Saturday, February 18, 2006

Open Letter to Tom Ashbrook

So I wrote a letter to Tom Ashbrook after listening to his program on NPR, "On Point." His guest was Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria "Torrie" Clarke. She's recently published a book called "Lipstick on a Pig : Winning In the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game." The subject of the conversation was transparency in the War in Iraq. Hearing the show made me sick to my stomach (read below to find out why), but I couldn't turn it off... I wanted to call in and call her out on this BS, but I was in the car for most of the program and by the time I got home, there was only a few minutes left. And as I found out later, it wasn't being broadcast live... Anyway, here's an e-mail that I sent to Tom Ashbrook later that evening.

Dear Tom,

First of all, let me say that I really enjoy your show, and I listen whenever I get the chance. I like both the format and the subject matter of the show.

Now, on to my unfortunate disappointment with your recent segment with Torie Clarke... I am insulted that she sat there talking about "transparency" regarding the Iraq War, and neither you nor any of your guests or callers pressured her to talk about the underlying motivation for the USA to attack Iraq, and for the current building tension with Iran.

Weapons of Mass Destruction and a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda were popularized as the justifications for attacking Iraq. The media and government officials such as Torie Clarke keep us busy with in depth analysis of the process by which these weapons were searched for and the validity of the information behind it. But I believe that those reasons are nothing more than a smoke-screen for the petrodollar issues that surround both the war with Iraq and the current tensions with Iran.

Saddam Hussein began selling oil for Euros in September of 2000 in response to US sanctions. While Iraq sells only a small portion of OPEC's total, the precedent of any OPEC nation bucking the petrodollar hegemony could not be allowed to be set, lest the dominoes be set up to fall... But there was no way to obtain public support for war with Iraq--because talking about the petrodollar is for some reason taboo in America.

After the horrific and tragic events of 9/11, the American people were rightfully scared, and the "weapons of mass destruction" claim was something that--in our state of fear--we viewed as an immediate and direct threat to our safety. WMDs were used to manufacture public consent for this war, while the petrodollar reasons for war, which are at least as much if not more of a threat to our way of life, were completely ignored by Torie Clarke, you, and the rest of the mainstream media. And she has the nerve to even say the word transparency...

We have an even more dangerous situation brewing in Iran--the imminent opening of the Iranian Oil Bourse. This new oil exchange, unlike NYMEX and IPE, the only two places where oil is currently available, will deal in Euros. This could be devastating to the US currency, as China and other nations could begin to diversify their reserve holdings and sell off hundreds of billions of dollars. Any nation will be able to buy or sell oil for Euros instead of dollars on this exchange. And this could bring the dollar down in flames. But this information has not been made available to the American people...

Instead we are led to believe that Iran is producing weapons of mass destruction, and the instabilities of the Middle East are laid out in front of us by the media morning, noon, and night, seemingly without reprise... Again, the US Government has the American people's consent to take aggressive action against Iran to protect the dollar without ever disclosing the main reason for this action. Transparency indeed... Opacity is more like it...

Of course, since neither the mainstream media nor our History textbooks ever mention the petrodollar or its importance to (or should I say singular responsibility for) the value of the Federal Reserve Note, it's possible that people may simply not understand even if told plainly and simply... But in order to be truly "transparent," Torie Clarke would be obligated to explain it all to us. The American people deserve to know, and yes--we can handle the truth. We are at war to protect our currency, and no one in the media or the US Government can make the claim of "transparency" until this is made public.



Anonymous neeko said...

Interesting letter to Mr. Ashbrook, of whom I am also a great fan. I agree, Torrie Clark got more of a grilling on the "Colbert Report" than on "On Point". But, then again, nowadays NPR has to watch it's 'lean', Viacom doesn't have the same kind of existential dilemna.

4:35 PM  

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