Greenspan may have meant that without oil, we’d have no problems with Islam. But that’s only partly true.
The natural state of modern Islamic societies is poverty. Muslim terrorists are limited murdering us retail – with our planes, in our subway trains, and (if they capture us) in their death houses.
Oil has changed this poverty, since all but one of the OPEC cartel (Venezuela) are Muslim. And if they ship at Janaury 2007 rates, these nations will export over 100,000,000 barrels of oil this year, worth about $757 billion at $70/barrel.
That’s only a bit less than China’s total exports, obtained at a fraction of the cost of China’s industrial machine. And since Islamic nations are dictatorships, the money gets spent on weapons to keep the elites in power and fripperies to divert them.
And this flood of money has helped Islam to graduate from throat cutting to city busting. Here’s a summary of how this happened taken from this book (the writer has mild BDS, but is mostly sound):
1. It all started in China, which defeated its neighbor India in a border war in 1962 then tested its first nuke in 1964.
2. India is full of smart people, so it promptly built its own nukes, testing a plutonium bomb in 1974, then building an armory that now includes city-busting fusion bombs.
3. Muslim Pakistan had been defeated by India in a series of wars starting with partition, and decided it had to match the Indian program. In the mid 1970s, it commenced a bomb development program.
4. China supplied Pakistan with the warhead designs, so their only problem was to manufacture the necessary bomb material and build a delivery system. They initially planned a plutonium weapon, but abandoned that when the French decided not to deliver a promised plutonium separation plant.
5. That left uranium, and coincidentally, in 1975 a Pakistani by the name of A Q Khan returned home from Holland with the full details of uranium enrichment by centrifuge. He’d worked at a Euro-venture which produced reactor-grade uranium for the Dutch, Germans, and Brits. It’s called Urenco, and when Khan was there had world-class lousy security, so he was able to steal not just blueprints, photos, and supplier lists, but also actual parts.
6. Pakistan lacked the industrial base to build Urenco-designed centrifuge farms and Chinese-designed warheads, but Khan was able to buy almost everything he needed, mostly from Germany and Switzerland. Pakistan is one of the most corrupt nations in the world, but that actually helped Khan since it’s full of people adept at bribery and smuggling.
7. Our security services tracked this, but Pakistan successfully used the Iranian excuse – it was only enriching to 3.5%. The UN was as useless then as now, and may have run top cover for the Pakistanis (again, as it now does for the Mullahs).
8. Pakistan tested its first nuke in 1998. It also tested a medium-range missile developed from a North Korean platform. That turned into a regular trade – missiles from NoKo to Pakistan, centrifuges in return. The NoKos got their rocket technology from the Russian Scud, possibly via China.
9. During and subsequent to its development, Pakistan provided complete starter packs for nuke weapons programs to Iran and Libya – the latter was billed just $100 million!
10. Interestingly, Saddam’s nuke program used a different enrichment process, and got within 3 years of weapon in the 1990s. That plant was supplied by the Germans.
The Pakistani program, although much less costly than the original Manhattan project, must still have consumed an enormous part of Pakistan’s wealth (it’s poorer than tiny Slovenia). All those precision German and Swiss components cost money, and it took well over a decade for the Pakistanis to build their own copies.
So it seems likely that Pakistan was funded by one or more Muslim oil states – it was after all creating the first Islamic nuke. That would also explain the giveaway price to Libya.
But it’s not just about money – the Chinese supplied the warhead design, the Russians (indirectly) the missile, and above all, the Germans and Swiss the machinery. Having worked in weapons businesses in the UK and US, I don’t buy the argument that the European suppliers were duped – the manufacturers and governments will have known exactly what was going on.
So, yes, it is somewhat about oil.
But mainly it’s about the Chinese, Germans, Russians, and Swiss.