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Last Friday — Friday the 13th — the Wall Street Journal carried an
article by B. Mark Smith pointing out that “investors now look at the
market very differently than they did a few months ago.” It seems that
economic optimism has dwindled and investors are losing faith. Last
week’s stock market slide, coinciding with a sharp crisis in the Middle
East, suggests there is trouble on the horizon.

Momentarily overlooking the fact that the stock market of the 1990s
bears an uncanny resemblance to the stock market that preceded the 1929
crash, and that the economic fantasies of the 1990s were like those of
the 1920s, it should be noted that today’s troubles in the Middle East
could trigger a general economic crisis for capitalism and America. In
the past, outbreaks of violence in the Middle East have sometimes led to
difficulties for the oil-dependent West. And since our modern economy
runs on oil, it is only natural that the violence on the West Bank and
Gaza Strip should make Wall
Street nervous.

The enemies of America and the enemies of capitalism understand that
oil is the Achilles’ heel of the capitalist countries. The same people
who treacherously attacked a U.S. Navy warship on Thursday, killing U.S.
sailors, would also like to see an extended oil embargo make shambles of
the U.S. economy. For them, the goal is not peace in the Middle East,
but war. The objective is to radicalize the Islamic world. And today
that is happening, in one country after another. The Arabs are being
psychologically mobilized for war. And the authors of this mobilization
are not only taking aim against Israel. They are taking aim against
America as well.

All year we’ve seen oil prices doing a funny jig. Perhaps it was an
early tip-off that something bad was brewing in the Middle East. Add to
this the fact of odd things happening elsewhere on the globe — military
movements in Russia, China, Iraq and North Korea. Political leaders in
those countries, who have hated the United States for decades, have
spent the last couple of years getting ready for something. In economic
terms, there have been strange moves by Russia — as if Russia does not
want to be caught holding dollars in its currency reserves. Despite
promises to the contrary,
Russia continues to withhold its strategic metal from the world market.
This year, the Kremlin has also been decreasing Russia’s oil exports,
and has dropped hints about joining OPEC.

Look at the world’s key oil producing countries over the past year
and you will find a pattern of trouble. Perhaps we ought to ask
ourselves if somebody, somewhere, isn’t trying to hinder the flow of oil
to the capitalist nations? In the Far East, Indonesia has been involved
in countless strikes and other domestic violence. Last Wednesday
Venezuela — one of the largest exporters of crude oil to the United
States — saw its biggest oil union go on strike. The strike is against
the country’s state oil monopoly, which is controlled by the leftist
pro-Castro government of President Hugo Chavez.

Although he is a “friend of the workers,” President Chavez might
actually want Venezuela’s oil unions to go on strike. As it happens, he
could provoke them into exactly such a move.

Some may doubt Chavez’s anti-American credentials because he plays a
deceptive game. In order to avoid an adverse reaction in the U.S., his
underlings typically deny the regime’s communist sympathies. But
Chavez’s friendship for Cuba’s communist dictatorship was demonstrated
last week when his foreign minister announced plans to supply Fidel
Castro with oil. This makes perfect sense when we consider Chavez’s
private boast that he is responsible for higher gasoline prices in the
United States. Like many leftists, Chavez resents the U.S. and admires
Castro. Therefore, it is only natural that he wants to hurt America
while helping Latin America’s communists.

Castro will arrive in Venezuela on Oct. 30 to sign a special
agreement with Chavez. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jose Vicente Rangel,
anticipating U.S. fears of a Marxist power bloc in Latin America, said,
“There is no ideological character in this relationship. It is a
relationship between two states that serves the sovereign interests of
both of them.”

The Venezuelan foreign minister also said that Cuba and Russia had a
plan to reactivate a Soviet-built oil refinery at Cienfuegos, Cuba. The
new oil deal between Venezuela and Cuba is not a simple trade deal,
however. It turns out that the oil given to Cuba is a kind of subsidy.
In other words, Castro will not be paying the market price for the
Venezuelan oil.

Next door to Venezuela, in Colombia, Marxist guerrillas recently
crippled two pipelines crucial to the export of Colombian crude oil.
Since September the country’s communist rebels have fought to prevent
repair work on the pipelines. President Andres Pastrana gave a
nationally televised address on Oct. 5, asking the Marxists to stop
disrupting the country’s oil exports. “To attack the petroleum
infrastructure makes no sense,” said the Colombian president, puzzled at
the economic logic of Marxist sabotage operations.

But there is method to this communist madness.

Take a look at Indonesia, which I mentioned earlier. On Oct. 6
Reuters ran a story out of Jakarta titled “Protesters disrupt Caltex
Indonesia Oil Operations.” It appears that Indonesia’s largest oil
contractor, which had a production target of 740,000 barrels per day,
has been limping along at only 690,000 barrels per day.

Since the Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s, Indonesia has
fallen prey to repeated strikes and unrest. If the workers of the world
are uniting, as the Marxist slogan says, then Indonesian oil production
might be a key focal point.

The international communist movement has always strived to infiltrate
unions and foment labor unrest in a strategic, calculated way.
Communism is all about organizing the world’s working people into a
revolutionary army to overthrow the capitalist system.

According to a 1987 Soviet text entitled “What is Communism,” from
the “ABC of Social and Political Knowledge” series, “The working class
and the Communist Party solve the main question of the revolution by
overthrowing the power of monopoly capital and establishing the power of
the working class.” The goal of socialist revolution, says the text, is
“to eradicate capitalism and build a socialist society.”

As the text explains, “It is impossible to deprive the deposed
bourgeoisie of its privileges and advantages immediately. This can only
be done in the course of a relentless struggle by stamping out the
sources of its might and power step by step.”

One of the main sources of bourgeois “might and power” is oil, and we
have been warned by a leading communist defector about Moscow’s
intentions in this regard. In his 1982 book, “We Will Bury You,” Jan
Sejna warned that Moscow had a long-range plan to defeat the world
bourgeoisie. A small part of that plan suggests a calculated crisis to
deprive the West of oil. This would, according to Sejna, “deliver a
paralyzing blow to Capitalism.”

It must be understood that Russian agents have been very busy in the
Middle East. Russian diplomats have been engaged in an intensive
campaign to unite key countries against Israel. It is no accident that
Syria and Iraq are presently equipped with Russian weapons. As the
situation worsens, we should not be surprised if oil production is
disrupted in the Middle East and elsewhere. It should also not surprise
us if the people behind these disruptions have Marxist credentials or
have been allies of the communist

Many Americans will sneer at the idea of a communist threat. Such
sneering was fashionable long before the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
Today the “death of communism” has become an article of faith for many
so-called conservatives. It is hard to imagine what they will say when
Marxism emerges from the shadows after a major economic dislocation. We
need to remember that Marxism is a religion, and the people who believe
in it have not disappeared.

Should the stock market crash because of the “oil jitters,” you can
be sure that class resentment and Marxist slogans will return with a

Are you ready?

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