Geoffrey Penniston Elliott Clarkson.

The sterling crisis online

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America are not about to accept the risk of your rejecting our offer. Your
countrymen have been made the greatest offer since Churchill offered British
citizenship to the French in the dark days of 1940. The French turned Churchill
down. You are not going to have that opportunity!

"Mr. Prime Minister, we are not going to stand by watching you wreck your
economy and ruin its industrial resources. We have offered you statehood in
the great Union of the United States. We have offered you the opportunities
and responsibilities that go with belonging to the greatest nation in
the world.

"Mr. Prime Minister, I have been authorized to announce that we have de-
clared your people to be citizens of the United States of America. As such
we mustprotect them. And to enable us to do so effectively our naval, ground and
air forces are already on their way.

"Mr. Prime Minister, this action may come as a shock and a surprise to
some. But to make sure no one gets hurt, will you please request your
Queen, as Commander-in-Chief of all your armed forces to instruct the Chief
of your Defense Establishment to order their forces to lay down their arms and
not to oppose our troops when they arrive. At this very moment our airborne
forces from America backed up by transport helicopters from our bases in
Germany are within fifty minutes of landing at all your main civilian and
military air bases. Our naval task force, as you know, is only a few hours


steaming from your shores. By first light this morning, your time, our troops
will have occupied the strategic centers throughout your country.

"Mr. Prime Minister, your only duty now is to keep you countrymen calm
and to make sure we avoid bloodshed. Goodnight, and may I welcome you
all as citizens of the greatest nation In the world."


The Shammals — the hot desert wind struck with force. Sand flew down the
streets and swirled in eddies around corners. Tliose few who had to go out
scurried on their errands, their faces and mouths covered, their robes flapping
about them.

In the big room, at al-Mahdi's mansion the atmosphere was relaxed. Outside
the wind raged and the temperature stood at 118°F. In the room there was no
wind, and the temperature was ignored. For al-Mahdi was pleased. His spectre-
like features had relaxed; his black eyes held just a hint of a twinkle, and
his mouth had adjusted into a line suggesting the barest outline of a smile.
So relaxed was the atmosphere that Abdel-Aziz had ordered coffee and sweet-
meats to be served.

News of their victory had arrived late last night, like a splendid messenger
arrayed in gold and sparkling jewels. It was a magnificent victory. And now
the inner four who had created, nurtured, planned and executed the battle plans
were savoring the spoils.

" Abqakum allah- -may Allah preserve you, al-Mahdi."
" Allah yebqlkum , and may he preserve you. Prince Fahd."

"The victory is magnificent, al-Mahdi. My cousins never really believed
we would win, particularly when the Americans took over England. But now they
are convinced. Now they wish to install you next to the very throne itself."
" Rabbuna kerim we-huwa el-mudabbir hal yumkin yansi khlquh ? — Our Lord is
generous. He is the ruler. Will he forget his creatures? — Prince, your cousins
are blinded by the light of one victory. Tell them that what they have seen
is merely the beginning. Their support for our cause is accepted as gratefully
as is the support of all the Faithful. But they are mistaken as to where the
real throne lies and as to who sits upon it."

" Sallu an-nabi — Bless the Prophet, al-Mahdi," replied Prince Fahd. "I did
not mean to suggest anything other than that my cousin the King would be grateful
for your advice and constant company."

" Es-sala ann-nabi — Blessings on the Prophet, Prince, but it cannot be as
you say. A single victory does not complete our task. Allah demands greater
than merely defeating the English. All infidels who walk this earth must be
converted or destroyed. And there can be no rest for us. Prince, no sitting
at the right hand of mere earthly Kings until this Holy War is won.


"Hisham," continued al-Mahdi after a long pause, "perhaps you would outline
for the Prince the next stage in the Divine Plan."

"Prince," replied Hisham, putting down his coffee, "when the American^ caved
in to our oil embargo and agreed to set the new value of the pound Sterling at
U.S. 35 cents, it no longer mattered who owned and controlled the British economy.
Without our oil, America was about to grind to a halt. And as we all saw,
for the U.S. to set a low value to Sterling was a small price for them to pay
to get our oil flowing to them again."

"Hisham, I am aware of all this," retorted the Prince. He was not accusl oiaed
to being told the obvious. Had he not sat here in thjs room sharing the agony
and tension of the long wait. Had he not given the word 'ihat hid launched tli-
initial attack. Had he not ordered and seen carried out che execution of thii-
fifteen spies. Had he not seen the truly fantastic profits roll in when the
billions of pounds Sterling they had sold short at an average price well over
one dollar were declared by America to be freely exchangeable for U.S. dollars
at the rate of U.S. 35 cents to the pound.

"A thousand pardons, Prince," said Hisham quickly and bowing twice continued.
"I did not mean to offend by describing the obvious. For who more than you have
been a part and prime mover of Allah's great victory. But al-Mahdi v;as referring
to something else. All praise to Allah, Prince, but now that Sterling is
smashed, now that the Saudi Riyal , backed with oil and gold, is the strongest
currency in the world, now it is time to put on hand the ultimate conquest for

"Hisham, You speak in riddles," interrupted the Prince, stilll feeling that
his importance and position were being slighted by Hisham and hence al-Mahdi.

" Sala m alekum — Peace be on you. Prince," said al-Malidi in an effort to
calm the Prince. Now that they had won such an enormous victory, al-Mahdi no
longer needed the Prince as much as he cince had. But in :?pitc >■£ this shift
in power, it was unwise to stir up anger unnecessarily.

"We alekum salam — And on you be peace, al-Mahdi," replied Prince Fahd. He
had clearly sensed a change in the atmosphere around him. Once his voice was
vital to al-Mahdi and his Holy War. Now because of the fantastic wealth they
had all won, his control and influence was slipping. Still, one did not pick
a quarrel with al-Mahdi. And, the Prince consoled himself, if al-Mahdi did
not want to sit on the throne beside the King, Prince Fahd would be only too
happy to take his place instead.


"Prince," continued al-Mahdi, "Allah's Holy War calls for the destruction,
one by one, of all the Western economies. We chose to begin with Sterling,
and as was ordained we have won. Our next target was to have been France, as
their economy becomes weaker and more exposed month by month. What Hisham was
saying is that it is Allah's will that the Plan be changed. All the money in
the world will not please Allah the most high, as much as will the destruction
of all infidels.

"Prince," continued al-Mahdi, after a hush had descended on the room, his
coal black eyes burning their way into Prince Fahd ' s skull. "Instead of the
French, the next target will be the Italians."

"But, al-Mahdi," interrupted the Prince, "to destroy the Lira is but child's
play. No one takes the Italian economy seriously. We could even lose face
for attacking a country so weak and defenseless."

"Prince," retorted al-Mahdi, sharply, "within Italy lies the heart and
soul of the Roman Catholic Church. To destroy the Lira is child's play, as
you say. But to crush and destroy the Vatican — the very heart of the Catholic
Church — that is the true battle ground for the Faithful. Can we dare to rest
for even another day. Prince, before Allah, the King of the Day of Judgement
sits on his Throne throughout the World?"

" Allah akbar , Allah akbar — Allah is greatest, Allah is greatest, al-Mahdi.
It shall be as you say."

" Ashhad an la ilah ilia llah we- Mohammed rasul Allah — I testify that
there is no god save Allah and that Mohammed is the apostle of Allah, Prince,"
replied al-Mahdi. "Hisham, Abdel-Aziz, make sure the plans are prepared well
and quickly. We must strike soon before the world has had a chance to recover.
The value of terror depends on swift execution. Go now, and may Allah the
compassionate and the merciful guide your steps along his Holy ways."




Date Due


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Online LibraryGeoffrey Penniston Elliott ClarksonThe sterling crisis → online text (page 18 of 18)