Rebel of the Week: Turkey and Iran for Skirting Iran Sanctions by Trading Gold for Oil!July 18th, 2012
Listen to this:
Turkey has exchanged nearly 60 tons of gold for several million tons of Iranian crude oil, despite its promises to uphold Western sanctions on Iran’s energy sector, according to recent Turkish reports.
By using gold instead of money, Turkey is able to skirt Western sanctions on Iran’s oil trade, particularly those pertaining to SWIFT, the global money transfer service that until recently assisted the Central Bank of Iran and other Iranian financial institutions.
Over the past several months, Turkey has given Iran 60 tons of gold, or more than $3 billion, according to a July 8 report on the Turkish news site Vatan Online. The report was translated by the Open Source Center, a translation service used by the CIA.
Ballin. Let me tell you why I think it is. I know a lot of you are with me on this, but some people might feel like we’re “encouraging the enemy” here. But the truth is, economic sanctions are miserable policy failures and humanitarian disasters and ineffective at accomplishing their purposes to boot. Period. It’s just a fact. It’s what experience and history show. Sanctions don’t work. The people in power in a nation will not suffer deprivation. I’m sure even Kim Jong Il ate well during his lifetime in a country that was starving. His fat ass son probably eats more than Bill Clinton…
The only thing sanctions do is cause people who are already suffering under the repressive governments of total dics (totalitarian dictators) like Ahmadinejad to suffer even more. I think Reagan was almost onto something with trickle down economics; his formulation was simply inside out. It’s not that we should give wealthy, powerful people tax breaks because good things trickle down. It’s that we just can’t ever successfully punish wealthy, powerful people because every time we do, the wealthy and powerful demonstrate an uncanny ability to make sure all the bad things trickle down on everyone else underneath them. When the economy suffers, poor people suffer. Rich people just have to sell one of their houses or something.
But I’ve got to tell ya, as much as I disdain Ahmadinejad and think that he’s a criminal and a faux-president who rigged his country’s election against Mousavi and marshaled violence against Mousavi’s protesters in a brief glimpse of things to come months before the Arab Spring would emerge from Tunisia and Egypt– he’s at least managed to do something creative and gutsy that will have the result of mitigating the suffering caused by the West’s military blockade. And that’s what a sanction is. It’s an act of war. It’s the use or threat of force by one or some group of nations to interfere in the peaceful exchange of goods between the people of other nations, and historically it is often a precursor to war.
Consider the Berlin Blockade by the Soviet Union. It was an act of military aggression, the use of force to accomplish a geopolitical end. The Russians were the aggressor in this instance. The Berlin Airlift was an incredibly creative, daring operation to peacefully work around this act of military aggression by the Soviets. Instead of resorting cynically to violence, even in the face of a forceful attempt to gain territorial control and project Soviet power into the West, the airlift made a mockery of the Soviets, showcased Western ingenuity and capability, and helped keep the people of Berlin free of the harm caused by the use of force to interfere in their basic human right to trade freely with each other and the people of other nations. It is famous as one of the most successful operations during a major international conflict.
Iran does not have to be an enemy of the United States. Washington has made an enemy of it by projecting Western power into its affairs for over half a century now. That’s not subject to interpretation. It is a fact and a matter of historical record. Instead of siding with Washington, excusing its actions, and considering Iran an enemy of America, we of all people might be able to understand what it’s like to suffer economic privation because of the forceful interference of the regime in Washington. If anything, the Iranian people and the American people have a single common enemy in Washington just as the Soviet Union was an enemy of the Russian people, not their benefactor. And the people in Iran that are eating tonight despite the West’s embargo might just be eating because of a daring Tehran Goldlift.
But let’s not let Iran’s reigning despot steal too much of the spotlight in our discussion of this exciting revelation just because he did something helpful. He was probably doing it for selfish reasons. He gets a smiley face sticker next to “plays nice with the masses” and “makes a fool of Washington” (which always delights me) for today, but I’d still fail him in my class overall. Now Turkey’s role in this is fascinating– Turkey which has been pining for acceptance into the West and particularly, into the Eurozone. As the author at the original link above continues:
The exchanges raise questions about the Obama administration’s decision to grant Turkey a temporary waiver exempting it from U.S. sanctions to Iran, according to foreign policy experts and those on Capitol Hill who speculated that the revelation could spur Congress to pass a new round of Iran sanctions to prevent such trades.
“The idea that Turkey needs a waiver for more time to disconnect itself from the Iran oil trade is ludicrous,” said Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser on Iran and Iraq. “Turkey is playing Obama for a fool.”
“Like a loose school girl, Obama may think he can become popular by giving away the goods to whomever tells him he is the apple of their eye,” said Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “Obama doesn’t understand that for regional rulers like [Turkish Prime Minister] Erdogan and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, he has gained not respect, but disdain.”
Yes, Turkey absolutely is playing Obama for a fool. Iran too. And their leaders both know it. Scroll back up and look at that picture. Mischievous little rebels. But let’s not ruin this moment with partisanship. This isn’t just playing Obama for a fool. He’s just today’s flavor of the multi-year election cycle. Soon enough the ice cream store will serve up some nice cold scoops of the next flavor to keep Americans happy, fat, and complacent. It’s not just Obama that’s been made a fool of, it’s the giant corporation that owns the ice cream store that served him up to keep us smiling and distracted while it gropes our children in airports and makes our economy suck by borrowing too much to pay for the military hegemony to make other people’s economies suck too, like Iran’s. This week’s rebels are receiving the honor because they made the whole, stupid establishment look foolish and they saved their people undue economic distress that the West was trying to cause.
Now get this next part from the original link:
Turkey’s attempts to skirt Iranian sanctions could lead lawmakers to shape a new round of sanctions, said one Iran policy expert on Capitol Hill who is familiar with the sanctions process.
“The good news is that sanctions are now so powerful that Iran has been forced to follow Ron Paul’s advice and move back to the gold standard from the dollar. The bad news is that Iran is rapidly accumulating large amounts gold and other minerals with which to barter for goods and services,” said the source. “This is a hole Congress should plug in the next sanctions bill.”
Gold payments to Iran have been taking place “for some time,” state the Turkish reports, but have peaked in the past few months as global sanctions against Iran continue to choke its economy. In May, Turkish trade with Iran hit an unprecedented high at $1.7 billion, a leap of 513 percent, according to Turkish statistics and various reports.
Ouch! Some House member’s intern just really harshed the buzz I was getting from this story! An out-of-the-blue, way-below-the-belt, cheap shot at outgoing House member, Congressman Ron Paul! –who by the way, is a critic of sanctions as a tool of “diplomacy” and Washington foreign policy toward Iran. Uncalled for. Then again, that Bill Clinton jab earlier wasn’t really necessary either. The flesh is weak.
But actually, let’s go there. Turkey, which has been trying just so darned hard to get into the EU and borrow some of Germany’s money, has been playing around with using non-fiat money by trading its gold for Iran’s oil. Way to go, Turkey! It’s a really novel idea. Instead of dealing in the giant ponzi scam that is fiat currency, why not take something of value that you have and exchange it with someone else for something of value that they have in a trade that leaves you both with something that benefits you more than what you gave up for it? Raaadical, duude! Maybe Turkey thought, “Well hell by the time our application for full membership in the EU goes through, it’ll have already come crashing down. Hey Iran, we heard you’re having trouble moving oil these days…”
Why does the West really feel so threatened by this? What bothered that policy expert on Capitol Hill so much and prompted him or her to bring up Ron Paul? I’m going to say it wasn’t such a random remark after all. In fact, that was the most natural place for this person’s mind to go to. I know that because the person clearly supports sanctions against Iran, which gives me a pretty good rough idea of where they are politically. This rebellious act of Turkey and Iran was so embarrassing because it revealed the nature of the establishment’s power: its power is monetary. It controls the money, so it controls you. Turkey and Iran showed how to shrug off that power– shrug off their money. Use gold. Trade with real money, not the fiat lies they use to manipulate and control you.
That’s what makes this act of rebellion so brilliant. That’s why, whatever their motives, Turkey and Iran and those in their governments responsible for the “Tehran Goldlift” are getting this week’s Rebel award. They have successfully mounted a monetary rebellion and operated outside the monetary framework of Western control in order to break down barriers between people who want to cooperate with each other through trade to make their lives better. They also showed us how to do it: use precious metal, like gold and silver, things that the West cannot print. And that’s why the policy expert reflexively ridiculed Ron Paul when discussing this issue, saying, “The good news is that sanctions are now so powerful that Iran has been forced to follow Ron Paul’s advice and move back to the gold standard from the dollar.”
The technocrat had to bash the entire philosophy of money and civics that Paul visibly represents because the news of Turkey and Iran’s creative little subversion makes the point of that philosophy more eloquently than Ron Paul giving old Ben a dry lecture in committee. The hill staffer had to remind his or her listeners not to stray into believing anything to “kooky” as a result of pondering these events in the Middle East. But listen to the revealing admission the hill staffer makes directly after: “The bad news is that Iran is rapidly accumulating large amounts gold and other minerals with which to barter for goods and services. This is a hole Congress should plug in the next sanctions bill.”
So don’t get any ideas or anything. Don’t get any crazy ideas from this. Remember any ideas that sound like Ron Paul’s that you might get while thinking about this are craaaazy! But yeah, acquiring hard commodities like gold does give you a lot of economic empowerment, so we can’t let Iran get away with this. Lol. Washington doesn’t want them to have nukes. Washington doesn’t want them to have gold. It kind of makes me think Iran is onto something with acquiring nuclear capability. Since the Supreme Court hasn’t ruled that it’s okay for me to have a nuke under the Second Amendment, maybe I’ll just stock up on some firearms and ammo as I’ve been doing with gold and silver. I’m tired of Washington controlling me too.
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