Do any of us want to look and see what is starting to happen overseas to the dollar?? Ouch! It seems several countries just met in Yekaterinburg: Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrghyzstan and Uzbekistan, with observer status for Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia for trade discussions. The so-called BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — may no longer want to play. The hegemony of the U.S. dollar is now extremely vulnerable due to the interplay of the bond market and increasing reluctance of foreign central banks to accumulate more dollar reserves.
This is a big deal. U.S. bonds replaced the gold standard since the early seventies. The U.S. is used to dominating the economic plate without having to tighten our belt like the IMF has insisted others do. Now those others want some of their own back. They are starting to plan to create their own trade with each other with local rather than US dollars–behind closed doors (i.e., no U.S. financial representatives or IMF types allowed).
It seems the BRIC nations are worried that the U.S. doesn’t have the resources to back all those trillions of dollars that are being furiously printed to back our bank etc. bailouts and expensive war economy. They don’t want to be forced to keep backing what are becoming increasingly less valued U.S. bonds!
While the above story has largely been ignored, the general press has instead focused on the frenzied electoral situation in Iran.
Whereas much of the press and various governmental officials have lead us to believe the Iranian presidential election was rigged, I read elsewhere that this is likely false. Two award winning independent pollsters who were in Iran collecting information just before the election indicated the Iranian election would turn out just as it did. Its one thing to not like Mr. Ahmadinejad and its another to say his re-election was illegitimate. And certainly up through the election a majority of Iranians did seem to like him.
Middle East pollsters, Ken Ballen of the nonprofit Center for Public Opinion and Patrick Doherty of the nonprofit New America Foundation, describe their poll of the Iranian election in an op ed piece in the June 15 Washington Post:
“Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin — greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election…”
The poll, conducted in Farsi, was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Ballen and Doherty often work for ABC News and the BBC in the Middle East.
Black Ops scare me; like many I would like to think our government is not still up to its dirty tricks. However part of me can’t help but agree with those that think some branch of the US government is likely to have had a hand in creating electoral distress in Iran — as well as helping to manipulate the news in America and Britain.
Nevertheless officially at least the Obama administration seems to be trying to stay neutral while the political situation in Iran is spiraling beyond anyone’s control. Now its a question of appropriate human response as that country reels from governmental violence perpetrated against the protestors. Whether they won the election or not, the protestors are winning the hearts of their fellow Iranians who, as the above pollsters Ballen and Doherty found, want free elections and a free media as a priority whether they supported one candidate or the other.
The danger is the US making use of this situation to create fodder for intervention, thus furthering the old Bush agenda. Of course reason says that the one thing our economy doesn’t need is yet another arena for war. But when has reason shifted the powers that be to do the right thing?
Fortunately so far the Obama administration does appear to be unwilling to take sides in this developing situation in Iran. Though with Bush’s cronies still running much of the war effort in neighboring Iraq (now spread more fully into Afghanistan plus Pakistan), it gives one pause.
Meanwhile the drive to continue funding the spiraling war at the cost of trillions of dollars while the fabric of our real economy languishes sorrowfully does not encourage me to think the best of our current administration. Greed left over from the Bush era and a desire not to rock the boat in the Obama camp seem to be heading us towards a dismal economic future. For those who thought Obama might by himself do more to bypass it, think again. He might want to, however he doesn’t seem to know how. He seems to want to please too many people to be able to do it effectively. Further it is my observation that his Achilles heal is that he may be too easily deceived by whomever he surrounds himself with.
To make real progress radical changes to our system would have to be made; and radical does not seem to be where the Obama administration is at. It may well boil down to historical forces making “we the people” take action, despite our collective reluctance so far to do so. The change train seems inevitably coming towards us whether we want it or not. No one leader is going to save us.
Already those forces of change may be inspiring the struggle in Iran. Something beyond who actually won that election seems to be bursting forth. The question of freedom and respect and right action towards the electorate seems to be on the plate in one of the oldest and most authoritarian countries in the world.
Meanwhile as said before, the forces of change are making countries like China and Brazil think about going off the dollar when trading with each other simply to protect their own interests; a maneuver more of us may eventually have to take — much as some communities are doing in hard hit areas of America’s North-East.
As more countries and communities do this, of course, the change train will come barreling in even faster. But what choice do any of us really have but to flow with the needs of the times? War mongerers will continue to try to stave off those changes, but it is a dying absurdist act against the inevitable.
It is a truism that times of great change bring great suffering; it seems it can’t be avoided — however unfortunately. Nevertheless with spirit, humility, self awareness and a desire to help each other we can learn to use these difficult times as an opportunity to transform and co-create a more intelligent and beautiful stewardship of the world.