ucsbedu 39 Telegram from the Department of State to the Embassies in Japan the

Ucsbedu 39 telegram from the department of state to

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ucsb.edu/. 39 . Telegram from the Department of State to the Embassies in Japan, the United Kingdom, and France, 14 November 1974 , FRUS, 1969 - 1976 , vol. 37 , Energy Crisis, 1974 - 1980 , eds. Steven G. Galpern and Edward C. Keefer (Washington: Government Printing Office, 2012 ), doc. 18 ; Memorandum of Conversation, 15 December 1974 , FRUS, 1969 - 1976 , vol. 37 , doc. 24 . 40 . “Economic Warfare: All Can Play,” 13 December 1973 1973 , BP, box B 86 , GFPL. 41 . Lord to Kissinger, “Your Lunch with Outside Experts,” 31 May 1974 , Lord Files, box 345 , RG 59 , NARA. Oil Power and Economic Theologies : 507 Downloaded from by Bora Laskin Law Library user on 06 September 2018
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NIEO declaration. But when he did so, he prioritized Cold War geopolitics and emphasized the crisis, and its vision, as a threat to global stability. American offi- cials, including Kissinger, consistently set what they considered the unsound ra- tionale of the oil producers and their Third World supporters against their own more sober assessment. According to that line of reasoning, OPEC price control was authoritarian, anti-liberal, and an aberration to proper market operations. OPEC distortion became a dominant theme of public diplomacy—American policymakers criticized the OPEC states-rights argument as “theological,” “irra- tional,” and “demagogic” after October 1973 . 42 Kissinger complained to the shah of Iran in December, for example, that the price increases were “particularly un- reasonable” because they had been linked to the “artificial restraint” of Arab oil. 43 Oil prices thus came to signify, among other things, a greater struggle between the sensible and the senseless. The intensity with which policymakers experienced that struggle, as well as the uncertainty that characterized it, is evident in the imprecise handwringing about the effects of high oil prices on the international economy. As the Yale economist Robert Triffin wrote to Jean Monnet, the “crushing mass of ephemeral and often conflicting material” on the effects of higher oil prices reflected the “awesome”—and awesomely complicated— problems posed by such a drastic change in a “commodity so crucial to economic life.” 44 The World Bank was hesitant to release its own predictions of the effects of the price increases in December 1973 , but Robert McNamara wrote his Executive Board to warn of the long-term ramifications of the new “oil import burden.” 45 American Treasury Secretary George Shultz was similarly vague in a meeting with the IMF Committee of Twenty in January 1974 . “The arithmetic results are stag- gering,” he said. The “jolting experience” of the energy crisis was a “new uncer- tainty which has been thrust upon our international affairs.” 46 Against that backdrop of uncertainty, U.S. decision-makers often turned to a historical interpretation that emphasized the political stability and economic growth of the previous era. That neatly divided reading of the recent past further underscored the threat of OPEC distortion. Kissinger warned American senators and representatives in a November 1974
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