Hi. I'm Francys Sudnicka, Miss Poland 2006.
spd rdr asked me to take time out from my busy posing schedule and stand in for him today. He wants me to broach a subject that has been bothering him for some time, but that he is loathe to discuss openly. After several hours over coffee and chrust he convinced me that as a gorgeous woman it was up to me to bring this story to the attention of Heigh-ho's vast and intelligent readership. So let's get to it.
Unless you get all of your news from the Food Network, you've probably figured out by this time that the reason the U.S. is in Iraq is not about WMD's or oil, and not primarily about democracy, although these objectives are extremely important to the overall mission. If you've looked at a map of the area and allowed yourself to think honestly about the broad strategic objectives that the United States should be pursuing, you've probably have long since stuck a push pin into Iran.
Go ahead, say it out loud. It's all about Iran, and it always has been. Duh.
Nestled between Iraq and a hard place named Afghanistan, Iran is the head of the snake. A proud member of the Axis of Evil, Iran has been giving the world fits since 1979 when the Islamic Revolution ushered in what has slowly become World War III. It's no secret that as long as the mullahs hold sway over the Straits of Hormuz the world's supply of oil is permanently at risk. It's also no secret that an Islamic state flush with cash can threaten U.S. interests both at home and abroad without ever appearing to do so.
Yeah, yeah, it's building a nuclear weapon. So what? Pakistan's got one. India's got one. Israel's got one. How much different will the world be if Iran gets one too? Does anybody really believe that Iran is going to wipe Israel off the map with its first nuke? Nah, Iran's best weapon is oil, and it knows it. So with direct confrontation off the table, the subtlety of international terrorism has long been Iran's state policy.
But terrorism can only be so effective. Sure Iran can funnel money and weapons to "insurgents" in Iraq and Afghanistan to keep the U.S. occupied in an increasingly factionalized struggle. Yep, it can outfit Hamas and Hezbollah with enough rockets and explosives to provoke Israel into finally kicking the dog on the eve of the G8 Summit. But the effects of these destablizing efforts remain regional. There is nothing that Iran can do to reach out across the ocean and strangle the Great Satan. Even if it could smuggle in a nuke and have its proxies detonate it in Times Square, Iran knows that the U.S. would retain its capability to retaliate. And Iran knows that a pissed off America can be a very dangerous thing -particularly when there's a whole bunch of them on either side of you - with guns.
So what is the snake to do? Slither, and strike at the ankle. Here's where it gets interesting (I hope).
Last summer I was housing/entertaining/feeding what felt like several hundred law student friends of daughter #1. I think some of them are still here. Anyway, I got into a discussion with one bright young man who was going for his joint J.D.-M.B.A. at UVA (I said he was bright). We were dicussing what changes the war in Iraq has wrought on the geopolitical landscape and petro-nomics. Not long into the discussion, he brings up the Iranian Oil Bourse. "What the hell is that?" I inquired. "Bourse," he explained, is French for an exchange, like a commodities market exchange. In this case the commodity is oil.
Currently oil contracts are primarily bought and sold on New York's Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and London's International Petroleum Exchange (IPE). No matter where oil is traded, however, it's always done in U.S. dollars. The Iranians were proposing to open their own oil bourse where trading for oil would been done in Euros rather than dollars. In this manner, he explained, the Iraninas could manipulate the exchange rate to weaken the dollar while at the same time insulating themselves from the damage that would be inflicted on the U.S. economy. Our favorite South American Marxist would probably hold hands with the mullahs to exacerbate the problem. The real kicker, he explained, is that the rest of the world would probably join in the fun of kicking the dollar to the curb. And why not? Who stands to gain if America loses? Just about everyone.
Needless to say, I found this bit of news somewhat disturbing, particularly coming from a kid half my age wearing swimming trunks and sporting a tattoo of a bird on his back. How come I'd never heard of this "Iranian Oil Bourse?" I read the Wall Street Journal everyday, along with the New York Times and, occasionally the WAPO. I get U.S. News and World Report every week, and my wife gets Newsweek (which I had cancelled in a fit of pique). I'm was touch with the world, I thought, but this story had somehow eluded me.
A search of the internet didn't turn up much at that time, only that the Iranians had announced that they were planning to open their borse (IOB) in early 2006. But I kept looking for stories on the thing and slowly but surely items began to emerge on the net, and in the most unlikely places. Gradually, the specter of a nuclear Iran seemed less threatening to me than the prospect of an economic world war with Islamofacism.
I am not to go into detail about the possible impact the IOB could have on the U.S., and the world's, economies. You should read some of the articles referenced here and decide for yourself whether or not this thing has got legs. There's plenty to argue about. Some believe that the invasion of Iraq was precipitated by Sadam's sudden switch to oil for euros. Other's believe that war with Iran is inevitable should the IOB open in September (the new target date). If you discount the moonbat Bush hating rhetoric and stick with economics, I'd say the chances are good that something is about to break, and soon.
What bothers me is that you can't find the story anywhere in the main stream media. It's as if someone's put out a gag order. Go ahead, check the archives of the Times, the WSJ and the WAPO. I did. Nothing. I repeat nothing to be found. What the hell is going on here? Even if the threat to the U.S. economy is completely overblown, then why isn't that worth a few lines in a paper of record? Why is this not news?
I'll leave it to you to come up with your own conspiracy theory. In the meantime, watch your back, America. And your ankles.