Yugoslavia and Camp Bondsteel

Yugoslavia, Camp Bondsteel and the Caspian Sea

Global Research, January 30, 2008

            During World War II, the Croatian nation fought side by side with Hitler’s Germany.  The Serbian people, like the Jewish people, were slaughtered by the Croatian army and those who survived were placed in concentration camps.  After the fascists were defeated in World War II, Croatia became a republic of Yugoslavia, but retained an infrastructure of fascism.

            In 1990, Franjo Tudjman became President of Croatia.  During his reign he fired 300 women journalists and closed down any newspapers and television stations that offended him.  His rule gave power to a small oligarchy.  Yet despite his ultra-nationalism and his brutal purge of ethnic Serbs from Croatia, the US, under President Bill Clinton and his Balkan adviser, Richard Holbrook, supported Tudjman’s regime.

            In early August 1995, the Croatian Army received support from the Pentagon and the CIA in planning and carrying out the attack on Croatia’s Krajina region and the expulsion of its 250,000 ethnic Serbs.  Croatian soldiers had been trained at Fort Irwin, California, and additional training assistance came from a private company of mercenaries, the American Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI).  The end result was US participation in an unprecedented act of ethnic cleansing, resulting in a quarter of a million Serbs fleeing from their homes.

            In the early 1990’s, tension broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  In September 1992, in an attempt to prevent Bosnia–Herzegovina from sliding into war, several international peace plans were offered.  The most reasonable  proposal was the Carrington-Cutileiro plan, under which all districts in this area would be divided up among Bosnia’s Muslims, Serbs and Croats. 

            Initially, the plan was signed by all three sides, but it was never implemented because Alya Izebegavic, Bosnia’s Muslim leader, withdrew his signature from the agreement after Washington promised to recognize Bosnia as an independent country. 

            In 1991, Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.  They had been encouraged to do so by Germany, which hoped to reestablish traditional German influence in the Balkans.  The United States then joined Germany in supporting the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), promising military and political assistance to the ethnic Albanian separatist organization in its quest for an independent Kosovo and, ultimately, a greater Albania.

            In 1998, Richard Holbrook, representing the Clinton Administration, came to Kosovo and appeared in public ceremonies with the KLA, sending a clear signal that the US was backing them.  Exploiting the tensions between the KLA and the Serbs in Kosovo, the US used staged ethnic protests and conflicts to justify military intervention.  In March 1999, in Rambouille, France, the United States demanded that Yugoslavia accept NATO occupation of Kosovo and the expulsion of all Yugoslav forces.  Milosevic refused, and the United States used this as a pretext for war.

            On March 27th, 1999, the Clinton administration initiated heavy bombing of Yugoslavia.  These attacks on a sovereign country were never approved by the United Nations or the US Congress, violating both international law and the War Powers Act.

The US and NATO had advanced plans to bomb Yugoslavia before 1999, and many European political leaders now believe that the US deliberately used the bombing of Yugoslavia to establish camp Bondsteel in Kosovo..  According to Colonel Robert L. McCure, “Engineering planning for operations in Kosovo began months before the first bomb was dropped.” (1)  

            In June 1999, in the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Yugoslavia, US forces seized 1,000 acres of farm land in southeast Kosovo at Uresevia, near the Macedonia border, and began the construction of a camp. (2)  Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, currently provides all of the services to the camp.  This same company receives $180 million per year to build military facilities in Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, and several other countries.  Presently, the Bondsteel template is being supported in Georgia and Azerbaijan.  According to Chalmers Johnson, author of “America’s Empire of Bases,” the US has about 1000 bases around the world.  “Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies,” says Johnson.  “America’s version of the colony is the military base.” (3)  Kosovo is an American colony. 

The main purpose for the Bondsteel military base is to provide security for the construction of the Albanian-Macedonian-Bulgarian oil pipeline (AMBO).  The AMBO trans-Balkan pipeline will link up with the corridors between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea basin, which holds close to 50 billion barrels of oil.

            Hashim Thaci, Kosovo’s current Prime Minister, was formerly the political head of the KLA.  The KLA is widely regarded as a terrorist organization and is supported in large part by drug dealing and human trafficking, making particular use of Eastern European women.  The US had begun training KLA forces well in advance of the bombing of Yugoslavia.             

Presently, Camp Bondsteel houses about 1000 US military troops along with more than 7,000 local Albanian personnel.  It is no coincidence that the escalating US presence at Bondsteel was accompanied by increased military activity by the KLA.  Since the appearance of this massive base, more Serbs, Roma and Albanians opposed to the KLA have been murdered or driven out of Kosovo.

            It is quite clear today that the United States and NATO had advance plans to bomb Yugoslavia long before the ethnic conflicts emerged there.  The Kosovo Liberation Army and NATO were determined to foment violence, and no concessions by President Slobodan Milosevic would have prevented the bombing. Building Camp Bondsteel was the US mission, and, by whatever means necessary, it would be built to ensure the completion of a pipeline to the Caspian Sea.


  1. Paul Stuart, “Camp Bondsteel and America’s Plans to Control Caspian Sea,” April 29, 2002. World  Socialist Website,WSWS.org, WWW.WSWS.ORG/articles/2002/apr2002/oil-a29.shtml  

  2. Ibid.

  3. Ibid.


St. Sava of Serbia, Enlightener and First Archbishop of the Serbs (+1235)

January 27, 2008

St. Sava Day

St. Sava fresco in Mileseva
St. Sava fresco, painted by his contemporaries in Mileseva Monastery, 1224-1234, Serbia

St. Sava of Serbia
Enlightener and First Archbishop of the Serbs (+1235)

You were a guide to the way of life, a first hierarch and a teacher, you came and enlightened your homeland, O Sava, and gave it rebirth by the Holy Spirit. You planted your children like olive trees in the spiritual paradise. O, Equal to the Apostles and Saints, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Troparion, tone 3

The son of Stefan Nemanja, the great Serbian national leader, he was born in 1169. As a young man he yearned for the spiritual life, which led him to flee to the Holy Mountain, where he became a monk and with rare zeal followed all the ascetic practices. Nemanja followed his son’s example and himself went to the Holy Mountain, where he lived and ended his days as the monk Simeon.

Sava obtained the independence of the Serbian Church from the Emperor and the Patriarch, and became its first archbishop. He, together with his father, built the monastery of Hilandar and after that many other monasteries, churches and schools throughout the land of Serbia. He traveled to the Holy Land on two occasions, on pilgrimage to the holy places there. He made peace among his brothers, who were in conflict over their rights, and also between the Serbs and their neighbors.

In creating the Serbian Church, he created the Serbian state and Serbian culture along with it. He brought peace to all the Balkan peoples, working for the good of all, for which he was venerated and loved by all on the Balkan peninsula. He gave a Christian soul to the people of Serbia, which survived the fall of the Serbian state.

He died in Trnovo in the reign of King Asen, being taken ill after the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Theophany in 1236. King Vladislav took his body to Mileseva, whence Sinan Pasha removed it, burning it at Vracar in Belgrade on April 27th, 1594.

Prologue from Ohrid, St. Bishop Nikolaj (of Zhicha)

Artist, Healer, Lawmaker, Writer and Builder

SAINT SAVA was involved „in many things and his foot walked everywhere and his steps were good; he touched many details, and every touch of his was like medicine; he thought about many things, and every of his views turned into Icon of Saint Sava magnificent work.“

His artistic spirit can be found from Typics of Hilandar to his „Service to Saint Simeon till the Life of Nemanja“. Service to Saint Simeon is by its nature poetry of the soul of Saint Sava. In that way, Saint Sava made an influence on artistic spirit of Serbian people. All writers of Sava’s biography mentioned his closeness to art, and when they were describing his voluntary work in Serbia, on Holy Mountain, in Constantinople, in Thessaloníki and in Palestine.

St. Sava Seal
St. Sava’s seal, early 13th century

Wherever he walked, he was not in contact with builders and painters only, but with scribes and their inspirations, as he was, while traveling, collecting the church artifacts and giving them as gifts to his hosts or monasteries in his country.

In Hilandar and Studenica, Saint Sava established hospitals and wrote rules for them; in that way, he was the first medical writer, health worker and health-rules maker. Serbian schools not just in Serbia, but abroad as well, accepted Saint Sava as their patron saint, and they celebrate him.

The legacy

Gazprom hat sich das Energiemonopol in Serbien gesichert, und Europa zittert

Die dummen Deutschen haben ihre Glaubwürdigkeit auf dem Balkan verspielt und jetzt machen halt andere die echten Geschäfte. Nur mit den kriminellen Bestechungs Consults, Lobby Vereinen auf dem Balkan jede Art von Gesetz und Aufbau zu zerstören mit Hilfe Dumm und kriminelle Politikern und Diplomante ist halt schon sehr peinlich! Muster Beispiel sind die Botschafter Dr. Zobel in Belgrad und Annen in Tirana gewesen, für Extrem Dummheit!

29. Jänner 2008
07:00 MEZ Russland holt den Balkan heim

Gazprom hat sich das Energiemonopol in Serbien gesichert, und Europa zittert

Putin führt Regierungs-Chef Kostunica und Präsident Tadic

Serbien will sich den Weg
nach Europa erleichtern
Am Sonntag, dem 3. Februar, wird die zweite Runde der serbischen Präsidentschaftswahl stattfinden. Im Kampf um die Gunst der Wähler stehen sich in einer Stichwahl zwei unversöhnliche Lager gegenüber: Der Sieger des ersten Wahldurchgangs, Tomislav Nikolic, der Serbischen Radikalen Partei (SRS) und der amtierende Präsident, Boris Tadic. Es sind aber nicht nur die Wahl und die Kandidaten, die für Aufregung sorgen: Es handelt sich um ein Duell Russland gegen Europäische Union.
Am 25. Jänner hat die russische Gazprom Serbiens Staats-Energiekonzerne um einen Schnäppchen-Preis ergattert. Dem russischen Energiekonzern gelang es, sich die Mehrheit des serbischen Ölkonzerns NIS (Naftna industrije Srbije) für schlappe vierhundert Millionen Euro zu erkaufen. Hinzu kommt eine fünfhundert Millionen Euro teure Investition in die serbische Energie-Infrastruktur. Eine Gasleitung durch das Land von Rumänien nach Italien soll Serbiens Energieversorgung für die nächste Jahrzehnte sichern, und Serbien in eine Energiezentrale für den Balkan umwandeln.

Innerhalb der EU wird jedoch Kritik laut. Die Verhandlungen sollen politisch motiviert und undurchschaubar gewesen sein. Die serbischen Behörden weisen diese Kritik entschieden zurück. Vize-Ministerpräsident Bozidar Djelic erkläre am 16. Jänner, dass serbische Nationalinteressen den Verkauf bestimmten. „Wir haben keine Möglichkeit, Lieferungen aus Algier oder Norwegen zu bekommen, so wie das restliche Europa“, erklärt Dejan Stojadinovic, Sprecher des serbischen Energieministeriums. Die Regierung in Belgrad hatte deshalb keine andere Wahl, als das Angebot von Gazprom anzunehmen.
Der Grund für Europas kritische Beurteilung ist die wachsende Energie-Abhängigkeit Europas von Russland. Rund ein Drittel von Europas Gas wird von Gazprom geliefert, ein Umstand, der die Firma zum größten Energie-Lieferant des Kontinents macht. Russland wird vorgeworfen, Gazprom und die Energieversorgung Europas als politische Druckmittel zu missbrauchen. Staaten, die für den Kreml als zu westlich orientiert gelten, wie etwa Georgien und die Ukraine, müssen unter Preiserhöhungen leiden. Vorläufige Lieferungsstopps stehen ebenfalls im Maßnahmenkatalog des Kreml. Und wie die letzten Jahre gezeigt haben, scheut Russland nicht davor zurück, diese auch umzusetzen.

Keine Furcht vor dem Bär
Analysten nehmen an, dass der Verkauf von NIS eine Art Belohnung für die Unterstützung Russlands in die Kosovo-Frage war. Die autonome Provinz wird bald ihre Unabhängigkeit erklären. „Es ist eine Frage von Tagen“, verkündete Hashim Thaci, der neulich gewählte Ministerpräsident der Kosovos, nach einem Treffen mit Javier Solana am 24. Jänner in Brüssel. Die USA und die EU haben bereits zugesagt, einen unabhängigen Kosovo anzuerkennen. Russland hat bisher Serbien unterstützt und damit die Anerkennung einer kosovarischen Unabhängigkeit durch den Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen verhindert.

Serbische Behörden zeigen sich vom Druck Russlands durch Gazproms Energie-Monopol nicht besorgt. Der serbische Außenminister, Vuk Jeremic, meint, dass das Abkommen zwischen NIS und Gazprom Serbien den Weg in die EU erleichtern werde. „Eine bessere ökonomische Atmosphäre in Serbien wird die politische Lage am Balkan sichern, was auch für eine Integration in die EU notwendig ist“, so Jeremic nach ein Treffen mit seinem russischen Amtskollegen Sergej Lavrov. Jeremic sprach bei dieser Gelegenheit auch seinen Dank für die Rolle Russlands bezüglich der schnellen Integration des West-Balkans in die EU aus.

Aus diesen vielschichtigen Gründen wird die Wahl am Sonntag eine Schicksalswahl: Die Serben werden darüber entscheiden, ob sich ihr Land in Richtung Europäischen Union bewegt oder von Russland heimgeholt wird.

Mehr dazu … Dzihic: „Hysterie auf beiden Seiten“

Reljic: „Unabhängiger Kosovo birgt Gefahren“

Nachlesen … Mangott: „Orange Revolution wurde überschätzt“

Kommentare dazu … Stürmischer Frühling am Balkan

Wien, New York und zurück

Gefährliches Spiel in Serbien


January 25, 2008

Serbia Signs Deal of a Century with Russia

Serbia-Russia Deal
Russian Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko (R) shakes hands with Serbian Infrastructure Minister Velimir Ilic after signing the agreement in the Kremlin in Moscow January 25, 2008.

CNN, AP: Russia Seals $2.2B Serbia Gas Deal

MOSCOW, Russia (AP) — Serbia has signed a multibillion-dollar deal that would make it a key hub for Russian energy supplies and strengthen Moscow’s dominance of the European energy market.

The agreement includes building a branch of a prospective major natural gas pipeline and a huge gas storage facility in Serbia.

A separate agreement also lays the groundwork for Russia’s state gas monopoly, OAO Gazprom, to acquire a controlling stake in Serbia’s state oil company NIS.

„The agreements signed would make Serbia a key hub in the prospective network of Russian energy supplies to southern Europe,“ Russian President Vladimir Putin said after Friday’s signing.

„This network will be long-lasting, reliable, highly efficient and — what is very important — help boost energy supplies to Serbia and the entire European continent.“

The agreements, which Serbian officials have estimated as worth at least $2.2 billion, would include building a branch of the prospective South Stream natural gas pipeline in Serbia.

South Stream would run under the Black Sea from Russia to Bulgaria, from where it would branch off. The section through Serbia would carry at least 10 billion cubic meters a year, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said.

The 550-mile, $15 billion project undercuts the prospective United States and EU-backed Nabucco pipeline designed to ease Europe’s reliance on Russia by carrying gas from the Middle East and Caspian countries other than Russia via Turkey.

Entire article »

Rußland wird bei einer einseitigen Kosovo-Unabhängigkeit reagieren

Russland hält Maßnahmen bei einseitiger Kosovo-Unabhängigkeit parat

MOSKAU, 28. Januar (RIA Novosti). Russlands Außenministerium hat ein Paket von Maßnahmen für den Fall einer einseitigen Proklamierung der Unabhängigkeit des Kosovo vorbereitet. Das teilte der Balkan-Sonderbeauftragte des russischen Außenministeriums, Alexander Bozan-Chartschenko, bei Anhörungen im Staatsduma-Ausschuss für Auswärtiges am Montag mit.

„…Das Außenministerium Russlands hat einen ganzen Komplex von Schritten und Maßnahmen dazu vorbereitet. Diese Maßnahmen entsprechen voll und ganz unserer Position, die wir wie bislang hinsichtlich der Frage der Unabhängigkeit des Kosovo einnehmen“, sagte der Diplomat auf die Frage nach dem Handlungsplan des Außenministeriums im Falle der einseitigen Erklärung der Unabhängigkeit des Kosovo.

Russland ist der Ansicht, dass bei der Regelung der Status-Frage für das Kosovo, das seine Unabhängigkeit von Serbien durchsetzen will, die Position sowohl von Belgrad als auch von Pristina berücksichtigt werden müsse.

Der Diplomat teilte keine Einzelheiten mit und sagte lediglich, dass diese Maßnahmen „der Führung des Landes vorgestellt“ würden und „es unmöglich machen, von der prinzipiellen Position, die wir einnehmen, abzukehren“.

Das ausgearbeitete Maßnahmenpaket „bedeutet eine aktive, wirksame Reaktion auf einen einseitigen Akt von Pristina und auf eine Anerkennung seiner Unabhängigkeit durch mehrere westliche Länder“, sagte Bozan-Chartschenko.

Ihm zufolge ist Moskau gewillt, seine Schritte und Handlungen weiterhin mit Belgrad eng zu koordinieren.

Zugleich konzentriere sich die russische Seite jetzt „auf das praktische Handeln, auf die aktuelle Situation“.

„Wir selbst müssen uns dessen sicher sein, dass wir alles nur Mögliche getan haben, um die Situation auf dem Verhandlungsniveau zu halten“, sagte der Sonderbeauftragte.


Spanische Königin überreicht einer Serbin den Kultur Abward für den Schutz von Kultur Gütern im Kosovo vor den Kosovo Taliban

Indeed, since the end of NATO’s air campaign in 1999, over 150 Serbian Orthodox churches, some of them seven centuries old, have been destroyed or seriously damaged by Albanians. While a few of the most important churches still survive, such as Decani Monastery in western Kosovo and Gracanica Monastery near Pristina, they only continue to do so because they are under the constant armed protection of NATO soldiers. Without this protection, recent history indicates, they may well have been destroyed by now.

While this armed deterrent is thus indispensable, the very fact that such widespread damage has occurred indicates a rather mixed legacy for NATO in Kosovo. Since the installation of the UN regime in August 1999, Mnemosyne’s research teams, sometimes accompanied by foreign experts, have gone into the field several times to conduct research on medieval churches- before, and sadly sometimes after, they’ve been destroyed. In all cases, they have required NATO protection to ensure that they will not come under attack by local Albanians. Former UNMIK chief Michael Steiner’s golden rule for Kosovo – ‘standards before status’ – has been conveniently forgotten in the Great Powers’ rush to reach greater geopolitical solutions.


Queen Sophia of Spain, right, presents Mirjana Menkovic with Mnemosyne’s 2006 heritage protection award from Europa Nostra

Creating a Nation

The international community, in other words, has tolerated and now seems to be rewarding the kind of deliberate cultural eradication from Kosovo’s Muslim Albanians as was previously practiced by Afghanistan’s former Taliban regime, when it blew up the Bamiyan Buddha, so as to remove any tangible traces of the country’s ancient Buddhist identity. In Kosovo as well, attests Menkovic, churches have not just been toppled: in some cases, they have been completely obliterated, with all traces of their existence thus vanishing. The purpose, she attests, is the denial of historical existence; this is politically useful too, as it expedites the denial of any Serbian right to the land. Once a church has been destroyed, she says, the Albanians “remove all the stones to use for their own building works, and either use the site to dump their garbage, or smooth over the land so that you would never know anything had been there.”


Neue Ausgrabungen aus der Antike bei Skopje

Promising Projects for Macedonian Archaeology in 2008

1/20/2008 (Balkanalysis.com)

By Christopher Deliso

Both tourists and academic experts will want to take note of some intriguing developments in the upper Mediterranean this year. According to Pasko Kuzman, archaeologist and Director of Cultural Heritage Protection in the Macedonian Ministry of Culture, 2008 will be an exciting year for the continued unearthing of unknown treasures from several sites around the country. Among the government’s main priorities are some projects already in progress, and others that will be completely new.

The first major project will be the continuation of excavations on Skopje’s Kale- the highest point of the city over the Vardar, where medieval castle walls guard the river. In 2007, preliminary digs here resulted in the discovery of many fascinating artifacts dating from prehistoric to Ottoman times, which are now on display in the Museum of the City of Skopje. Among the finds are a coin of Alexander the Great, and numerous ones from Roman, Byzantine and medieval Bulgarian rulers. Around 30 lead seals from the Byzantine period – items which have been an invaluable aid to scholars reconstructing Byzantine history in Turkey and Bulgaria, among other places – were also discovered in the soil beneath the ruined castle.


Skeletal remains of medieval inhabitants were among the finds at Skopje’s castle, Kale, in autumn 2007


Macedonia: No New Church without a Mosque

No New Church without a Mosque, Macedonian Officials Warned

1/27/2008 (Balkanalysis.com)

When government officials in Macedonia recently proposed rebuilding a church that once stood on the city’s central square, they received an abrupt warning: for the Islamic Community (IVZ), the recreation of Sveti Konstanin & Elena, destroyed in the 1963 earthquake, should guarantee them their own right to build a mosque in the prominent downtown area.

According to a report from A1 Television, among its other ambitions the IVZ is most keen on rebuilding the Burmali Mosque, destroyed in 1925, a year after the official dissolution of the Ottoman Empire but 12 years after the Ottomans were finally expelled, following a long period of bloody crackdowns on the Christian populations of Macedonia. A Royalist Yugoslav army house was built over it. Today the area is near a pedestrianized street where modern cafés cater to locals and international guests, considered to be one of the nicest modernization efforts in the city in recent years. Resurrecting a mosque in the area would certainly change the ambience.

Interestingly, it appears that the whole building frenzy is part of the larger issue of creating an “urban plan” for Skopje. The government has announced it will put forward an international tender for coming up with a “solution” to this issue, which it says will involve architects, planners and officials from the Ministry of Culture. However, the religious dimensions of the urban upgrade means that the authorities are playing with fire. While building an Orthodox Church is largely an exercise in decoration in a country where few attend church regularly, building a mosque, frequented five times a day by groups of Muslims likely to be “commuting” across the bridge from the “other” side of the river, is not. Considering current demographic and social trends, such religious one-upsmanship cannot lead to a long-term victory, to put it mildly, for Christendom in Macedonia.

This is not the first time that Muslim officials have raised their voices on this issue; it has been a hot topic for several years now. And in interviews and public statements, the ambitions of the Islamic leadership to restore the Ottoman-era landscape have been clearly seen.


Slovenia centre of Kosovo status issue scandal

Die Slowenische Zeitung Dnevik veröfftentlichte ein Dokument, welches von US Assistent Secretary Daniel Fried unterschrieben ist, welches praktisch den Befehl gibt, das Slowenien als derzeitiger EU Rats Präsident, zu erst den Kosovo anerkennt.

Mit dieser Art von Völkerrechtswidriger Erpressung, wollten die USA eine Lawine von weiteren Anerkennungen des Kosovo als Republik los treten.
Slovenia centre of Kosovo status issue scandal

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Slovenia found itself in a bind on Friday (January 25th), when Ljubljana-based newspaper Dnevnik published a document in which US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried suggested that current EU presidency holder Slovenia should be „among the first EU members to recognise the independence of Kosovo“. The document is transcript of a conversation between Washington and Slovenian diplomats on December 24th 2007. The US embassy in Ljubljana refused to comment on the authenticity of the diplomatic memoranda. (Makfax, A1, Beta, AP, Reuters – 26/01/08)

The Financial Tsunami of the American Century

The Financial Tsunami: The Financial Foundations of the American Century

Global Research, January 16, 2008

Part II

[Part I The Financial Tsunami: Sub-Prime Mortgage Debt is but the Tip of the Iceberg]

The financial foundations of the American Century

The ongoing and deepening global financial crisis, nominally triggered in July 2007 by an event involving a small German bank holding securitized assets backed by USA sub-prime real estate mortgages, can best be understood as an essential part of an historical process dating back to the end of the Second World War—the rise and decline of the American Century.

The American Century, proudly proclaimed by Time-Life founder and establishment insider, Henry Luce in a famous 1941 Life magazine editorial, was built on the preeminent role of New York banks and Wall Street investment banks which had by then clearly replaced the City of London as the center of gravity of global finance. Luce’s American Century was to be built in a far more calculated manner than the British Empire it replaced.1

A then top-secret Council on Foreign Relations postwar planning group, The War & Peace Studies Group, led by Johns Hopkins President and geo-political geographer, Isaiah Bowman, laid out a series of studies designed to lay the foundations of their postwar world, already beginning 1939, well before German tanks had rolled into Poland. The American Empire was to be an empire indeed. But it would not make the fatal mistake of the British or other European empires before, namely to be an empire of open colonial conquest with costly troops in permanent military occupation.

Instead, the American Century would be packaged and sold to the world, above all the emerging countries of Africa, Latin America and Asia, as the guardian of liberty, democracy. It would clothe itself as the foremost advocate of end to colonial rule, a stance which uniquely benefited the only major power without large colonies—namely, the United States.

The new American Century world was to be led by the champion of free trade everywhere, which also uniquely benefited the strongest economy in the early postwar years, the United States. It was a brilliant, if fatally flawed concept. As State Department planning head, George F. Kennan wrote in a confidential internal memo in 1948, “We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population…Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security.” 2

The core of the War & Peace Studies, which were designed for and implemented by the US State Department after 1944, was to be the creation of a United Nations organization to replace the British-dominated League of Nations. A central part of that new UN organization, which would serve as the preserver of the US-friendly postwar status quo, was creation of what were originally referred to as the Bretton Woods institutions—the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or World Bank.3 The GATT multinational trade agreements were later added.

The US negotiators in Bretton Woods New Hampshire, led by US Treasury deputy Secretary Harry Dexter White, imposed a design on the IMF and World Bank which insured the two would remain essentially instruments of an “informal” US empire, an empire, initially based on credit, and later, after about 1973, on debt.

New York and the New York Federal Reserve Bank were the heart of the new empire in 1945. The United States held the overwhelming majority of world central bank monetary gold reserves. The postwar Bretton Woods Gold Exchange Standard uniquely benefited the role of the US dollar, then and even now world reserve currency.

All IMF member country currencies were to be fixed in value to the US dollar. In turn, the US dollar, but only the US dollar was fixed to a preset weight of gold at $35 per ounce of gold. At this fixed rate, foreign governments and central banks could exchange dollars for gold.

Bretton Woods established a system of payments based on the dollar, in which all currencies were defined in relation to the dollar. It was ingenious and uniquely favorable to the emerging financial power of New York, whose bankers actively shaped the final agreements.

In those days, in stark contrast to the present, the dollar was “as good as gold.“ The US currency was effectively the world currency, the standard to which every other currency was pegged. As the world’s key currency, most international transactions were denominated in dollars.

Maintaining the role of the US dollar as world reserve currency has been the foremost pillar of the American Century since 1945, related to but more strategic even than US military superiority. How that dollar primacy has been maintained to now encompassed the history of countless postwar wars, financial warfare, debt crises, and threats of nuclear war to the present.

Important to place the emergence of the asset securitization revolution in global finance which is now impacting the world financial system in wave after wave of new shocks and dislocations, and to appreciate Alan Greenspan’s substantial contribution to preserving the dominance of the dollar as world reserve well beyond the point the US economy ceased being the world’s most productive industrial manufacturer, a brief review of the distinct phases in postwar dollar hegemony is useful.

The Golden Years of America’s Century


Debt becomes the vehicle

Soon, with the implicit threat of withdrawing its nuclear shield as its prime persuasion, successive US Administrations realized that rather than depending on its role as the world’s creditor as it had until 1971, the American Century could theoretically thrive as the world’s greatest debtor, so long as American finance and the dollar dominated world finance.

As long as major US postwar satrapies 6 such as Japan, South Korea or Germany, were forced to depend on the US security umbrella, it was relatively simple to pressure their Treasuries into using their US dollar trade surpluses to buy US government debt. In the process, the US bond or debt markets became far and away the world’s largest. Wall Street primary bond dealers were replacing Pittsburg steel and Detroit car manufacture as the “business of America.”

To paraphrase the famous quip of former GM president Charles Wilson from the 1950’s, the new mantra was, “What’s good for Wall Street is good for America.” It wasn’t. The name financial “industry” even became commonplace, as if to designate money as the legitimate successor to production of real physical wealth in the economy.

Debt—dollar debt—was to be the vehicle for a new role of New York banks, led by David Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan and Walter Wriston’s Citibank. Their idea was to extend hundreds of billions of dollars in newly acquired OPEC and other petrodollars, which they “persuaded” Saudi and other OPEC governments to bank their new oil surpluses in London or New York banks. Then those dollar deposits from OPEC, called by Henry Kissinger and others at the time, “petrodollars” went in the form of recycled loans to oil importing and dollar-starved Third World economies. 7

The Carter dollar confidence crisis

This second phase, the post-gold era, fuelled by the manipulated 1973 oil shock and US pressure on Saudi Arabia and OPEC to price oil exclusively in dollars, Kissinger’s “petro-dollar recycling,”8 rolled along without major trouble until early 1979 when the dollar faced a major foreign sell-off during the end of the Jimmy Carter Presidency. The American Century faced one of its greatest challenges at that juncture. German, Japanese even Saudi Arabian central banks began dumping US Treasury holdings in what was called a loss of “confidence” in Carter’s world leadership role.

In August 1979, to restore world “confidence” in the dollar, President Jimmy Carter, himself a hand-picked protégé of David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, was forced by the big New York banks, led by David Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan, to accept Paul Volcker, a protégé of Rockefeller’s from Chase Manhattan Bank, as new Chairman of the Federal Reserve with an open mandate to do what was necessary to save the dollar as reserve currency.

On taking office, Volcker bluntly announced, „the standard of living for the average American has to decline.“ He was Rockefeller’s hand-picked choice to save the New York financial markets and the dollar at the expense of the nation’s welfare.

The Volcker ‘shock therapy’

Volcker’s shock therapy, begun in October 1979, lasted until August 1982. Interest rates shot through the roof to double digits. The US and world economies were plunged into a monster recession, the worst since World War II. Within a year, the prime rate had shot up to the unheard-of level of 21.5%, compared to an average of 7.6% for the fourteen previous years, a more than threefold rise in weeks. Official US unemployment peaked at 11%, while unofficially when those who simply had given up seeking work were counted, it was far higher.

Source: AngryBearBlogspot.com

The Shock Therapy of Volcker doubled US official unemployment

The Latin American debt crisis, an ominous foretaste of today’s USA sub-prime crisis, erupted as a direct result of the Volcker shock. In August 1982 Mexico announced it could no longer pay in dollars the interest rate service on its staggering debt. It, as most of the Third World from Argentina to Brazil, from Nigeria to Congo, from Poland to Yugoslavia, had fallen for the New York banks’ debt trap. The trap was in borrowing what amounted to recycled OPEC petrodollars invested in the major New York and London banks, the Eurodollar banks, which lent the dollars to desperate Third World borrowers initially at “floating rates” tied to London LIBOR rates.

When Libor rose some 300% within months as a result of the Volcker shock therapy, those debtor countries were unable to continue. The IMF was brought in and the greatest looting binge in world history, misnamed the Third World Debt Crisis, was on. Volcker’s shock policy, predictably, triggered the crisis.

After seven years of relentlessly high interest rates by the Volcker Fed, sold to the gullible public as “squeezing inflation out of the US economy,” by 1986 the internal state of the US economy was horrendous. Much of America came to resemble a Third World country, with its growing slums, double-digit unemployment and growing crime and drug addiction problems. A Federal Reserve study showed that 55% of all American families were net debtors. Federal budget deficits were running at then-unheard-of levels of more than $200 billion annually.

In reality, Volcker, a personal protégé of David Rockefeller from Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank, had been sent to Washington to do one thing—save the dollar from a free fall collapse that threatened the role of the US dollar as global reserve currency.

That dollar reserve currency role was the hidden key to American financial power.

By letting US interest rates go through the roof, foreign investors flooded in to reap the gains by buying US bonds. Bonds were and are the heart of the financial system. Volcker’s shock therapy for the economy meant soaring profits for the New York financial community.

Volcker succeeded only too well in his mission.

The dollar rose to all-time highs against the currencies of Germany, Japan, Canada and other countries from 1979 through the end of 1985. The over-valued US dollar made US manufactured exports prohibitively expensive on world markets and led to a dramatic decline in US industrial exports.