David J. Jonsson
February 15, 2007
As we drove to work today we observed the beautiful homes and cars, we watched our stock portfolios increase and we also read the disturbing headlines in the newspapers. This brings us to this year's dilemma. The dilemma is the contrast between the world's favorable economics, expanding democracy and free markets and troublesome politics-a new world order which is unknown and certainly a much less prosperous and friendly place. That we face a dilemma is clear enough. But the resolution is not. A range of possible outcomes, from the perverse and catastrophic to the unconformable and even benign, is conceivable. The outcome is inevitable. It took President Bush just seven words to declare on November 6, 2001: "You're either with us or against us." We have a choice. The time to choose is now. Now is not the time to deny there is a "war on terror". Using the oil weapon and sanctions to avert war with Iraq does not mean appeasement.
The risks of failing to act now are presented along with recommendations for actions that include energy independence to make the world a safer and environmentally sustainable place for our children to grow up.
While some U.S. congressional representatives seek to pass a non-binding vote expressing disapproval of President Bush's plan to add more troops in Iraq, and European governments fail to toughen financial sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Iran moves ahead with their nuclear program and the development of ICBMs potentially capable of reaching Western Europe and even Washington DC. While the U.S. Congress and the EU fiddle, Iran plans for their destruction.
To quote U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham: "We cannot find another occasion in American history … where there were troops on the ground in a war that Congress authorized … when Congress has passed a non-binding resolution opposing the battlefield strategy they were about to implement…."
European governments are using export credits to subsidise exports to Iran. Why, for example, are European governments not taking more measures to discourage investment and financial transactions? US pressure on the EU has met resistance, with Europe saying it does not have the right mechanisms for taking such action and expressing fears that the extra sanctions would be overturned by courts.
How many of you still notice the stripe at the bottom of screen as you watch CNN or Fox News and even pay any attention anymore to the color of the threat alerts. Today the U.S. Terrorism Alert is yellow for Elevated and U.S. Aviation Alert is orange for High. You should still be interested. I don't think we will see green again in our lifetime.
Most people still think the threats are real. A new FOX News Poll found 64 percent of a sampling of Americans believes that the threats should be taken “very seriously,” while another 24 percent thought they should be taken “seriously.” Only 9 percent said "not very" or "not at all."
Where are you? I hope that you will join the majority and take action. The threat is real!
The threat of a nuclear armed Iran is no longer just a problem for Israel and their Arab neighbors. Iran's development of ICBMs that could reach Washington DC brings the threat home with added urgency. The nuclear Iran is not just a local issue.
Iran has just completed conversion of a powerful ballistic missile into a satellite launch vehicle. But the 25-30-ton rocket could be a wolf in sheep's clothing to test longer-range Iranian missile technologies. The Bush administration will likely view the vehicle as a rogue rocket developed in a cabal of Iran and North Korea. The new launcher has recently been assembled and "will lift off soon," says Alaoddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission," said Aviation Week in their article of January 17, 2007, Shia Islamic satellite set for liftoff on ICBM cloaked as space booster,.
An Iranian ICBM with a range of nearly 2,500 miles could reach as far west as Central Europe and well into Russia, China and India. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has told Congress that Iran in fact may be capable of developing 3,000-mi.-range ICBMs by 2015.
It is also troubling that Russia has provided $700 million in surface-to-air missiles to Iran and eight new aerial refueling tankers to China, according to a new Congressional study. Russia is also providing weapons to Venezuela. The sales to improve Iran’s air-defense system are particularly troubling to the United States because they would complicate the task of Pentagon planners should the president order air strikes on Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. The Russian weapon sales to improve Venezuela's air-defense system are also troubling.
We can talk about ICBMs and all the other weapons being provided by Russia and China around the world. At the bottom line, the involvement of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Iranian's close relations with Chavez in Venezuela, his relations with Cuba and Nicaragua, places the threat just 90 miles from the shores of America. And, this relationship is supported by the Leftists with the likes of Cindy Sheehan and the organizations including Code Pink, Oxfam, Global Exchange and United for Peace and Justice. These groups have intentions of destroying America from the inside.
More importantly Israel as well as Silicon Valley are centers for technology. Every night the scientists go home and they may leave if the risk is perceived to be high. We must recognize that the economic weapon used by the enemy is equally powerful.
Iran for example does not actually have to use the bomb to cripple Israel. They would be able to destroy the Zionist dream without pressing the button. The era of peace negotiations will come to an end: No Arab partner will be able to make concessions with a nuclear Iran standing over them. Foreign investors will flee the country, and many Israelis will, too. In one recent poll, 27 percent of Israelis said they would consider leaving if Iran went nuclear. "Who will leave? Those with opportunities abroad — the elite. The promise of Zionism to create a Jewish refuge will have failed, and, instead, Jews will see the Diaspora as a more trustworthy option for both personal and collective survival.
A nuclear Iran means, at the very least, a realignment of power dynamics in the Persian Gulf. It could potentially mean much more: a historic shift in the position of the long-subordinated Shiite minority relative to the power and prestige of the Sunni majority, which traditionally dominated the Muslim world. Many Arab Sunnis fear that the moment is ripe for a Shiite rise. Iraq’s Shiite majority has been asserting the right to govern, and the lesson has not been lost on the Shiite majority in Bahrain and the large minorities in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah of Jordan has warned of a “Shiite crescent” of power stretching from Iran to Lebanon via Iraq and (by proxy) Syria.”
The reducing of the threat of a nuclear Iran cannot be accomplished exclusively through military action, political negotiation, appeasement and sanctions, it requires addressing political, economic, energy, education and even the environment.
Both the United States and Europe along with Israel want to prevent a war with Iran, the question remains as to their commitment. If they had to choose between curtailing trade with the Islamic republic and using the oil weapon, or seeing either America or Israel preventatively strike Iran's nuclear facilities, which would London, Paris and Berlin prefer? These are not unfair questions: at no time since the European Union started the "EU3" negotiations with Iran's clerical regime in 2004 have the Europeans probably had more leverage over Tehran's actions. At no time since 2002, when it became clear that the mullahs were conducting a clandestine nuclear research program, has there been a more critical moment for determining which path - diplomatic or military - the US and Israel will choose to try to stop Iran's pursuit of the bomb. If we close down these options, the odds of a military strike will increase significantly.
Timing is important, as it is in a poker game. If you do not know when to raise, you always lose. There are signs of serious political and economic turbulence inside the Islamic republic's autocratic, socialist system. Iran's rulers have seen the arrival of additional military presence in the Gulf with the arrival of an additional battle group. They have been hurt by the limited restrictions of financial transactions. There is concern among the Iranian leaders about Mr. Ahmadinejad's competence. The economy of Iran is fragile. Does the West along with their Arab allies still know how to play poker?
According to Daniel Dombey writing in the Financial Times of February 14, 2007, EU paper casts doubt on nuclear talks with Iran, a confidential paper on Iran obtained by FT paints a picture of a country almost within reach of the nuclear bomb, which has increasing regional clout but also suffers from potentially crippling economic weaknesses.
The paper, put together by Mr Solana's staff, says that Iran's economy is vulnerable because of economic mismanagement, with foreign investment all but drying up and a real inflation rate of about 20 per cent a year.
"Without new investment, Iran risks being unable to maintain medium-term oil production, currently 50 per cent of government income," it says. But it concludes that "the problems with Iran will not be resolved through economic sanctions alone."
It notes that: "Iran has shown great resilience to outside pressure in the past."
The paper says: "The government may also exploit the sanctions to benefit nationalism or to explain economic failure. Nevertheless, Iran must understand that the pursuit of policies which the international community rejects is not cost-free."
In an indication of debates deep inside the EU, the paper asks how best to bring Iran to the negotiating table, whether the EU should press for additional sanctions and how to maintain international unity.
EU member states believe that their chances of success would be bolstered if the US offered Tehran comprehensive security guarantees. Skeptics of negotiations will point to the paper's findings to bolster their arguments for a military attack on the country's nuclear facilities. The paper itself does not recommend any such course, commending instead the EU's current "twin track" policy of mixing incentives and disincentives.
The oil weapon has been effectively used previously by Saudi Arabia. In the battle with Russia in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia used the increase in oil production to bring down the price of oil; the result was the fall of the Soviet Union and ultimately the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2003, the then Crown Prince Abdullah in meetings with President Putin threatened that Saudi Arabia would increase oil production again if Russia continued its increase and cause economic pain again. Russia curtailed production. industry in Russia. The lack of availability of oil for Germany and Japan also played a role in WW ll.
Saudi Arabia is again employing quiet but effective diplomacy aimed at curbing Ahmadinejad's inclination for chaos-making in their backyard. Saudi Arabia, like other countries, is concerned both about Iran's nuclear program and about its activities in Iraq in support of the Shia, in Lebanon and in Palestine. While being somewhat silent about Iran's nuclear program, Saudi Arabia's condemnation of Iran's meddling in the Middle East was vocal. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal could not have been more blunt when he told the French daily Le Figaro, "We repeat what was said to the Iranians: Do not interfere in our affairs." He characterized the Saudi-Iranian dialogue as an effort to explain to the Iranians the Saudi and Arab fears "about the Iranian influence on the Arab world."[i] The critical question is whether Saudi Arabia is prepared to translate its warning into action through the use of the "oil weapon." If the Saudis are prepared to apply the oil weapon, the impact on Iran's economic fortunes could be significant.
Saudi Arabia has the financial reserves available to increase oil production and live with a lower oil price. At the same time, Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to expand production capacity to 12 million b/d by 2009 through investment of $80 billion. At this level of production 1.5 to 2 million b/d will be set aside for local consumption, leaving at least 10 million b/d for export which is about 3 million b/d over current level of export.
If Saudi Arabia were to increase its export between one to two million barrels a day, it could bring down the price of oil quite close to the 2007 budget estimate of $37 barrel. If that were to happen, Saudi Arabia could absorb the shock, but Iran's economy could fall into a serious crisis. The oil option of Saudi Arabia, more than anything else, including the U.S.'s second aircraft carrier steaming into the Gulf, could expedite the process of his downfall or, at a minimum, cause him to limp for the remainder of his term of office.
In addition to actions necessary to prevent further investment in Iranian oil infrastructure facilities by European, Chinese and Indian companies, Saudi is also cooperating to influence Russia and China to cooperate in isolating Iran. China has initialed long-term energy deals with Iran, but it has made them conditional on a satisfactory resolution of the nuclear issue.
The Saudi daily Al-Watan February 12, 2007 reported that Saudi King Abdullah bin Abd Al-Aziz told the Russian news agency Itar-Tass in an interview that "the great capabilities of our countries [i.e. Saudi Arabia and Russia] makes the areas of our cooperation extensive." He continued, "During my last visit to Russia, we arrived at a set of agreements and understandings about oil, gas, and cooperation in information, technology, sports, and commerce. About Saudi and Russian oil revenues, King Abdallah said: "The Kingdom and Russia are two big oil states. Likewise, oil is considered one of the main sources of revenues in each of the two countries, and an important and influential element in the world economy in general. This obliges us [i.e. Saudi Arabia and Russia] to cooperate and coordinate in order to assure a safe increase in oil, and to attain security and balance in the global oil market for the benefit of producers and consumers alike.
The London Arabic Daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reports, First Russian President to Visit Riyadh that Russian President Vladimir Putin is Russia's first leader to visit Riyadh as he meets with King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz.
China is also weighing its relationship with Iran and Saudi Arabia. The most important factor in Chinese thinking will be the strategic considerations of its relationship with Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud and Hu visited each other's capitals within a four-month period early last year, these visits greatly cemented Saudi-Chinese political equations.
The crucial Saudi role in the proposed buildup of China's strategic oil reserves should not be underestimated. China is planning to build four strategic reserve bases at Zhenhai, Daishan, Xingang and Huangdao, which when completed next year will be able to hold the equivalent of one month's national oil imports. Beijing plans to expand the reserves to the equivalent of three months' net oil imports by 2015.
Saudi Arabia's credentials for helping China fulfill its target of building a strategic oil reserve is far more credible than Iran's. Apart from supplying 17% of China's total oil imports currently and making multi-billion-dollar investments in China's petrochemical sector, Saudi Arabia, as a "swing producer," has unique capability to produce oil significantly above its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries quota. The expert estimation is that if Saudi Arabia chose to produce for the next three-year period an extra half-million barrels of oil a day for Beijing, that alone would bring China's strategic oil reserve to three months' supply. That is why China has offered extraordinary privileges to Saudi Arabia in the collaboration over the setting-up of the strategic oil reserve.
The criticality of China's "Saudi connection" needs no further elaboration. Besides, China cannot hope to diversify significantly away from the Middle East for its oil supplies. Two-thirds of proven oil reserves are in that region. According to the International Energy Agency, China's dependence on the Middle East will exceed 75% of its total imports by 2015. China's helpful stance at this juncture will considerably strengthen the US strategy to "contain" Iran. Curiously, within the three-way equation involving the US, China and Saudi Arabia, the Bush administration is justified in seeing interesting possibilities.
Against this background of gathering storms, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert earlier this year was given a red-carpet welcome in Beijing with full military honors at the Great Hall of the People facing Tiananmen Square. During the banquet in Olmert's honor, the band played "Jerusalem of Gold". Aides accompanying Olmert recalled with excitement that there used to be a time when Chinese diplomats wouldn't say the word "Jerusalem" in deference to Palestinian sensitivity.
Possible examples of individual actions include: not purchasing products made in countries which support goals that are not consistent with good human rights policies, against liberty and freedom and are anti-American. Another is not investing in companies supporting these countries, providing the banking services and building their economies. Economic action is a powerful tool, but the country using this tool must remain economically strong and endure certain hardships.
According to The Center for Security Policy the report The Terrorism Investment of the 50 States, August 12, 2004:
“Terrorism Investments of the 50 States” is the first national security-based statistical analysis of the investment patterns of America’s public pension funds. This report proves empirically that this nation’s largest and most prominent public pension systems tend to be heavily invested in global publicly traded companies that have business activities in terrorist-sponsoring states.[ii]
Together, these funds invest over $1 trillion in stock alone[iii] on behalf of this country’s fire fighters, police officers, teachers, state and local officials and other public employees, making this collection of funds one of the most powerful investment blocks in the world. Given this extraordinary financial influence and the important role played by public companies in the economies of terrorist- terrorist sponsoring states sponsoring[iv], the Center for Security Policy has reached a key finding: America’s 100 largest and most prominent pension systems have the power to help defeat terrorism.
From the pension system of this country’s smallest state, Rhode Island, which has close to $400 million invested in 41 companies that are active in terrorist-sponsoring states, to America’s largest public pension system – the California Public Employees Retirement System – which has over $17 billion invested in 201 such companies, the results were remarkably uniform:
On average, America’s Top 100 pension systems invest between 15 and 23 percent of their portfolio in companies that do business in terrorist-sponsoring states.[v]
There is division among the politicians as to the magnitude of the risk that a nuclear Iran would be to the United States. President Bush said on January 29 the United States "will respond firmly" if Iran escalates military action in Iraq and endangers American forces. But Bush emphasized he has no intention of invading Iran. The U.S. is however increasing its presence in the Gulf with the addition of a second aircraft carrier group and support vessels.
At the same time Iran's calls for the destruction of Israel tend to be dismissed as mere rhetoric by the Western news media [See also: Victory is not an Option by William Odom in the Washington Post-February 11.] and some Congressional leaders. Ex-Israeli Prime Minister "Bibi" Netanyahu has told CNN: "Iran is Germany, and it's 1938. Except that this Nazi regime that is in Iran ... wants to dominate the world, annihilate the Jews, but also annihilate America."
In the Iranian Fars News report of January 28, Kerry Backs Up Iran's N. Rights. "Former US presidential nominee John Kerry voiced full support for the Islamic Republic's right to use civilian nuclear technology on the basis of the rules and regulations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NTP)." And according to Associate Press the Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry slammed the foreign policy of the Bush administration yesterday, saying it has caused the United States to become “a sort of international pariah.”
Anyone who remembers anything about World War II, or has studied anything about World War II, will understand and remember that during World War II, the Japanese developed a way to demoralize the American forces. The Japanese psychological warfare experts developed a message they felt would work.
They gave their psychological warfare script to their famous broadcaster "Tokyo Rose" and every day she would broadcast this same message packaged in different ways, hoping it would have a negative impact on American GI's morale. What was that demoralizing message? It had three main points:
·Your President is lying to you.
·This war is illegal.
· You cannot win the war
The vision of the opposition does not merely seek to defeat America, but something much more essential to sustaining the rising tide of freedom across the globe. It seeks the defeat of the American ideal. And it seeks it while perversely claiming that it is here to "rescue" it by facilitating its defeat; an Orwellian apotheosis of stunning assertion, and one that will do more than anything else to advance the level of Global Warming to thermonuclear levels in one brief, shining afternoon than any other philosophy you can recall or imagine. They yearn, from their perches in their perverse cosmopolitan realms, to see their nation defeated and humbled and lowered, because they long ago left that nation and ascended into those ethereal realms of their own private Fantasy Island of a Green Utopian Earth.
Little do the people waging "the war against the war" know that, in exchange for a temporary political advantage, they are gravely endangering America’s security and well-being, ultimately even their own. The Fantasy Island seekers will neither speak nor confront the present existence and inexorable rise of systems of government that do not exactly wish to deliver the higher realms of personal, sexual, and want-less liberty the One Worlders envision. America is the magnet for bright and ambitious people. It also makes America a target. The U.S. is also becoming one of the last holdouts of the traditional Judeo-Christian ideology. America takes it for granted, but it is not as available in other countries of the world. Ultimately, it's an issue of culture. The only people who can hurt America are themselves, by losing their culture and will to win. If they give up their Judeo-Christian culture, they will become just like the Europeans. If they lose it, there isn't another America to pull us out.
The EU, with their companies continuing to seek investment opportunities is resisting the sanctions imposed by the UN on Iran. Iran needs foreign investment and technology to maintain their oil exports to fund their nuclear program and spread their terrorism and ideology.
For example Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSA) and their partner the Spanish oil company Repsol (NYSE:REP) have signed a $10bn deal with Iran. Other U.S. listed companies from China have done likewise. Iran in the Tehran Times of February 2, 2007 brags about Iran's recent energy agreements having set back the U.S. plans to economically isolate Tehran.
Last December PetroChina (NYSE ADR: PTR) also signed a deal with the National Iranian Gas Exports Company in which Iran agreed to sell China three million tons of gas from the Pars LNG Project over 25 years, beginning in 2011. At the present time the top U.S. shareholders in PetroChina are: Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway, JP Morgan Chase, Fidelity, and Templeton Asset Management. PetroChina is a major gasoline distributor in the Eastern U.S.
China Petrochemical Corp (SINOPEC NYSE:SNP), the nation’s second-largest oil company, is also in negotiations with Iran for an agreement estimated to be worth as much as US$100 billion (HK$780 billion), involving crude oil and LNG.
U.S. legislation permits President George W. Bush to take action against non-US companies investing in Iran’s energy sector. However, because of concerns over an extra-territorial trade dispute and the risk of further alienating allies, no foreign companies have been penalised to date under the Iran Libya Sanctions Act and the subsequent Iran Freedom Support Act.
You can let your congressional representative, brokers and the companies — and even your Credit Card Company know your postion. The real power to punish these companies for being against us in this war for the Free World should lie with American investors and consumers. Let's show Shell and other foreign owned companies that partner with foes, that Americans take seriously the imparative of countering Iran's nuclear ambitions and support for international terror. They better be with us, or else.
The solutions for dealing with proliferations are not static and no one solution will provide a permanent solution. Each day will present new challenges and each must be met for the protection of civilization. The solution does require the cooperation of countries working together realizing the danger and potential destruction that would issue forth. Today, most of emphasis has been placed of countries developing weapons. The control and security is not one-dimensional. This is not the time to hit the pause button on addressing the total security issue. Security does not stop at the negotiating table. We must address the issue BOTH locally AND globally.
To bolster the efficacy of deterrence in a world of small, closely located nuclear powers, it would be necessary to deploy surveillance systems that could identify and warn against aircraft movement and missile launches. These systems might be operated on a national or a multilateral basis; in fact, a number of states in exposed regions could contribute to collective efforts to detect airborne threats.
The construction of such a regional surveillance system, moreover, would put in place much of the infrastructure needed to support another useful tool: some form of missile defense. Skeptics of missile defense have often been ridiculed, with some reason, the notion that such systems can be effective against nuclear weapons or large numbers of missiles. What they overlook, however, is that even leaky or somewhat ineffective defenses can play a constructive role in deterring an attack from a nuclear power with a small arsenal or lowering the odds that a full-scale nuclear conflict will erupt from a single use (of whatever origin). Witness Japan moving ahead with their missile defense system.
Other kinds of defense could also help lower the odds of an attack or mitigate its terrible consequences. Government officials, whether in the U.S. Asia or Europe, should develop the capacity to evacuate those cities at risk of a direct attack or of being in the path of nuclear fallout, as well as stockpile radiation meters, build fallout shelters, and implement other measures first devised in the 1950s. Civil defense came to be seen as a grotesque joke when the Soviet Union acquired tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. But, like missile defense, it could play an important role in a world of smaller nuclear powers.
Should a nuclear bomb get through nevertheless, it would be critical for the government of the targeted state to respond with policies other than doing nothing or ordering indiscriminate retaliation. One option would be to launch a massive non-nuclear military campaign against the responsible party to make sure that such an attack was never repeated. But even with all the will and money in the world, such a response simply could not be summoned up out of the blue; it would require careful planning and preparation.
Energy independence can be a deterrent to nuclear proliferation. We must pursue at all cost energy self-sufficiency. And, we must do it on a crash basis. Energy independence can become the true liberation movement of our time.
The cost of defending a policy of Energy Interdependence as a cornerstone of foreign policy is huge in terms of potential loss of lives and impact on our economy. The West and particularly America cannot maintain our economy and security without assuming our own energy security. Lack of energy resources will extract the huge price of our security, freedom and liberty. Spreading democracy requires us to take responsibility for our financing and energy needs. A program leading to Energy Independence is both feasible and desirable. The risk of failing to act now for energy independence will make the world a safer and environmentally sustainable place for our children to grow up. See my article:Give Me Energy Security And I Will Give You A Foreign Policy
Many of the countries potentially developing nuclear weapons gain their funding through the sale of oil. Removing the sources of funding would significantly reduce the risk of nuclear weaponization.
Drug trafficking, Internet porn, sex slaves, counterfeiting and other endeavors are also providing funding for the activities.
Open borders allow the potential transfer of WMD. This requires both the countries that have nuclear materials, such as Kazakhstan and those seeking security such as the EU and the United States to have adequate border control.
Security is also important with regard to technology transfer, shipment of materials, plans and manufacturing technology. A.Q. Khan and Emil Fuchs transfer of nuclear technology are examples. The technology transfer of missile technology—not components from the U.S. to China allowed their development of intercontinental missiles. With electronic transfer, North Korea may transfer their technology to other countries; inspecting ships will not solve this problem.
The U.S. also needs materials and metals, such as rare earths from China and titanium from Russia to maintain our weapons program. Unless we have plans for our security, we are at risk for defense. Shutting down a mining operation for Rare Earth in the U.S. because of an environmental concern can be just as devastating to our security as the transfer of nuclear material to a rogue nation.
The only thing that would prevent proliferation will be a high degree of cohesiveness and co-operation on the part of the international community. And that has been something that has been lacking.
Peaceful coexistence does not require friendly relations or appeasement, but it does mean exercising mutual restraint while maintaining a will to win. Relinquishing the threat of regime change by force may be necessary and acceptable price for the United States to pay to stop Tehran or Pyongyang from getting the bomb and the delivery systems. But this alone will not prevent the nuclear proliferation and a potential nuclear and/or economic holocaust. The combined forces of the Leftist/Marxist – Islamic Alliance and the Oil Axis have the goal of world domination. Again, if America gives up their Judeo-Christian culture, they will become just like the Europeans. If they lose it to the Leftist/Marxist – Islamic Alliance, there isn't another America to pull us out.
Al-Awsat (London). February 1, 2007
[ii] This report sought to analyze America’s “Top 100” largest and most prominent public pension systems, excluding public university endowments. At the time of publication, only 87 of these public pension funds had provided the data required to undertake this analysis.
[iii] America’s Top 100 funds invest via a number of other investment vehicles, making their total investments on behalf of the American people closer to $2 trillion.
[iv] For the purposes of this report, terrorist-sponsoring states are defined as Iran, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Although Cuba is also correctly listed as a state-sponsor of terrorism by the U.S. Department of State, relevant data for Cuba was not available for this study.
[v] To perform the analyses of the 100 pension systems’ investment portfolios, the Center forwarded this data to the Conflict Securities Advisory Group (CSAG). Using their Global Security Risk Monitor Monitor, CSAG ran each portfolio to, determine its exposure to companies doing business in terrorist-sponsoring states or to proliferation-related concerns. The Center’s use of this data and the views and policy recommendations expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect those of CSAG or its partner firm, Investor Responsibility Research Center.
David J. Jonsson is the author of Clash of Ideologies —The Making of the Christian and Islamic Worlds, Xulon Press 2005. His new book: Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance (Salem Communications (May 30, 2006). He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics. He worked for major corporations in the United States and Japan and with multilateral agencies that brought him to more that fifteen countries with significant or majority populations who are Muslim. These exposures provided insight into the basic tenants of Islam as a political, economic and religious system. He became proficient in Islamic law (Shariah) through contract negotiation and personal encounter. David can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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