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We will make them pay for their insolence

A few months back I read this article over at Global Research: Behind the Drums of War with Iran: Nuclear Weapons or Compound Interest by Ellen Brown. My apologies for the long excerpts, but this article really explains a lot of what's happening right now.

If you're really busy, the shorter is: We must bomb Iran because those smart bastards outwitted our diabolical debt trap.
What bankers call the “miracle” of compound interest is called “usury” under Islamic law and is considered a crime...Modern Islamic thinkers are not averse to a profitable return on investment if it takes the form of “profit-sharing,” with investors taking some risk and sharing in business losses; but the usurer gets his interest no matter what. In fact he does better when the borrower fails. The borrower who cannot afford to pay off his loans sinks deeper and deeper into debt, as interest compounds annually to the lender. In The Coming First World Debt Crisis (2006), Ann Pettifor gives this modernized definition of “usury”:

Usury is the practice of exalting money values over human and environmental values; of creating money at no cost and lending at rates of interest intended not to foster and maintain humanity or the ecosystem, but to

a) accumulate reserves of unearned income;

b) extract wealth from the productive sector in a manner that is parasitic;

c) extract wealth from those who lack wealth (the asset-less); and

d) make a claim on the future.

It is this debt scheme, with its lethal weapon of interest compounded annually, that has allowed a small clique of financiers to dominate the business of the world. In Tragedy and Hope, Professor Carroll Quigley, Bill Clinton's mentor at Georgetown University, wrote from personal knowledge of this group, which he called “the international bankers.” He said their aim was “nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole,” a system “to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements.” The key to the bankers' success was that they would control and manipulate the money systems of the world while letting them appear to be controlled by governments.

...The first step in the process of prying resources loose from local economies was to induce national leaders to open up their capital and currency markets. In 1971, President Nixon took the U.S. dollar off the gold standard, making it the world's “reserve currency” without the tether of gold. Dollars could then be created and lent to whatever extent lenders could find borrowers for them. In 1974, OPEC was induced to enter into an agreement to trade its oil only in U.S. dollars, and the price of oil then suddenly quadrupled. Countries that did not have the dollars they needed to buy oil had to borrow them. The IMF then imposed its “conditionalities,” including the privatization of state-owned oil industries and banks. In the ensuing decades, this and other predatory lending schemes brought most of the world under the heel of the international bankers.

But guess which country has stayed out from under the international bankers' heels? Iran!

Iran was among the few nations to have escaped this global privatization scheme. Iran had its own oil. It managed to avoid the trap of letting its currency be devalued by speculators by imposing foreign exchange restrictions and price controls on its national currency (the rial), something it could afford to do because it had adequate foreign exchange reserves from its oil sales. Iran's state-owned oil industry has allowed its economy to perform well, despite economic sanctions and rumors to the contrary. A “reformist” movement toward increased privatization ended in 2005, when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected to the presidency. Ahmadinejad is a “populist” who has promised to redistribute Iranian oil wealth more expansively and has committed the government to funding public-sector projects and charitable investments.

Islamic scholars have been seeking to devise a global banking system that would serve as an alternative to the usury-based scheme now in control internationally, and Iran has led the way in devising that model. Iran is characterized as a democratic Islamic republic, which enforces Islamic principles not only morally but legally and politically. The 1979 revolution overthrowing the American-backed Shah of Iran ended 2,500 years of monarchical rule. All domestic Iranian banks were then nationalized, and the government called for the establishment of an Islamic banking system that would replace interest payments with profit-sharing. Its state-owned central bank issues the national currency, with the “seigniorage” (the difference between the cost of producing money and its face value) accruing to the government rather than to private banks. The Iranian government is among the few to have very little foreign debt. It uses its state-owned banks to make loans and credits available to industrial and agricultural projects. The most unique feature of the banking system, however, is that it follows the Islamic proscription against usury. That means loans are made interest-free.

At least, that is true in principle. To make their system work with the prevailing scheme, Islamic economists have had to come up with some creative definitions of “interest.” Assuming Iran can develop a workable alternative model, however, it might well threaten the usury-based banking system that now dominates international finance and trade. If governments were to start doing what banks do now - advancing “credit” created out of nothing with accounting entries - they could sidestep the hefty interest that is the principal cost of most government programs today.

Estimates are that eliminating interest charges could cut the cost of infrastructure, sustainable energy development and other government programs in half. Third World economies might then escape the grip of the global bankers, bringing a 300-year global banking empire crashing down.

Oopsie. Can't have that.
That could explain the big guns trained on Iran. The intent may not be to thwart the development of nuclear weapons so much as to pluck a budding economic alternative out by its roots before it has a chance to spread. Dominoes that won't fall into the debt trap must be pushed. Like in the brutal attacks in Lebanon in July 2006, the military targets in Iran are liable to be economic ones - ports, bridges, roads, airports, refiners.The threat posed by Iran's economic model will be obliterated by blasting it back into the Stone Age.
Fast forward to March 20, 2008. This is how the US government gets the ball rolling - they cut Iran off from the international financial community.
A unit within the US Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which issued a March 20 advisory to the world's financial institutions under the title: “Guidance to Financial Institutions on the Continuing Money Laundering Threat Involving Illicit Iranian Activity.”
...As of March 20, however, the US, speaking through FinCEN, is now telling all banks around the world “to take into account the risk arising from the deficiencies in Iran's AML/CFT [anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism] regime, as well as all applicable U.S. and international sanctions programs, with regard to any possible transactions” with – and this is important – not just the above three banks but every remaining state-owned, private and special government bank in Iran. In other words, FinCEN charges, all of Iran’s banks – including the central bank (also on FinCEN’s list) – represent a risk to the international financial system, no exceptions. Confirmation is possible by comparing FinCEN's list of risky Iranian banks with the listing of Iranian banks provided by Iran’s central bank.

The “deficiencies in Iran's AML/CFT” is important because it provides the rationale FinCEN will now use to deliver the ultimate death blow to Iran’s ability to participate in the international banking system.

So what does all this bureaucratic financial rigmarole mean?

What it really means is that the US, again through FinCEN, has declared two acts of war: one against Iran’s banks and one against any financial institution anywhere in the world that tries to do business with an Iranian bank.
And that simply means that the Iranians will be reduced to abject poverty, and they will die. Back to Ellen Brown:
But there is hope. The developing nations should not think that they are powerless in the face of their oppressors. Their best weapon now is the very scale of the debt crisis itself. A coordinated and simultaneous large scale default on international debt obligations could quite easily damage the Western monetary system, and the West knows it. There might be a war of course, or the threat of it, accompanied perhaps by lectures on financial morality from Washington, but would it matter when there is so little left to lose? In due course, every oppressed people comes to know that it is better to die with dignity than to live in slavery. Lenders everywhere should remember that lesson well.
I'm telling you, even Americans will figure this out some day, perhaps pretty soon. I'm no financial wizard, that's for sure, but I'm smart enough to know that everything in this world comes back to money. And if you really want to know what's going on, just figure out who owns all the banks and where their loyalties lie (wink wink). You, too, can have one of those aha mind-blowing moments that lasts for the rest of your life.

Much more on the amazing hypocrisy and injustice of the financial world here and here.