He explained to the Shah that the destabilizing impact of high prices was

He explained to the shah that the destabilizing

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key oil-producing and oil-consuming allies. He explained to the Shah that the “destabilizing impact” of high prices was especially consternating because of the “catastrophic problems it could pose for the international monetary system.” 49 He changed a speech to NATO leaders later in that month to underscore the political threat of expensive oil. He emphasized the anti-liberal nature of cartel power and railed against America’s European allies, many of whom had bidden for oil on the spot market or begun to consider bilateral sales agreements, for surrendering to it. “A return to economic nationalism will destroy our political unity and bring on global depression,” he warned. NATO members needed “to join together to 47 . Address by Hon. Henry A. Kissinger, “The Energy Crisis: Strategy for Cooperative Action,” November 14 , 1974 , and Address of Hon. William E. Simon, before the 62 st National Foreign Trade Convention, November 18 , 1974 , both in Appendix, “Kissinger-Simon Proposals for Financing Oil Imports,” Hearings before the Joint Economic Committee of the United States, 93 rd Congress, 2 nd Sess., November 25 , 27 , and 29 , 1974 (Washington, 1974 ). 48 . Thomas Zeiler, American Trade and Power in the 1960 s (New York, 1992 ), 21 - 50 ; Francis Gavin, Gold, Dollars and Power: The Politics of International Monetary Relations, 1958 - 1971 (Chapel Hill, NC, 2004 ), 173 - 185 . 49 . Secretary of State to American Embassy Tehran, “Oil Decisions at Tehran and Kuwait Conferences,” 29 December 1973 , KSWWOF, box 15 , GFPL. Oil Power and Economic Theologies : 509 Downloaded from by Bora Laskin Law Library user on 06 September 2018
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ensure that the world’s great democracies are never held to ransom again,” he said, just like “the men of vision” who wrote the Marshall Plan. 50 Oil power reflected a number of dangers, political and economic. American decision-makers thus responded to its rise in myriad and interconnected ways. Nonetheless, Kissinger and others consistently argued that statist con- trol and high oil prices, not the unsteady world into which they had been intro- duced, were the vital problem. The State Department set “pressures toward unilateralism”—defined as “nationalization, cartel-like action, beggar-thy- neighbor trade and payments action”—squarely against U.S. policy in support of “an open and interdependent world economy.” 51 In doing so, they used the crisis to move the complex economic concerns of the mid- 1970 s onto a Manichean plane of right and wrong, of past stability and present danger. That strategy, aimed both at the United States’ capitalist allies and at the Third World bloc, resolved a longer search within the Nixon administration for a con- sistent way to frame foreign economic policy. Since assuming office, administration policymakers had struggled to understand how changes in the distribution of inter- national economic power would shape American grand strategy. One glitch in that pursuit was the extent to which economic concerns would impinge upon diplomacy.
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