This is a great read, would highly recommend this. Finished this book a while back, just havent had time to blog. It reads very well, a very fast moving book, as fast as any great fiction I have read.
I am sure there might be critics of John Perkins who might doubt the veracity of his statements, especially those with far-reaching consequences - for example, planned assasinations of Omar Torrijos, president of Panama, Jaime Roldos, the President of Equador. If you are interested in what John is right now upto, visit Dreamchange.
John takes us through his early career as an EHM (Economic Hit Man) with his stint in Indonesia, followed by Iran, Equador, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc. I was particularly impressed by the character of President Omar Torrijos, of Panama who defiantly resisted US pressure to hand over the Panama Canal to US control.
So, why Iraq?
Contrary to common public opinion, Iraq is not simply about oil. It is also about water and geopolitics. Both the Tigris and Euphrates river flow through Iraq; thus, of all the countries in that part of the world, Iraq controls the most important sources of increasingly critical water resources. In addition to this, Iraq is situated in a very strategic location. It borders Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey and has a coastline on the Persian Gulf. It is within easy missile striking distance of Israel, China & the former Soviet Union. Today, it is common knowledge that whoever controls Iraq holds the key to controlling the Middle East.
Some information about OPEC I was not aware of that helps in understanding some of the key strategies of international politics:
During the 1960s, a group of countries had formed OPEC, the cartel of oil-producing countries, largely in response to the power of the big refining companies. Iran was also a major factor. The heads of state of petroleum-rich countries knew that the major international oil companies, known as "Seven Sisters" were collaborating to hold down petroleum prices - and thus the revenue they paid to the producing countries - as a means of reaping their own profits. OPEC was organized in order to strike back.This all came to a head in the early 1970s, when OPEC brought the industrial giants to their knees. A series of concerted actions, ending with the 1973 oil embargo threatened to bring on an economic catastrophe rivaling the Great Depression. The oil crisis could not have come at a worse time for the US - reeling from a humiliating war in Vietnam, Nixon's Watergate, scandal, etc. The international monetary system took a blow; the network of fixed exchange rates, which had prevailed since WW II, essentially collapsed.
Here is another part that really interested me - on the future of US corporatocracy.
The end of Saddam, like the end of Noriega in Panama, would change the formula. Once we controlled iraq, could we break OPEC? Would the Saudi royal family become irrelevant in the arena of global oil politics? There is another possible outcome: the OPEC could reassert itself. With the US controlling Iraq, the other petroleum-rich countries might have little to lose by raising oil prices and/or reducing supplies.In the final analysis, the global empire depends to a large extent on the fact that the dollar acts as the standard world currency, and that the US Mint has the right to print those dollars. Thus, we make loans to countries like Ecuador with the full knowledge that they will never repay them; in fact, we do not want them to honor the debts, since this is what gives us our leverage. The US prints currency that is not backed by gold. Indeed, it is not backed by anything other than a general worldwide confidence in our economy.As long as the world accepts the dollar as its standard currency, this excessive debt does not pose a serious obstacle to our corporatocracy. However, if another currency should come along to replace the dollar, and if some of the US's creditors (Japan or China for example) should decide to call in their debts, the situation would change drastically. In fact, today, the existence of such a currency is no longer hypothetical - the Euro is growing in prestige and power with every passing month. If the OPEC decides to substitute the Euro as its standard currency, and if one or two major creditors were to demand that we repay our debts in Euros, the impact would be enormous.