(Excerpted from Chapter 7: The Four Horsemen: Big Oil & Their Bankers…)
After World War II – during which Royal Dutch Shell Chairman Sir Henry Deterding loudly supported the Nazis, while Exxon and Texaco collaborated with the Nazi I.G. Farben combine – the Four Horsemen turned their full attention to the Middle East. There the cartel operated under names like Iranian Consortium, Iraqi Petroleum Company and ARAMCO.
With the rise of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a producer cartel, the companies devised increasingly sophisticated ways to diminish OPEC’s collective bargaining ability.
Nationalistic governments were destabilized, discredited and overthrown by the CIA at the behest of Big Oil. Henry Kissinger set up his International Energy Agency (IEA), which the French called a machine de guerre.
Both Nixon’s Twin Pillars Policy and Reagan’s Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were efforts to divide OPEC between wealthy banker nations and poor industrializing nations, with the Saudis playing the key role of swing producer in both schemes.
As oil trader George Perk once commented of the Four Horsemen/Saudi relationship, “The oil markets are not free markets. Oil company officials bribe officials in Saudi Arabia. They only get into the market for a fix.”
Following the Gulf War Jordan’s King Hussein commented of the Saudi role in diminishing OPEC’s bargaining power, “At the grassroots level, long-submerged feelings of resentment on the part of most Arabs toward the Saudis are now out of the bottle. We resent the fact that they buy everything – technology, protection, ideas, people, respectability… the Arab people are saying that the US and Saudi Arabia are indistinguishable, and from this they conclude that the Saudis are backing Israel. Have the Saudis no shame?”