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If a guy in the iceberg business with a dad in the walrus meat business were to attack the Eskimos in the name of freedom, people would wonder if maybe he had a hidden agenda. Now look at George W, who’s waging war (his old man is in the war business) upon the nation with the most untapped oil (George is in the oil business). You don’t have to be a walrus to know something’s up. Yet somehow, the blood-for-oil mantra doesn’t satisfy. I should note that the Arctic analogy will be dropped henceforward and the walruses are on their own. We’re talking about petroleum. Or are we?
There are many untapped mysteries surrounding the motives of the Bush administration, and when I say ‘untapped’, what I really mean is ‘these guys are whackjobs’, but this way of putting things lacks gravitas and I’m after the Pulitzer. Most commentators, except the incredibly acute ones such as myself, are content to scratch their wooly polls and wonder why we must have this war. Is it, as many experts have stated, a plunder-mad lunge at the world’s most promising oil fields, or is it, as many other different many experts have opined, an effort to redraw the Near Eastern map along lines which guarantee Israeli/American sovereignty–thus wresting control of the world’s petroleum from Russo-European interests? Maybe those Eskimos are up to something and Bush hasn’t seen fit to mention it, as one expert surmised before he fell off his bar stool and landed heavily on Christopher Hitchens. Still yet more other other different experts–although they often go to the same parties as the experts I previously mentioned–say the whole thing is a cynical ploy to divert domestic attention from a set of disastrous economic and social policies at home.
These are all plausible enough explanations for what appears at first glance to be an insane crusade to precipitate World War Three, crush all resistance to American global hegemony, and found a Christian empire that feeds on the desperation and poverty of resource-rich wog subject states. Say it isn’t so, Joe. Not to worry. Us experts are all sure this benighted administration must have some far less dramatic, policy-based objectives. Yet we are left feeling vaguely unsatisfied, in much the same way a large Chinese meal leaves us. Despite all the chewing and the wide variety of MSG-laden flavors that make the gums tingle delightfully, in the end we feel gassy, hollow, unfulfilled. Our fortune cookie contains a blank slip of paper. What betokeneth this? Experts don’t know, bub. But there’s an interesting new theory out there which ought to be examined, like a piece of mystery meat that shows up in the moo goo gai pan which could be pork, or walrus, or it could be the very nub of the essence of the crux of this mystery. It’s the Euro, and we all know who throws that particular currency around.
First, a little background on the Euro. It’s a new currency, as these things are measured. A mayfly would think it was an old currency, because a mayfly only lives for one day, but a glacier or even a relatively recent range of mountains would be surprised to hear the Euro was even in circulation, which in fact it has been for several years (the coins and notes since 2002, the unit of exchange since January of 1999-although the idea of the Euro was spawned by the Treaty of Rome in 1957 and took form after the Single European Act of 1986. There will be a test, so take notes. We will also be dissecting frogs.) The Euro has since proved to be a formidable currency, indexed more or less to the dollar–and during this administration, at least a dime more. With the American economy in ruins and the dollar flaccid, the virile Euro stands firm and proud, reaching nearly to the navel. It is buoyed up by a variety of nations with differing economic conditions, while the dollar relies mostly on the spending of the American consumer -who ain’t feeling too flush these days (although ‘flush’ is an appropriate term)–and international investment, which is what the Euro is all about in the first place.
Here’s the Euro-based ‘why we are going merde du singe on Iraq’ theory: the Euro is the currency of the future. The dollar has had it’s day (which might explain why the Treasury Secretary John Snow said he “was not particularly concerned” about the catastrophic plummet in the value of the dollar–maybe he’s already switched to Euros) and the world is itchin’ to move on, especially as the Euro comes in more colors. The $20 bill will soon have extra colors, but it’s too late. So what’s an administration to do? Threaten everybody who’s thinking about using the Euro, that’s what. After all, the Bush cabal don’t know Dick Cheney about economics, but they know plenty about the use of force. And who’s most likely to adopt the Euro and hit Bush and his pals right where they live?
OPEC, that’s who. OPEC is an acronym for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (or Ootie Pootie Eeka Cootie, I’ve never been clear on which one). OPEC has started making serious noises about a switch from its current dollar-based system to a Euro-based system. They’ve been considering such a move since the Carter administration, when they were just going to take an average of popular currencies (a proto-Euro) and index oil prices to that, because the dollar was so cheap at the time it was only worth 75?. OPEC nations include not only all those camel-ridden states (including Iraq) which have lately been in the news, but also–wait for it–Nigeria, Indonesia, and Venezuela. The Philippines also produces oil, but is not an OPEC member–it just gets a lot of money from OPEC. Hey, didn’t we just start sending troops into all of those regions? Not Nigeria, but the Philippines (which is right next to Indonesia), and Colombia, which is right next to Venezuela, and obviously we’ve got a couple of guys in the general area of the United Arab Emirates. Not Nigeria, though? Actually, don’t count them out, because we’ve just evinced concern about some missing radioactive material over there, and we may have to send some folks along to help look for it.
So there’s a considerable body of evidence to suggest America is making play to keep OPEC from doing anything hasty, like adopting the Euro–which would throw them in league with America’s real enemies: France, Germany, Russia, and those ever-looming threats Belgium and Finland. Because the Bush administration is fueled by oil dollars, and if the oil-producing nations switch from dollars to Euros, it’s going to be left high and dry. Which all makes a crazy kind of sense, as these theories go. After all, as I said earlier–at least I hope I did, or my punch line falls flat–the Bush family is in the oil business, but it’s also in the war business. So a war on Iraq is a win-win proposition. It intimidates all those oil producing dumps so they know better than to fool around with the Euro–any one of them could be next–and at the same time, it fills the war coffers of the people who really matter-and we’re not talking about the Eskimos.