Wall Street
crash that would make 1929 look like a $50 casino bet."
coercive power in the world is based as much on the dollar's
status as the global reserve currency as on U.S. military
muscle. Everyone needs oil, and to pay for it, they must have
dollars. To secure dollars, they must sell their goods to the
U.S., under terms acceptable to the people who rule America.
The dollar is way overpriced, but it's the only world currency.
Under the current dollars-only arrangement, U.S. money is in
effect backed by the oil reserves of every other nation.
"weapon of mass destruction" threatening American
domination of the globe is the euro, the shared currency of
12 European nations centered on Germany and France.
The economies and populations of the euro countries are as large
as that of the United States, and more tightly bound to the
an OPEC executive confirmed what the elites of the world already
suspect. "It is quite possible that as the bilateral trade
increases between the Middle East and the European Union, it
could be feasible to price oil in euros considering Europe is
the main economic partner of that region," said petroleum
market analyst Javad Yarjani, addressing a gathering of the
European Union, in Spain.
crisis is the great accelerator of history. A leap to the euro
is just as likely as a gradual transition to multiple reserve
currencies. The Bush men refuse to accept either scenario.
is the clear and looming danger propelling the Bush pirates
to war at this time - the answer to the global question, Why
Now? Switching oil price denomination from dollars to euros
is a political decision that can be taken by oil producers
at any time, in answer to any dispute with the United States,
or simply in their own national interest. The men who handle
Bush are determined to eliminate the possibility of OPEC action,
by physically seizing a substantial portion of the oil fields.
Saddam Hussein presents the pretext. This moment will not be
allowed to pass.
to euro payments for its oil several years ago, declaring the
dollar "enemy currency," Dr. Ebron reports. "Iraq's
move to the euro - and Iran's expected move - are placing tremendous
pressure on OPEC countries and other oil producers to drop our
dollar as the main transaction currency for oil."
the third point in the "axis of evil," has also been
attempting to trade in euros.
of the current crisis become clearer through an understanding
of the oil-currency question. The lion is roaring. He is also
The Streets? THEY DO!
is a beautiful thing," said George Bush, wearing one of
his dwindling number of faces as he fielded questions about
the massive protests in New York and San Francisco. "People
are allowed to express their opinion, and I welcome people's
right to say what they believe."
didn't relay these sentiments to Attorney General Ashcroft,
whose Justice Department filed a federal
court brief backing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's order,
barring nearly half a million protestors from marching to the
United Nations building. The attempt to contain the crowd in
one location resulted in many tens of thousands of demonstrators
being locked out of the rally, spawning a number of unintended
marches on the periphery.
multitude of wanderers was writer/activist Adam Engel, who witnessed
police physically abuse a couple attempting to enter the rally
area pushing their baby in a carriage. Hundreds of onlookers
booed, but failed to intervene. Engel wrote about the incident
in Monday's Counterpunch:
again will I nod my head in assent when someone brings up
that old, "how can only three guards with machine guns
hold back three thousand prisoners in Auschwitz?" Same
way five or six cops with Glock 9mms on each street kept away
thousands of protesters in NYC, Saturday, February 15, 2003.
don't blame people for wanting to walk their own streets,"
a man said.
just one long line," a cop answered.
where?" I asked.
street from 42nd to 72nd connecting Third to First was closed
by 5 or 6 cops with guns. "We own the streets,"
all the nice people cried. No you don't, THEY do, I said,
to myself. If you owned the streets, you'd be on them.
to be living in an age of superlatives. For every moral deficit
inflicted by Bush, an opposite and positive social outpouring
appears. A record-setting number of friend-of-the-court briefs
were filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, on Tuesday, in defense
of the University of Michigan's affirmative action plan. The
Angeles Times reported: "At least 63 corporations,
more than 100 universities, retired military leaders, labor
unions, civil rights and religious groups and nearly 14,000
law students signed briefs that endorsed the continued use of
race-based affirmative action."
broad and deep institutional response demonstrates that, while
the raw racist appeal of the White Man's Party continues to
mobilize huge numbers of white voters, American elites recognize
that social stability depends upon maintaining at least a modicum
of Black upward mobility.
military, having acclimated to integration at least a decade
before most of corporate America, finds itself at odds with
Commander-in-Chief Bush. "We have an enormously compelling
interest in admitting a reasonably diverse class," said
retired West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Daniel Christman.
"I've been in an Army that was de facto segregated. In
Vietnam, we had a very high percentage of minority troops and
a very small number of minority officers. And huge problems
ensued. The academy is far, far better today for having a reasonably
diverse student body."
Court hears arguments on the case in April, and will rule in
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