and a Hard Fall on Face
There are rumblings in the volcano, which the inhabitants of New Pompeii ignore to their dire peril. We are running half a trillion dollar budget, trade and current account deficits each, while the President and the Republican majority in the House and Senate, merrily enact tax cuts to cater to their rich oligarchy of supporters. The brainwashed and indifferent electorate, are preoccupied by the fear and concern for the changing terror alerts and live up to the classic statement of Walter Lippman, that no one went broke underestimating the intellect of the American public.
I write this, if not in defense of the attack and conquest of Iraq, then to justify it for the temporary
benefit of America. I do not agree with it like all liberals, and do not believe that Saddam, the scum
bucket tyrant was a threat to anybody except his own people, had weapons of mass destruction or was in cahoots with Al Qaeeda.
The dollar is sinking like a ton of bricks and Europeans show a nonchalant indifference, even though
their economies are stagnant with rising unemployment and it hurts their exports. The Arabs and other Moslems are angry and bellicose due to our support for their ruling tyrants and our connivance at the Israeli treatment of Palestinians. Our justifiable attack on the Taliban, won us no friends in the Islamic world. The usurping and control of Iraqi oil resources, which are the second largest in the world and the conquest of Afghanistan, assured our control over the Persian Gulf and Central Asian oil resources. It also encircled and contained Iran, cowed Syria and Saudi Arabia and intimidated Pakistan. It gave us a stranglehold on Europe and Japan, our two subservient feudal vassals who may have been thinking of rebellion.
Even more importantly the annoying borborygmi which threatened to price oil and other important
internationally traded commodities in Euros, which would have pulled the rug out from underneath the
dollar and made us fall flat on our face, have been silenced. Our national debt is approaching ten
trillion dollars and almost equals our gross domestic product. It is held predominantly by foreigners,
unlike the Japanese national debt held almost entirely by its own citizens and thus immune from blackmail. They have opted for near zero interest rates to make it easier to service the debt and we are heading in the same direction. Japan and China hold nearly half a trillion dollars worth of our treasuries and Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea combined, hold another half a trillion dollars worth. China needs our trade and technology, and is willing to accept our sinking dollar. It also is a source of cheap labor and cheap imports, helping to keep our inflation and interest rates low. This is why in spite of the pre-election rhetoric Clinton and Bushes continued giving it the most favored nation status. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea are our vassals and protectorates, so they have no choice but to accept our depreciating dollars. The real reason for taking over Iraq was to preempt any attempt to dethrone the dollar from its shaky perch as the premier international currency.
The tragic truth is that it is only our military might that allows us to preserve our primary status. Economically, we are in the twilight and the profligate irresponsible policies of the Republican President and Congress are slowly but surely sinking us deeper in the quicksand and future generations will be up to their neck in the morass of debt and helpless to extricate themselves.
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Gaurang Bhatt, MD
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