Storm Clouds Gathering, known for its unorthodox analysis of news, politics, and geopolitical issues through documentary video content, takes a look at how the American media portrayal of why Russia and Syria are being accused of global aggression might differ from what is really behind it all in The Geopolitics of World War III.
The filmmaker sets the stage for the subject matter by suggesting that the U.S. dollar is a unique currency for many reasons, though the reasons that matter most are not necessarily widely known. One fact often thought to be significant is its status as the world reserve currency since 1945, but the dollar's importance is much more dependent on the fact it of it having been the primary currency by which oil has been traded in the global marketplace since 1970. Oil makes the world go round in the present political landscape, for better or worse, so this in turn makes the U.S. dollar a very important cog in the global financial machine.
Prior to 1971, the U.S. dollar was bound to the gold standard - or at least that is what the world operated under the belief of. The filmmakers highlight that the International Monetary Fund reports that in 1966, foreign central banks and governments held 14 billion U.S. dollars. While the United States did have $13.2 billion in gold reserves, most of that was needed to cover domestic holdings and only $3.2 billion of it was available for foreign holdings. What that means is the U.S. was printing more money than it could cover, and inflation naturally ensued. To quell the fire, the Richard Nixon presidential administration took the dollar off the gold standard and made it a debt-based currency.
Through various political arrangements, the filmmakers suggest that the U.S. then tied the dollar to oil trade to keep its demand up, a system that remained in place at America's convenience until the year 2000 - right before 9/11, mind you - when Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein declared he was shifting their oil trade from the dollar to the euro. This is said to be the catalyst behind all the post-9/11 military action, not anti-terrorism efforts, and that these dollar-undermining decisions by foreign governments continue to shape the U.S. military agenda today in regards to policy against Russia and Syria.