This article is central to understanding what’s happening in not only the Middle East, but the world. I have chosen to centre it on Saudi Arabia, I hope you’ll realise why. This is going to be a reference article I will be referring to in future posts. There is lots of red pill in its content, so get ready for some interesting reading. I have described it as “secret” history, because most people don’t fully grasp this story, or how it ties in with today’s situation.
Those of you who read my articles will know by now that I enjoy history. History is important because the past is often a predictor of the future, due to human psychology. The past is also important to understand because it tells us the story of how the present came to be, – something that mainstream media and financial pundits often ignore, both deliberately and out of carelessness. On a long enough timeline, the vital truths are always revealed. Hence its all about knowing how to unearth the right timeline, which is what I hope to achieve with this article, because clearly, the powers that be are unwilling to do so. So let us begin. If I was studying International Relations, this would probably be my dissertation.
The Birth of Islam
The story of Arabia goes back to pre-Islamic times. Various warring Arabian tribes and clans lived in what is now modern Saudi Arabia. These were the ancestors of modern Arabs, in fact, one can argue that the birthplace of the Arabs was the Arabian peninsula. Arabs were a Semitic tribe that originally came to Arabia probably from the vestiges of the old Mesopotamian empires. Before Islam, Arabia was a melting pot of Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians and various polytheists. A major event that shook the Arabian peninsula was of course the birth of Islam in the Hejaz region of Arabia, where Medina and Mecca stood as rival city-states. Muhammad founded Islam around the year 610 AD. It established the importance of Mecca and Medina to all Muslims, cementing Arabia as the birthplace of not only Arabs, but Islam itself. Thus Arabic became the official language of the Quran, and Islam became the dominant tool of Arabising distant lands. Islam managed to unite all the warring tribes together under the same banner, something that wasn’t done before. The Islamic Caliphate was born in the years after Muhammad died in 632 AD, and immediately swept much of the known world at lightning speed.
The Fusion of Wahhabism and Saud
Fast forward to the 18th century. Much of Arabia at this time consisted of warring tribes ruling various city-states. Upon his return after some foreign travels to Iran and Iraq (Basra), a maverick theologian from the town of Uyayna in Nejd, by the name of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab was emerging as a charismatic yet divisive figure. He rejecting orthodox Sunni Islam and instead took on an extreme and puritanical interpretation of Islam, Salafism. He was essentially laying the groundwork for the first Salafi movement, or the return to the ways, customs and mannerisms of the earliest followers of Islam, – Salafs, – Muhammad and his companions. He was attempting to lead a revivalist movement within Islam itself, after his travels revealed to him that most Muslims, at least according to him, have been led astray and fell out with the true teachings of Islam. He championed a literal interpretation of the Quran, Hadiths and Sunnah and the austere life. But what distinguished him from most other contemporary Sunni scholars was his notion of Takfir, or rather, excessive use of it. This was the power to label fellow Muslims as kafirs or infidels, over what he deemed as un-Islamic practices and behavior. Whoever was regarded as kafir to him should be killed, and have his family and possessions violated and confiscated. This got him in trouble with many other Sunni scholars, and he soon found himself banished. Back to wandering the deserts of Arabia, he was taken in by one dominant tribe which controlled the town of Diriyah, lead by a emir-warrior by the name of Muhammad ibn Saud. The two struck up a practical relationship that would see both of their mutual interests preserved – power and religion. In 1744, the first Saudi State was born, – the emirate of Diriyah. The modern day capital of Riyadh lies exactly where the first Saudi State was founded. Muhammad ibn Saud would remain as the leader of the new emirate, while Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab would lead religious affairs, and promote his brand of Salafi Islam through-out the emirate; Wahhabism. This dualistic fusion between the al-Saud and al-Wahhab clans would lay the basis of modern day Saudi Arabia.
Possible Jewish roots of the House of Saud and Wahhab
Perhaps one of the deepest secrets to the House of Saud, was its possible Jewish origins, according to an Iraqi intelligence report from 2002. After Muhammad ibn Saud and Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab both died towards the latter half of the 18th century, power was retained through bloodline by the Sauds, while the Wahhabs became the predecessors of the Saudi ulama class, or the official state religious clergy. The report claims that both al-Wahhab and ibn Saud had Jewish roots. Al-Wahhab had Turkish crypto-Jewish roots tracing back to the Dönmeh of Salonica. These were Sephardi Jews who fled the Spanish inquisition during the 17th century and settled in Salonica (Thessaloniki in modern Greece) as refugees, in the Ottoman empire. Some Jews publicly converted to Islam, while retaining their Jewish practices and beliefs, probably as a survival mechanism. These became known as the Dönmeh, or cypto-Jews. Al-Saud was also claimed to have Jewish roots originating from Basra in Iraq. The report is difficult to verify elsewhere, but you can read it here. These were the predecessors to the modern House of Saud, and the Wahhabi clergy, within Saudi Arabia. The Royal Family today is a monarchy descended from al-Wahhab and ibn Saud.
(As an aside: there are a few interesting observations on this Iraqi report. Firstly, it was commissioned in 2002, one year after the September 11 attacks, implicating Saudi involvement. Why did the Iraqis feel the need to investigate the origins of Saudi Wahhabism at this time? Could it suggest an internal attempt in trying to understand how this Wahhabi monstrosity could be capable of waging such an attack? This concern could well have been the smoking gun in not implicating Iraq with the 9/11 attacks, which the criminal Neocon regime falsely tied to the attack and destroyed in the aftermath. What a tragedy. At the end of the report in its conclusions, the Iraqis demonstrate an understanding that these attacks and their perpetrators intend on damaging Arabs and Islam in general for Anglo-Zionist imperialism and ultimately indict Wahhabism as criminal. How ironic it would be that those very Iraqis would be on the receiving end of exactly that kind of brutality just one year later.)
The Origins of the defacto Anglo-Zionist-Wahhabi Alliance
The first Saudi State expanded power before alerting the Ottomans, who sent in forces to crush the Wahhabi movement, pacifying the region in 1818. A second Saudi State emerged in 1824, albeit smaller in size, and lasted until 1891. In 1871, European power politics shifted dramatically, with Otto Von Bismarck achieving the unification of Germany, – no easy feat, resulting in a burgeoning German empire expanding and competing with other established European colonial powers. The Germans, rivaling France, Britain and Tsarist Russia, began to curry favour with the Ottoman empire, which ruled over much of the Arabian peninsula. This would set the stage for their alliance during the Great War of 1914. While the Ottomans were constructing the famous Hejaz Railway, linking Istanbul with Medina, the Germans began working on the Berlin-Baghdad Railway, with Ottoman approval, hoping to further extend it to the Persian Gulf. Germany wanted to supply its naval forces and trade oil with its African empire. However, this threatened British interests in the Middle East, especially around Basra, and some have argued that this German move with the railway could have been a major reason for the escalation of hostilities before World War I.
In 1906, Abdul-Aziz bin Saud, ruler of Saud, was busy consolidated power against the rival tribe of Al Rashid, by enlisting the help of the Ikhwan, or brotherhood, – an army of Wahhabi tribesmen. These forces were pivotal in helping the Sauds secure power. He successfully re-took Nejd, and became recognized by the Ottomans as their client in Arabia. Arabia was divided up in two major regions – Nejd and Hejaz. With Al-Saud controlling Nejd, Hejaz remained under the auspices of a Hashemite, or descendant of Muhammad, the Sharif of Mecca; Hussein bin Ali. As tensions were boiling in Europe, the Ottoman empire, Austria-Hungary and Germany began to align on the same side. By the outbreak of World War I, the British almost immediately moved to the Middle East, and secured Basra, stifling the German railroad plan. By 1916 it became increasingly obvious as to who the victors of the war would be, and France and Britain acted to partition the Middle East into spheres of control amongst themselves, along with Tsarist Russia. The British, being the dominant global empire at the time, laid out their vision of the Middle East. The famous T.E Lawrence, an agent of the British empire, was enlisted to help stoke Arab revolts against the Ottomans in Arabia. On behalf of the British government, he promised the Sharif of Mecca, who was the guardian of Mecca at the time, a pan-Arab state if he helped the British wage an Arab revolt against the Ottoman garrisons. The Sharif obliged, while the Sauds were still busy fighting the Al Rashids around Nejd. Rumour has it that the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 was being drawn up over whiskey and cognac by French and British diplomats (take a look at the pencil-and-ruler kind of Middle Eastern borders that were drawn up with the odd anomaly here and there). The remnants of the Ottoman empire were being carved up as spoils of war between France, Britain and Russia. A place had been allocated as a “Jewish homeland” under British mandate. Arabia was not yet ‘allocated’ because it was not yet fully under control.
In 1917 the British outlined their promises to the Zionists, who were known to have infiltrated the British government well before, their desire to help them establish a homeland for the Jews. This was known as the Balfour Declaration, which was originally penned in a private letter by British foreign secretary, Arthur Balfour, to prominent Jewish banking magnate, Baron de Rothschild. Rothschild represented the Anglo-Zionist community and was the son of Nathan de Rothschild, one of the five sons of the notorious Rothschild banking family that were known to swindle the British public by selling false rumors of a British loss at the battle of Waterloo, while they were first to receive news of Napoleon’s loss before the Queen herself even knew. Note that the Zionist movement began well before Adolf Hitler was even born. While Theodore Herzl, a Austro-Hungarian Jew, was traditionally credited with being the father of political Zionism from 1860 onwards, there is evidence of Benjamin Disraeli holding influential proto-Zionist views among the British elite before Herzl was born, in 1851. Benjamin Disraeli was also the first Jewish British Prime Minister. Thus, the foundations among the Anglo-elites of the British empire were being laid, for fostering the idea of a Jewish homeland in the mid 19th century. Herein lies the start of what would become the modern Arab-Israeli conflict, with the Zionists essentially starting the conflict, by laying the first claim on a land that was shared amongst both Arabs and Jews.
The modern Saudi Arabian State
On the back of the industrial revolution of the 1840s in Britain, when steam power was supplanted by the internal combustion engine, the hunt for petroleum was about to kick-start the greatest period of growth and expansion the world has ever seen. And with that would come the continuation of the same power dynamics, even until today. In 1908, the first crude oil to be discovered in the Middle East was in Persia, under the aegis of a British expedition. This immediately galvanized speculation about more possible crude oil reserves in surrounding countries. In the early 1920s, after World War I had ended and Britain implanted a presence near Arabia, Abdul-Aziz bin Saud was largely in control of Nejd and most of Arabia, however Hejaz was still under the control of the Sharif of Mecca, backed by Britain. The Sharif, who was promised a pan-Arab state by T.E Lawrence, along with all the Arabs who helped overthrow the Ottoman garrisons, was ultimately backstabbed by the British. The pan-Arab state never transpired, and the Sharif became inconvenient and no longer useful to the British. It so happened to be that Abdul-Aziz and his clan of Wahhabi Ikhwan warriors marched on Hejaz and deposed the Sharif, seizing Hejaz and virtually the entire Arabian peninsula. This resulted in the British throwing their support behind the Sauds. Abdul-Aziz bin Saud united Nejd and Hejaz into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1930, and was granted independence and recognized as the legitimate ruler of the Saudi Arabian kingdom by the British. Abdul-Aziz thus founded modern day Saudi Arabia. His Ikhwan Wahhabi warriors became the official religious clergy of the new Kingdom, uprooting the old guard and instilling an extreme and puritanical Wahhabism all over Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia formalized borders with other newly created States under Sykes-Picot: Iraq, Kuwait and Transjordan, – a country that would later be split into the Palestinian Mandate and Israel. The descendants of the original ibn Saud and al-Wahhab would now inherit what was soon to become one of the richest countries in the world, and form an extremely insular absolute monarchy, radical social order and propagate an extremely perverted interpretation of Islam with global reach and consequences.
The Discovery of Oil and Arab Nationalism
Saudi Arabia was falling into the orbit of the British empire. With the late entry of the US in World War I in 1917 after some of its merchant vessels were sunk by the Germans, the US began to come out of its governing isolationist doctrine. It would not fully swing into a policy of interventionism until after the second world war. It was still an infant power, albeit one in the ascendancy. The British empire was beginning to decline, exhausted by the Great War. As a resurgent Germany was being electrified by Nazism during the 1930s, the US was in search for new energy sources to power its growing economy. One notable American oil company, Standard Oil, discovered oil in 1932 while prospecting in Bahrain. This immediately triggered interest in Arabia, and by 1933 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia granted concessions to Standard Oil to search for oil on its territory. In 1938 Standard Oil finally struck oil in the kingdom. Thus, the makings of a strategic Anglo-American-Wahhabi alliance were beginning to take shape in the late 1930s.
With the outbreak of WWII in 1939, the US was in a stronger position to participate in the war. And it did just that, dramatically altering the course of the war in the Pacific against imperial Japan, while the Soviets did the bulk of the fighting against the Nazi war machine in Europe, after Hitler made his fatal error and reneged on the Ribbentrop-Molotov non-aggression pact and set his sights on Moscow. This marked the beginning in the downfall of the Hitler regime. By 1944, Standard Oil merged with Arabian Oil to form Aramco, – the Arab-American Oil Company, the predecessor to Saudi Aramco, the world’s most valuable company. As the war in Europe was winding down, the US emerged as one of the victors, in a much stronger position than Britain or France, who were exhausted. Britain passed the baton of its Anglo empire to the US, the bulk of Nazi Germany’s scientists and engineers were granted asylum in America during a secret program, and Franklin Roosevelt cemented relations with Abdul-Aziz bin Saud. Franklin Roosevelt was now well aware of the oil assets the Saudis possessed, and in 1944 during a famous meeting with Abdul-Aziz, promised him security in return for a steady supply of oil. In 1948, the world’s biggest onshore oil field was discovered in Saudi Arabia – Ghawar. In 1951, the world’s biggest offshore oil field was also discovered in Saudi Arabia – Safaniyah. Both were located in Shia-majority regions of Saudi Arabia. The US now had a hugely important strategic ally in the Middle East, and this powerful relationship would reverberate to this day.
The US began its policy of interventionism, sensing its new found powers in the Middle East and beyond. A new post-WWII world order was being engineered by the Anglo-American empire. Institutions like the UN, IMF and World Bank would be devised by Western powers to ensure their interests were always ascendant in global affairs, in what would be known as the Bretton Woods system of 1944. This was a new economic, financial and political world order, the predecessor of today’s post-Bretton Woods system. It was essentially a gold-standard whereby national currencies would be managed against the value of gold, and the center of power would be the United States of America. It was made possible because America inherited the world’s largest supply of gold during World War II. Most Allied European powers sent their gold reserves to America, away from the Nazis, while some powers like Britain became indebted to the US during the war and paid the US in gold. The other victorious great power of the war, the Soviet Union, declined to be part of this world order, understanding that capitalist Wall Street banking would be at the center of this new system. The US also inherited some British problems, one such problem was the promise to establish a Jewish homeland in the midst of its “Palestinian Mandate”.
Zionism Entrenches Itself
The Mandate of Palestine fell within a greater region known as Transjordan, which was a British protectorate carved up under the Sykes-Picot agreement. Transjordan was partitioned by the British after the war in 1946 and became a buffer state between Palestine, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, known as Jordan. It was a kingdom ruled by Hashemites, a group friendly to Anglo-American interests of course. It was Jordan where the Sharif of Mecca, a Hasemite himself, escaped to. The remaining part, – the British Mandate, became Palestine. Shortly before and during World War II, ships had been ferrying Jewish immigrants and refugees from Europe to Palestine, gradually raising the Jewish population in Palestine from 8% during World War I to 30% by 1946. The local Arabs became upset and pressed the British to stem the flow after a series of riots in 1929 against the flood of Jewish immigrants. The British imposed immigration quotas, but illegal immigration continued throughout the 1930s and 40s thanks to the Irgun and Haganah Jewish paramilitaries. These organizations engaged in terrorist attacks against the British occupation of Palestine, culminating with the King David Hotel attack in Jerusalem 1946, killing 91 people.
Feeling weary about getting caught up between Jews and Arabs and in the backdrop of newly created post-war institutions, the British decided to pull out of Palestine and hand the problem to the United Nations and the US. The UN drafted a partition plan and in 1947 issued UN Resolution 181, formally proposing a partition of British Palestine into Arab and Jewish parts. The resolution was approved by the UN. Arabs were outraged. The following year, just after Israel proclaimed independence on the 14th May in 1948, the first Arab-Israeli war broke out when Arabs invaded Israel. Saudi Arabia, while backing the Arab side, remained relatively quiet through-out the conflict, knowing it was heavily reliant on US support. At the end of the Arab-Israeli wars, Israel had seized more land than originally allocated to it under Resolution 181, occupying over 60% of the Arab partition. As a result, a mass exodus of Palestinian Arabs ensued, commonly referred to as the “Nakba”. A bulk of them settled in Jordan and Lebanon, in refugee camps. Thus the Palestinian cause was born, with the intended aim of the right of return to their displaced homes, which to this day remains a key sticking point in the Arab-Israeli crisis. The Arab-Israeli conflict would be a defining struggle that would galvanize the entire Middle East during the next 30 years until the mid-70s, when the Saudis would be tempered by an ingenious US plan after the Bretton Woods system ruptured.
The Anglo Empire Continues under the US while the Soviet Union Resists
As the cold war raged between the Soviet Union and the USA, some states in the Middle East began to drift towards the Soviet Union, – Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. However Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and later Egypt would be pro-US. In 1952, the Anglo-American monarch placed in charge of post-war Egypt, King Farouk, was overthrown by a secular Arab nationalist military officer, Gamal Abdel Nasser. He was a powerful figure advocating for pan-Arab unity across the Arab world, and stoked huge nationalist and anti-imperialist sentiment. He developed close ties with the Soviet Union, being secular and anti-imperialist. His reputation further strengthened after the Suez Crisis of 1956 when he nationalized the Suez Canal, inviting a joint Anglo-French and Israeli attack aimed at his ouster. The US and Soviet Union both intervened to resolve the crisis, and the invasion was botched. This marked the end of Anglo-French hegemony in the Middle East and the rise of Nasserism. In 1957, a coup was attempted in Jordan seeking to overthrow the Hashemite kingdom. It was unsuccessful. In 1958, Nasserism swept Syria, and the two nations briefly united into the United Arab Republic. In the same year, the pro-British monarch of Iraq, King Faisal II was overthrown in a coup. However, the United Arab Republic didn’t last long, and in 1961 Syria pulled out, resisting Egyptian dominance. Eventually a pro-Soviet Arab socialist and secular movement would come to dominate both Syria and Iraq, – the Baath Party, with Hafez Assad in Syria and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. In the midst of this tumult, Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy, feared it would fall victim to Arab nationalism and remained pro-US.
Being leader of the most powerful Arab country, Nasser eventually rallied an alliance with fellow Arab countries against Israel in 1967 and closed the straights of Tiran to Israeli vessels. However, the offensive proved to be an epic disaster for the Arabs – Israel had advanced warning of the attack by way of its notorious intelligence agency, Mossad, and swiftly destroyed the bulk of the Egyptian air force on the ground before it could even take off. In what was famously dubbed the “6-Day War”, Israel by the end of it appropriated even more land, – the addition of Syrian Golan heights, Egyptian Sinai peninsula and Palestinian Gaza and West Bank. Saudi Arabia notably refrained from committing any Arab forces during the 6-Day War. The outcome of this war would define the Palestinian struggle for the next 40 years, with Israeli control over Palestinian territories now firmly entrenched. The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which was founded in 1964 to fight for the Palestinian cause, would gather momentum especially after the 6-Day War, with Yasser Arafat assuming leadership in 1969. However, it would frequently become a “state within a state” and bring armed struggle against Israel from the various Arab countries which hosted it, and saw its headquarters shift from Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and ultimately back to the West Bank, as pro-Western Arab states found it problematic to their interests.
Era of Weaponized Oil and the Mighty Petrodollar
This is when the story becomes very interesting, because what was about to happen would shape the global financial architecture, and strengthen dual US-Saudi power and hegemony in the decades to come.
By the late 1960s, the war in Vietnam had taken its toll on US finances. The US was running a high balance of payment deficit and mired in growing debt. The deficit meant that more dollars left the US for the rest of the world than the other way around. The Bretton Woods system devised post-war was based on the primacy of the US dollar as reserve currency, and its direct convertibility to gold at a fixed rate of $35/ounce. Many nations managed fixed exchange rates against the dollar, hence gold. It was an era of generally little exchange rate volatility and minimal debt, but not for the US. The IMF’s role during this era was to assist with the smooth functioning of this financial system, by helping nations bridge any temporary imbalances by way of loans or other measures. Its interesting to note that this financial system was essentially an application of the very same underpinnings behind modern banking, as I explained here, here and here. The only difference was that gold in this system served as bank ‘reserves’, and the US dollar served as the ‘deposits’. And like all systems based on the fractional reserve concept, there was bound to be a ‘bank run’. This is exactly what happened, ultimately undoing the entire system. As the US was sinking into a virtually unmanageable deficit, the IMF could no longer be of any help. At its very essence, a global ‘bank run’ on the US dollar happened. Western European nations began to question US credibility in this system as a reserve currency, and its ability to maintain the dollar-gold convertibility, as the world was becoming flooded with more and more US dollars. Slowly, ‘deposit-holders’ began to withdraw (repatriate) their gold reserves from the US Federal Reserve Bank. The fatal shot of the bank run was fired by French President Charles de Gaulle, who demanded France’s gold reserves be fully repatriated to France by 1968.
Charles de Gaulle was generally suspicious of Anglo-American power and favored Franco-German relations; he opposed the Vietnam war, withdrew France from NATO in 1966 and vetoed Britain’s admission into the European Economic Community (EEC) twice. As he called America’s bluff within the Bretton Woods system, it lead to the gold mechanism collapsing and causing the Federal Reserve to no longer meet demand for gold withdrawal. In 1969 the IMF created Special Drawing Rights (SDR), – an internal unit of account between the IMF and participating nations, to help alleviate the dollar-gold mismatch. However, this could not stem the tide, – the US officially bankrupted its duties to fulfill the post-war Bretton Woods financial system, by losing credibility, i.e. not being able to control its budget and printing too many dollars. This rendered the fixed dollar-gold convertability of $35/ounce inoperable. By 1971, President Nixon abandoned the gold standard and refused to honor any more gold withdrawals. Bretton Woods was dead. Charles de Gaulle famously quipped that the US under Bretton Woods had an “exorbitant privilege” with its dollar, because the system enabled it to get away with exporting inflation abroad and having the rest of the world subsidize its spendthrift budgets, at little cost. While it cost the US a few cents to print a $100 note, the rest of the world had to sell real goods to obtain one. Charles de Gaulle was acutely aware of the sleight of hand underpinning post-war US financial power. The 1970s would soon be plagued by volatile economic turmoil, as the world was now in the midst of seeking a new financial architecture, and the Middle East was once again in the spotlight.
In 1973, tensions again boiled over in the Arab-Israeli conflict. During the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, a joint Egyptian-Syrian surprise offensive caught the Israelis completely unaware. The attack came through Golan and Sinai, and had the backing of many other Arab states, who threw additional money, arms and manpower behind the offensive. This time Saudi Arabia volunteered troops and money to the cause. Initially, the Arab offensive was successful, but was eventually routed by the Israelis. The big difference this time however, was that Arab states began to weaponize oil. OPEC was created in 1960 to give oil exporters more control over oil prices, rather than Western multinational oil companies. And it was during the Yom Kippur war that Saudi Arabia lead OPEC to impose an oil embargo on the US and any other Western country that supported Israel during 1973-74. This had dramatic consequences globally. For one, it already added to the turmoil in the wake of the collapse of Bretton Woods, caused rampant fuel shortages and inflation across the Western world prompting sky-high petrol prices and interest rates, leading to recessions. The almost uninterrupted post-war era of growth was ruptured with the oil embargo, giving rise to the famous stagflation of the 1970s. The oil embargo also triggered Western interest in ways of conserving oil consumption that still persist to this day, including day light savings, the pursuit of alternative energy sources and the quest for better fuel efficiency. It was in the midst of this crisis that resulted in what was to become the most important deal of the post-war 20th century. This of course was the birth of the Petrodollar.
Saudi Arabia had now become center-stage, bringing the world on the verge of economic standstill. It also profited immensely from the surge in oil prices, bringing in billions of dollars to its coffers in very little time. Acutely aware of this immense power, the US immediately began to draw up plans on neutering the Saudi oil weapon. During a secret meeting in 1974 between US and Saudi officials that was not revealed until decades later, the US acted. Officials at the Treasury department sensed that they could turn around this situation to its advantage, and at the same time, pave the way for a new post-Bretton Woods financial system whereby the US would retain primacy. They did this by guaranteeing the Saudi Royal Family security, in exchange for parking their newly acquired wealth of dollars in the US financial system, where they could help lower interest rates again and bring the economy out of recession. But it was to be much more permanent than that. The Treasury Department knew that being in control of OPEC gave the Saudis huge leverage. The Saudis were to recycle their huge accumulation of petro-dollars from oil exports into US debt, or “Treasuries”. This would act to prevent inflation from not only destroying their own economies, but more crucially, it could finance America’s perpetual debt and spending habits by ensuring a permanent, artificial demand for its dollars.
This framework was adopted by OPEC, leading to the US dollar becoming defacto reserve currency of global international trade. The US dollar was backed by crude oil. This was the new standard. The US was now free to print dollars and purchase goods and energy from the rest of the world more easily than any other nation on Earth, because the global invoice currency was its own. There was no exchange rate risk and no pegging to gold. There was an implicit ‘peg’ to crude oil though. Every country that needed to buy oil to run its economy needed US dollar reserves. And so US dollars became the most liquid currency in the world. Merchandise trade began to be also denominated in dollars. Saudi Arabia became a huge buyer of US Treasuries, and this was not something the US wanted to advertise to the world, so much so that Saudi holdings of US debt were only recently revealed in 2016. Around the time that this agreement was being hammered out, Western countries were trying to unsuccessfully resurrect a Bretton-Woods system of sorts, known as the Smithsonian Agreement, to serve as a makeshift financial system. Nixon praised the deal overly as the next best thing, likely out of guilt for having ended the gold standard. But these commendations were hollow; by the late 1970s, most countries had abandoned the deal and floated their currencies. The era of fixed exchange rates was over, as was the era of the gold standard. It was now the era of unrestricted, floating fiat currencies, backed by nothing but paper and credit. The backbone to this new global financial architecture was the US dollar, backed by Saudi crude oil. The Petrodollar reigned supreme.
The year of 1979 was a momentous year in history, particularly in the Middle East, where the region underwent a seismic shift in changes. Egyptian President Anwar el Sadat signed a peace treaty with Israel in the Camp David Accord, essentially pulling Egypt out of any future Arab-Israeli wars, and negotiating for Israeli troops to withdraw from the Sinai in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur war. Sadat also re-positioned Egypt into the Western-Israeli sphere and away from the Soviet Union. This radical turnaround would eventually lead to his assassination in 1981, paving the way for the rule of Hosni Mubarak. Iran experienced its ‘Islamic Revolution’, with the overthrow of the Western-backed Shah for a more conservative, anti-imperialist government of Ayatollahs, lead by a pious religious cleric by the name of Ayatollah Rudollah Khomenei. The Iran hostage crisis also began later in the year, with US embassy personnel seized by protesters and held hostage for what would be 444 days. In the same year, Saudi Arabia experienced the Grand Mosque Seizure, – a coordinated terrorist attack led by an end-time figure hailing from the Ikhwan who claimed to be the Mahdi. This resulted in the seizure of Islam’s holiest mosque in Mecca by hundreds of insurgents. Saudi Arabia had to call in French special forces who had to convert to Islam before entering the mosque, and with the assistance of Pakistani commandos, flooded it with water and ran electric charges through, in order to kill the attackers. In the same year, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to prop up the Communist government in what would be a fatal mistake and military trap. The US government advised by then national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, backed Afghan mujahideen terrorists including Osama bin Laden, against the Soviet Union. In Iraq, Saddan Hussein became the leader of the Iraqi Baath Party and would in the following year invade Iran and begin the protracted Iran-Iraq war that would rage for almost another 10 years, whilst being a recipient of both Saudi and US support. The combination of the Iranian revolution along with the start of the Iran-Iraq war shook the oil market and caused another severe global economic shock, as oil prices rose on the back of uncertain Iranian oil supply. As Saudi Arabia and the US backed Saddam against Iran and the Islamic mujahideen against the Soviet Union, both of these monsters would eventually backfire on the hands that fed them, on a nightmarish scale.
Global Wahhabi Terrorism and Regime Change – The Costs of the Petrodollar
The Rise of Global Wahhabism
As the US poured arms and money into Afghanistan on the side of any mujahideen willing to fight the Soviets, Saudi Arabia took advantage of this situation to promote its Wahhabist ideology on a global scale. The Saudis were rumored to have spent $4 billion per year on radical madrassas, preachers, textbooks and propaganda promoting Wahhabism to mujahideen in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and beyond. This provided the ideological framework needed to motivate Islamic jihadists, who gathered from all over the Muslim world to the battleground of Afghanistan to fight the secular Soviet infidels. These fighters would later take their Wahhabist seeds and spread them to all corners of the globe, implanting a tremendous power and reach for Saudi Arabia. This was happening on the back of high oil prices, at least in the first half of the 1980s before the oil glut depressed prices in the latter half of the decade. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia accumulated vast Petrodollar wealth from oil sales, recycling them back to America and funding its global Wahhabist projects.
During the 1980s, the US and UK were both ruled by conservative forces – President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher. As Paul Volcker, then Federal Reserve chairman, tamed inflation from the turbulent 1970s and the oil shocks, Western economies began picking up again. Reagan and Thatcher implemented similar economic reforms in lockstep – the deregulation of financial and labor markets, privatization of government enterprises and an assault on unions and workers rights. This was happening on the back of the post-Bretton Woods system, – the Petrodollar, free-floating fiat currencies and growing debt. They would lay the economic groundwork for the booming years of the 1990s, and subsequent hangover that would ensue, an event that would fundamentally change the world. During the 1980s, Japan underwent a phenomenal boom in asset prices, with a massive stock market boom and real estate bubble. By 1989, its stock and real estate markets crashed spectacularly. This paved the way for Japan’s stagnation during the 1990s and 2000s, the ‘lost decades’, and Japan has never really structurally recovered from this crash ever since.
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and the “Iron Curtain” fell, i.e. eastern European states emerged out of socialism and into transition towards democracy and capitalism, the US emerged as the sole, unchallenged superpower in the world. During the 1990s, the blowback from the late 1970s and 80s would start to unfold. This began with the Gulf War of 1991, when Saddam Hussein, emboldened by the end of the Iran-Iraq war, invaded Kuwait and seized its oil fields. The US and Saudi Arabia, – his former backers just a few years earlier, now turned on him, fearing an oil supply shock. Saddam fired scud missiles towards Saudi Arabia and Israel, as US forces attacked his forces. Within a month, the operation was complete, and Saddam was defeated. International sanctions were applied on Iraq that would last until 2003. By now the war in Afghanistan had ended and a large stock of Islamic militants were free to disperse.
In Europe, war broke out in 1992 between newly independent Bosnia-Herzegovina and a collapsing Yugoslavia. NATO became involved and began a campaign to attack and weaken Serbia, which was the most pro-Russian republic in Yugoslavia. At the same time, mujahideen from all over the Muslim world, including veterans from Afghanistan, poured in to fight for Bosnia. Saudi Arabia exploited this conflict once again, inserting its Wahhabist ideology into Bosnia, while supporting the cause with arms and funds. Wahhabi-inspired jihadists fought Serbs, while the West turned a blind eye due to the attention raised by the genocide perpetrated by the Serbs against the Bosniaks. As the war ended by 1995, some veteran mujahideen would go on to fight in Chechnya against Russia, and Saudi Arabia once again would use that conflict to entrench its ideology in the Caucuses. In 1993, the US world trade center was bombed by Al Qaeda. A secret network of Wahhabi jihadist sleepers slowly started to infiltrate America, including informants and double agents from Al Qaeda and the Osama bin Laden network, formerly supported by the CIA. One such agent was Ali Mohamed, working for both the CIA and FBI, and Islamic Jihad at the same time. He would be instrumental to many Al Qaeda plots of the 1990s against US interests. Although he was eventually caught and charged for the 1998 US embassy attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Mohamed represented the face of blow-back from the US support of mujahideen in the war in Afghanistan. Ali was given witness protection by US intelligence agencies, and nobody really publicly knows where he is today.
In 1996, the Taleban took control of Afghanistan after winning the Afghan civil war, headed by Mullah Omar. It established control over most of Afghanistan and enforced a strict Wahhabist interpretation of Islam. Many Taleban fighters were trained and educated in Saudi-run Wahhabi madrassas in Pakistan. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had a close military and economic relationship since the cold war, and ties between the two countries were closely intertwined. Saudi Arabia runs a great deal of mosques and religious schools (madrassas) in Pakistan, while providing Pakistan the bulk of its crude oil. Pakistani guest workers form a large backbone to Gulf emirate work forces, including Saudi Arabia. Many Pakistani militants have ideological roots in Wahhabi teachings. In 1998, the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in east Africa were bombed by Al Qaeda. In the same year, Osama bin Laden issued a fatwa against America for its presence on Holy Islamic lands on the Arabian peninsula, namely Saudi Arabia. It invoked global jihad against Americans and Jews. US intelligence agencies were fast asleep and too slow to realize what all this meant; they were flashing red flags. The 1990s in the US were generally regarded as boom-time years, with stocks performing well, economic conditions ripe, popular culture buoyed by the US victory over the Soviet Union and more importantly, it was the only decade where the US enjoyed unrivaled global power. Russia was greatly weakened with the collapse of the USSR, China remained weak and insular, the Middle East was largely under US domination and Europe was tied down with the Bosnian War and busy pursuing the legal case against the Serbian leadership. The US power elite became complacent, and this would prove fatal. By 2000, USS Cole in Yemen was attacked by a suicide boat, killing 17 sailors. The US NASDAQ stock market in 2000 peaked to epic proportions due to the IT boom, and then began to crash. In the following year, a rude awakening would change America, and the world, for decades to come, and Saudi Arabia once again, would be center-stage.
The Beginning of the Great American Unravel
On the morning of September 11th, 2001, the twin towers in New York, the Pentagon and the White House were attacked by hijacked passenger jets, commandeered by 19 Saudi Arabian nationals. This highly inconvenient fact put the spotlight on one of the linchpins of the US-Saudi Petrodollar mechanism. The Bush administration however, went to great detail to cover up Saudi involvement, which was linked to official Saudi government channels that provided material support to the hijackers. A host of Saudi nationals were quickly whisked away out of the US in the wake of the attack, adding further suspicion. What ever the truth was, there were really two main possibilities about this attack – one; that it was a false flag attack orchestrated by the US-Saudi nexus to justify inserting the US military into the Middle East on a much greater scale, or two; that it was a trap set up to catch the US completely off guard and bring it to the Middle East, where it could be tied down and bled, in a fight against a torrent of jihadist recruits. The second option seemed more likely, and at best, US intelligence agencies really were unaware and caught off guard, but at worst, they were well aware of the plot and enabled it or let it happen anyway. Despite either scenario, what US elites did next was nothing more than the opportunistic and cynical exploitation of the highly charged environment of fear and hate surrounding the attack, and acted to promote expanding an imperialist foothold in the Middle East. This would mark the beginning of a new age of global terrorism, uncertainty and instability that would touch every corner of the world. The relatively good times of the 90s were now long gone, with the September 11 attacks plunging the already depressed post-IT bubble stock market even lower into recessionary territory. This compelled the US Federal Reserve to begin an era of low interest rates, a decision that would set the US towards the path of the next giant bubble. Some of the ugly costs of the Petrodollar were about to be revealed. The US declared a war against “terrorism”, a very open-ended term that could in principle never really be defeated.
The US responded officially to the casus belli attacks on its soil by invading Afghanistan in 2001 and toppling the Taleban from power, despite Taleban leader Mullah Omar, offering President Bush to hand Osama bin Laden over. Bush rejected the offer and went ahead with the invasion, placing US troops on Afghan soil in what would still persist till 2017 and quite possibly longer. In 2002, a CIA backed Iranian militant group revealed Iran’s secret nuclear program to the world. Shortly after, Iran curiously made it onto Bush’s State of the Union address as part of the ‘axis of evil’. In the following year of 2003, after a series of deliberate lies, fabrications and scandals, the US and UK rallied a coalition against Saddam Hussein. France under then Gaullist President Jaques Chirac, in tandem with Germany, opposed the war, and instead favored weapons inspections to resolve the ‘crisis’. Despite significant opposition to war with Iraq, the Anglo-American cabal acted unilaterally and toppled Saddam, in what would further embroil the region in terrorism and instability. The claim was that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and supported Al Qaeda. Playing on the Western public’s sense of moral outrage to the September 11 attacks, along with a good dose of fear-mongering and emotional manipulation, almost all Western mainstream media outlets were in cahoots with the Anglo-American claims, signifying significant CIA/MI6 infiltration. Later on in 2016, a British inquiry into the war, – the Chilcot Inquiry, would conclude that the war was completely unnecessary. Iran, feeling nervous about regime change, in 2002 offered Bush to renounce their nuclear program in exchange for security guarantees. Bush once again, rejected the offer.
It must be noted that Saddam Hussein in 2000 dumped the US dollar for the Euro as the invoice currency for Iraqi oil. The UN approved the change, then headed by General-Secretary Kofi Annan, justifying the move as being ultimately better for Iraq due to the windfall in profits gained with the switch into an appreciating currency, the Euro, which was set to take off in 2001 to become the official currency of Europe. A few years later, Kofi Annan would suspiciously be implicated in a corruption scandal with the “Oil-For-Food” program which involved Iraq selling its oil for profits and in turn purchasing medicine and food. This program was overseen under UN guidance, while Iraq was under crippling US sanctions since the Gulf War of 1991. Of course, his sacking was likely instituted by the US, fearing Saddam’s move away from the Petrodollar. And as the dogs of war were unleashed against Saddam and Iraq in 2003 to a thunderous applause by the infiltrated Western media, one of the first things the US would do after his ouster, was the immediate switch back into US dollars, of Iraqi oil trades. Another scandalous move would be handing out no-bid reconstruction contracts in Iraq to corporations cozy with the US Neoconservative establishment who engineered the war in the first place. One such notable no-bid contract was handed to Halliburton, a corporation who was once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. In 2004, the provisional Iraqi government lead by viceroy Paul Bremer, disbanded the Iraqi army. This would unleash hundreds of thousands of unemployed Iraqis, adding fuel to an impending Iraqi civil war, and greatly accelerating terrorism in Iraq and beyond. The ultimate irony of the Iraq War was that the Neocons claimed Saddam had ties to Al Qaeda, whereas in actual fact Al Qaeda didn’t really have a presence in Iraq until after the US invasion.
As the Iraq war raged on, an insurgent group called the Islamic State in Iraq (ISI) would eventually spawn into the future global terrorist group – ISIS. As the US military was getting bogged down and the rising casualty figures were becoming politically inconvenient, the US began offering green cards to potential immigrants willing to fight in Iraq. It also drastically began to privatize war as a way to keep its casualty count low. If casualty figures were not coming from official US armed forces, they would be ignored thus keeping the official death count lower. This would make war-mongering politically palatable. Thus, the Neocons devised a strategy to maintain a military presence in Iraq, while drawing down their official presence. This of course was done with Private Military Contractors (PMCs) like Blackwater. At one stage, there were over 100,000 PMCs in Iraq, eclipsing US marines and armed forces. This privatization of warfare in Iraq would set the tone for future US war racketeering all through-out the Middle East and beyond. One notable unintended consquence of the Iraq War was that Iran was beginning to flex its muscles in the conflict, protecting Holy Shia sites like Kerbala, Samarra and Najaf by sending in Shia militias and becoming an influential force within the infant post-war Iraqi government. While this was going on, Iran accelerated its nuclear weapons program, adopted as a sort of insurance policy against regime change, in essence, a military deterrent. In the backdrop of these developments, Saudi Arabia and Israel became alarmed, for different reasons. Israel saw its nuclear monopoly under threat, and Saudi Arabia began to see Iranian ideology as a competing threat to its Wahhabist ideology, and so poured weapons and funds into Iraq, backing various Salafi terrorist groups to fight Shia forces. Some of them inevitably fought US forces too. The Middle East was beginning to fracture along deep Sunni-Shia sectarian lines, thanks to the catalyzing effect of the US invasion of Iraq.
The Rise of Arch-Rival Iran, Global Re-alignment and Towards De-dollarization
A Financial Crisis to Rupture the Existing World Order
The next significant global tectonic shift would begin in 2008, in the wake of the financial crisis that ravaged the US economy, exposing a fundamental weakness and beginning the period of its gradual, terminal decline. This crisis would then spread globally in domino effect fashion, giving rise to the unwinding of the entire financial, economic and socio-political landscape that has dominated the world since the end of Bretton Woods. By now, China had become a powerful player on the global economy; being admitted into the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 enabled it to ink global trade deals that would see it become the manufacturing engine of the world economy. Western firms outsourced to China en masse, which produced goods on the cheap and exported them to the world. China accumulated the biggest US dollar reserves in the world this way, helping it hold its fixed currency artificially low against the US dollar, in order to boost its export-led economy. A large chunk of these dollars would be recycled into the US economy by investing in Treasuries, stocks and businesses. This would add to US asset price inflation that was steadily building up as Fed chairman Alan Greenspan held interest rates low since the September 11 attacks in 2001. The US experienced an overheated housing boom in this time, as well as a stock market boom. There were signs of growing wealth everywhere, but this was an illusion.
By 2007, it turned out that the vast bulk of all this ‘wealth’ was riding on the back of record credit growth, and the system began showing signs of buckling after rising interest rates in the US began to take their toll on borrowers. Mortgage-backed securities began to lose value as mortgage delinquencies started to rise in the US. In mid 2007 to early 2008, red flags began to flash after a few prominent bank runs in the UK and US, – Northern Rock and Bear Stearns. It turned out that mortgage-backed securities originating in the US property bubble were a ponzi scheme that flooded global markets, with investors almost everywhere having a stake in these toxic instruments. What actually happened was that much of these instruments were backed by sub-prime mortgages, – loans given out carelessly to non-credit-worthy borrowers. When interest rates rose, a vast majority of these borrowers defaulted, and the income stream the instruments were generating for investors seized up. There was rampant fraud and malfeasance among credit ratings agencies, regulators, governments and banks, – a systemic market failure of systemic proportions. Everybody was in on the gravy train, hence nobody had an incentive to self-regulate. It constituted a gross failure in the classic economic texbook claim of a supposedly self-correcting free market. Alas, the ‘self-correction’ would come through a rupture in neoclassical free market economics itself. As financial markets became jittery, commodities experienced a sharp boom, leading to a crisis among poorer countries who faced food shortages. By September 2008, the US banking system imploded. By 2009 the crisis spread to Europe, and Iceland and Greece went into default. The emirate of Dubai had to be bailed out by the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and Dubai named its highest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, in honour of the Emir of Abu Dhabi who funded the bailout, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In the US the crisis gave rise to a deep recession, an unprecedented credit crunch, collapse in faith, massive wealth transfer to the 1%, sky-rocketing debt, bailouts, quantitative easing (QE) and an era of ultra-low interest rates never seen before. In Europe it triggered the European sovereign debt crisis, bouts of austerity, multiple banking crises, unprecedented negative interest rates, social unrest, mass unemployment, the fragmentation of the Eurozone, a resurgence in nationalism, the rise of alternative media and rampant anti-establishment sentiment. The Euro began to unravel. Globally it lead to the unwinding of the liberal world order and globalism leading to an era of protectionism, nationalism, xenophobia, currency and trade warring, a surge in armed conflict, the deterioration of mainstream media, deep polarization of opinion along partisan lines, the failure of the 2 party system, loss of faith in democracy, capitalism and authority in general. The Western world, and the world order it had presided over since WWII now began to unravel and decline. This crisis heralded the beginnings of a multi-polar world order. Despite all the patch-work central banks and Western governments tried in order to fix the problems, the nature of the fracture that had occurred was a fundamental kink in the armor that was the post-Bretton Woods system, and the world had experienced its first truly global financial crisis in history.
As with all financial and economic crises in history, once the initial shock subsided and the unemployment problem began to trickle in, that was when the pain began to affect ordinary people. Once people began to suffer en masse, the frustrations channelled into negative energy. Eager to keep people distracted and desperate to cling onto its former glory, governments and mass media in the West turned to war and conflict. Hollywood began a campaign to pump out super-hero movies in an effort to re-ignite nostalgic feelings for greatness again. The peak had passed it seemed. And while the credibility of the Western world was mostly ravaged by this crisis, with US financial power in question and the unraveling of the Euro, the credibility of the emerging world remained largely unscathed. The case for multi-polarity would grow, – multilateral institutions that represented the vast majority of the world’s populations, such as the BRICS, began to assert themselves more, seeing that the old order was heavily skewed in favor of Western industrialized nations, and beginning to implode.
The Libya Fiasco
Western elites began a series of regime change operations just as a series of Arab Spring revolts were taking shape across the Middle East and North Africa in 2011. This was the kind of environment the CIA/MI6 thrived in, hijacking genuine movements for change and turning them into nefarious plots to change governments for their own ends. Popular revolts deposed governments in Tunisia and Egypt. The West initially supported the democratic movements in Tunisia and Egypt, but when the Muslim Brotherhood was elected in Egypt, the US didn’t like the democratic outcome and threw its support back to the military, re-instating the old guard minus Hosni Mubarak. This foreign intervention began to sour the grassroots Arab Spring movement. Sensing an opportune time to meddle in the Middle East, the first official Western-backed regime change project began with Libya in 2011. On the pretext of saving civilians from an impending massacre by Qaddafi, Anglo-French forces backed by the US overthrew Libya’s strongman. Interestingly, Libya was accumulating a massive gold stock, and Qaddafi sought to withdraw Libyan oil from the Petrodollar mechanism and issue a pan-African gold-backed currency, the dinar. This was deemed a threat to the French franc (CFA Franc) circulating within Africa. Russia and China made the mistake of abstaining from a crucial UN Security Council resolution that would justify intervention in Libya on the grounds of R2P, or “responsibility to protect”, which was a farce. This green-lighted the West to implement their rogue and careless misadventure, which would foolishly destabilize Libya and turn it into a prime human trafficking hub later on when a refugee crises would blow back from yet another regime change project. The Libyan fiasco not only resulted in thousands of Libyans deaths, it also lead to the deaths of US diplomatic staff. Despite having achieved their aims without the necessary security yet, it seemed like the West had overplaying its hand. This would become more evident later on. Russia and China would learn a great deal from this experience.
Syria – The Anti-Imperialist Resistance Emerges
In 2012, popular protests began in Syria against the government. The West began to exploit this revolt by pouring support, along with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and Israel, into the Syrian opposition. Saudi Arabia and Israel in particular, wanted to exploit the conflict to curb Iranian influence due to its rise to prominence caused by US mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wahhabi jihadists once again flocked to the latest jihadi battleground in Syria to fight against the Shia, and help overthrow Assad. Israel wanted to separate Syria from Iran and the US wanted to see Russia lose its presence on the Mediterranean. In 2014, the US seized on Ukrainian internal divisions and fomented regime change on the doorsteps of Russia. Russian President Putin quickly responded to the aggression by seizing the most strategically important assets in Ukraine, – Crimea and the industrialized zones of Novorussian Donbass, under its protection, before pro-US stooges would use them against Russia. The majority of people in these regions approved the measures, including a referendum in Crimea. The US, sensing its objective stymied when Russia left the worst, most corrupt sections of Ukraine in US hands, began a concerted propaganda campaign against Russia. The ‘Cold War’ was back.
Also in 2014, a terrorist group declared a ‘Caliphate’ by the name of Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL), later ISIS or just IS. Desiring to undo the Sykes-Picot agreement, this group was an offshoot of an Iraqi terrorist group – ISI. The West turned a blind eye to the group, seeing that it fought against Assad. It likely supported the group, with bizarre weapons air drops ‘carelessly’ falling on ISIS territory. The botching of this regime change operation would begin when contrary to expectations, Syria showed that it had strong friends unlike Iraq or Libya. While the war in Syria was raging, the global economy had shifted from crisis to crisis, and popular sentiment began to turn against the establishment. Financial markets were utterly distorted and manipulated by central banks, who acted in unison to hold interest rates at extreme lows. There were continuous bailouts in Europe as Greece was essentially bankrupt and the banking system had piled up toxic assets that needed to be vacuumed up.
By 2015, with the threat of ISIS growing in Syria, a massive refugee crisis emerged, flooding Europe with millions of undocumented refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and beyond. The blow-back from all the regime change fiascoes was starting to come home to roost in continental Europe, while the Anglo nations who were the primary drivers of the destabilization efforts, – the US and UK, refused to take in refugees. Europe thus paid the high price for the consequences of the actions of its imperialist overlords. This in turn began a wave of ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks all over Europe, undoing decades of relative calm and security. The social fabric of the European Union was ripping at the seams. In 2015 with some convincing, Russia entered the war in Syria to support the Syrian government, along with Iran and Hezbollah, – already deep in the conflict. China also demonstrated support for Syria. As soon as the Russian air force began to smash ISIS and groups of Western backed terrorists, ISIS began to reverse its territorial gains drastically. This was notably contrasted to its rapid expansion under the full oversight of the US and its allies. For the first time since September 11, Western, Israeli and Saudi efforts to destabilize the Middle East were being resisted actively. Syria was the final straw; after the Libyan fiasco, and previously, Iraqi and Afghan fiascoes. Iranian and Hezbollah militias would be coordinating on the ground with Syrian forces, who possessed superior intelligence than any other force in Syria. The Russians would be providing air cover. With so many countries and intelligence agencies involved in Syria, – France, US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Iran, Russia, Jordan, Hezbollah, Israel and Turkey, the war in Syria was turning into a crucial showdown of not only regional, but global struggles for power. With the world mired in financial and economic turmoil, it seemed that all the hostile energies had converged in this one conflict, in an epic battle for the future. It was ultimately a devastating war that was avoidable, however, the imperial powers insisted on proving their power, as their economies and social systems imploded. The resistence bloc hailed from the emerging world, and the war in Syria was also a battle between the established Western bloc and emerging Eastern bloc.
The End of Unipolar Power
In the US, the presidential election of 2016 proved to be one of the ugliest, most polarizing and divisive elections in recent memory. Shortly before the election, Britain voted to leave the European Union, in a dramatic shift that would fracture Europe and the Western bloc for a long time to come. In stunning contrast to the fragmentation of the Western world, China on the other hand, would unveil its Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB), a new global bank that would finance its ambitious constructionist vision for Eurasia – the One Belt One Road initiative (OBOR). Many nations flocked to the bank as founding members, with the US looking rather lonely in its insistence not to, with its entreaties to fellow allies to boycott the initiative. The tide of global power was slowly starting to shift. Russia, already under US sanctions in an effort to inhibit its growth, would ink enormous trade deals as a key global energy producer, while buying gold at record pace, along with China, as the West sunk deeper into debt. In the US, the 2016 election marked the beginning of the end of mass media, failing to not only not predict the outcome, but actively engaging with the Hillary campaign against Trump. Alternative media would take a prominent place in its aftermath, as trust in mainstream media collapsed. Organizations like Wikileaks helped reveal the rot inside the American political system.
After President Trump was elected contrary to established perception, a key turning point in the Syrian war was reached in late 2016, when Aleppo was liberated by Syrian forces and allies, turning the tide of the war against the combined might of France, US, UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Israel, Jordan and Turkey. Here were 3 nations all under US sanctions, – Syria, Russia and Iran, defying the seemingly invincible might of a grand ‘coalition’. But in reality the coalition was in disarray and found arming opposing sides in the same war, – the same terrorists that were at war with the West were being armed by it, while captured mass media and political systems in the West gave them moral and diplomatic cover, – a complete farce. The victory in Syria marked the seismic shift in regional and global re-alignment, towards a Eurasian modicum of power and away from discredited Western power. Saudi Arabia, having its Wahhabist forces defeated, now faced Iran as a superior force. The US now faced Russia as a force that was willing to put its foot down and keep its unhinged military power in check. China was also on the road to overtake the US economy and challenge US power financially.
A move towards de-dollarisation would be set in motion, emerging powers like Russia, Iran and China now realized the monstrosity that was the Petrodollar with its global consequences due to unchecked US power being funded by Saudi dollars. Reigning in this mechanism stood as the only viable way to ultimately reign in the US empire, which has gone rogue with drunkenness on power. However, unlike Saddam or Qaddafi, if de-dollarisation was done by stronger nations acting in concert, this would be much more effective at tempering rogue unipolar power with a more balanced multi-polar power. This is where the emerging world is headed, while the established world will likely resist it as all empires do, until they no longer have the internal unity to do so. Meanwhile, the radical Saudi revivalist movement of Wahhabism will continue to ruin Islam’s image, until this movement is isolated and completely discredited by the Muslim Ummah itself. The Petrodollar is ultimately an untenable mechanism, producing chaos, racketeering and extremism on a global scale, and these growing side effects will rally the emerging world to spear-head an alternative system, one which will allow them to have a greater say and be more immune to the song and dance of the infamous Saudi-US sword dance. This has already begun, and its birth will be in Eurasia.