U.S. Appeasement of Iran Has Opened the Door to a Sino-Saudi Attack on the Dollar

March 21 2022

Not long after Riyadh rebuffed the White House’s entreaties to pump more oil to offset the economic effects of sanctions on Russia, reports emerged that Saudi Arabia has entered into negotiations with China to begin selling oil in yuan. Such a shift to Chinese currency would undermine the dollar’s dominant status in global petroleum markets. Ed Morrissey observes:

This isn’t an energy problem, so it can’t be fixed by rapidly increasing American production—at least not directly. This is a diplomatic and strategic issue, one that Joe Biden’s pursuit of a renewed [nuclear] deal with Iran has exacerbated, if not almost entirely created. The Obama administration also bent toward Tehran at the expense of the regional Sunni states, but the Saudis et al. benefited from Donald Trump’s rejection of the [2015 nuclear agreement] and a focus on U.S. alliances [with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel].

That’s the strategic outlook from the Saudi [perspective]. The strategic outlook from China is just as obvious, although an attack on the dollar would be risky for Beijing. They hold a lot of U.S. currency in reserve, after all, and that is one way they manipulate the yuan.

China could decide that the strategic value of dismantling [the global monetary policy established in 1944 at] Bretton Woods outweighs the damage they could do to themselves in the short run. As for the Saudis, they might end up noting that China has been facilitating the Iran deal, as noted by Putin’s interlocutor in the talks, Mikhail Ulyanov. [The Saudi discussions about the yuan] could just be a shot across Biden’s bow to deflect the White House from a very bad deal with the mullahs of Tehran.

As if to underscore Saudi grievances, yesterday Iran-backed Houthi guerrillas in Yemen launched missile and drone attacks at several fossil-fuel and water-desalination plants in the kingdom.

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Read more at Hot Air

More about: China, Iran, Oil, Saudi Arabia, U.S. Foreign policy, Yemen

 

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter