Archive for internet disruption


Posted in Middle East Watch, Money Watch with tags , , , , , , on February 13, 2008 by willthomasonline

Guess what?

The long awaited, much delayed Iran Oil Bourse has once again failed to open by its latest deadline after four vital undersea fiber optic cables linking much of the Middle East to Gulf states and the rest of the world were recently severed in five places.

The unprecedented Internet outages came just as Iran announced the discovery of a major gas field with “huge reserves” estimated at 11 trillion cubic feet off its Gulf coast. Already possessing the world’s second-largest proven gas reserves after Russia, the announcement seemed certain to kick-start the Iran’s petroleum trading exchange, announced by Teheran to open by February 10, 2008. [ Feb 02/08]

It didn’t happen.

According to a trusted, long-time source with contacts throughout the Middle East, the U.S. defense establishment and the Vatican, and with whom I have broken major stories over the past 16 years – my earlier posts speculating on deliberate U.S. sabotage to prevent the Iran Oil Bourse from opening were, as the say in the oil biz, “spot on.”

“I can confirm that the cables were cut,” Hank said. “The cables were cut to send a message: ‘Don’t do the bourse.’”

Just one week after George Bush’s quixotic Persian Gulf mission to somehow rally Arab nations around U.S. and Israeli plans of “confronting Iran’s nuclear program before it is too late,” Russia’s military chief of staff General Yuri Baluyevsky promised “to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia and its allies.”

The general then clarified, “Military forces will be used, including, preventively, the use of nuclear weapons.”

So much for the “maniac running around threatening everyone with a razor,” as Putin recently publicly described Bush.

Bush and Cheney’s plans to carpet bomb Iran were put on indefinite hold after General Baluyevsky added that although Russians have no plans of attacking anyone, they nevertheless “consider it necessary for everyone around the world community to clearly understand that” nuclear weapons will be used if the U.S. attacks Iran – where Russian oil and nuclear power investments were recently ante-upped with the first major delivery of Russian nuclear fuel to the Bushehr reactor. [;;]

Or maybe not.

Press TV, Iran is reporting: “Israel calls for shelter rooms to be set up in a bid to prepare the public for yet another war, this time, one of raining missiles.” This after retired general Udi Shani assured the nation, “The next war will see a massive use of ballistic weapons against the whole of Israeli territory.” [Global Research]

A pugnacious Putin has already dispatched a naval task force into the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic. According to the Canadian analysis org, Global Research, “The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva guided missile cruiser, joined up with Russian naval warships in the Mediterranean on January 18 to participate in the current maneuvers… The current operation is the first large-scale Russian Navy exercise in the Atlantic in 15 years. All combat ships and aircraft involved carry full combat ammunition loads. [Global Research]

France is also gearing up for major military maneuvers in the Straits of Hormuz, through which most of the world’s oil passes. Scheduled to take place from February 23 to March 5, 2008, Operation “Gulf Shield 01” will involve more than 5,300 French, Emirate and Qatari personnel operating a half-dozen warships, 40 aircraft, and dozens of armored vehicles in war games targeting oil platforms off the coast of Iran. []

In yet another Alpha male “threat display” aimed at giving pause to any country aggrieved by attacks on its soil, the Aegis cruiser USS San Jacinto is now in Haifa, Israel showcasing its advanced ability to defend against counter-attacking Iranian aircraft, submarines – or missiles. According to Whitney, writing in Online Journal, “Bush is convinced that if he doesn’t confront Iran, then no one will. He also believes that if he doesn’t militarily defend the dollar, then America’s days as ‘the world’s only superpower’ will soon be over. [Online Journal Feb 6/08]

If it had opened on schedule, the Iran Oil Bourse could have pushed GW Bush over the edge of the Armageddon abyss. Modeled after the French stock exchange in Paris – the Federation Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs – in June 2004 Iran’s Bourse Council was given the mullah’s go ahead to establishment of the first-ever oil, gas and petrochemical stock market in the Islamic Republic.

On July 11, 2005 the Bourse Council issued legal permits for the establishment of Oil Bourse and instructed the fractious Ministry of Petroleum to stop fighting internally for political position and make it happen.

The new euro-dominated bourse was to go head to head with London’s International Petroleum Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange. Both are owned by U.S. corporations and both oil exchanges trade in depreciating dollars. Since the European Union imports more oil from OPEC producers than does the USA, importing more than 45% of its oil from Middle East, trading for that increasingly valuable commodity in dollars makes sense. [;]

But not for the United States, where a sudden seismic shift away from dollar-dominated foreign oil would force a massive overnight “restructuring” of that severely bankrupt economy.

The U.S. attack on Iraq months after its president shifted that country’s oil trade from dollars to euros is a lesson not lost on Teheran, which has repeatedly “postponed” opening of its own euro oil bourse in the face of Washington’s threats.

In March 2006, instead of commencing trading as previously announced a spokesman for the Iranian Oil Ministry raised eyebrows when he told the Russian press, “We have no information on opening an oil exchange in the free economic zone on Kish Island.” [RIA Novosti ; Mar 20/06]

Soon after the surprise non-announcement, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting carried Iranian oil minister’s latest update. Iran, Vaziri Hamaneh re-affirmed, was ready to launch its oil bourse one week after the unexplained delay. Denying that he had previously stated that the Iran Oil Bourse will bring down the US economy, Hamaneh told reporters, “I don’t know who has speculated that. I’ve not talked about U.S. economy.” []

It didn’t happen.

In October 2006, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad underlined the necessity to set up the Oil Bourse, regretting the delay. Most transactions were to be carried out through the Internet using a nexus of undersea fiber-optic cables []

In February 2008 vital Internet cables were sabotaged to underline points made less than two weeks previously by GW Bush, who had called on Middle East nations to continue linking their oil to the dollar, or they were going to “sleep with the fishes,” as Middle East analyst Mike Whitney put it.

“For the last two months, a number of sheiks and finance ministers have been publicly groaning about the falling dollar – threatening to break from the so-called “dollar-peg” and covert to a basket of currencies. Bush’s trip appears to have rekindled the spirit of brotherly cooperation. The grumbling has stopped and everyone is back ‘onboard,’” Whitney observed.

Amazingly – with a panicked U.S. Federal Reserve slashing interest rates 125 basis points on $1 trillion in capital invested by the sheiks in US Treasuries and securities…

… with Reuters reporting inflation spiraling out of control in Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates

… forcing governments there to intervene “directly in loans, property and commodity markets to offset rate cut” and “provide food subsidies for their people”… as well as massive wage increases for “some Emeriti federal government employees”

… as commercial property values double in the UAE since last year –

… as migrant workers riot in Dubai over price hikes

… and the Saudi riyal rockets to a 21-year peak, with another 8% rise in the dirham and riyal expected by April

Oh hum.

Or as Whitney remarks, after Bush’s series of one-on-ones, “regional leaders now seem less bothered by the fact that inflation is trashing their economies and driving food, labor, energy and housing through the roof.” [Online Journal Feb 6/08]

With their inimitable inability to plan for contingencies coupled to an uncanny knack of turning opportunities for dialogue into deepening disasters, the fundamentalists in the Washington have once again “misunderestimated” an ancient, highly disciplined and desert-savvy culture. The business, government, medical and academic people I came to know as a reporter in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait operate a sophisticated tribal network and trading milieu so far beyond their ken, the White House might as well be dealing with severe time and comprehension delays while sending increasingly irrelevant directives from an oxygen-starved location somewhere on Mars.

In yet another marathon 10 hour interview , Hank updated our “Loose Nukes,” “Poppers” and “U.S. Drops Atomic Bombs On Iraq and Afghanistan,” and “Fatal Flaw” stories posted on
As for cutting those cables and sending their usual insulting message to the noncompliant originators of trade, law and Western Civilization, the Bushwhackers “were looking at a financial change,” Hank explained. “They weren’t looking at the other end of things. They weren’t thinking of the other events as they unfolded. The message got across but not quite in the way they were hoping.”

Iran’s oil bourse, he explained, is “just one piece of a much bigger puzzle.”

Forget about it, he advised.

“They don’t do the bourse. It’s going to be something different.”

How different?

Quoting his Vatican source, Hank replied, “They are going to start a new bank.”

“Remember the old Bank of England?” my informant urged. “Think Catholic, Bank of England – Pope.”

Consider how the Bank of England was able to consolidate its present grip on the world’s financial network through the ability of its “parent” – the Bank of Rome – to control money, resources and travel throughout the Olde World through the powerfully superstitious expedient of making all believers beholden to them for eventual passage into paradise. After baptizing them through its priestly agents, Rome can still excommunicate reluctant players and condemn them to hell, Hank pointed out. Turning to what could become a resurgent Middle East, he added, “Same thing with these guys.”

Except they have 2,000 years of technological advancement to install their own overland fiber-optic communications made from the finest signal-conducting sand on the planet. Also enough oil and incoming solar energy to power their economies, sophisticated management, their own Internet – and more than one billion highly spiritually-disciplined members who have not forgotten the scientific and academic achievements of Islam’s once-great civilization.

Or its Western betrayals.

“The oil bourse is a chip on the table in a big pile of chips,” Hank told me last night.

“Are we talking a single currency for the Gulf region?” I wanted to know.

“An Islamic currency,” Hank clarified. “They’re talking about making a hemisphere. This really is the New World.”

Though Washington’s sabotage of their undersea comm cables has confirmed the correctness of the sheiks’ vision, Hank said their ambitious plans – which include a massive ship canal now secretly under construction to bypass the Strait of Hormuz – will not be fast-tracked. Look for the financial world, as the West has come to dominate it, to turn upside down “in about a year.”

And don’t ask, What next?