Will OPEC Bankrupt The US?

By Garner Ted Armstrong

Hailed as a major stepping stone to victory in the war against Iraq is the capture of the southern oil fields, as well as off-shore pumping stations, the Al Faw peninsula, and a strategic seaport.

Once it was known the coalition had captured those oil fields, the US stock market reacted with a positive jump – right in the middle of a war.

As I write, technicians are working to extinguish the last of some seven to nine oil wells deliberately set on fire by retreating Iraqi soldiers.

With the bulk of worrisome mines apparently moved from the shallow waters leading to Iraq’s only major seaport, a British ship has docked, offloading emergency humanitarian supplies.

Coalition possession of the southern oil fields is said to be critical to the “oil for food” program, which is once more being urged by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. In effect, since major French oil firms such as Elf Aquitaine and Total were in on the ground floor when the original oil for food program began in the mid ‘90's, this allows the French to have their cake and eat it too. Without sharing in the dangers of war; without committing a single soldier to the coalition forces, France will nevertheless be allowed to share in the spoils.

In one of the most shameful and shocking displays of arrogance and hostility, the French Foreign Minister, when asked recently whether he hopes to see a coalition victory in Iraq, refused to answer! His silence said it all.

Indications are that George Bush was not sanguine about Blair’s desire to go once again to the UN, and request Kofi Anan’s support to crank up the oil for food program so as to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Basra and the rest of Iraq. Nevertheless, following their recent discussions at Camp David, Blair went the same evening to New York for talks with Kofi Anan about that very thing.

Of course, the US government hopes that obtaining Iraqi oil at prices which can be set by the US itself will help defray the untold billions of dollars this war will cost. President Bush has already gone to Congress with a request for a supplemental budget allowance of many billions to help pay for the war.

Once the oil starts to flow again, it may be Europe, and not the United States, which will receive a double benefit. The US has now begun to be attacked in a subtle, yet very real, global economic repositioning! It could mean bankruptcy!

For decades, oil-rich Arab countries (and, for that matter, nations such as Nigeria and Venezuela) have been awash in a sea of “petrodollars.” The US dollar has been the primary global currency. Such wealth is why Kuwaitis had NO taxes; had free public services, free education and health care – all because of a little country which was the richest, in per capita terms, in the world.

Such nations have traditionally invested their excess dollars in US securities and government paper.

However, as the new European central currency, the euro, has gained strength, some of these same countries have already switched to demanding euros for their oil instead of dollars.

Iraq was probably the first to move to the euro. This fact simply did not appear in the US media. You probably never heard of it. There may have been at least four major reasons for the move. First, the US has frozen Iraqi dollar-based assets in US banks. Second, there is enough hatred and resentment to justify the move. Third, Europe has proved to be more of an ally of Iraq than of the US and UK. Fourth, the euro has gained in strength against the dollar, and as of the moment, stands at $1.05 to the US dollar.        

Following suit, Iran has already begun converting the bulk of its central bank assets to the euro. Will it also begin asking for euros in return for the sale of oil?

Not surprisingly, North Korea has joined in, beginning to switch from dollars to euros in its trade. Again, this is most likely a punitive measure. Venezuela is reportedly thinking about doing the same thing; demanding euros, not dollars, for its oil. It is a major oil exporter. But most ominously of all, it was during the April 14th, 2002 meeting of OPEC (oil producing and exporting countries) ministers in Spain, that some began saying they were interested in leaving the dollar for the euro.

Never forget that OPEC is made up primarily of Arabic, Islamic nations, hostile to the US. While the Saudi regime gives lip service to the US, it is well known that the vast majority of the restive Islamic population hates the US. All but one of the 9/11 terrorists were Saudis; Osama bin Laden is a Saudi.

Major riots occurred in Mecca many years ago as Islamic fundamentalists sought to overthrow the government.

If the Saudis toss their people the delectable bone of switching to the euro, explaining behind the scenes how this would injure the US economy, they could do so with impunity. Any economist understands a nation trying to earn more money, and obtain the best price for its exports. The US might complain, but, short of another war to conquer the Saudi Arabian peninsula, there would be little they could do about it. An oil embargo could strangle the economies of the world.

Should the Saudis and OPEC switch to euros, it would force US banks and the Fed to get rid of their dollar holdings in favor of euros.

If a major move such as this occurs, it would mean the market will be flooded with US dollars. Some economists claim that could cause the dollar to drop by virtually fifty percent!

What do you suppose foreign investors would then do? They would pull their dollars out of the US stock market and government securities. Foreign-made goods would skyrocket in price. Oil would continue to be high priced for a long time to come, and could go even higher. The already burgeoning trade deficits would balloon to impossible heights.

The US is already the world’s largest debtor nation. Others own much of our economy; huge slices of our real estate. The Japanese own most of the big buildings in Hawaii; a few years ago, it was reported they owned 80% of the high rise buildings in Los Angeles. Next year, if the European Union admits the additional ten nations knocking on the door, the expanded EU will be up to a third larger than the US in consumer demands – especially oil. It is in their best interests to demand that the oil-rich nations, who have received euros for their oil, invest those euros in European central banks, not in the US.

After all, even considering the US and Japanese demands for foreign oil, an expanded European Union would represent fifty percent of OPEC oil.

Is there another hidden reason for the US and UK to mount a preemptive attack against Iraq? Will the US and UK make sure that any new “oil for food” program is paid for by dollars, and not euros? It is most certainly in US interests to make sure OPEC does not abandon US dollars as its reserve currency!

Is there another more subtle message being sent to other oil producing countries beyond the production of WMD and harboring terrorists? Is the message that it is hazardous to the regime to abandon the US dollar and switch to the euro?

For decades, I have known that despots and dictators do not arise in nations whose economies are humming along; nations which are experiencing low unemployment, high productivity, and relative peace. Instead, they arise in times of terrible economic distress; of joblessness and despair; of social disequilibrium, riots, crime, and a breakdown of society.

One of the major features of the coming BEAST power to arise in Europe is that of its ECONOMY! It will be a gigantic TRADING bloc; a financial giant. Notice how the visions seen of John in the Apocalypse are of a church/state combine which grows vastly rich: “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication [metaphor for false religious doctrine and political propaganda], and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her [have engaged in close political, financial and military alliances], and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies” (Revelation 18:3).

Later, when the Beast power turns on the great false church, depicted as a whore, God says, “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

“The merchandise of gold, and silver [representing monetary devices], and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

“And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men [they will be engaged in slavery once again; this time, captured Israelites].

“And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

“The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

“And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls [”Babylon the Great” a modern metaphor for the headquarters of the Beast to come]!

“For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off” (Revelation 18:11-17).

For decades, I have written articles and spoken on how a major TRADE WAR; an ECONOMIC war would weaken the US and Britain! Many months ago, when I knew another war in the gulf was looming, I told my audiences it would not come any time soon for the simple reason that it takes time and a lot of money to replenish exhausted military supplies!

It is said each laser-guided bomb costs up to $100,000 dollars; that each cruise missile costs about the same as a small business jet!     

Great concern is being voiced all over America about the enormous COSTS of the war. Of course, the Democrats are jumping on the anti-Bush and, to some extent, the anti-war bandwagon, complaining about burgeoning deficits and high spending. This is perhaps a bit strange, coming from Democrats, but then politicians have been known to be able to instantly argue either side of an issue to their own benefit.

You now know that the US and UK find themselves DIVIDED AGAINST EUROPE; that EUROPE is extremely hostile to our two countries. I have predicted that Europe will eventually emerge as a powerful ENEMY of the United States for DECADES! Perhaps this current flap will be papered over. But the antagonisms will not go away any time soon.

If you have not yet read my book “Europe and America in Prophecy,” you may read it on our web site, or request it through sending an Email to the site, or writing directly to headquarters of the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association at PO Box 747, Flint, TX., 75762. It is free, of course. In its final pages, it contains information on the identity of the Beast; how it is formed; who is the woman who rides and controls the Beast, and its final end.

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