The Protocols of the
Learned Elders of OPEC

So, you thought the economic crisis we are currently experiencing was caused by loose monetary policy, loose economic regulation, or just plain loose morals by the likes of Goldman Sachs and associated plutocrats?


It was really all part of a nefarious plot by Ay-rab terrorists – and now we’re heading for “phase three”! The Washington Times (who else?) “reports”:

“Evidence outlined in a Pentagon contractor report suggests that financial subversion carried out by unknown parties, such as terrorists or hostile nations, contributed to the 2008 economic crash by covertly using vulnerabilities in the U.S. financial system.

“The unclassified 2009 report “Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses” by financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Times, states that ‘a three-phased attack was planned and is in the process against the United States economy.’

“While economic analysts and a final report from the federal government’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission blame the crash on such economic factors as high-risk mortgage lending practices and poor federal regulation and supervision, the Pentagon contractor adds a new element: ‘outside forces,’ a factor the commission did not examine.

“’There is sufficient justification to question whether outside forces triggered, capitalized upon or magnified the economic difficulties of 2008,’ the report says, explaining that those domestic economic factors would have caused a ‘normal downturn’ but not the ‘near collapse’ of the global economic system that took place.”


Well, this sounds plausible enough: after all, there’s no reason why we can’t keep spending money we don’t have – any suggestion to the contrary is unpatriotic and probably motivated by support for terrorism.

The housing bubble, no-money-down loans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac holding multi-billions in bad loans and other “toxic assets”? That’s not profligacy – it’s the Amurrican Dream, boy! And to suggest otherwise is … hey, what are you, some kind of Communist?

According to this report, paid for by the Pentagon and “declassified” so that Washington Times “national security expert” Bill Gertz could hyperventilate over it, the uptick in oil prices is also part of an Ay-rab plot. The Pentagon “study,” authored by one Kevin D. Freeman, cites neocon nutball Walid Phares, a Christian Falangist of Lebanese extraction and paid propagandist for the Israeli-connected Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, who avers:

“According to Political Economy assessment [sic], there may have been a third player in the crisis: OPEC, or more precisely, radical circles within Oil Producing regimes in the Peninsula. The thesis argue that combined Salafist-Wahhabi and Muslim Brotherhood circles in the Gulf -with consent from the Iranian side on this particular issue, used the escalating pricing of Oil over the past year to push the financial crisis in the US over the cliff.”

Aha! The long arm of the Muslim Brotherhood strikes again! Boy oh boy, the Brothers sure have been busy lately: first we find out they were really behind the Egyptian revolution and the overthrow of US-supported dictator Hosni Mubarak. Then we detect their nefarious influence in all the other revolts taking place across the Middle East. And now this! I also have my suspicions about their involvement in the spate of cold weather we’ve been having here in the US, but that will have to await confirmation until Freeman consults the proper omens. Meanwhile, “Dr.” Phares continues on in the same deranged vein:

“OPEC‘s manipulation of the markets did hit Americans hard in their pockets. Hundreds of millions of John and Jane Does were intimidated, terrorized really,into abandoning their lifelong dreams of owning properties because of the aggressive stance of petro-regimes towards the US and its campaign to spread democracy in the Greater Middle East. In historical terms, America was punished for daring to change the status quo in the Arab and Muslim world to the advantage of the weakest and the suppressed.”

The market? The dwindling oil supply? Increased demand, especially by the Chinese? You fool! Forget supply and demand! These are just the curtain behind which lurks … the “jihadi-oil lobby” (JOL)!

Okay, so where is the evidence that the evil JOL launched a “phase one” attack on the American economy? Well, uh, you see, unfortunately, the dog ate Freeman’s homework:

“Due to the lack of transparency in trading at the Sovereign Wealth Fund, Hedge Fund,and trading exchange levels (as will be discussed at length later in this paper), it may be impossible to produce forensic evidence to prove that a Phase One attack on our economic system took place.”

Those sneaky Ay-rabs – isn’t it just like them to not leave evidence of their sinister plots laying around?

This is Glenn Beck territory – but the difference here is that this nonsense was paid for by you, the American taxpayer. I wonder how much the Pentagon shelled out to Freeman’s company, “Cross Consulting and Services, LLC,” for this farrago of falsehoods and fantasy?

And they’re telling us that the “defense” budget can’t be cut without endangering “national security.” Yeah, in a pig’s eye.

The idea that a “Shariah-compliant” conspiracy of Arab countries, operating behind the veil of secrecy and complex financial shenanigans, is responsible for destroying the US economy, is laughable – but you have to admit it has a certain appeal, especially to Americans and their sense of utter blamelessness. Living above our means, borrowing when we should be saving, buying when we should be renting, and using our homes as ATM machines – none of this matters, if you’re an Entitled American. When you live in a bubble, everything’s coming up roses: there’s no reason to worry, because, you see, the universe revolves around us – it exists to fulfill our desires. And when it comes time to pay the piper, and the credit runs out, it’s so easy to blame mysterious and sinister “outside forces” – but never ourselves. This is what they call the doctrine of “American exceptionalism”:  the idea that anyone and everyone is to blame – except us.

The anti-Semitic agitators of Germany did this in the 1930s. As the Weimar Republic kept the government printing presses going full speed, and the bubble reached fantastic heights, when it all came crashing down the crazies had a convenient scapegoat: the Joooooooos! The Freeman-Phares “theory” of “economic warfare” – supposedly waged by the Learned Elders of OPEC – is similar in form, if not in content. Instead of “the Jooooooos,” it’s those Ay-rabs. Instead of the House of Rothschild, it’s the House of Saud, but the game is exactly the same.

It’s all about hate. The kind of hate a “comedian” like Bill Maher deploys when he attacks Arab men as being inherently rapists: the kind of racist vitriol David Horowitz routinely promotes on his crazy web site. The kind of wild-eyed filth uttered by Pamela “Shrieking Harpy” Geller every time she opens her big vulgar mouth.

Hate covers up a mass of sins: it’s a cosmetic device, useful for prettifying our ugliest vices, and giving us a sense that an otherwise baffling world can be explained.

The hate-mongers are here, and very busy these days: they’re even on the government’s payroll – the Pentagon’s, no less! Combining economic ignorance with racial and religious prejudice produces a toxic poison, which the haters among us do everything in their power to spread.

H. L. Mencken had it right when he wrote:

“It is hard for the plain people to think about a thing, but easy for them to feel. Error, to hold their attention, must be visualized as a villain, and the villain must proceed swiftly to his inevitable retribution. They can understand that process; it is simple, usual, satisfying; it squares with their primitive conception of justice as a form of revenge…. [The average reader] is not at all responsive to purely intellectual argument, even when its theme is his own ultimate benefit…. But he is very responsive to emotional suggestion, particularly when it is crudely and violently made, and it is to this weakness that the newspapers must ever address their endeavors. In brief, they must try to arouse his horror, or indignation, or pity, or simply his lust for slaughter. Once they have done that, they have him safely by the nose. He will follow blindly until his emotion wears out. He will be ready to believe anything, however absurd, so long as he is in his state of psychic tumescence.”

The war propagandists know this, and act accordingly. They know how to manipulate emotions: it’s their job. Our job here at is to provide an antidote to the hate, the ignorance, and the lies of the War Party. Of course, we can’t do it alone: but we’re doing our part. And, as you no doubt realize, our job is never done. However, with reason as our sword, and truth as our shield, we shall prevail.

Whatever third-rate propagandist thought up this wacked-out “theory,” which is the post-9/11 version of the Protocols, he seriously misjudged the American people. Although I admire Mencken, I don’t believe his cynicism reflects reality: this blame-the-Arabs narrative is going nowhere, fast. For someone to suggest that a population living on $2 a day, on average, is somehow engaging in “economic warfare” against the US, and taking us down, is just bonkers: we are waging economic warfare against ourselves, and have been for quite some time. Our politicians have been waging that war, using the US Treasury as their arsenal – and everybody knows it.

The American people should demand their money back from Mr. Freeman and his consulting firm – and they should ship Mr. Phares back to Lebanon, where he can write his screeds closer to the objects of his hatred.

Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo passed away on June 27, 2019. He was the co-founder and editorial director of, and was a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He was a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and wrote a monthly column for Chronicles. He was the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].