Saturday, July 15, 2006

Gulliver's Travails

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.


portia said...

Wow spd. I mean WOW. And I ain't talking the buxom beauty queen you had breakfast with this morning.

This an enormously interesting, and equally disturbing story. An oil bourse trading in euros--where everybody wins except the US--has to be an Iranian/Middle East wet dream. If it manages to open--and its computers work--why wouldn't Europe to choose to trade there too, given the yield spread between dollars and Euros. And when the greenbacks go into freefall what happens when Bejing starts unloading its $600 billion in US currency reserves? The Daily Kos article exploring--and linking--the US's decision to stop publishing the M3 reports was one dot too many on an already clear picture.

Gee, and to think I woke up so happy this morning....

I don't know why we haven't seen more articles about this. Maybe the same reason we don't read much about the SCO and the developing China, Russia, Iran trinity.

Good stuff spd. I'm glad you remembered your Blogger password:)

spd rdr said...

Thanks for the kind words, Portia. Please note that I'm not buying the whole thing yet. I'm just trying to understand why there's no news of it in the MSM. That's creepy.

portia said...

Not worry to spd, I'll make sure Daily Kos adds the appropriate * to your permanent record, and Miss Poland's too, albeit, for different reasons.

A good, informative post just the same.

Pile On® said...

Interesting post Francys, but do you really expect me to believe you have a college age daughter?

spd rdr said...

Um...I was channelling spd, Pile On.
He says for me to tell you that you suck.


portia said...

Touche Pile:)
I was thinking the same thing right about the time Francys started jabbering with her daughter's friend in the swimming trunks. Either she's a lot older than she looks or that kid with the JD record really knows how to work it.

Cassandra said...

And I wake up to find that men truly *are* everything we've always feared... :)

You scare me sometimes, counselor. Yesterday, over a dinner of grilled pork tenderloin, I brought up some fairly innocuous subject and all of a sudden my spouse of 27 years starts spouting some sort of geopolitical theory going forward for the next 15 years that neatly wraps up South America, economics, environmentalism, oil, the balance of trade, and the WOT. I can't begin to sum it up.

I just sat there with my jaw hanging open.

Sort of like it is now.

Men... you do make us think. Back to the drawing board.

spd rdr said...

The Unit sounds like a man a could enjoy a few beers with. Honestly, Cass, we do have all the answers. We just don't read the directions first.

Cassandra said...

I sometimes think the two of you would either get along like a house afire or end up in some kind of dustup :D I'm not entirely sure which. Maybe both - those may not be mutually exclusive things for the male of the species.

I think I'm about to resurrect Brett Barboursville. Watch out.

spd rdr said...

I'm not entirely sure which. Maybe both - those may not be mutually exclusive things for the male of the species.

I broke my best friend Ken's nose - twice, although not recently. I doubt, however, taht I would be eager to take a vastly younger Marine officer at this late date. I would just have to verbally obsfucate perniciously until his hair hurt so bad that he'd change the subject to soccer.
Or head-butt him.

Anonymous said...

While out in the wilds of Southwestern Ohio for a week of getting re-charged with a group of 11-15 year Scouts, I had a late-night discussion with a (gasp) lawyer who specializes in real-estate law, and also studies cycles in the the commercial real estate market.
Well, anyways, he says we are heading into a 'bust' in the commercial real-estate market, and that he has also found that over a very long time period (excepting WWII), the boom and bust cycles of commercial real estate have been linked very closely with oil prices, so he thinks we are also headed for a big oil crisis.
Several researchers (who use subtle tools to study information on the internet) he also communicates with also think we are headed for world-crisis in oil sales, and have picked the time for this to be anywhere from July 26 to September 1 (one even picked 2:31 AM, Sept 1, EDT; is that when the Iranian Bourse opens?).

May you live in interesting times.
-Don Brouhaha

spd rdr said...

Hey, guys! I'm just looking to have the U.N. send a freaking Super-Sized Blimpy to this starved young lady. The Ribs! The Ribs!

Cassandra said...

Do you really think she's too skinny?

Spd, her ribs are only sticking out in that photo b/c she's sticking her tits out. Believe me, I know women :) She's standing funny.

spd rdr said...

Yep. She's sure is. Standing funny, that is. Ha.

Pile On® said...

Let's not be so critical, she wrote er....channelled an interesting post and I hate these impossible to live up to standards of flesh covered ribs that we as a society impose on women.

Cassandra said...

You guys sure are funny.

Yep. Funny. That's why you picked the photo, right? For the comedic value...

[smacking forehead]

*Why* didn't I pick up on that earlier???

*whistling* :D

Anonymous said...

If the Iranian oil bourse is of concern, try the topic 'amero currency' using as the search engine as well as the topic 'North American Union'.

camojack said...

Did anyone else notice that Miss Poland bowed out in mid-post?

spd rdr said...

She got busy.

Cassandra said...

I broke my best friend Ken's nose - twice.

I have been ignoring this because it made *my* hair hurt.

I think, on further reflection, that I am going to keep ignoring it :) I am, however, glad that you have not broken my nose.

He will, however, be delighted to hear he is "vastly" younger, since my best friend and her husband are (I think) exactly the same age as you. Actually I believe her husband may be a year or two older than you are, though it's hard to believe anyone of that vintage is still extant.

I can't *wait* to tell Jack...heh.

Cassandra said...

G'nite, Grandpa :P

Pooke said...

This is truly frightening, Spd. I suspect the reason you don't see anything in the MSM is because most of them are lazy and stupid and this story doesn't help to GET BUSH IMPEACHED. But that's JMHO.

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