portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

Why would anyone vote for Bush?

A serious question
From what I can see Bush has been a total disaster.

Can anyone tell me why they would vote for him?

Give real reasons, nothing about communists or hippies or any of that crap.

For instance "I believe that Bush's tax plan will strengthen the economy because..." Then give your reasons.

Or "I believe that Bush will provide greater security because..." Give reasons.

What I consistantly find is that Bush supports cannot come up with reasons to vote for him. They don't seem to know why they like him.

By the way, we already know about Bill Clinton's sex life. That doesn't have anything to do with it anyway.

Under Bill Clinton we were better off because we had a surplus, full employment, low crime and we did not have plans to take over the world with an everlasting war.

Please explain why you think that GWB is better with real reasons.

Remember, don't call names, just answer the question. If you cannot come up with any reasons to support Bush, maybe you shouldn't.

If all you can do is call names I will assume you have no reasons.
A Serious Answer 20.Apr.2003 10:16

Yahoo Sirius

Ignorance is bliss.

Amerikans prefer the comfortable lie to the uncomfortable truth.

fear factor 20.Apr.2003 10:33

darla

From what I can see, people who support bush are afraid of change and cannot see the huge changes that he is causing. I have heard some say that he is a man of God and they think that makes him right and good. I would argue with all of that, but the fear factor just makes a wall over which truth cannot leap.

Others support what he is doing because their sons and daughters are caught up in the middle of it. They feel somehow that by supporting bush, they are supporting their children. Parents become blind when they "know" that they are doing the right things for their children and do not want to hear any discussion of the topic.

And then there is the numbness that all of the violence has caused. "What can we do?" is something we are all asking. bush supporters are relying upon the dream that was once America. They are living the lie.

Because they think he is the best candidate? 20.Apr.2003 11:20

Mike stepbystepfarm@shaysnet.com

This is a "concept" question. Do you understand WHAT democracy is all about? If we all agreed, why would we ever bother voting? Simply install the person we all agree best for the job. Note that in such societies, normally everybody in VERY high agreement on everything, "majority rule democracy" is a bad form of government. They would better have some sort of "consensus" system where nothing gets done until the opposed are convinced (precisely because USUALLY everybody agrees, so what's the problem with THIS issue).

LOOK --- I do NOT approve of George Bush and have never voted for him for any office.

But I am under no illusion that MY presonal choices, MY politics, are the same as everybody else's. These people aren't stupid, they aren't ignorant of the facts, they simply make different value judgements, different choices, etc. than I do. Hey, some people like cauliflower, some hate it. It might come as a shock to you, but there ARE people who actually prefer capitalism to socialism. Even people who are workers. Not much chance a "worker" will end up a millionaire but you know something, probably a better chance of that than of their winning the lottery they keep buying tickets for.

Now I may think that's stupid (buying lottery tickets) but that's MY choice, just like it's MY choice to prefer a society where everybody gets a fair share rather than one which doesn't but there is a minscule chance of getting into one of those slots at the top. I only get to decide for ME, those others get to cast their votes for what THEY prefer.

Afraid of change? 20.Apr.2003 11:29

Blake

To the contrary of an earlier statement...
I support Bush because i am NOT afraid of change!
He's a President who finally has the balls enough to confront hatred and ignorance and not afraid to attack it and eliminate it.
The pantywaist liberals who were content to allow the torture of innocent men, women and children continue are nothing more than a sure sign that our nation had fallen into a quagmire of helplesness while brutal dictators grew stronger in their belief that we were nothing more than a nation of cowards.
Meanwhile, the left would only be happy if that still had someone like Clinton playing cigar games with his favorite girls.

Mike's right! 20.Apr.2003 11:30

darla

I keep forgetting that some folks just like the guy...think he is smart and has better values. I just KEEP forgetting that because it is so opposite to what I believe. So, yeah...there are a lot of people who just like it the way it is. That is really depressing, but true!

The Real Underlying Reason 20.Apr.2003 12:04

Metal Pancreas

that people vote for this feller is: oil. He will do any and everything to ensure that america gets its buffet of oil to keep 1) the industries running, 2) the transportation system running and, by extension, 3) the economy running. Without oil all three of those sectors (and they are big sectors) will crumble and something will have to replace them. That's too much change, even for Blake I would bet. Too bad we can't figure out how to run our economy on blood- there's plenty of that to go around.

Oil? you must be kidding 20.Apr.2003 12:16

Blake

The biggest fallacy with the "no blood for oil" smear is that we have more than our own needed reserves of oil already.
We are neither running out, as the left would like you to believe, nor banking on the next 100 years as oil being the "grease" that moves our machinery.
The U.S. government is, in fact, the most progressive nation in the world when it comes to research eliminating the need for this resource.
U.S. automobile manufacturers are in fact the biggest contributors to this research (contrary to common leftist illusions).
it is a wonderful rallying cry that the left has picked up on, but, all else disregarded, Iraq is a minority re-seller to the U.S. of oil anyway. According to the International Oil Refinery Cooperative, Iraqs' contribution to U.S. oil consumption is a mere 6%.
But France and Russia enjoy a healthy combined 72%.
Gee....I wonder why they so vehemently opposed this liberation?

Uh oh, here come the oil lies again 20.Apr.2003 12:46

dave

"we have more than our own needed reserves of oil already"

Prove it. Using figures supplied by the US government, you're just wrong.

 http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/usa.html
 http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/iraq.html

You will note that Iraq "holds more than 112 billion barrels of oil- the
world's second largest proven reserves" while "The US ranks 12th
worldwide in reserves of oil" (22.4 billion barrels), its production has
declined 23% since 1985, and it's largest importer is the Persian Gulf. The US consumes about 7 billion barrels per year. So, translate that into us "not running out", remembering that we import more than half of our oil already.

Iraq has supplied only about 2% of US imports recently, a figure that the American Petroleum Institute likes to push. They forget to mention that Iraq has had oil-for-food (only) sanctions in place for quite a while, limiting production, which the US is working hard to get lifted, and the US has already said that a goal is to vastly increase the rate of Iraq oil production.

Much of US oil comes from Canada, in part because it's cheap, which in turn is because it is produced in the west, far away from Canada's own major consumers in the east, so they ship it south to us instead. Except, even that's changing--their west wells are drying up, and their new wells are in the east.

 http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/canada.html

The US could indeed put its tremendous ingenuity toward finding solutions, but necessity is the mother of invention, and people like you seem to believe Bush (and tell others) that there is no necessity, with no references to back it up. Bush and friends know better.

 http://www.hubbertpeak.com/

oh blake... 20.Apr.2003 12:50

sad

and in the near future?

Iraq's contribution to US oil consumption will be up from 6%, no?

Now that we're in control of it?

Combined 72%?

So Iraq gives France 36% of the oil it(France) consumes and the same with Russia?

36% doesn't sound as "healthy" as 72%.

George Bush is the pantywaste. He is somewhat of a moron, not qualified to run this country and NOT ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE.

He has no balls. He is a pussy and he has done only harm to America and the world.

This new America is scary and sad....it's like a bad dream.

How easy it is to deny... 20.Apr.2003 13:44

Blake

To begin with, untapped oil reserves in the Gulf of Mexico is alone woth more than all the reserves in Iraq.
Still, it makes no difference about your silly arguements.
What you fail to accept...is the real underlying theme..
But you go ahead and believe what you like...in fact, I encourage you to continue your beliefs...your misplaced idealogy simply re-inforces what the rest of the world truly understands.
The tired old arguements of "oil" just makes you a laughingstock among truly intelligent people.
It really is not a wonder why your causes drowned in the Clinton era. Have another cigar.

... 20.Apr.2003 13:47

...

I see this as more trying to keep the oil OUT of other countries hands so as to restrict thier economical growth. Its no secret that oil really does controle so many factions of economical life and America may be struggeling but not nearly enough. True, Russia gets most of its oil from Iraq at a fairly cheap price...Israel get's its oil from Russia because the rest of the Arab world doesnt want anything to do with Israel which in turn controls the economy and its growth power in both of those countries...hell the whole reason the US helped Afghanistan keep Russia out was so that they didnt get control and access to the oil reserves it so desperatly needs to maintain its economy. So we can ask why Iraq? why not Tibet? Why not the Palestinians? and countless others. So i dont think it's a matter of how this may benefit the US(even tho it surely will) but how it WONT benefit countries like Russia and China. The US can keep it's Big Brother eye on how much and at what cost those countries grow and expand and therefore regulate it...because somehow i think the US may have a problem with China becoming the next superpower.

As for Bush. Hell, i didnt vote for him and i sure as hell wont vote for him in 2004 either.

Bush for Pres 20.Apr.2003 13:50

foad

I'd vote him back in a heartbeat.

He is not afraid to tackle REAL ISSUES

The economy being in the toilet is not related to Bush...it can't be. The last idiot in power had 8 years of fame and fortune, the economy was predicted to slump for the last two or three years PRIOR to Bush coming into power. I know, my portfolios show the trend (probably something you don't have).

Bush didn't hide from world issues like IRAQ!

Contrary to the crap posted here, the attack on 9/11 was planned before he was in office.

The guy brings me a little more peace about what is happening in the White House vs. the last idiot savant who only wanted a piece in the White House.

If tax breaks are not what we need then riddle me this:
Why is every carmaker offering 0% loans on new cars? Why not charge 21% across the board?

Why are mortgage loans down to a 40 year low (I refinanced my own house and spent thousands upfront to save $100,000 later)?

I cannot go into real economics here because you are all too mad at what you've already read!

It is typical left wing touch-feely politics that would say, raise taxes when the economy is poor, then raise them more when it is bad. Like kicking someone when they are down...its poor sportsmanship.

Even your boy "Sleepy" Ted Koolongoofski agrees that the education system here in Oregon must learn how to live with what it's got...not what it HASN'T got! Especially when the per student cost is so high.

I don't agree with everything Bush brings to the table like oil drilling in Alaska and some of his other policies. But when compared to Gore..."Whew", man am I glad that transparent weasel isn't in there...we'd really be up a creek.

Bush supporters be damned! 20.Apr.2003 15:03

Pioneer

Bush will not win. All of this will end soon enough and those that supported Bush will be shamed.

Once Bush is out of office all of his secrets will become common knowledge to all, not just the informed.

Jeb did "erase" 50,000 votes to help his brother win the election. There IS proof of this. The NAACP won a case involving Jeb Bush in a discrimination case when he threw out thousands of black votes. ("Blacks" tend to vote democratic.)

The supreme court was stacked to Bush's favor.

We will know what Bush was trying to hide when Reagan's presidential records were SUPPOSED to be released (after 12 years) but hidden by the Patriot Act. Was daddy Bush a crook?

Iraq has no WMD (Israel does) and Hussein was not a threat to his neighbors (like Israel).

Our brief descent into the Dark Ages will end with the ousting of Bush and Co.

take a look at this 20.Apr.2003 15:16

fix the plunger

 http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/car/chi-supercarmain.htmlstory

take a look at this story about how our government commisioned american car companies to engineer a low cost great MPG sedan. this was being made during the clinton administration, then near its completion when they actually had a few working models the companies decided to kill it.

now how can you say our government, our car and oil companies care about saving oil?

OIL 20.Apr.2003 15:35

OIL OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_

Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil
Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad. The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq's northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria.

Now, its resurrection would transform economic power in the region, bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria and solving Israel's energy crisis at a stroke.

It would also create an endless and easily accessible source of cheap Iraqi oil for the US guaranteed by reliable allies other than Saudi Arabia - a keystone of US foreign policy for decades and especially since 11 September 2001.
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,940250,00.html
---

Hubbert Peak of Oil Production
Named after the late Dr. M. King Hubbert, Geophysicist, this website provides data, analysis and recommendations regarding the upcoming peak in the rate of global oil extraction.
 http://www.hubbertpeak.com/.
---

Die Off
Petroleum geologists have known for 50 years that global oil production would "peak" and begin its inevitable decline within a decade of the year 2000. Moreover, no renewable energy systems have the potential to generate more than a tiny fraction of the power now being generated by fossil fuels.
 http://www.dieoff.org/
---

Documents on the International Energy System
[IMPORTANT comprehensive page with dozens of links + research documents]
 http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/energy.htm
---

Measures of US oil import dependence
 http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/archive/issues98/oimport.html
---

Oil Market Disruptions & Vulnerability
[IMPORTANT--has many sublinks and references]
 http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/security/contingency.html#DEPEND
---

Eyeballing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
 http://cryptome.org/spr-eyeball.htm
---

Guzzling the Caspian
 http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0927/p10s02-comv.html
---

Colin Campbell on Oil
Perhaps the World's Foremost Expert on Oil and the Oil Business Confirms the Ever More Apparent Reality of the Post-9-11 World
 http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/102302_campbell.html
---

Saudi Petroleum Imports [PDF file]
 http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/mer/pdf/pages/sec3_9.pdf
---

Central Asia oil and gas pipelines
 http://www.worldpaper.com/2000/june00/vivknand.html
---

A Brief History Of Major Oil Companies In The Gulf Region
 http://www.virginia.edu/igpr/apagoilhistory.html
---

Iraq oil: one big sticky mess
 http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/EA22Ak01.html
---

US reliance on Iraqi oil grows despite ''evil'' tag
 http://www.mwaw.org/article.php?sid=852
---

US buys up Iraqi oil to stave off crisis
 http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,882512,00.html
---

Crude Vision: How Oil Interests Obscured US Government Focus On Chemical Weapons Use by Saddam Hussein
 http://www.ips-dc.org/crudevision/index.htm
---

Glittering prizes in giant oilfields of Iraq
 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-352935,00.html
---

Post-Saddam Iraq:
Linchpin of a New Oil Order
By Michael Renner, Worldwatch Institute
[MUST READ article]
 http://www.fpif.org/papers/oil.html
---------

OIL, PETRODOLLARS, AND THE OPEC EURO QUESTION
 http://ist-socrates.berkeley.edu/~pdscott/iraq.html
---

Dollars, Euros, and Oil
 http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-000538/

Excellent article by Cóilín Nunan: "Oil, Currency and the War on Iraq".  http://www.feasta.org/documents/papers/oil1.htm Fascinating explanation of some major economic mechanisms involving dollars and euros and oil. A very big reason that the United States is such an economically and militarily dominating country is apparently that U.S. dollar is the de facto world reserve currency. Lots of things are counted in dollars and some goods are only sold for dolars. That means that foreign governments and corporations and banks are keeping large dollar reserves. That essentially amounts to a huge loan the rest of the world is giving to the United States, which will subsidize the U.S. economy. In order to acquire those dollars, the rest of the world has to provide goods and services for those dollars. That allows the U.S. to have a huge import/export imbalance. Last November, 48% more imports than exports. It would be untennable for any other country to run such a deficit.

Next major point is that one of the reasons everybody has to have dollars is that the OPEC oil producting countries only accept dollars for oil. Well, not all of them. The only one that does something different is Iraq, which only accepts Euros for their oil, since 2000. And Iran is considering it as well. And the thing is that it might just as well be Euros that everybody used as a reserve currency. It would apparently be a better choice in many ways, because the European economies are more balanced, and the OPEC countries would end up getting more value for their oil. So, now, what would happen if Euros became the only choice for buying oil? Most likely the U.S. economy would plunge, because it would no longer be subsidized in that manner. And EU would probably be quite happy being subsidized in its place. Anybody thinks all this might have something to do with the great urgency to take over Iraq? And why would Britain support it?
----

When will we buy oil in Euros?
When it comes to the global oil trade, the dollar reigns supreme. But it has a challenger
 http://www.observer.co.uk/business/story/0%2C6903%2C900867%2C00.html

* * * * * Behind the Invasion of Iraq * * * * *

this is a *MUST* READ, excellent summary of Iraq's history, along with the US economic and geopolitical interests, and the Euro-(vs. US dollar-)based oil economy that threatens US hegemony over hydrocarbons.

The entire report is about 90 pages long--perhaps two of the most informative sections regarding the US situation are II. Home Front in Shambles, and III. Military Solution to an Economic Crisis--THESE ARE *BRIEFLY* EXCERPTED BELOW:

 http://www.rupe-india.org/34/contents.html
============

Table of Contents:

Why this Special Issue: India as a Pillar of US Hegemony

Behind the Invasion of Iraq (a summary)

Western Imperialism and Iraq

I. From Colony to Semi-Colony
II. Towards Nationalisation
III. The Iran-Iraq War: Serving American Interests
IV. The Torment of Iraq
V. Return of Imperialist Occupation

The Real Reasons for the Invasion of Iraq—and Beyond

I. The Current Strategic Agenda of the United States
II. Home Front in Shambles
III. Military Solution to an Economic Crisis

Rehabilitating Colonialism

Appendices

I. US Declares India a Strategic Pillar
II. The Pages Ripped out by the US from the Weapons Report
============

[*BRIEF* EXCERPTS ONLY--CLICK LINKS FOR ENTIRE REPORT SECTIONS]
--------------------------------------

II. Home Front in Shambles
 http://www.rupe-india.org/34/homefront.html

Even as the US prepares to launch an invasion of Iraq (and perhaps of other countries as well), its economy is trapped in a recession with no clear prospect of recovery. True to their character, the world's giant media corporations have not seen it fit to explore the causal connection between these two outstanding facts.

. . .

Crisis of overproduction in full bloom
It is in times of economic setback that the press returns to earth. The Chicago Tribune recently published a series of articles on the current crisis, drawing on a wide range of interviews with employers, employees and economic analysts. The first piece in the series is titled: "The Economics of Glut. Bloated industries put the economy in a bind. Glut is making it harder to shake off the recession." (William Neikirk, 15-18/12/02) The article begins: "The world's auto industry can now produce 20 million more cars than consumers can buy." Citing instances also from telecommunications and dot-coms, the Tribune discovers that "economists call the phenomenon overcapacity.... businesses can produce far more than we need. Supply has simply outstripped demand. When that happens, production slows, equipment sits idle, costs go up, workers are laid off and investments are postponed. The capacity glut exists on a scale that this country and many others haven't seen for decades, and it at least partially explains why it is so difficult for the American economy to shake off a recession that by all measures seemed mild."

The Tribune sees a swamp of excess capacity in airline, auto, machine tool, steel, textile, and high-tech industries, even commercial space and hotel rooms. According to the Federal Reserve, manufacturers are using only 73.5 per cent of capacity, far below the 80.9 per cent average of 1967-2001, and 3.5 percentage points below the level during the 1990-91 recession. In an effort to attract customers, airlines have slashed their fares to five-year lows; United Airlines, the second largest in the country, has filed for bankruptcy; and Boeing says its deliveries of aeroplanes will be down 28 per cent this year.

. . .

Investment now not responding to stimuli
When the authorities conceded in late 2001 that recession had already set in, they ascribed it partly to the September 11 attacks and exuded confidence that it would be brief. The necessary measures were in fact already in motion: Lower interest rates and tax cuts were meant to induce businesses and consumers to spend more, and so boost demand for firms' products and services, in turn giving a fillip to investment. However, despite the passage of a 10-year tax reduction package of $1.35 trillion, and the Federal Reserve's slashing interest rates 12 times over 13 months, the 'recovery' is pallid.

"Even more unsettling", says the Tribune, "is the fact that falling prices—or deflation—have taken hold in the manufacturing sector. Prices of goods have been dropping as a global excess capacity has developed. There are some indications that deflation is beginning to spill over into the services sector, in areas like retail trade, which is indirectly related to manufacturing. The U.S. hasn't had a generalized deflation since the Great Depression in the 1930s. In a deflationary environment, people postpone purchases in anticipation that prices could be lower in the future. Demand drops. Profits spiral downward. Jobs are lost. Retrenchment sets in."

. . .

Endemic to capitalism
How do such overcapacities develop? Capitalists invest in order to earn a profit, and how much they invest, in which industries, using which technologies, and so on are determined by the prospect for profits. In the course of competing with one another to grab market shares and to maximis their profits, capitalists must continuously expand their productive capacity. The purpose of production under capitalism is to accumulate more capital.

However, in this process the growth of productive capacity soon outstrips demand. (Seriously redistributing income throughout society would no doubt increase demand, but it would take away profits from capitalists, going against the very reason for existence of investment under capitalism.) As demand weakens, the profitability of investment declines; capitalists therefore cut back on investment; demand for investment goods suffers, and, as workers get retrenched, demand for consumer goods further weakens. This is how recessions come about.

. . .

The biggest bubble in America's history
Under capitalism, as we mentioned above, profitability ultimately determines investment, but under monopoly capital the day of reckoning can be put off for some time with the help of state intervention (physical, fiscal and financial). US corporate profitability, it now emerges, turned dramatically downward in 1997 in the face of worldwide overcapacity. Brenner points out that "Between 1997 and 2000, at the very same time as the much-vaunted US economic expansion was reaching its peak, corporate profits in absolute terms and the rate of return on capital stock (plant, equipment, and software) in the non-financial corporate economy were falling sharply—as recently revised figures show, by 15-20 per cent in both cases!"

Despite this share prices soared, fuelled by cheaper and cheaper funds as the Federal Reserve repeatedly loosened interest rates. What took place was the biggest credit boom in US history. The wealthy, finding the prices of their shares soaring, consumed more. Corporations borrowed and bought back their shares, pushing up their share prices further and thus getting access to cheap funds. With these funds they made massive new investments. No doubt, profitability kept plummeting, but unscrupulous auditors were hired to dress the books. Among the 27 major corporations so far found guilty of such practices are such stars as AOL Time Warner, Enron, Worldcom, and Xerox. The two top US banks, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase, as well as Merrill Lynch, and the country's top auditing firm, Arthur Andersen, are also deeply implicated.

In the words of the Economist (28/9/02),

"This is no normal business cycle, but the bursting of the biggest bubble in America's history. Never before have shares become so overvalued. Never before have so many people owned shares. And never before has every part of the economy invested (indeed, overinvested) in a new technology with such gusto. All this makes it likely that the hangover from the binge will last longer and be more widespread than is generally expected....

"The most recent bubble was not confined to the stockmarket: instead, the whole economy became distorted. Firms overborrowed and overinvested on unrealistic expectations about future profits and the belief that the business cycle was dead. Consumers ran up huge debts and saved too little, believing that an ever rising stockmarket would boost their wealth. The boom became self-reinforcing as rising profit expectations pushed up share prices, which increased investment and consumer spending. Higher investment and a strong dollar helped to hold down inflation and hence interest rates, fuelling faster growth and higher share prices...."

The outcome has been catastrophic:

"Since March 2000 the S&P 500 index [an index of share prices] has fallen by more than 40 per cent. Some $ seven trillion has been wiped off the value of American shares, equivalent to two-thirds of annual GDP. And yet share prices still look expensive [i.e. they will fall more]....."

Yet to hit bottom

. . .

It is worth summing up the points made above:

The US, and indeed the world economy, is suffering from a crisis of overproduction.

In order to stave off recession, the US central bank has been boosting demand by pumping in unprecedented amounts of credit.

The US has the funds to do this because foreigners put their savings in US dollar assets.

The US's overall global supremacy and in particular its control over oil have sustained its status as the safest harbour for international capital.

However, the US's ability to soak up the world's savings is a double-edged sword. If foreigners, who hold half or more of all the US currency, should decide to dump the dollar, its value would plummet, leading to yet more capital flying from the country.

In order to prevent that happening, and to get foreign capital to return, the US would have to raise its interest rates steeply.

But if that were to be done, given the vast addition to US debt since 1980, this time round a steep US interest rate hike could cause a crash heard round the world. This would happen because debt-laden American corporations and consumers would be unable to service their debts, so their assets would flood the market; asset prices would collapse, and banks—swamped with worthless assets instead of income—would in turn collapse. In short, there is a threat of a new Great Depression.

Implications of the euro
In the 1970s, there was no alternative to the dollar. On January 1, 1999, an alternative arose in the form of the euro, the new currency of the European Union (EU). Of course, investors did not immediately flock to the euro. The euro stuttered at birth, falling 30 per cent against the dollar by the end of 2000. In the last year, however, it has picked up sharply, and in recent months has remained at parity with the dollar (ie about one euro per dollar).

The euro has become attractive for three reasons.

First, since the EU is a large imperialist economy, about the same size as the US, it is an attractive and stable investment for foreign investors.

Secondly, since foreign investors' holdings are overwhelmingly in dollars, they wish to diversify and thus reduce the risk of losses in case of a dollar decline: they are increasingly nervous at the size of the US debt mountain and the failure of the US government to tackle this problem.

Thirdly, certain countries smarting under American military domination sense that the rule of the dollar is now vulnerable, and see the switch to the euro as a way to hit back.

--------------------------------------

III. Military Solution to an Economic Crisis
 http://www.rupe-india.org/34/military.html

Indeed the US has taken the contrary course. It plans to reverse the various trends mentioned above by seizing the world's richest oil-producing regions. This it deems necessary for three related reasons.

1. Securing US supplies: First, the US itself is increasingly dependent on oil imports—already a little over half its daily consumption of 20 million barrels is imported. It imports its oil from a variety of sources—Canada, Venezuela, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, even Iraq. But its own production is falling, and will continue to fall steadily, even as its consumption continues to grow. In future, inevitably, it will become increasingly dependent on oil from west Asia-north Africa—a region where the masses of ordinary people despise the US, where three of the leading oil producers (Iraq, Iran and Libya) are professedly anti-American, and the others (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates) are in danger of being toppled by anti-American forces. The US of course doing its best to tie up or seize supplies from other regions—west Africa, northern Latin America, the Caspian region. And yet the US cannot escape the simple arithmetic:

"The US Department of Energy and the International Energy Agency both project that global oil demand could grow from the current 77 million barrels a day (mbd) to 120 mbd in 20 years, driven by the US and the emerging markets of south and east Asia. The agencies assume that most of the supply required to meet this demand must come from OPEC, whose production is expected to jump from 28 mbd in 1998 to 60 mbd in 2020. Virtually all of this increase would come from the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia.

"A simple fact explains this conclusion: 63 per cent of the world's proven oil reserves are in the Middle East, 25 per cent (or 261 billion barrels) in Saudi Arabia alone...

"Although Asian demand for oil is expected to grow dramatically in coming decades, no other economy rivals that of the United States for the growth of its oil imports. Over the past decade, the increase in the US share of the oil market, in terms of trade, was higher than the total oil consumption in any other country, save Japan and China. The US increase in imports accounts for more than a third of the total increase in oil trade and more than half of the total increase in OPEC's production during the 1990s. This fact, together with the fall in US oil production, means that the US will remain the single most important force in the oil market." ("The Battle for Energy Dominance", Edward L. Morse and James Richard, Foreign Affairs, March-April 2002; emphases added)

Given its growing dependence on oil imports, the US cannot afford to allow the oil producing regions to be under the influence of any other power, or independent.1

2. Maintaining dollar hegemony: Secondly, if other imperialist powers were able to displace US dominance in the region, the dollar would be dealt a severe blow. The pressure for switching to the euro would become irresistible and would ring the death knell of dollar supremacy. On the other hand, complete US control of oil would preserve the rule of the dollar (not only would oil producers continue to use the dollar for their international trade, but the dollar's international standing would rise) and hurt the credibility of the euro.

In the 1990s the major OPEC countries, after two decades of discouraging or prohibiting foreign investment in oil and gas fields, raced to invite foreign investment again to carry out massive new developments. In the late 1990s Venezuela, Iran, and Iraq struck massive deals with foreign firms for major fields. Even Saudi Arabia invited proposals for development of its untapped natural gas reserves, a move that oil giants responded to with alacrity in the hope the country's mammoth oil fields too would later be opened to foreign investment. However, American firms were shut out of Iran and Iraq by their own government's sanctions; French, Russian and Chinese firms got the contracts instead. Chavez's increasing assertiveness threatens to shut American firms out of Venezuela as well. The Saudi deal—which the American firms were to lead—stands cancelled, apparently because of the Saudi government's fear of public resentment. Thus, if it does not invade the west Asian region, the US stands to lose dollar hegemony by losing control of the major oil field development projects in the next decade.

3. Oil as a weapon: Thirdly, direct American control of oil would render potential challengers for world or regional supremacy (Europe's imperialist powers, Japan and China) dependent on the US. It is clear the US is following this policy:

As mentioned above, French, Russian and Chinese firms will get evicted from Iran and Iraq once the US troops enter.

The US has gone to great lengths to frustrate alternatives to its Baku-Ceyhan pipeline (which is to run from the Caspian through Turkey to the Mediterranean). With the US invasion of Afghanistan, the US has set up a chain of military bases in Central and South Asia—Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, with military advisers in Georgia as well.

The US is about to send two battalions of Marines to help suppress the insurgency in Colombia; it is training a new brigade to protect Occidental Petroleum's pipeline in that country. At the same time it is actively organising the overthrow of the elected Chavez government in Venezuela.

The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, an Israeli lobby group that met President Obasanjo of Nigeria in July 2002, claims the US is on the verge of a "historic, strategic alignment" with west Africa and that the region is "receptive to American presence". The institute has advocated the setting up of a US Gulf of Guinea military command: the island of Sao Tome, south of Nigeria and a possible site for a naval base, hosted a visit from a US general in the same month. The activity comes while the Nigerian government is considering leaving OPEC, and developing its oil trading relationship with the US instead. The region already provides 15 per cent of US oil imports, and these are set to rise to 25 per cent by 2015 ("US takes good look at west African oil", Michael Peel, Financial Times, 25/7/02)


A look at the relative dependence of various imperialist powers on oil imports is revealing. The UK is a net oil exporter, thanks to the North Sea. The US imported, in 2000, 9.8 million barrels a day of its 19.5 million barrel requirement—that is, about half. By contrast, Japan imported 5.5 out of 5.6 million barrels; Germany 2.7 out of 2.8; France 2.0 out of 2.1; Italy 1.8 out of 2.0; and Spain 1.5 out of 1.5. ("Top Petroleum Net Importers, 2000", US Energy Information Administration, www.eia.doe.gov) In other words, these countries imported 90 to 100 per cent of their oil requirements. They would therefore be very vulnerable to blackmail by a power which is able to dictate the destination of oil.

The current US policy is not entirely novel. In the aftermath of World War II, the US had invested large sums in rehabilitating the devastated economies of Europe—what was known as the 'Marshall Plan'. However, it used the Plan in order to dictate changes in European economies that made them switch from using their own coal to using oil which American oil majors in west Asia were in the best position to supply.

A major consideration in the US's great oil grab is its desire to check China. In coming years, China, like the US, will become a major importer of oil and gas: it is projected to import 10 million barrels a day by 2030—more than eight per cent of world oil demand. (The US currently imports a little over 10 million barrels of its daily requirement of 20 million barrels.) As China attempts to arrange its future oil supplies, it finds itself checked at each point by the US:
i) Since the mid-1990s, China has been pressing for a gas pipeline from the Caspian region to China. With a view to building a security-cum-economic organisation for the proposed pipeline, China took the initiative to form a group called the "Shanghai Five" (later six) consisting of China, Russia, and the relevant central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and later Uzbekistan). The declared basis for the group was to control fundamentalism and terrorism in the region (stretching to China's westernmost Xinjiang province). However, with the US's invasion of Afghanistan, and the installation of its forces in the very countries who were to be in the Shanghai grouping, China's initiative was sabotaged. On a visit to Iran, Chinese president Jiang Zemin declared that "'Beijing's policy is against strategies of force and the U.S. military presence in Central Asia and the Middle East region'.... Beijing would work together with developing nations to counter American 'hegemonism.'" ("China opposes U.S. presence in Central Asia", Willly Wo-Lap Lam, CNN, 22/4/02)

ii) In 2002, Chinese firms have bought two Indonesian fields for $585 million and $262 million, respectively. Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri has visited China twice since becoming president in 2001, hoping to bag a $9 billion contract to supply liquid natural gas to power industries in southern China. ("China Races to Replace US as Economic Power in Asia") No surprise that the US has stepped up its activities in the vicinity of Indonesia—forcing the Philippines to accept its "help" in hunting fundamentalists, patrolling the Malacca straits in tandem with the Indian navy, and pressing Indonesia to accept US `cooperation' in suppressing Al Qaeda elements in Indonesia itself. A December 2001 RAND Corporation presentation to a US Congress committee on "threats to the security and stability of Southeast Asia and to US security interests in the region" said that the "primary area of concern is China's emergence as a major regional power.... China's assertiveness will increase as its power grows". It speculated that "conflict could be triggered by energy exploration or exploitation activities", and recommended the creation of a "comprehensive security network in the Asia-Pacific region." Discarding the then US cover that it was hunting for a handful of Abu Sayyaf guerrillas in the Philippines, RAND Corporation says that "the US should provide urgently needed air defence and naval patrol assets to the Philippines to help Manila re-establish deterrence vis-a-vis China and give a further impetus to the revitalization of the United States-Philippine defence relationship.... the US should expand and diversify its access and support arrangements in Southeast Asia to be able to effectively respond in a timely way to unexpected contingencies. After all, six months ago, who would have thought that US armed forces would be confronted with the need to plan and execute a military campaign in Afghanistan?" The Bali terrorist blast may prove a happy entry point for the US into Indonesia.

iii) Finally, like the US, China cannot avoid reliance on west Asian oil. China has struck oil field development deals with the very countries in west Asia hit by US sanctions—Iraq, Iran, Libya and Sudan. With this entire region now to be targeted in the impending invasion, China's deals are sure to meet the same fate as its central Asian pipeline. Hardly surprising, then, that "Chinese leaders believe that the US seeks to contain China and [the US] is therefore a major threat to its [China's] energy security", as the US-China Security Review Commission's report points out. ("China digs for Middle East oil, US gets fired up", Reuters, 24/9/02)

The thrust is clear: Once it has seized the oil wells of west Asia, the US will determine not only which firms would bag the deals, not only the currency in which oil trade would be denominated, not only the price of oil on the international market, but even the destination of the oil.
--------------------------------------

www.rupe-india.org/

http://OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_
OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_
OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_OIL_
OIL
OIL

Ok, here we go. 20.Apr.2003 15:46

sdf

Bush is a kind and decent man. He is a veteran, ex-fighter pilot, Yale Grad, Harvard MBA Grad, Successful Businessman.

However, the real reason to re-elect him, is he does what he says hes going to do. Too many politicians talk a lot of bullshit, but its intended for the idiots who don't really follow politics, but just vote.

Bush, whether you agree with him or not, does what he says he is going to do.

The economy is in pretty good shape historically. When I got out of high school (1979) Unemployment went up to 10%. So 6 percent is really pretty good. Not great, but pretty good.

Things where sliding downhill when Bush came into office, and the country understands that. 9/11 didn't help.

You can bicker over my reasons, but it won't change anything.

keep underestimating him.. 20.Apr.2003 15:52

sdf

I love it when liberals underestimate bush.

we win everything..

so keep it up, and vote green in 2004!

HE DOES NOT! 20.Apr.2003 16:34

liar

Bush does not do what he says he will.

When he was running for president in 2000(you know, the election he lost...you know, the presidency he stole)

He stumped on the platform that "America is not the worlds police"...but now it's our job to liberate the Iraqi people?

LIAR! LIAR! Pants on fire.

He stumped for education...the education president, right?

WRONG! There is virtually no money for schools and he want's more tax cuts for the rich.

He stumped against partisanship and has effectively turned this country against itself capitalizing on partisanship...it's why we're all arguing right now.

He's a liar, never went to war, he's no veteran, I don't know if he's kind and decent but I think he's dumb as a rock, the degrees and business' you mention were bought for him by his family....
all in all he's a punk-ass rich kid who never had to work for a damn thing in his life.

He's a lot of what's wrong with our great country.

I'd rather have Clinton lie about his personal life than Bush lying about everything else.

oh yah? 20.Apr.2003 16:42

fumble

I love it when citizens think that Bush is on their side and the side of the USA.

He wins everything.

Blind support(and forced support)of Bush is flushing this country down the tubes.

he's a liar
the biggest liar.

Read a campaign speech of Bush's from the 2000 election and the ONLY thing he didn't lie about was tax cuts for the rich....everyting else was a lie...EVERYTHING!

Go ahead and support the liar, moron. You will be dead because of him soon enough.

Bush is not a veteran 20.Apr.2003 19:37

heimdallr

He's an 'ex-fighter pilot' in the sense that his daddy got him a cushy National Guard gig (bravely defending the skies of Texas from the Viet Cong) where he must have done some flying, but he has never been in combat and in fact spent several months of his 'enlistment' AWOL. Some poor schmuck who didn't have a rich daddy with government connections had to go fight in a real war in W's place just so that the precious fruit of the line of Bush wouldn't risk his future political career. He's not a veteran; he's a spoiled rich kid, a shirker and a deserter, not to mention a coward. Calling George W. Bush a veteran is an insult to anyone who ever actually put their life on the line for their country.

successful businessman 20.Apr.2003 21:15

anonymous

He's not a successful businessman either. That's just too funny. Bailed out by Daddy's friends when his business failed, and propped up by Daddy's friends in sweetheart deals so he couldn't fail again.

If we all had other people paying for our mistakes, and our influence, we'd all be wildly successful like he is.

The 'C' student who became president does not prove that ANY 'C' student can become president. That's another lie he told. But let's not be naive. Don't expect any politician not to lie.

summing up 20.Apr.2003 21:24

dave

So, summing up so far, the reasons given for voting for Bush are:

1. He professes to be guided by God (rather like Hitler and many other warlords have throughout history).
2. He's not afraid of change, and has the balls to attack and eliminate hatred and ignorance. (Interesting concept! And very practical when that hatred and ignorance is sitting in little countries with lots of oil!)
3. He "brings a little more peace about what's happening in the White House", because he doesn't fool around with interns and lie about it--well, at least not yet--well, at least not that we know about.
4. He's not a "transparent weasel" like Gore. (Always better to have an opaque weasel.)
5. He isn't at fault for the poor economy.
6. He isn't at fault for 9/11.
7. He doesn't really care about the oil in Iraq. (References, Blake! You just made another unsupported assertion--about the Gulf of Mexico having more oil than Iraq, and the US govt references I already provided say you're very wrong, regardless of your "underlying theme".)
8. He's not afraid to handle REAL ISSUES, like IRAQ! (Iraq is a country, not an issue, so maybe that meant issues like attacking a country to disarm it of WMD, when there were already weapons inspectors in place, and there's no evidence that attacking has helped to disarm it, or even that there are any arms to dis. Or maybe it means issues like launching attacks on some dictators, while working closely with others.)
9. He wants tax breaks.
10. He is a kind and decent man, who just commanded an assault which killed upwards of 1500 civilians and many military instead of working through existing diplomatic channels in the UN, who prior to that commanded an assault which killed upwards of 4000 civilians, and who prior to that presided over more than 130 death penalty cases as governor of Texas.
11. He is a veteran (who saw no combat, and spent months AWOL), an ex-fighter pilot (defending Texas), a successful businessman (who ran companies into the ground), and he went to some good schools.
12. He does what he says he's going to do, like cutting taxes, like not policing the world, like supporting education, like bi-partisanship...and the economy isn't so bad really.

I don't know about you, PHH, but they've convinced me to vote for him in 2004.

couldn't resist responding 20.Apr.2003 21:26

AK

So my parents are devoted Bush supporter. From what I can discern, they've fallen in love with him for two reasons:

1) they believe that he has done what he said he would do, and

2) they believe that he is a man of integrity.

With all of the lies the bastard President has told "his" people, the Democrats will be a pack of losers (at least in my eyes) if they fail to prove it in the next election.

Now my question is "Why do people believe in the ideology of the current administration?" If the majority of people in this country are like my father, I have a frightening answer.

When Johnny gets beat up by a bully in the schoolyard, it's almost expected that a parent figure in the family teaches little Johnny how to fight...defend himself. Except for telling Johnny that he can't go out and gun the bully down, few parents are expected to teach Johnny about peaceful conflict resolution. Victory by many in this country only happens when the underdog uses a tremendous amount of force to destroy the bully. Anything short of making the guy suffer for years is perceived as a half-baked effort.

Never mind that Iraq had no defense or weapons of mass destruction (we call them nuclear weapons if the US has them). As long as we obliterated Iraqi infrastruture, their leaders, and their culture, we've vindicated ourselves from any pansy perception cast on us after Korea and Vietnam.

The reality is that
- People in the US and abroad are no safer than they were before Bush and his family fenagled his way into office.

- More people are unemployed now than before Bush.

- More schools across the country are closed due to lack of funds.

- Bush is spending more of our tax dollars on blowing up/rebuilding Iraq/Afghanistan than on solving domestic issues right here on our doorstep.

- In a deceptive maneuver after 9/11, Bush took advantage of the fear and passed the Patriot Act...a law that undermines the Bill of Rights in a way that very few Bush supporters understand...can you imagine that our President has willingly supported a law that violates our own Bill of Rights?...the document on which the US was built.

- Ignored the intelligence of people around the world, refused to come up with a peaceful alternative, and killed thousands of Iraqi women and children...all for the sake of bringing down the regime of Saddam and a few of his henchmen?

- Awarded no bid contracts to companies that clearly have a conflict of interest with members of the White House...and has convinced so many people in the US that US aggression has nothing to do with oil.

- Lastly, anybody living outside the US has more to fear from Bush Jr than from any US President in recent history. Taking this to it's insane logical conclusion. We've either scared people (in and outside this country) into not acting or scared countries like North Korea into developing nuclear weapons as fast as they can so the US won't bomb the living hell out of them.

I could go on, but I think this list, as short as it is, says that our dictator has accomplished quite a bit in his tenure. All of you Bush supporters should be raising a glass to your leader. I'm sure that people in the Third Reich were raising there glasses to Hitler when he made similar accomplishments. As I recall, Hitler enjoyed a very high popularity rating as Bush is enjoying his ratings today.

Yeah, sure 20.Apr.2003 21:53

Me

Pioneer, you need to put on a tin foil hat buddy, John Ashcrofts spy sats are reading your brainwaves man...

Remember, double wrap man! Always DOUBLE WRAP! and what ever you do, make sure you stand under the coat hangers when you sneeze... cause that's when they get'cha!

Kind and decent 21.Apr.2003 09:07

made up

Bush is a kind and decent man? Is that why he keeps a "hit list" of enemies in his drawer, and crosses out their faces when they're dead?

Let's see... if I were writing a story, that is the habit I would give to the bad guy, or "evil doer" as some like to call them.

and while we're debunking the myths 21.Apr.2003 11:21

someone

Not only did GW go AWOL for a year, he also only scored a 25% on his exam to get into the national guard. How dumb do you have to be to score a 25% on a military entrance exam? So I hardly see how failing a military entrance exam, failing through college, failing every business venture makes one a smart person or businessman. Furthermore, how can someone who not only refused to actually fight during a war, but who also even refused to pay lip service to the military but staying in the national guard be considered a veteran. Wouldn't he at least have had to show up. If not, I just say we all start calling ourselves veterans and war heros.

Good Man? 21.Apr.2003 12:25

Me

Bush is a good man? Not

I heard, this one time, he pulled all the legs off of a spider, and he burned them.

Then this one time, uh one time, he burned down the White House, but the Corporate Media covered it up.

Then I heard that he sunk the Titanic, and took all the lifeboats for himself.

And I heard that he has a machine that you throw orphans and puppies into and it makes them into oil... that's why he doesn't like abortion because he wants more orphans to make oil out of.

...that is what most of you sound like to me.