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Thursday, June 6, 2024

The influence of private interests in Washington

Shane Quinn gives a look at the private interests which have a lot of power in America and also Europe. He has examined some of the links between the US war industry and the major Western banks and has looked at the workings of the Federal Reserve in Washington.

The Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 was the biggest geopolitical disaster of the post-World War II era. The disappearance of the USSR, while severely weakening Russia, also ensured that millions of Russian people were left living outside of the federation.

More than 8 million ethnic Russians found themselves residing in the newly independent Ukraine in the early 1990s. Many of these Russians had formerly constituted an integral part of the Soviet Union. The existence of the Soviet Union ensured a measure of stability in international affairs. It provided a bulwark against the might of the United States, which was considerably more powerful than the Soviet Union.

Read more: Washington denounces China’s use of missiles against Taiwan

Understanding the matter better

Political scientist Moniz Bandeira wrote that the US has relied “on two fundamental pillars: NATO, consisting of the European countries subordinated to Washington’s guidelines; and the privilege of printing the dollar as fiat currency, the world’s single reserve currency. Only the Federal Reserve (FED), the central bank of the United States, could and can issue the dollar at will”.

Founded in 1913 the Federal Reserve, headquartered in Washington, is indeed very powerful. In 2012 for example the Federal Reserve, which is guided by some of the world’s most influential banks, amassed that year at least $9.5 trillion in cash, amounting to around 65% of America’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Quite a number of Americans believe the Federal Reserve to be a government-controlled banking institution, but this view is mistaken. The Federal Reserve, as mentioned, is overseen by private interests and America’s major banks like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

These US banks are closely connected to their European counterparts such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays and BNP Paribas. Also intertwined with the Federal Reserve and the other banks are the energy multinationals ExxonMobil, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum (BP).

The strongest branch of the Federal Reserve is the New York Federal Reserve Bank, which has fallen under the control of 8 long-established banking families. Only 4 of these dynasties hail from largely American backgrounds, which are Goldman Sachs, the Rockefellers, Lehman Brothers and Kuhn Loeb. The other 4 are the Rothschilds in Paris and London, the Warburgs from Germany, the Lazards from France and Israel Moses Sieff from Britain.

These families have continued controlling the Federal Reserve Bank

They have held much sway over the international financial system and became even wealthier in the aftermath of the 2007-08 financial crisis. The above families have been performing a central role in the oil futures market, either directly or through subsidiaries, on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the London Petroleum Exchange.

The 19th-century German-born banker Anselm Rothschild once said, “Give me the power to issue the nation’s money, then I do not care who makes the laws”. His family members and colleagues have had that power. The privately-owned banks overseeing America’s central bank (Federal Reserve) require the military-industrial complex to preserve its status as state creditors, by funding the rearmament and production of war matériel. This is more profitable to the financial institutions, in comparison to granting credits for non-military industries like agriculture.

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Huge profits have been accrued from the manufacturing of both conventional and nuclear weapons. According to the Brookings Institution in Washington, from World War II years until 2007 US government spent a total of $22.8 trillion on conventional and nuclear weaponry. From 2007 to present Washington has spent further trillions on arms, as its military budget expands. This expenditure has been most welcome by weapons manufacturers and banking institutions.

In the third year of President Barack Obama’s tenure, in 2011 America’s GDP that year amounted to about $14.9 trillion. Washington owed approximately $14 trillion to the banks. The US Department of Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Board, estimated that Washington owed $4.4 trillion to foreign governments, who purchased US treasury bonds as investors would do when buying a stake in a company.

Republican Party Senator Barry Goldwater insisted that most people don’t understand, or are unaware of, the operations of the most influential banking dynasties. Goldwater said, “How they acquire this vast financial power and employ it is a mystery to most of us”. Goldwater was referring to those such as the Rockefellers, Rothschilds, Warburgs and Lazards. Even today, it is likely that some of these names would be unfamiliar to many people on the street.

The national banks in Europe have also been owned by private interests

International bankers manufacture the money and provide the credit to governments, which assists in driving up the debt of the political state. America’s central bank operates outside the control of the US Congress. There is no scrutiny of its accounts; that is there are no audits, and the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors has manipulated the credit of the US, whose public debt had climbed to $17.9 trillion in October 2014.

Half a century ago Zbigniew Brzezinski, the well-known foreign policy adviser, suggested to the banker David Rockefeller that it would be wise to establish the Trilateral Commission, which was founded in 1973. This is a globalist organization, which has helped Washington to maintain authority over its European and Asian allies. The Trilateral commission further allows commercial and financial interests to consolidate their hold in Washington.

When George W. Bush succeeded Bill Clinton as president in January 2001, Bush proceeded to extend NATO’s jurisdiction at a faster pace than Clinton, after the latter had persuaded the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to join NATO in 1999. Bush, as with Clinton, chose to enlarge NATO not out of security reasons, but in order to broaden the market for the war industry, which Washington and its financial backers depend upon. Seven European nations joined NATO during Bush’s presidency, which ended in January 2009. The Bush White House also planned to absorb Ukraine and Georgia into NATO, an ambition which had been expressed clearly in April 2008 at a NATO meeting in Romania.

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This came despite the warning of William J. Burns, the US Ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008. In a memorandum of February 2008 Burns, who is the current CIA Director, wrote that Russia would strongly resist US attempts to incorporate the Ukrainians and Georgians into NATO. Burns’ memo was dispatched to various US bodies including the National Security Council and Joint Chiefs of Staff. In Washington’s attempt to negate Russia’s influence, the Bush administration had already dispatched 200 military advisers to Georgia, a Caucasus nation directly bordering Russia to the north and which had previously been part of the Soviet Union.

Aside from its strategic significance on the map, Georgia is important for other reasons. The country is an oil transport hub where infrastructure passes through, such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which is managed by a consortium in which British Petroleum (BP) is the largest shareholder; it features other Western energy corporations like Total from France and ExxonMobil from America. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is 1,099 miles long and originates in Azerbaijan, crossing through Georgia and finishing up in Turkey.

Four months after the NATO summit in Romania, in early August 2008, Russia launched a military intervention in Georgia. It was implemented in order to safeguard Russia’s security along its borders while protecting the ethnic Russians and pro-Russian elements residing in the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. They were in opposition to the military of Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, who was receiving aid from Washington.

The Russian military action was successful, lasting merely a few days, and it drew consternation in the West. Shortly afterward President Bush and his European allies, in an emergency meeting, deliberated on how to respond to the setback, from suspending relations with Russia to possible sanctions or boycotting the Winter Olympics scheduled to be held in Sochi, Russia in February 2014. There was really nothing the Western leaders could do. In addition, a significant number of people living in the Caucasus favorably viewed the Russian military operation in Georgia.

In agreement with the Bush administration, the Pentagon was formulating policies to contain Russia, and they recognized Georgia as a key player in this. The goal was to prevent Russia from becoming the dominant power again in the Caucasus. Operating in Georgia were US-based organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), USAID, Freedom House, and the Open Society Institute overseen by billionaire George Soros. During a 3 month period in the autumn of 2003 (August to October), the Open Society Institute funneled $42 million into assisting the Rose Revolution in Georgia of November 2003. Soros, and the above groups, performed a role in enabling the pro-Western Saakashvili to come to power in January 2004.

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The Pentagon had also invested millions of dollars in what the Western media titled color revolutions. Washington pursued these actions through the United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC), the US State Department and non-governmental organizations like Freedom House and the NED.


Shane Quinn has contributed on a regular basis to Global Research for almost two years and has had articles published with American news outlets People’s World and MintPress News, Morning Star in Britain, and Venezuela’s Orinoco Tribune. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.