Archive for the ‘NATO’ Category

Opening a Pandora’s Box: Kosovo “Independence” & the Project for a “New Middle East” by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya (NWO)

February 20, 2008

Opening a Pandora’s Box: Kosovo “Independence” & the Project for a “New Middle East” by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya (NWO)

Dandelion Salad

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, February 20, 2008
– 2008-02-29

Western public opinion has been misled. Unfolding events and realities on the ground in former Yugoslavia have been carefully manipulated.

Germany and the U.S. have deep-seated geo-strategic interests in dividing Yugoslavia. Washington and Berlin have also been the first governments to recognize the secessionist states, which resulted from the breakup of the Yugoslav federation.

The Broader Implications of Kosovo “Independence”

The February 2008 declaration of independence of Kosovo is a means towards legitimizing the dissolution and breaking up of sovereign states on a global scale.

Eurasia is the main target. Kosovar “independence” is part of a neo-colonial program with underlying economic and geo-political interests. The objective is to instate a New World order and establish hegemonic control over the global economy.

In this sense Kosovo provdes a blueprint, a “dress-rehearsal” which can now be applied to restructuring the economies and borders of the Middle East, under the Project for a “New Middle East.”

The restructuring model that is being applied in the former Yugoslavia is precisely what is intended for the Middle East — a process of balkanization and economic control.

Kosovo’s Pseudo-Declaration of Independence

On February 17, 2008, the secessionist province of Kosovo declared unilateral independence from the Republic of Serbia. The occasion was declared through an extraordinary gathering of the Kosovar Parliament and its executive bodies. Belgrade has not had any control over Kosovo since 1999, when NATO went to war with Serbia to impose control over Kosovo under humanitarian arguments.

President Fatmir Sejdiu, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and Parliament Speaker Jakup Krasniqi all marked the occasion with speeches inside and outside of the Kosovar Parliament.

Many in Kosovo’s ethic Albanian majority celebrated what they believed was a shift towards self-determination. The truth of the matter is that the Kosovar declaration of independence was a declaration of dependency and surrender to colonial forces.

Kosovar leaders have transformed their land into a colonial outpost of Franco-German and Anglo-American interests. February 17, 2008 also marked the day that Kosovo further entrenched itself as a NATO-E.U. protectorate. Under the so-called independence” roadmap, NATO and E.U. troops and police officers will formally administer Kosovo.

In reality, Kosovo would have had greater independence as an autonomous province in an agreement of autonomy with Serbia, which had been envisaged in bilateral talks between Belgrade and Pristina. The majority of Kosovars would have been satisfied under such an agreement.

However, the talks were never meant to succeed for two obvious reasons:

1) the leadership of Kosovo are agents of foreign interests that do not represent the Kosovar populaiton;

2) the U.S. and E.U. were determined to establish another protectorate in the former Yugoslavia.

Kosovo: Another phase in the Economic Colonization of the former Yugoslavia

One of the leading global academic figures who has thoroughly documented the foreign-induced disintegration of Yugoslavia and the situation in Kosovo is Michel Chossudovsky. He has documented the economic and geo-strategic motives that have acted as the fingers pulling the strings that have caused the collapse of Yugoslavia and the drive for the independence of Kosovo from Serbia. His work unmasks the truth behind the downfall of Yugoslavia and the tactics being used to divide nations and peoples who have lived together in peace for hundreds of years.

A glance at the restructuring of Bosnia-Herzegovina must be made before further discussing the case of Kosovo.

Bosnia’s constitution was written at a U.S. Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio by U.S. and European “experts.”

Chossoduvsky appropriately labels Bosnia-Herzegovina as a neo-colonial entity. NATO troops have dominated Bosnia-Herzegovina, closely followed by the imposition of a new political and economic framework and model.

Chossudovsky’s work also reveals that the real head of the Bosnian government, the High Representative, and the head of the Bosnian Central Bank are both foreigners that are hand-picked by the European Union, the U.S., and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). [1] This is a clear re-enactment of a colonial administration.

This model has also been replicated with some variations in several of the former republics of the Yugoslav federation. The major obstacle to the full implementation of this agenda is the popular will of the local people in the former Yugoslavia, especially the Serbs.

Serbia, like an island of resistance, is the last bastion of independence left in the former Yugoslavia and the Balkans, but even in Serbia a modus vivendi exists where the local people have made a one-sided accommodation with the foreign economic agenda to allow their way of life to go on for a little longer. However, this accommodation is not meant to last.

The same Political and Socio-Economic Model is being applied in the Balkans and the Middle East

The process in Iraq is no different than the model applied in the former Yugoslavia. Divisions are fueled by foreign catalysts, the economy is destabilized, national dissolution is induced, and a new politico-socio-economic order is established.

Foreign interference and military intervention are also justified on bogus humanitarian grounds. It is no coincidence that a “High Representative” was appointed by the US led coaltion to govern Iraq, thereby replicating the Bosnia-Herzegovina model, which is characterised by E.U. appointed “High Representative”. The pattern should start becoming startlingly familiar!

The parallels between Iraq and the former Yugoslavia are endless.

In the wake of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, the U.S. and Britain established the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), which evolved into the Coalition Provisional Authority.

The head of the Coalition Provisional Authority was also called “Special Representative,” “Governor,” “Special Envoy,” and “Consul.”

The justifications for setting up the occupation administration in Iraq, similarly to Bosnia-Herzegovina, where originally humanitarian and national stabilization. However, the main objectives of the Coalition Provisional Authority were to decentralize the state and implement a mass privatization program.

It is no coincidence that Bosnia-Herzegovina was divided alongside ethnic and religious lines: Serb, Croat, and Bosniak; Christian Muslim. To these various ethnic-religious divisions, however, further sectarian divisions were created: Eastern Orthodoxy versus Roman Catholicism.

A similar strategy of “divide and rule” was applied in Iraq. Just like in the former Yugoslavia the centralized economic system of Iraq was also shattered by the occupying administration. Under the Anglo-American occupation and its Coalition Provisional Authority foreign corporations entered Iraq in a second wave of foreign invasion, an economic takeover.

The neo-colonial project is based on two inderdependent building blocks: a military stage executed by NATO and process of political, social and economic restructuring executed by the U.S. and E.U. with the help of corrupt local leaders. The shock and awe of war opens the door for destabilization followed by “nation building” or the restructuring process, which even attacks the cultural and social roots of the target nation-state.

The Economic Colonization of Kosovo

The economic affairs of Kosovo are to be exclusively under the hands of the E.U. in partnership with the United States. The euro was already being used in Kosovo, despite of the protests of Belgrade, as the official currency for a number of years before 2008. The utilization of the euro was part of the process of untying the Kosovar economy from the rest of the Serbian economy and a means of establishing control over the sovereignty of Kosovo via monetary and financial means.

The Kosovar flag has been designed to match both the flags of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the European Union. The Bosnian flag was also designed to match the flag of the European Union.

This unraveling process has been the modus operandi throughout the former Yugoslavia. The key players behind this process are the usual players; the U.S., Germany, Britain, and France, which have been sharing the spoils of war and economic colonization in the former Yugoslavia. NATO and the E.U. have been the agents of this process on behalf of all four Western powers.

An Illegal Precedent: Paving the Way for the Dismantlement of other Nation-States

In the realm of international law, a Pandora’s Box has been opened. A new form of interventionism which threatens nation-states has emerged. Worldwide, nations have been divided into two camps in regards to Kosovo: those that recognize it at the expense of international law and those that do not recognize Kosovar independence.

There are profound implications in regards to the events in Yugoslavia. The law of the jungle and the concept that “might is right” have been unveiled as the true ideals of E.U. and American foreign policy. From Somalia, Sudan, and Iraq to the Russian Federation and Central Asia, a dangerous precedent has been established. The latter is intent upon fracturing and dividing.

The E.U. and NATO have also threatened Belgrade and the Serbian people with military action if they try and keep Kosovo. NATO had prepared for Kosovar independence through the holding of war games in late-2007. As Germany has admitted, negotiations for a solution were never taken seriously by Western powers from the start. NATO’s military preparations for the secession of Kosovo suggests that the negotiations were a diplomatic game, which was intended to succeed.

The global ramifications of EU-US interentionism are significant. Nations combating secessionist movements worldwide have voiced disapproval of the Kosovar declaration of Independence, while espressing apprehension regarding the enthusiastic support shown by American, German, British, and French officials.

China has voiced disapproval out of fears that Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) may declare independence under the precedent set by Kosovo. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Spain, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Russia have all voiced opposition because of their own secessionist movements such as the Tamil Tigers and the Basque separatist group ETA.

Ramifications of the Kosovo Precedent in the Caucasus and the Former Soviet Space

While fully acknowledging the fact that the Kosovo precedent is internationally illegal, Moscow has nonetheless used the Kosovo precedent against Georgia. Moscow’s objective is to strengthen its control in the geo-strategically important Caucasus region. Georgia has opposed the push by Kosovar Albanians for independence because of secessionist movements in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Adjara. While Adjaran separatism has become prominent, Abkhazia and South Ossetia have standing armies, with close ties to Moscow, and are virtually independent.

Russia is arguing that if the U.S. and E.U. recognize the independence of Kosovo, then the independence of Abkhazia and South Oesstia must also be recognized.

The Kosovar declaration of independence also has ramifications for Trans-Dniester (also known as Transnistria or Transdniestria), a tiny breakaway Russian-majority portion of Moldava.

The effects of Kosovar independence have also been watched carefully by the leaders of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, because of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict. In the cases of Trans-Dniester, Nagorno-Krabakh, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia, all four breakaway republics believe they have far stronger cases for lobbying for official recognition by the Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), Russia, and the United Nations.

Map

Preparing a Dangerous Precedent for the Middle East and Beyond

The ghosts of Versailles and earlier schemes still hunt humanity. U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s seemingly good intentioned declaration of creating an arc of “national self-determination” stretching from the Baltic Sea and the Balkans to the Middle East after the First World War is coming into fruition.

Since the First World War, the larger and more powerful states of Eastern Europe and the Middle East have progressively been carved up into smaller and weaker states. This process was part of a colonial project to control the Eurasian Heartland [2]

The board is being set for the recognition of new states in a redrawn Middle East in total disregard for international law. The Kosovar declaration of independence from Serbia is part of the broader post-Cold War balkanization and dismantlement of Yugoslavia. Kosovar “independence” serves to extend Anglo-American and Franco-German influence across the globe. This model is tied in a straight line with the forthcoming plans in the Middle East to breakup countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Iran in fragmented and easy to control protectorates managed by the E.U., the U.S., and Israel.

Russia and China also are aware of the real danger of dividing their territory as has been advocated for years by Anglo-American policy makes in Washington, D.C. and London. Iran is also aware of a Kosovo-like scenario planned for its predominately Arab regions in Khuzestan. The declaration of independence was also closely watched by the Kurdish Regional Government of Northern Iraq.

Middle East map

larger view

The synchronization of other global events with Kosovo Independence: Coincidence?

The “Arc of Instability” is yet again being exasperated and agitated. In Pakistan threats of civil war and balkanization loom large. In the Levant one of Hezbollah’s top officials, Imad Mughniyeh, was assassinated in Syria by a car bomb similarly to those killing Lebanese politicians.

Most probably Imad Mughniyeh was assassinated by the Mossad, the intelligence agency of Israel. American, Jordanian, Saudi, French, British, and German intelligence were almost all likely to be involved. It is an open secret that all these intelligence agencies have been collaborating together in Lebanon against Hezbollah and have been behind attempts to assassinate Hezbollah leaders. The timing of the assassination is extremely suspicious.

Mughniyeh’s assassination also came just before the anniversary of the Hariri Assassination and could have been meant to further galvanized political tensions in Lebanon. Israel has denied being behind the assassination, but it is now talking about a new war with Lebanon that it conveniently plans to blame Hezbollah for starting with the help of Syria and Iran.

The rupture of multiple conflicts and crises can be a means to also encircle and envelope the westernmost periphery of Russia within an arc of conflict or in other words there may be a deliberate attempt to supersaturate the “Arc of Instability” to paralyze Russia and other opposing players.

A Prepackaged Solution: Supranationalism?

The leadership in Serbia is playing a balancing act between its people and foreign interests. The Serbian people are against the foreign agenda in their region, but the leadership in Serbia is the spawn of a Western-funded and supported Velvet Revolution that occurred in 2000 and ousted Slobodan Milosevic. A large portion of Belgrade’s leadership supports the foreign agenda and has been co-opted into the neo-liberal restructuring project for the Balkans. The fact that the U.S. and the E.U. became major paymasters for Serbia after the Kosovo War is a mere testimony to this.

Surpanationalism or entry into the E.U. or a larger supranational entity for both Serbia and Kosovo is most probably going to be presented as the solution for Kosovar independence. Similar such a solution may also be presented for a balkanized Middle East through such projects as the Mediterranean Union. Supranationalism is also being pressed as an answer to the unification of Cyprus under the Mediterranean Union.

Returning to Serbia and Kosovo, many of the leaders of Serbia are opposing Kosovar succession, but this is merely a façade that is meant to occupy the minds of the Serbian general public. These same leaders are taking a soft stance on the issue and also moving towards integration into the European Union. To them, like the case of Québec, supranationalism is a solution.

On the Eve of the New World Order: Welcome to the Rule of the Jungle

While the E.U. pushes for a bridge to end national and ethnic divisions amongst its own members it does the opposite in the cases of Kosovo and other regions. Is not the American Civil War marked with honour, because the Union States fought a war to keep the Confederate States within the “American Union” by force?

Whatever the case, the hypocrisy of the E.U. and the U.S. in international relations is exposed by the recognition of Kosovar independence. Firstly, it is a breach of international law, but also it is insincere and for self-serving motives and not because of genuine principles or concerns for the people of Kosovo.

In addition, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has a far more legitimate case of being recognized in addition to its own institutions and maturity. Although there is a secure and stable means to peacefully address the desires of the Basque and the Catalans in the Pyrenees and the Flemish in the Flanders region of Belgium, these separatist movements are also ignored.

The Armenian majority in Nagorno-Karabakh declared independence on December 10, 1991. Yet, the self-proclaimed and functioning breakaway republic enjoys no backing from either the U.S. or the E.U. unlike Kosovo. What sets Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, and Trans-Dniester apart from Kosovo? The answer is: Anglo-American and Franco-German interests represented through the E.U. and NATO are the forces behind self-serving “exceptionalism” — the same force that permitted the Nazis to believe that they could colonize Eastern Europe and the Eurasian Heartland without guilt.

American and European Union leaders have argued that the Serbs are no longer morally capable of managing the affairs of Kosovo. What gives the governments of the U.S., Germany, France, and Britain any moral capability after years of blood baths and a deficit in credibility? If these claims where based on any principle then what about the case of the Palestinians? Does Israel have any moral capability to occupy the Palestinians? Yet, the occupation continues. Ironically it is not Serbian troops who occupy Kosovo, but NATO troops and tanks.

NOTES

[1] Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, (Montreal, Global Research, 2003), pp.257-277.

[2] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The “Great Game:” Eurasia and History of War, Global Research, December 3, 2007.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is an independent writer based in Ottawa specializing in Middle Eastern affairs. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: crgeditor@yahoo.com

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Russia withdraws from arms treaty

December 12, 2007
Russia withdraws from arms treaty
 
 

The pullout means Russia can now move troops around the country without notifying Nato [AFP]
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In a statement, the ministry said: “Such a step has been caused by the exceptional circumstances connected to the content of the treaty which concern the security of Russia and demand that we take immediate measures.”

 

Russian troops can now be moved around the country without notifying Nato.

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Restoring military might

Signed in 1990 and modified in 1999, the CFE places precise limits on the stationing of troops and heavy weapons from the Atlantic coast to Russia’s Ural mountains.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, who has made a priority of restoring Russian military might, signed a decree ordering Moscow’s suspension of the treaty last month.

The foreign ministry said that Russia was no longer “constrained by the limitations placed on arms deployments on its flanks”.

However, it said: “We have no current plans to accumulate massive armaments on our neighbours’ borders.”

In theory, Russia can return to the treaty at anytime, but analysts say that is unlikely, given mounting East-West distrust.

Rising tensions

The demise of the CFE comes on top of tensions around US plans to install a missile-defence shield in Nato members Poland and the Czech Republic.

Russia has also threatened to leave another major treaty, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

At the heart of Russia’s complaints regarding the CFE is Nato’s failure to ratify the amended 1999 version of the treaty, taking into account the huge changes wrought by the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Nato countries say they cannot ratify the 1999 version because Russian troop presence in the ex-Soviet states of Georgia and Moldova violates the treaty, a charge Moscow rejects.

In addition, Moscow has been pushing for changes to CFE limits on moving troops to the European western flank of the vast country.

Anatoly Antonov, a director at the foreign ministry, said: “Imagine that President Bush cannot move his forces from  California to the New York region. It’s ridiculous.”

‘Treaty dead’

Observers said the long list of problems made the CFE unlikely to get back on track.

Pavel Felgenhauer, a military analyst, said: “The treaty is dead.”

Felgenhauer said: “It is practically inevitable that Russia will begin moving weapons west, primarily to borders of Baltic states.”

“It makes a lot of economic sense to move forces from Siberia to Leningrad district, because it’s two or three times more expensive to keep them in Siberia.

“It will also send a powerful signal to the West. It’s a win-win situation for Russia.”

New Cold War: Great Game for Supremacy in the New World Order? by Andrew G. Marshall

October 31, 2007

New Cold War: Great Game for Supremacy in the New World Order? by Andrew G. Marshall

Dandelion Salad

by Andrew G. Marshall
Global Research, October 31, 2007

Imperial Playground:

The Story of Iran in Recent History

PART 4:

There has been much talk in recent months of a return to the Cold War, as increasingly there is growing disparities and tensing relations between the West, namely the Anglo-Americans, and the Russian Federation, the former Soviet Union, as well as China. ‘Is the Cold War Back?’ as the headline of a Reuters article asked, stating, “Russia has revived its Soviet-era practice of continuous long-range bomber patrols, sending 14 aircraft on such missions in the latest in a series of moves apparently designed to show off Russia’s new-found assertiveness,” and that “Russia’s military is now receiving a major injection of cash to modernise ageing equipment — including new planes — after years of under-funding and neglect since the Soviet Union ceased to exist.”1 Recent plans made public that the United States is building missile shields in Eastern European countries has sparked equal controversy over a revival of a Cold War. As the Austrian Defense Minister Norbert Darabos stated in late August of 2007, “That the United States are installing a defense shield in eastern Europe is a provocation in my view,” and that, “The U.S. has chosen the wrong path in my opinion. There is no point in building up a missile defense shield in Europe. That only unnecessarily rekindles old Cold War debates.”2 The article continued in saying, “The United States plans to deploy elements of its shield — designed to intercept and destroy missiles from ‘rogue states’ like Iran and North Korea — in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia sees the initiative near its borders as a threat to its own security. On Tuesday Russia’s military chief told the Czech Republic that hosting the shield would be a ‘big mistake’. Darabos said he saw no danger from Iranian long range missiles and the United States should try for a different solution.”

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which is largely controlled by the Anglo-American establishment, has also been stepping up Cold War actions. NATO was created as a treaty during the early years of the Cold War as a method of forming an alliance against the Communist powers of the world, which had a parallel treaty organization, known as the Warsaw Pact. So if the near entire life span of this organization was in containing communist countries, namely the Soviet Union, it does not seem unlikely that it would return to what it does best. As the Sunday Telegraph reported in late August of 2007, “NATO vessels are closely monitoring the sea trials of Russia’s latest submarine, following Moscow’s increasingly provocative tests of Western airspace. In the latest twist to worsening East-West relations, Nato submarines and surface ships, which may include Royal Navy vessels, are trying to gather information on the new Amur class boat being tested in the Baltic,” and that, “The greater-than-normal scrutiny is, in part, a response to Russia’s decision to resume long-range bomber flights close to Nato airspace which has revived memories of Cold War confrontation between the two blocs,” and it further mentioned that, “Twice this summer, Russian Tu-95 nuclear bombers have been spotted heading towards British airspace off Scotland, prompting the RAF [Royal Air Force] to send intercepting aircraft to warn them off. On another occasion, Russian planes came within striking distance of the US Pacific airbase of Guam.”3

The article continues in explaining, “Apart from the threat it [the Russian submarine] poses as part of the Russian navy, Moscow is believed to have won contracts to export it to other states such as Venezuela, which is challenging the United States’ influence in Latin America. Russia also exports weapons to Iran and Sudan, although there is no sign yet that either country plans to buy an Amur class submarine. The fact that President Vladimir Putin’s regime is testing a powerful new addition to the Russian navy – after its fleet went through years of decline – shows a new military build-up is underway.” The article further stated, “Russia’s neighbour Georgia claimed yesterday that it, too, was being intimidated by Moscow. Russian jets, the government said, had twice entered its airspace this week. Earlier this month, a Russian warplane had fired a missile at a village on its territory. But Russia protested its innocence yesterday, accusing Georgia of inventing the charge to stir up tensions. Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations said that the bomb fragments produced as evidence were of foreign origin.”

On this growing issue between Russia and Georgia, Press TV reported that, “Georgia’s aim to accelerate its joining the NATO by playing risky power games with Russia can stretch Moscow’s patience too far, observers say. ‘There is a threat’ that rising tensions between the two former Soviet republics could provoke a confrontation, said Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent Russian defense analyst,” and that, “During the 2006 winter, Russian gas supplies to Georgia were cut off for prolonged repairs on a pipeline. A few months later, Russia banned the import of wine and mineral water from Georgia. Then, in September 2006, Georgia arrested four Russian officers charged for spying. This prompted Russia to suspend all direct transport and postal links, as well as to deport hundreds of Georgian immigrants from Russia. Russia has also given political and economic backing to two Georgian separatist regions.”4

It was also reported that, “The Russian ambassador to the Court of St James’s rejects US statements over the controversial Missile Defense project to be exclusively against Iran. ‘There is no convincing explanation for the installation of the US Missile Defense in eastern Asia,’ said Yuri Viktorovich Fedotov in an interview with BBC Radio. ‘Despite what US calls a missile defense shield against Iran, the project is a threat for Russia and other countries,’ Fedotov added,” and that “The statements are made as recent diplomatic conflict between Britain and Russia over the missile defense project and the verbal war for the extradition of a Russian agent accused of being involved in the murder of Alexander [Litvinenko] in London has escalated.”5

In early September of 2007, it was reported by the BBC that, “The UK’s Royal Air Force has launched fighter jets to intercept eight Russian military planes flying in airspace patrolled by Nato, UK officials say. Four RAF F3 Tornado aircraft were scrambled in response to the Russian action, the UK’s defence ministry said. The Russian planes – long-range bombers – had earlier been followed by Norwegian F16 jets.”6 Also in early September it was reported by the Financial Times that, “The Chinese military hacked into a Pentagon computer network in June in the most successful cyber attack on the US defence department, say American –officials. The Pentagon acknowledged shutting down part of a computer system serving the office of Robert Gates, defence secretary, but declined to say who it believed was behind the attack. Current and former officials have told the Financial Times an internal investigation has revealed that the incursion came from the People’s Liberation Army [of China].”7

As well as this, it was reported that, “Taiwan’s cabinet agreed Wednesday to hike military spending by nearly 15 percent in next year’s budget in an apparent signal of its resolve against rival China. Under a draft budget, which has to be confirmed by parliament, the defence ministry is setting aside 345.9 billion Taiwan dollars (10.5 billion US), up 44.6 billion Taiwan dollars, the cabinet said in a statement,” and that, “The rise in spending is mainly aimed at financing procurement of military equipment, including US-made P-3C submarine-hunting aircraft. Washington, the island’s leading arms supplier despite not having formal diplomatic ties, has repeatedly asked Taipei to display its determination to defend itself by boosting military spending. The Chinese government had in May announced the biggest increase in its military budget in recent years, saying its spending in 2007 would rise 17.8 percent from last year to 350.9 billion yuan (about 45 billion dollars),” and the article continued in stating, “Reunification with Taiwan is one of China’s long-term strategic objectives, and analysts have said Beijing is beefing up its military partly to enable it to take the island back by force if necessary. China and Taiwan have been separated since the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still considers the island part of its territory. Taiwan has been led since the turn of the century by independence-leaning President Chen Shui-bian, exacerbating fears in Beijing that the island could break away for good.”8

The above mentioned issue is extremely important, as it was reported back in 2005 by the Financial Times that, “China is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the US if it is attacked by Washington during a confrontation over Taiwan, a Chinese general said on Thursday. ‘If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China’s territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons,’ said General Zhu Chenghu. Gen Zhu was speaking at a function for foreign journalists organised, in part, by the Chinese government. He added that China’s definition of its territory included warships and aircraft,” and the General continued in saying, “If the Americans are determined to interfere [then] we will be determined to respond,” as well as stating, “We . . . will prepare ourselves for the destrucion of all of the cities east of Xian. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds . . . of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.”9 The article further mentioned, “Gen Zhu is a self-acknowledged ‘hawk’ who has warned that China could strike the US with long-range missiles. But his threat to use nuclear weapons in a conflict over Taiwan is the most specific by a senior Chinese official in nearly a decade.” So, essentially what this is suggesting is that in the case that China attempts to take back Taiwan, which it consistently threatens to do, even if it requires military force, and the US responds militarily in any way, which they have said they would in such an event, even if the act is firing on a Chinese ship, then the response of China would be to engage in nuclear war with the United States.

In early September of 2007, it was reported by the BBC that, “Britain has privately complained to Beijing that Chinese-made weapons are being used by the Taleban to attack British troops in Afghanistan. The BBC has been told that on several occasions Chinese arms have been recovered after attacks on British and American troops by Afghan insurgents.”10

Russia has extremely close ties with Iran, as it was reported back in 2005 that, “Russia has agreed to sell more than $1 billion worth of missiles and other defense systems to Iran,” and that, “The Interfax and ITAR-Tass news agencies cited unidentified sources in the Russian military-industrial complex as saying that Russian and Iranian officials had signed contracts in November that would send up to 30 Tor-M1 missile systems to Iran over the next two years.”11 In January of 2007, the Jerusalem Post reported that, “Voicing extreme concern over Russia’s recent sale of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, senior diplomatic and defense officials warned Moscow Tuesday that the deal could have serious security implications that would even ‘get back to Russia.’ Senior officials in Jerusalem said they ‘were not pleased’ with the sale of the anti-aircraft missiles, but that Russia was a sovereign country and they could not intervene. They did, however, issue a warning: ‘We hope they understand that this is a threat that could come back to them as well.’ Earlier Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Moscow had sent air defense missiles to Teheran, the first high-level confirmation that their delivery took place despite US complaints. Ivanov did not specify how many missile systems had been delivered.”12

On top of military agreements, Russia and Iran also have close ties economically and politically, and Russia is even helping Iran build a nuclear power plant. It was reported in September of 2007 that, “The Bushehr nuclear power plant that Russia is building in Iran will be commissioned no earlier than the fall of 2008, a source in the Russian nuclear sector said. The date for commissioning the $1 billion project in the south of the country, the Islamic Republic’s first NPP built by Russia, was postponed due to delays in Iranian payments to the contractor.”13 So, clearly, Russia has vested interests inside Iran, and has even gone so far as to help in building a nuclear power plant inside Iran, in a sign of a growing relationship between the two countries, and a very apparent signal that Russia is supporting Iran’s efforts to nuclear power, thusly, taking a position in opposition to the Anglo-American Alliance, and even the Franco-German Entente.

This is evident in as much as Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, back in 2006 had advised “to act without delay to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, saying that Iran had ‘blatantly crossed the line’,” and that “The chancellor compared Iran’s nuclear policy to the Nazi party’s rise to power in Germany, warning that in the past the nations of the world refused to take a stance against concrete threats, enabling some of history’s greatest catastrophes.”14 The newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated in August of 2007, that, “a diplomatic push by the world’s powers to rein in Tehran’s nuclear program was the only alternative to ‘an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran’,” and that, “In his first major foreign policy speech, Sarkozy emphasized his existing foreign policy priorities, such as opposing Turkish membership of the European Union and pushing for a new Mediterranean Union that he hopes will include Ankara,” and the article went on to report that, “Sarkozy said a nuclear-armed Iran would be unacceptable and that major powers should continue their policy of incrementally increasing sanctions against Tehran while being open to talks if Iran suspended nuclear activities.” The article then quoted Sarkozy as saying, “This initiative is the only one that can enable us to escape an alternative that I say is catastrophic: the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran,” and he continued, “Russia is imposing its return on the world scene by using its assets, notably oil and gas, with a certain brutality,” of which the article continued, “Energy disputes between Russia and neighbors such as Belarus and Ukraine have raised doubts in Europe about Moscow’s reliability as a gas exporter. It supplies Europe, via its neighbors, with around a quarter of its gas demands. Sarkozy had warm words for the United States, saying friendship between the two countries was important. But he said he felt free to disagree with American policies, highlighting what he called a lack of leadership on the environment.”15 I find it comical that Sarkozy talks of Russia saying that, “When one is a great power, one should not be brutal,” yet he had ‘warm words’ for the US, of which I know no other country that is so brutal as a great power.

The Washington Post reported in early September of 2007, that, “U.S. plans to site parts of a missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic are ‘politically dangerous,’ former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Saturday. ‘From my point of view the missile defense system is politically dangerous. It is perceived as an attempt to isolate Russia, which is not in Europe’s political interests,’ said Schroeder, who is a personal friend of President Vladimir Putin,” and that, “The United States wants to base interceptor missiles and a radar system in Poland and the Czech Republic, saying it needs protection against missile attacks from what it terms ‘rogue states’ like Iran and North Korea. Russia has reacted furiously, saying the plan will upset a delicate strategic balance between major powers and poses a threat to its own security. Schroeder said the plan was not in the European Union’s interests either.” The article continued, “Although trade and investment are booming, diplomatic relations between Russia and the European Union have deteriorated sharply over the past year. This is partly because of Russia’s squabbles with the Union’s new members such as Poland, which were once part of the Soviet bloc and are now wary of Moscow’s rising influence.”16

Remember Zbigniew Brzezinski? The Trilateral Commission founder, architect of the Afghan-Soviet War and ‘Arc of Crisis’ Strategy, who wrote the geo-strategic blueprint for American global hegemony, The Grand Chessboard, in which he stated, “Potentially, the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an ‘antihegemonic’ coalition united not by ideology but by complementary grievances. It would be reminiscent in scale and scope of the challenge once posed by the Sino-Soviet bloc.”17 Well, within ten years of writing his book, Brzezinski’s predictions became quite true, as an alternative strategic bloc to the NATO countries has been set up, called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [SCO]. It was officially founded in 2001 [after initial agreements in 1996] by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In 2006, it was reported that, “Six member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Wednesday agreed to stage a joint anti-terror military exercise in 2007 in Russia, according to a joint communiqué,” and that, “Except Uzbekistan, other five countries of the SCO held their first-ever joint anti-terror exercise within the framework of the SCO in August 2003, with the first phase in Kazakhstan and the second in China. As new threats and challenges, such as terrorism, separatism, extremism and cross-border crimes, are becoming increasingly prominent, the regional and international cooperation are required.”18

In 2003, it was reported that the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), “signed a multilateral economic cooperation Framework Agreement in Beijing on 23 September to ‘deepen’ their mutual economic connections and ‘improve the investment environment’. At the meeting, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao made three proposals. He wanted members to set as a long-term objective the establishment of a free trade area within the SCO; elaborate a series of more immediate measures such as improving the flow of goods across the member-states and reducing non-tariff barriers such as customs, quarantine, standards and transport services; and create large projects on economic and technological cooperation, giving priority to those in transportation, energy, telecommunication, agriculture, home appliances, light industry and textiles.”19

Apart from the main members of the SCO, there are also countries which are permitted Observer Status, meaning they won’t take part in the war games, but will be official observers of them and still develop closer ties with the SCO. As the Guardian reported in 2006, “At the one day annual summit of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on June 15, more limelight fell on the leader of an observer country than on any of the main participants. That figure happened to be the controversial president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Despite the lowly observer status accorded to his country, Ahmadinejad went on to publicly invite the SCO members to a meeting in Tehran to discuss energy exploration and development in the region. And the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, proposed that the SCO should form an ‘energy club’. While making a plea that his country should be accorded full membership of the SCO, the Pakistani president, Parvez Musharraf, highlighted the geo-strategic position of his country as an energy and trade corridor for SCO members. ‘Pakistan provides a natural link between the SCO states to connect the Eurasian heartland with the Arabian Sea and South Asia,’ he said,” and the article continued, “Founded in 1996 primarily to settle frontier problems between China and its post-Soviet neighbors – Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan – the SCO expanded three years later to include Uzbekistan, which does not share common borders with China or Russia, the two countries at the core of the SCO. Since then SCO has developed as an organization concerned with regional security, thus focusing on counter-terrorism, defense, and energy cooperation. Energy-hungry China has its eyes fixed on the large oil and gas reserves that Russia and Kazakhstan possess, and even the modest gas reserves of Uzbekistan.” The article further mentioned that, “Iran applied for full membership; as did India,” as well as the fact that, “Last year [2005] when the SCO accorded observer status to four countries, it rejected a similar request from the United States,” and it continued, “The rising importance and coherence of the SCO worries Washington – as well as its closest Asian ally, Japan. ‘The SCO is becoming a rival block to the US alliance,’ said a senior Japanese official recently. ‘It does not share our values. We are watching it very closely’.”20

Further, it was reported in April of 2006 by the Asia Times that, “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which maintained it had no plans for expansion, is now changing course. Mongolia, Iran, India and Pakistan, which previously had observer status, will become full members. SCO’s decision to welcome Iran into its fold constitutes a political statement. Conceivably, SCO would now proceed to adopt a common position on the Iran nuclear issue at its summit meeting June 15,” and that, “Visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mohammadi told Itar-TASS in Moscow that the membership expansion ‘could make the world more fair’. And he spoke of building an Iran-Russia ‘gas-and-oil arc’ by coordinating their activities as energy producing countries. Mohammadi also touched on Iran’s intention to raise the issue of his country’s nuclear program and its expectations of securing SCO support.”21 Although, to this day, Iran’s membership has not been made official, making it a de-facto member of the SCO, much in the same sense that Israel is a de-facto member of NATO.22

In August of 2007, it was reported that, “Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the proposed US missile defense shield in central Europe would pose a threat to Asia. At a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Ahmadinejad said such a plan goes beyond threatening one country and it is a source of concern for most of the continent. Washington is planning to station a radar station in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland. Ahmadinejad added the six SCO member states, including China, are among those countries who are threatened by the US plan. He also criticized the US military attack on Iraq, which has destabilized the entire region. Iran has observer status in the SCO, which groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.”23

As for the relationship between China and Iran, it was reported in 2006 that, “Chinese President Hu Jintao called Friday for closer ties with Iran as he met his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the first time, while the United States followed events in Shanghai warily,” and that, “China and Iran have long had close economic ties, especially in the oil and gas fields, and are in negotiations over an energy deal that was tentatively inked in 2004 and could be worth more than 100 billion dollars. As part of the initial memorandum of understanding, Sinopec, China’s largest refiner, would buy 250 million tons of liquefied natural gas over 25 years, which alone could be worth more than 100 billion dollars. However, despite a series of Chinese delegations going to Tehran, the deal has yet to be finalized. Ahmadinejad arrived in China on Wednesday to participate in the leaders’ summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional forum that is increasingly being seen as a counterweight to US influence in Central Asia.”24

As we can see, this is not simply a strategy of Anglo-American interests at play in the region, as it is always necessary to take a look at the broader geopolitical implications of this region, especially in relation to the European Union, dominated by the Franco-German Entente, and most notably Russia and China. A competition for control of the region is very much underway, as whomever, or whichever powers control Central Eurasia (the Middle East and Central Asia); those same powers will then have control over the world’s primary oil and gas reserves and transportation, and thusly, will exert hegemonic influence over the entire world. With Russia, increasingly gaining strength and influence like never before since the fall of the Soviet Union, China, a rising world power whose thirst and demand for oil is the fastest growing in the world and whose future as a great power depends upon getting its hands on such resources, and with the European Union, a close ally of the Anglo-American Alliance, yet still has its own interests at heart so it, too, is increasingly attempting a relationship with Russia, which has massive natural gas reserves itself. The EU hopes to balance its relationships, so as to always remain on the winning end, however, as time goes forward, it may have to choose sides. Relations between the West, especially the Anglo-Americans, and the former Soviet Union grow tense, the EU may be caught in the middle and China forced to make strategic alliances.

It is clear that future military operations in Central Asia and the Middle East will not be like the previous occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, whereas Afghanistan remains under NATO control (the Anglo-American Alliance in collaboration with the Franco-German entente), and Iraq under Anglo-American occupation, but with little more than rhetorical opposition from observing countries around the world. The world accepted the occupation of Afghanistan under the guise of retribution for the 9/11 attacks, and the world stood by as Iraq was put under imperial control. But now the pieces have been set, the world sees the strategy, even though the general public may not, and other great powers have their fates vested in the region, such as Russia, China, the EU and most of the world at large, so to stand idly by now and do nothing as Anglo-American imperial expansion envelopes the entire region would be suicidal. It is in the interest of survival for Russia, China and the EU to maintain influence and control in the region. To do this, each will have to make strategic alliances, as is currently being done.

These activities have caused recent exclamations of a return to the Cold War era, however, I see it as something much more sinister and dangerous. Remember, the Cold War was referred to as “Cold” because it involved no actual fighting between the two main enemies, the United States and the USSR, or the NATO countries against the Warsaw Pact countries. In actuality, I would argue that what we are seeing take place is in fact a return not to the Cold War, but to the Great Game, which was the competition between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Central Asia from the early 1800s arguably up until the end of World War 2, when the Cold War began. One of the major theaters of war between Britain and Russia during the Great Game was Afghanistan, where the first Anglo-Afghan War began in 1838, the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1878, a brief alliance occurred between Russia and Britain in the early 20th Century, then the Third Anglo-Afghan War occurred in 1919, otherwise known as the second phase of the Great Game. During the Cold War, or the third phase of the Great Game, Afghanistan was the major theater of operations between the United States (Anglo-Americans) and Russia (Soviet Union) from the late 1970s to the late 1980s, ultimately leading to a collapse of the Soviet Union and an end to the ‘Cold War’. Now, after another brief alliance between the Anglo-American Alliance and Russia, just as occurred in the early years of the previous century starting in 1907, leading up to World War 1, it seems that now, in 2007, the fourth phase of this 200-year long Great Game for dominance over Central Asia has begun. Now made all the more dangerous with other great power interests such as the European Union and rising China, not to mention the existence and discussion of the use of nuclear weapons.

Rising Tensions and Quiet Mentions of War

Lately, there has been a significant increase in tensions between the West, predominantly the Anglo-Americans and Iran, and its respective allies, namely, Syria. These escalations in tension and conflict suggest a rapid strategy of progression to an all out war on the Islamic Republic of Iran, and possibly a wider array of countries in the region, leading to a full region-wide war.

In late August of 2007, the Sunday Telegraph reported that, “The White House’s plans to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organisation are intended to give the Bush administration cover if it launches military strikes on the Islamic republic, according to a prominent former CIA officer. Robert Baer, who was a high-ranking operative in the Middle East, said last week that senior government officials had told him the administration was preparing for air strikes on the guards’ bases and probably also on Iran’s nuclear facilities within the next six months,” and the article continues, “But among President George W Bush’s closest advisers, there is a fierce debate about whether to take unilateral military action independently of any UN security council moves. While Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set on diplomacy, Vice-President Dick Cheney is understood to favour air strikes. The justification for any attack, according to Mr Baer, would be claims – denied by Iran – that the guards are responsible for the sophisticated armour-penetrating improvised explosive devices that are exacting a heavy toll on US forces in Iraq.”25

On September 2, 2007, the Sunday Times reported that, “The Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians’ military capability in three days, according to a national security expert. Alexis Debat, director of terrorism and national security at the Nixon Center, said last week that US military planners were not preparing for ‘pinprick strikes’ against Iran’s nuclear facilities. ‘They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military’,” and it continued, “President George Bush intensified the rhetoric against Iran last week, accusing Tehran of putting the Middle East ‘under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust’. He warned that the US and its allies would confront Iran ‘before it is too late’.”26

A September 3 article in the Sunday Telegraph stated, “In a nondescript room, two blocks from the American Capitol building, a group of Bush administration staffers is gathered to consider the gravest threat their government has faced this century: the testing of a nuclear weapon by Iran. The United States, no longer prepared to tolerate the risk that Iranian nuclear weapons will be used against Israel, or passed to terrorists, has already launched a bombing campaign to destroy known Iranian nuclear sites, air bases and air defence sites. Iran has retaliated by cutting off oil to America and its allies, blockading the Straits of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf bottleneck, and sanctioned an uprising by Shia militias in southern Iraq that has shut down 60 per cent of Iraq’s oil exports. The job of the officials from the Pentagon, the State Department, and the Departments of Homeland Security and Energy, who have gathered in an office just off Massachusetts Avenue, behind the rail terminus, Union Station, is to prevent a spike in oil prices that will pitch the world’s economy into a catastrophic spin.” The article then said, “The good news is that this was a war game; for those who fear war with Iran, the less happy news is that the officials were real. The simulation, which took four months, was run by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank with close links to the White House. Its conclusions, drawn up last month and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, have been passed on to military and civilian planners charged with drawing up plans for confronting Iran. News that elements of the American government are working in earnest on how to deal with the fallout of an attack on Iran come at a tense moment.”27

A report in the Sunday Telegraph stated that, “Senior American intelligence and defence officials believe that President George W Bush and his inner circle are taking steps to place America on the path to war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. Pentagon planners have developed a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran, amid growing fears among serving officers that diplomatic efforts to slow Iran’s nuclear weapons programme are doomed to fail. Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran,” and that, “Now it has emerged that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution, is prepared to settle her differences with Vice-President Dick Cheney and sanction military action. In a chilling scenario of how war might come, a senior intelligence officer warned that public denunciation of Iranian meddling in Iraq – arming and training militants – would lead to cross border raids on Iranian training camps and bomb factories. A prime target would be the Fajr base run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Quds Force in southern Iran, where Western intelligence agencies say armour-piercing projectiles used against British and US troops are manufactured.” The article continued, “US action would provoke a major Iranian response, perhaps in the form of moves to cut off Gulf oil supplies, providing a trigger for air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities and even its armed forces. Senior officials believe Mr Bush’s inner circle has decided he does not want to leave office without first ensuring that Iran is not capable of developing a nuclear weapon.”28

The New Yorker Magazine reported in late August of 2007 that, “If there were a threat level on the possibility of war with Iran, it might have just gone up to orange. Barnett Rubin, the highly respected Afghanistan expert at New York University, has written an account of a conversation with a friend who has connections to someone at a neoconservative institution in Washington,” which revealed that, “They [the source’s institution] have ‘instructions’ (yes, that was the word used) from the Office of the Vice-President [Dick Cheney] to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day; it will be coordinated with the American Enterprise Institute, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, Fox, and the usual suspects. It will be heavy sustained assault on the airwaves, designed to knock public sentiment into a position from which a war can be maintained. Evidently they don’t think they’ll ever get majority support for this—they want something like 35-40 percent support, which in their book is ‘plenty’,” and it continued stating, “It follows the pattern of the P.R. campaign that started around this time in 2002 and led to the Iraq war. The President’s rhetoric on Iran has been nothing short of bellicose lately, warning of ‘the shadow of a nuclear holocaust’.”29

On September 10, Reuters reported that, “The Pentagon is preparing to build a military base near the Iraq-Iran border to try to curtail the flow of advanced Iranian weaponry to Shiite militants across Iraq, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday in its online edition. Quoting Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, the Journal said the Pentagon also plans to build fortified checkpoints on major highways leading from the Iranian border to Baghdad, and install X-ray machines and explosives-detecting sensors at the only formal border crossing between the two countries.”30 On the same day, the Sunday Telegraph reported that, “Iran has established a sophisticated spying operation at the head of the Arabian Gulf in a move which has significantly heightened tensions in its standoff with the United States. The operation, masterminded by the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard, includes the construction of a high-tech spying post close to the point where Iranian forces kidnapped 15 British naval personnel in March. The move has forced British and American commanders to divert resources away from protecting oil platforms in the Gulf from terrorist attack and into countering the new Iranian threat,” and it continued, “The US military says that the spying post, built on the foundations of a crane platform sunk during the Iran-Iraq war, is equipped with radar, cameras and forward facing infra-red devices to track the movement of coalition naval forces and commercial shipping in the northern Arabian Gulf. Commanders fear that one of the main purposes of the Iranian operation is to enable the Revolutionary Guard to intercept more coalition vessels moving through the disputed waters near the mouth of the Shatt al Arab waterway south of the Iraqi city of Basra.”31

Incidentally, two days later, Raw Story ran an article stating, “As tensions between the United States and Iran increases, military action along the Iran-Iraq border intensifies. The latest moves come from America’s primary ally in its invasion of Iraq: Britain. Ostensibly to guard against importation of Iranian weapons and fighters targeting Western troops in Iraq, the UK is sending up to 350 troops to the Iranian border instead of bringing them home, The Independent of London reports Wednesday.” This follows much discussion recently that the UK, under the new unelected Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, was preparing to withdraw from Iraq, leaving the US alone. In fact, the announcement had been made that British troops were to be returning home from Basra, the British-controlled Iraqi city, and as Raw Story pointed out, “The troop move was requested by US commanders, the paper says, and it will delay — perhaps indefinitely — the homecoming of 250 British troops who were told just days ago that they would be returning to the UK as part of a drawdown of forces in Iraq,” and that “Prime Minister Gordon Brown initiated the drawdown, and about 500 British troops completed their withdrawal from Basra Palace, their last remaining base in the city, to an airport on the city’s outskirts. The move was expected to be the final stage in Britain’s complete extraction from Iraq. Wednesday’s report follows on the heels of news that US troops would be establishing a base on the border to guard against Iranian-imported weapons.

Tensions between the US and Iran have gone from bad to dismal in recent years, with some fearing all-out war will erupt between the two countries, and the top US commander in Iraq has refused to rule out that possibility. US Army Gen. David Petraeus demurred Tuesday when he was asked by Sen. Joseph Lieberman whether the war should be expanded ‘in Iranian territory.’ And Petraeus ‘strongly implied’ that action against Iran would be necessary soon, The Independent reported.” On top of this, it was further pointed out that, “Along with British and US troops, Georgia recently sent about 1,200 extra troops to Iraq to patrol the border with Iran.”32

Further, Press TV reported that, “Britain is planning to increase its naval presence in the Persian Gulf by next year, a top British naval commander in the area has revealed. Deputy Combined Force Commander Royal Navy Commodore Keith Winstanley said Monday that Britain has a range of capabilities deployed at various times in the region ranging between submarines, frigates, and destroyers, and that it plans to increase its naval presence by 2008,” and that, “Winstanley, speaking onboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard, added that strategic and economic interests had brought about a policy of engagement by Britain in the region,” and the article said at the end, “The last time there were active mine counter-measures in the region was in March of 2003,”33 which, coincidentally, was the same month that the war in Iraq began.

Not only are the Anglo-Americans fully on board and preparing for a possible attack on Iran, but even the Franco-German Entente seems to be steadily leaning that direction. French President Nicholas Sarkozy made headlines recently when he “called Iran’s nuclear ambition the world’s most dangerous problem,” and further, “raised the possibility that the country could be bombed if it persisted in building an atomic weapon,” as reported by the Sunday Times. The article continued, “The biggest challenge to the world was the avoidance of conflict between Islam and the West, President Sarkozy told the annual gathering of French ambassadors. Iran was the crossroads of the Middle East’s troubles and its nuclear aims ‘are without doubt the most serious crisis that weighs today on the international scene,” and that, “A nuclear-armed Iran would be unacceptable and the world must continue to tighten sanctions while offering incentives to Tehran to halt weapons development, he said. ‘This initiative is the only one that can enable us to escape an alternative that I say is catastrophic: the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran,’ he said. He did not say who would carry out such an attack, which has been suggested by policy experts in Israel and the US.”34 Further, it was reported that, “French Defence Minister Herve Morin warned on Sunday that Iran’s nuclear programme posed a ‘major risk’ to the stability of the Gulf region. ‘It is necessary to make Iran understand that the nuclear risk creates a major risk of destabilising the region,’ Morin told journalists as he wrapped up a visit to the Gulf state of Qatar.”35

On September 14, it was reported that, “Germany denied on Friday that it wanted to hold off on sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. The government dismissed a report on the US TV channel Fox that it had broken ranks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and wanted to delay any sanctions to allow a deal struck between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency on August 21 to take effect,” and it continued, quoting the German foreign ministry spokesman, “Germany is prepared to take the necessary steps against Iran, if necessary,” and that, “The five permanent Security Council members — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — plus Germany are due to meet to discuss a new draft UN resolution on sanctions against Iran on September 21 in Washington. Iran maintains that its nuclear programme is aimed at generating electricity but the United States accuses Tehran of covertly developing atomic weapons.”36

Another conflict, which is directly related to the growing Iranian conflict, has been accumulating significance in the region, as it was reported that, “Syria accused Israel of bombing its territory on Thursday [September 6] and said it could respond to the Jewish state’s ‘aggression and treachery’,” and further, “Israel declined to comment on the charge by Syria, which said no casualties or damage were caused. The Syrian accusation was partly responsible for triggering a rise in world oil prices of more than $1.40 a barrel.”37 Another report stated that, “Syria is mulling a ‘series of responses’ after Israeli warplanes violated its airspace this week, Vice President Faruq al-Shara said in an interview with an Italian newspaper published Saturday. ‘I can say now that in Damascus a series of responses is being examined at the highest political and military levels. The results will not take long in coming’.”38

Press TV reported that, “Syria says Israel is planning to wage another war in the region after the Israeli army staged military exercises on the Golan Heights. The state-run Syrian daily al-Thawra said on Sunday that a recent war game by the Israeli military on the occupied Golan Heights has sent a clear message reflecting Israel’s intention for waging a new war in the region.”39 Another report states that, “Tehran has announced its readiness to assist Damascus by all means to counter the violation of Syrian airspace by Israeli warplanes. Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Mohammad-Hassan Akhtari said the Zionist Regime’s provocative moves had prompted Tehran to offer help to the Syrian government. Earlier Thursday, Syria’s official News Agency reported that several Israeli fighter jets had bombed Syrian territories. However, the Syrian army successfully forced the Israeli warplanes out of the Syrian airspace.”40

A September 12 report stated that, “Israel recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea, The New York Times reported Thursday. A US administration official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria, the Times reported,” and it quoted an unnamed official, stating, “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” and the article further said, “A US defense official confirmed Tuesday that Israel carried out an air strike well inside Syria last week, apparently to send Damascus a message not to rearm Hezbollah in Lebanon. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not know the target of the strike, which was conducted Thursday, but said the US military believed it was to send a message to the Syrians.”41

The Sunday Times later reported that, “It was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way,” and that, “Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea,” and it continued, “The Syrians were also keeping mum. ‘I cannot reveal the details,’ said Farouk al-Sharaa, the vice-president. ‘All I can say is the military and political echelon is looking into a series of responses as we speak. Results are forthcoming.’ The official story that the target comprised weapons destined for Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group, appeared to be crumbling in the face of widespread scepticism.

Andrew Semmel, a senior US State Department official, said Syria might have obtained nuclear equipment from ‘secret suppliers’, and added that there were a ‘number of foreign technicians’ in the country. Asked if they could be North Korean, he replied: ‘There are North Korean people there. There’s no question about that’,” and further, “According to Israeli sources, preparations for the attack had been going on since late spring, when Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, presented Olmert with evidence that Syria was seeking to buy a nuclear device from North Korea.”42
It was then reported that, “An official Syrian daily warned on Sunday that US ‘lies’ over nuclear cooperation with North Korea could serve as a pretext for an attack on Syria following an Israeli violation of its airspace,” and that, “Syria has said its air defences fired on Israeli warplanes which dropped munitions deep inside its territory in the early hours of September 6, triggering intense media speculation about the action. Israel has not confirmed the incident and kept up a policy of official silence, with the only details on the mysterious attack coming from foreign media reports citing anonymous officials.”43

Call It What You Want, It’s All Just a Game

As the prospect of a US-led war on Iran increases by the day, it is vital to understand the history of such actions. This was my intent in writing this essay, as to understand current crises and conflicts evolving in the region, it is important to examine the historical context of such crises over the past 200 years. Dating from the Great Game between the British and Russian empires for control of Central Eurasia, namely fighting for control in Afghanistan and Iran, the reasons behind the Great Game were simply stated as for maintaining hegemonic control. With brief alliances generating between Britain and Russia, formed for strategic conveniences, namely to counter rising German influence in the region in the lead up to World War 1 and during World War 2, the Great Game continued after the Second World War under a different name, the Cold War. For a new century, it was necessary to give a hundred year old strategy a new name, as especially after World War 2, the concepts of hegemony and expansion of control, imperialism in general, were not well received, considering the world just came out of Hitler’s attempt at such a strategy. In 1947, India gained independence from the British Empire, instigating the collapse of its imperial hegemony across the globe.

It was at this time, however, that the United States was now in the most pivotal position to exert its hegemony across the globe. With its extensive ties to Great Britain, the British latched onto the Americans in the Anglo-American Alliance, allowing not only for the US to protect US hegemony and interests abroad, but also British. To do this, however, there needed to be an excuse, as the world would not accept another global hegemon for the sake of hegemony. Thus, the Cold War came into being. Under the guise of deterring the spread of Communism under the auspices of the ‘Domino Theory’, the US managed to expand and protect Anglo-American hegemony around the globe. The Cold War was simply the third phase of the Great Game, as it applied the same strategies used for the previous hundred years, just under a new name and justified under a new threat.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, bringing an end to the Cold War, a New World Order began to form, the birth pangs of which were felt in the Middle East. This New World Order of creating a new global structure, of a more integrated global society, still has many conflicts arising out of it. After World War 1, the League of Nations was created in the hopes of securing a more integrated global community, which ultimately failed with the start of World War 2, after which the United Nations was created to serve the same purpose. Out of each world war, we see the move to create a more global society. Now, after the Cold War ended, we have a new conflict arising between the West and the East. This new conflict is about gaining supremacy in the New World Order, as many great powers seek to sway the balance away from a US-dominated New World Order, and towards a Russian or Chinese New World Order.

In the year 2000, then Chinese President, “Jiang Zemin called for joint efforts of the people of all countries to establish a fair and equitable new international political and economic order,” and he further stated, “With the collapse of the centuries-long colonialist system and the end of half-a-century Cold War, it has become increasingly difficult for hegemonism and power politics to go on and for the very few big powers or blocs of big powers to monopolize international affairs and control the fate of other countries.”44 In 2005, both China and Russia “issued a joint statement on a new world order in the 21st century, setting forth their common stand on major international issues, such as UN reforms, globalization, North-South cooperation, and world economy and trade. The statement was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao after their talks. During their talks, the two leaders discussed ways to further enhance the strategic and cooperative partnership between China and Russia, and exchanged views on major regional and international issues,” and that “The joint statement said the two countries are determined to strengthen their strategic coordination in international affairs.”45 More recently, in 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin called “for a radical overhaul of the world’s financial and trade institutions to reflect the growing economic power of emerging market countries – including Russia. Mr Putin said the world needed to create a new international financial architecture to replace an existing model,” and as the Financial Times further reported, Putin’s “apparent challenge to western dominance of the world economic order came at a forum in St Petersburg designed to showcase the country’s economic recovery. Among 6,000 delegates at the biggest business forum ever held in post-Soviet Russia were scores of international chief executives including heads of Deutsche Bank, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Nestlé, Chevron, Siemens and Coca-Cola. Business deals worth more than $4bn were signed at the conference – including an order by Aeroflot for Boeing jets – as executives said they were continuing to invest in Russia despite deteriorating relations with the west. Mr Putin’s hosting of the forum capped a week in which he dominated the international stage. He warned last Monday that Russia might target nuclear missiles at Europe if the US built a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic,” and Putin’s “speech on financial institutions suggested that, along with an aggressive recent campaign against US ‘unilateralism’ in foreign policy, he was also seeking to challenge western dominance of the world economic order.”46

So clearly, from this last statement especially, we can see that both China and Russia are not opposed to forming a New World Order, which would be largely based on international institutions and integration, both economically and politically, but they are opposed to the West’s dominance of such a world order, and instead, seek to challenge that dominance with their own. Ultimately, the goals are similar, but the methods of getting there is where the West and the East differ. As the above Financial Times article mentioned, large global corporations are still investing in Russia, despite recent setbacks in certain areas, which shows the support for the process of globalization, which has thusly shaped the current world order. International corporations have no allegiance to people or national identities, but rather seek to exert their control across the entire globe, and will support any nations with great influence, so that with the battle for control in shaping the New World Order, the corporations will always be on the winning side. As the multinational corporations seek a more integrated global society, they must first gain control of the world markets, integrating the economies first. With economic integration, political and cultural will follow. The challenge for the great powers of the world is which ones will be dominant in this process, and thusly, which ones will have dominant control over the New World Order.

Out of conflict, comes societal reorganization. We seem to rapidly be heading toward another World War, which would have its starting point with an attack on Iran. Talk of a ‘new Cold War’ is misleading, as if any conflict occurs with Iran, if the US attacks the Islamic Republic, there will be nothing Cold about it. This new conflict, the fourth phase of the Great Game, will give rise to competition between the great powers for control over the Middle East and Central Eurasia in order to achieve hegemony in the New World Order. It is likely that a New Great Game will lead to a New World War, out of which will rise the New World Order. Whichever great powers come out of the next war as the victors, if indeed there are any, it is likely that it will be that power which will lead the New World Order.

As I have mentioned Zbigniew Brzezinski much in this essay, as his relevance to American hegemonic strategy is almost unparalleled, apart from other figures like Henry Kissinger, I feel it is relevant to end with a discussion on testimony that Brzezinski recently gave to the US Senate. In February of 2007, Brzezinski, “the national security adviser in the Carter administration, delivered a scathing critique of the war in Iraq and warned that the Bush administration’s policy was leading inevitably to a war with Iran, with incalculable consequences for US imperialism in the Middle East and internationally,” and Brzezinski was quoted as saying about the Iraq war, “Undertaken under false assumptions, it is undermining America’s global legitimacy. Its collateral civilian casualties as well as some abuses are tarnishing America’s moral credentials. Driven by Manichean principles and imperial hubris, it is intensifying regional instability,” and he continued, describing what he termed a “plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran”, of which he said would involve, “Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks, followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure, then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the US blamed on Iran, culminating in a ‘defensive’ US military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.” [Emphasis added].47

Brzezinski’s startling warning should not be taken for granted. Even though many factions of the ruling class are divided, for example someone like Brzezinski, who is very much opposed to the neo-conservatives, they are all still playing the same game. The game is hegemony and empire, the only difference is that some people and some countries have different methods of playing. In previous centuries, the battle for control of Central Eurasia was called what it was, the Great Game, a game for control, a game for power. The difference between two hundred years ago and today, is that we are in a much more globalized, integrated society, which has turned this Great game into, as Brzezinski aptly named his blueprint for American hegemony, the Grand Chessboard. It’s no longer simply just a great game, but is now simply a board game for the global ruling class. Sacrificing pawns, a simple act for them, can be seen in the eyes of the moral society as the destruction of entire nations and peoples.

There’s only so many players in this game, and they all have the same aim, just different methods of getting there. The unfortunate aspect of this, is that the people of the world are being tossed around like pawns in a chess game. The world is meant for all people, not just a select few, to inhabit and have a say in. So, if these people want to play games, let’s put them back in the playground, because their mentality has yet to surpass that of children during recess.

Mahatma Gandhi, the man who led India to independence from the British Empire, once said, “Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS.”

Notes

Andrew G. Marshall is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Andrew G. Marshall

see
Imperial Playground: Marching East of Iraq by Andrew G. Marshall

Imperial Playground: The Story of Iran in Recent History by Andrew G. Marshall

The New World Order, Forged in the Gulf by Andrew G. Marshall

Attacking Iran for Israel? By Ray McGovern

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The March to War: NATO Preparing for War with Serbia? by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

October 19, 2007

The March to War: NATO Preparing for War with Serbia? by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, October 19, 2007

Today in the globalized realm of international relations everything is interlinked. Eurasia is all but a giant jigsaw in name. Two opposite forces are creating a synthesis. This state is a result of the dynamic and static pushes to infiltrate the Eurasian Heartland and those opposed to the American-led drive of infiltration, the Eurasian reactionary outward counter-drive.

A Second Kosovo War Scenario against Serbia: NATO’s Noble Midas 2007

NATO has performed military exercises based on the scenario of a military conflict in an unnamed breakaway province in the Balkans. [1]  The breakaway province is clearly the predominately Albanian inhabited Serbian province of Kosovo. The exercises took place from September 27 till October 12, 2007 in the Adriatic Sea and Croatia according to the NATO Public Information Office in Naples, Italy. [2] The exercise was inaugurated as a “peace enforcement exercise” in the Adriatic Sea. [3]

The problems that have arisen between Kosovar Albanians and Serbia have been problems that have been mostly fueled by NATO powers. In fact the issue of full independence was not a problem between Serbia and the Kosovar Albanians before 1999. Kosovo’s Albanians also enjoyed autonomy from Belgrade for many years. It has only been under the influence of NATO that animosity has been raised between the two sides.

Croatia and Albania have also participating in the NATO exercise and both are projected to have roles in any future war against Serbia and its regional allies and supporters inside Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro over the fate of Kosovo. Many Croats are also unhappy about their government’s decision to coordinate or cooperate with NATO, which they view with suspicion and as a destabilizing force in the Balkans.

According to a NATO press release, “Approximately 2,000 military and 50 civilian personnel, over 30 ships and submarines and 20 fixed-wing aircraft from NATO and the Croatian Armed Forces will train together in a Crisis Response Operation scenario, where NATO is appointed by the U.N. to build up an immediate reaction in a fictitious country on the brink of civil war.” [4]

It is clear that NATO intends to settle the issue of Kosovo through military means. Rear-Admiral Alain Hinden, the French commandant of the NATO exercise has made a statement that is a dead giveaway about the underlying intentions of NATO in regards to the exercise: “This exercise has been designed for years. The U.N. and NATO are training for this type of real intervention, of humanitarian assistance be it in this region [the Balkans] or anywhere else in the world.” [5]

NATO Military Integration: Preparing the World for a Broader War?

According to the British Broadcasting Service (BBC), “With the military forces of Western [meaning NATO] nations stretched, particularly those of the U.S. and U.K. [in Iraq and Afghanistan], flexibility and adaptability are becoming increasingly important.” [6]

Commander Cunningham, a British naval officer, aboard the H.M.S. Illustrious in the Adriatic Sea, off the coastline of the former Yugoslavia and Albania, has told the BBC’s Nick Hawton that “integrating [NATO] forces at this level has simply not happened before.” [7]

Commander Cunningham also clarified how NATO forces are being merged: “Military equipment is hugely expensive and it’s impossible for each nation to hold individually the whole repertoire. What we’re seeing here is the ability of several nations to provide a capability together that no-one could alone.” [8]

The BBC also quotes Lieutenant Eduardo Lopez, a Spanish air officer or pilot, as saying “right now all these countries [meaning NATO members] are working together. You realise you can operate as a joint force community…” [9]

NATO is clearly pooling its resources together; but what for? The answer lies eastward in the Eurasian Heartland where Russia, Iran, China, and their allies have gradually huddled together in sculpting a far larger Eurasian counter-alliance.

A new cycle of global war seems to be in the works for the Twenty-First Century. According to various reports in Russia approximately a quarter of the population believe that Russia and the U.S. will eventually go to war in the future.  In China there are also similar views amongst the population.

Kosovo and Monetary Colonization

The euro is officially shared by thirteen E.U. members and their dependencies. However, it is also used by Montenegro and Kosovo too.

In a divulging statement Amelia Torres, an E.U. spokeswoman, claimed that the E.U. opposed currency “euro-ization” in other states unless they join the European Union: “The conditions for the adoption of the euro are clear,” she told reporters. “That means, first and foremost, to be a member of the EU.” [10]

The fate of Kosovo under this declaration in the eyes of the E.U. is clear. It should also be noted that it has been under the presence of NATO troops and both U.S. and E.U. officials that Kosovo adopted the euro as its currency.

A Dangerous International Trend: World War in the Horizon?

As tensions rise over Kosovo in the Balkans, tensions between Russia and China with the U.S. and NATO are also rising in regards to Iran and other countries and issues. From Myanmar (Burma) and the Korean Peninsula to Sudan and the Balkans, the U.S. and its allies are facing-off against Russia, China, and their allies. The Persian Gulf and the Levant are also two of these fronts where Iran and Syria are opposing the encroachment of the U.S. and NATO.

The SCO and the CSTO alliance have also signed an October 2007 defence agreement which formalizes the existence of a Sino-Russian military bloc from Eastern Europe to the Pacific shorelines of Asia. [11] All the members of CSTO, with the exception of Belarus and Armenia, are members of the SCO. China is now a semi-formal CSTO member. Russia has also announced that all CSTO members will enjoy internal Russian prices on military hardware. [12]  

The U.S. Secretary of Defence, Robert Gates, has also wrapped up an official tour of Latin America in Suriname. The U.S. is contemplating establishing a base in Suriname, near Venezuela. [13] This is part of a broader effort to encircle and isolate Venezuela and its Latin American allies. The U.S. Secretary of Defence’s tour itinerary also is a giveaway to American intentions in Latin America. His tour included Chile (which borders Bolivia), El Salvador (near Nicaragua), Columbia (next to Venezuela), Peru (bordering both Bolivia and Venezuela), and Suriname.

On Iran’s borders with NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan a new Iranian air base has been built. The Russian News and Information Agency, RIA Novosti, has reported that during the inauguration of the air base the Commander of the Air Force stated “The base is designed to enhance the combat readiness of our Armed Forces in standing up to possible aggression against our country.” [14] Clearly the new Iranian air base is in response to NATO forces in Afghanistan and the U.S. air base built in Afghanistan next to the Iranian border. The U.S. is also building bases on the Iranian border in Iraq and constructing military positions next to the border areas of Russia, China, and Belarus.

The U.S., along with Australia, Canada, Britain, and Guam has also planned large scale war games and anti-terrorist security exercises that involve NORAD, the Pentagon, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The exercise appears to anticipate some form of nuclear reprisals in the continental United States that could be part of a terrorist attack (that may be blamed on Iran) or military attacks from China and Russia. [15]

Vigilant Shield 2008 ties a terrorist attack scenario to the domestic use of the U.S. military within American cities and a broader global war. It is already known from the statements about Vigilant Shield 2007, which was held in 2006, that the U.S. is contemplating a nuclear war against Russia and China, in connection with attacks on Iran. [07]

NOTES

[1] Croatia hosts major Nato exercise, British Broadcasting Service (BBC), October 10, 2007.

[2] NATO NRF Exercises Peace Enforcement in the Adriatic Sea: CC-MAR Press Release {16}, NATO Public Information Office, September 25, 2007 (Updated September 27, 2007).

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Croatia hosts Nato, Op. cit.

[6] Ibid.

[7]
Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] EU warns other nations about using the euro as its currency, Associated Press, October 8, 2007.

[11] Vladimir Radyuhin, Defence pact to balance NATO, The Hindu, October 7, 2007.

[12] CSTO to receive RF weapons at internal prices, ITAR-TASS News Agency, October 6, 2007.

[13] Ivan Cairo, US proposes military site in Suriname, Carribean Net News, October 8, 2007.

[14] Iran builds air base near Afghan border, Russian News and Information Agency (RIA Novosti), October 9, 2007.

[15] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Vigilant Shield 2008: Terrorism, Air Defences, and the Domestic Deployment of the US Military, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), October 6, 2007; Michel Chossoduvsky, Dangerous Crossroads: US Sponsored War Games, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), October 6, 2007.

[16] William A. Arkin, Early Warning: Russia Supports North Korea in Nuclear War, The Washington Post (Opinion Blog), October 6, 2007.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is an independent writer based in Ottawa specializing in Middle Eastern affairs. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Global Research Articles by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

How Clinton Set the Stage for Bush By Mark H. Gaffney

October 19, 2007

How Clinton Set the Stage for Bush By Mark H. Gaffney

Dandelion Salad

By Mark H. Gaffney
10/18/07 “
ICH

At the end of the Cold War the peoples of the earth shared a rare moment in human history. In fact, nothing like it had ever happened before. The United Sates stood alone as the lone planetary Superpower. The American star which had been rising since the second World War had now reached its zenith. For whatever reason, it seemed that destiny had selected the United States for a special role: to guide the community of nations into a period of unparalleled peace and prosperity. With the fading of East-West tensions this and much more seemed within reach. For a brief time it did appear that anything was possible. And why not? After all, the United States faced no serious military challenges. The US dollar was the favored currency in international exchange. In fact, it had been for decades. English was the lingua franca of science, diplomacy and commerce. Almost the entire world acknowledged US leadership. American culture was widely imitated. Together, this was unprecedented. Never had one nation, let alone a democracy, achieved such global influence. America had both the prestige and the power literally to shape the future of humanity.

Legacy of the Cold War

The world was desperate for a new vision. This was true for many reasons, but primarily because the titanic struggle between capitalism and socialism had been enormously destructive. The forty-five year Cold War had been waged on many fronts and in the most improbable places. It was an ideological war, not a clash of civilizations. As the vying spheres of influence ebbed and flowed across the continents, numerous nations were drawn in. Proxy wars raged along the tectonic margins and at the friction points where East and West collided. Neither side could defeat the other militarily without destroying itself, because the epic struggle was governed by a mad doctrine, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). It was a fitting acronym for an insane time, and also a cruel paradox. For decades the world, rigged to a trip wire, could neither stand still nor move forward. The added rub, which I believe the world sensed intuitively, was that the precarious balance could not be sustained indefinitely. Of course, looking back it is now clear that that the Cold War itself, I mean the idea of the Cold War, was a carefully cultivated illusion: a false reality; but that is another story. Certainly the consequences were real enough. Citizens of the planet who lived through the period know what it means to live wedged between impossible alternatives–––the unthinkable on one hand and the unendurable on the other. Many were crushed beneath these wheels. Some nations were utterly destroyed, even beyond hope of recovery. The list of victims is long, and includes Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, East Timor, Ethiopia, Granada, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Laos, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Panama, Somalia, Sudan, and Viet Nam. No doubt, there are others…

Even as the Cold War trampled on the rights of indigenous people everywhere it despoiled the global environment. Toxic mayhem on a vast scale accompanied the nuclear arms race. Entire regions were affected and many were ruined or left permanently scarred. The open wounds from the heyday of uranium mining still deface the landscapes of the American southwest. As I write, Navaho children play on the tailing piles, amidst the radioactive dust, left behind by soul-less corporations that appeared on the scene, eager to make a fast buck, boomed briefly, then disappeared or were swallowed, in turn, by still larger corporations with even less of a conscience. Even worse scars can be found in the former Soviet republics where whole provinces were poisoned by catastrophic accidents at Sverdlovsk and Chernobyl, and entire districts, such as the Aral Sea region, were despoiled by central planning gone amok.

Dashed Hopes

By any measure, the toll of the Cold War was incalculable, and it’s no wonder that when the corrupt old Soviet state finally collapsed under its own weight the world’s response was: good riddance! The dismantling of the Iron Curtain was attended by joyous celebration across Europe. For a brief moment hope soared. In the US there was even talk of a peace dividend. Everywhere people dared to believe that the victory of the West presaged a new era of international cooperation, now desperately needed to address a long list of pressing problems, among them Third World poverty, overpopulation, the challenge of sustainable development, the energy crisis, AIDs, and the environment. Most importantly, at long last real progress toward nuclear disarmament seemed within reach. All eyes now turned to the West and especially to Washington for answers and for leadership. Yet, as I write in October 2007 it is painfully obvious, and has been for most of the presidency of George W. Bush, that the high hopes have been dashed. All that remains is the question: How and why did this happen? It is a difficult question, admittedly, but if we are to find our way back and regain a measure of hope, we must face it with brutal honesty.

Today, many Americans hold G. W. Bush personally responsible for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere that have brought about America’s increasing isolation in the world. Many also blame Bush for the general decline in our fortunes and for the dimming of hope. While I am no friend of the Bush administration, I do not entirely agree with this view, because I take issue with those who still naively believe in a partisan solution. The truth is more complex. In fact, the previous Democratic administration of William Jefferson Clinton bears a large measure of responsibility for the disasters that have befallen us. In many ways the Clinton White House set the stage for George W. Bush. Dr. Helen Caldicott, the tireless campaigner against nuclear oblivion, writes that she got the wake-up call about Clinton in 1999 when she was invited to attend a meeting in Florida about the weaponization of space. Caldicott was aghast as she listened to knowledgeable individuals describe US military planning, then current. Like many of us, she had trusted Bill Clinton, and had believed he was taking care of the nation’s business. Suddenly, Caldicott realized she had been living in a fool’s paradise. She writes:

“To my horror I found that seventy-five military industrial corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, TRW Aerojet, Hughes Space, Sparta Corp, and Vista Technologies had produced a Long Range Plan, written with the cooperation of the US Space Command, announcing a declaration of US space leadership and calling for the funding of defensive system and ‘a seamlessly integrated force of theatre land, sea, air and space capabilities through a world-wide global defense information network.’ The US Space Command would also ‘hold at risk’ a finite number of ‘high-value’ earth targets with near instantaneous force application–––the ability to kill from space…I also discovered that the much-vaunted missile defense system was to be closely integrated with the weaponization of space, and that all of the hardware and software would be made by the same firms, at the combined cost of hundreds of billions of dollars to the US taxpayers.”[1]

The plan envisaged “full spectrum dominance,” that is, US military domination of land, sea, air and space. Although US planners sought to portray this next generation of technological wizardry as defensive, in actuality, the planned systems, if implemented, amounted to a major break with the 1972 ABM Treaty, and with long-standing US commitments to maintain the peaceful status of outer space. The cold logic of dominance meant that the project was offensive in nature. But why? Exactly who was to be targeted? Which enemies? Remember, this was 1999. The Cold War had been over for some years. Both Russia and the US were then cooperating to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals. The START reductions were limited, to be sure, but the process was moving in the right direction and further reductions were possible. Obviously, the US military’s sweeping new plans for the domination of space threatened to undo all of this progress toward a more sane planet. It was obvious to Caldicott that a precious opportunity was in danger of being squandered, perhaps forever. The new space weapons threatened to trigger a new arms race and, very likely, another cycle of world conflict. Caldicott writes that she staggered home from the meeting determined “to become re-involved in educating the public about the impending catastrophe associated with the mad plans of the US Space Command and its associated corporations…”

The Critical Path: Swords into Plowshares

The point is that not even one of the new weapons systems being planned were needed. In fact, the grand plan for space, if implemented, would have benefited no one but a few arms manufacturers and, of course, the bankers who finance such deranged schemes–––all at immense cost to the US taxpayer. The plans were in direct conflict with then-current US foreign policies. The weaponization of space was diametrically opposed to the limited nuclear arms reductions then in progress, yet, was being presented as in the best interests of America: a case of mendacity so brazen one has to wonder how the selfish individuals who cooked it up could sleep at night.

As I’ve noted, the end of the Cold War presented America and the world with a golden opportunity to move in a new direction, a direction that was, in fact, essential for the survival of our planetary civilization. As a younger man I was an admirer of the late R. Buckminster Fuller. The inventor is probably best known for the geodesic dome, but Fuller also popularized the concept of the “critical path.”[2] It is an expression used by engineers and it means exactly what it suggests. The idea is that if we are to become sustainable on “spaceship earth” and avoid destroying our planetary home we must learn to live within the physical limitations or budget imposed by Nature. This, in turn, requires that we drastically reduce our human “footprint” by becoming much more efficient in the way we use energy and natural resources. Fuller was a firm believer in human ingenuity, and he often argued that our predicament called for a designer revolution on various levels, both economic and social. None of the steps in the critical path are optional, from the standpoint of survival. Taken together, they should be understood as the minimum requirements necessary for the long-term success of the human enterprise. While experts often disagree, at the end of the Cold War the single most urgent step was obvious, or should have been, to every thinking person; and this includes the newly elected President Bill Clinton, who entered the White House in 1992 on a wave of high hopes.

As the first US president to be inaugurated in the post-Cold War era, Bill Clinton’s number one priority should have been to meet with our Russian neighbors at an early date, and to negotiate with them a mutual halt in nuclear weapons production and research, as well as a rapid build-down of existing nuclear stockpiles and delivery systems. It was also imperative that Clinton give firm direction to the US military. The Pentagon had to be made to understand that because the Cold War was now thankfully over the nation must chart a new path, one that required the urgent redeployment of resources away from the nuclear arms race. A key part of this redirection would be the announcement of a vital new mission for the national weapons labs (Lawrence, Los Alamos, and Sandia). Henceforth, the labs would cease most weapons-related research/development and would redirect their considerable energies and talents in a positive direction, the new mission being a Manhattan-scale project to solve the nation’s energy problem. The goal would be to wean America from its unhealthy dependence on coal and foreign oil. Clinton would instruct the labs to engineer a phased transition toward abundant and clean energy alternatives at the earliest possible date; and to make it happen he would also press Congress to appropriate the needed funding. Efforts would focus on a range of promising technologies, but especially wind, solar, tidal, and hydrogen. Meanwhile, the nuclear establishment would be stripped of its vast subsidies. Although in a bye-gone era these were a sound idea, the nuclear establishment had produced no energy solutions, despite years of preferential treatment. Indeed, the vast monies lavished upon it had succeeded only in creating another bureaucratic dinosaur. In fact,the nuclear industry itself had become an impediment to change, because its enormous subsidies undermined healthy market forces. Henceforth, nuclear power would have to compete on a more equal playing field with other alternatives. Assisting market forces to operate would be essential to the transition to clean energy; and for this reason another goal would be to achieve the economies of scale necessary to bring down the costs of clean and renewable alternatives. The end result would be greatly enhanced national productivity, the creation of whole new sectors of the economy, boosted foreign earnings, and millions of high-paying new jobs here in the US. Resources would also be redirected to a long list of outstanding social and environmental problems. At the top of the latter list: the urgent clean-up of the toxic mess created by the nuclear establishment during a profligate half-century of out-of-control weapons development. This alone would cost an estimated $350 billion (in 1995 dollars, according to the Department of Energy [DoE]), a whopping figure that does not even include the costs associated with cleaning up the mess at the Hanford reservation, the Nevada Test Site, and the Savannah and Clinch nuclear facilities, all so contaminated that a solution may not even be feasible.

Some will argue that the above visionary plan was (and is) unrealistically utopian–––too much to expect of any US president, let alone the Clinton White House. But I take strong exception with this viewpoint, because in the 1990s the transition I have described was already within reach. Few major technological breakthroughs were needed. Many of the important alternatives were already “on the shelf” and could have been brought to maturity without undue economic strain. Some, no doubt, would have become mainstream long since but for bureaucratic inertia and because powerful vested interests have actively suppressed them–––interests, I should add, that have long sought to keep America addicted to oil. No, what was needed more than anything was genuine leadership in the Clinton White House, in order to beak through the inertial barriers and confront the vested interests. What is the role of a president, after all, if not to use the power of his office (the bully pulpit) to catalyze changes that are needed for the good of the nation? This is precisely why a president must stand above special interests. In the early years of his presidency Clinton did not lack for popular support. A solid majority of the American people elected Clinton because they wanted change; and they looked to him to make the tough decisions. This is not just my opinion. Other commentators have also pointed this out. Bill Clinton entered office with tremendous political capital, yet, incredibly, he never used it. The crucial factor was leadership, and he simply failed to deliver. There are various theories as to why. Dr. Caldicott’s frank assessment will make Democrats uncomfortable, but in my opinion it carries the ring of truth. Caldicott thinks Clinton lacked the necessary strength of character, and she has it right.

Clinton’s Nuclear Policy Review: A Diminished Presidency?

Like other newly elected presidents, Bill Clinton soon ordered a policy review of US nuclear weapons doctrine. The review was of vital importance and required that Clinton become personally involved to insure its success. This also meant taking charge of the Pentagon as the commander-in-chief. Unfortunately, instead of asserting his authority, Clinton vacillated, as if he were unclear himself about priorities and objectives. The policy review was eventually delegated to mid-level officials who were easily outmaneuvered by hard-liners in the military. The generals opposed any changes in US nuclear policy and they ultimately won a decisive victory. This was a major defeat for Clinton, and one from which it seems he never recovered. Caldicott speculates that Clinton, thereafter, sought to compensate for his loss of standing by using military force abroad on more occasions than any president in two decades. She may be right. The point is that Clinton’s attempts to placate the Pentagon were no substitute for leadership. This probably explains why, even today, Clinton is widely viewed with contempt within the US armed services. Soldiers naturally respect strength and revile weakness.

Clinton’s diminished presidency did not become evident, however, for some years. Certainly none of this was immediately obvious. At the 1995 Nonproliferation Review (NPT) Conference the Clinton administration, to all appearances, achieved a major success by persuading a majority of nations to agree to an indefinite extension of the NPT. This success was probably due to Clinton’s vocal support for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and because the US delegation agreed to a list of noble principles reaffirming the US obligation under Article VI of the NPT to take steps in the near future toward complete disarmament. The world did not then know that Clinton was about to violate those same principles, by succumbing to a deal with hard-line elements within his own administration. This in itself is an indication of Clinton’s failed leadership, for only a weak president would ever agree to such a back-room deal. What was this deal? The US Department of Energy (DoE), representing the national weapons labs, agreed to back Clinton’s support of the Comprehensible Test Ban only if Clinton agreed to preserve the labs’ traditional role as nuclear overseers; which, of course, meant preserving the nuclear arsenal itself. And so was born the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Program, otherwise known as Manhattan II. Although its stated purpose seemed innocuous: to insure the safety and reliability of the US nuclear stockpile, in reality, the program would maintain various nuclear research and development programs at roughly Cold War levels for many years. Additionally, the package created new computational and simulation programs to compensate for the anticipated ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. It is known that nuclear research secretly continued at Los Alamos–––in violation of the NPT. This came to light in 1995 when Dr. Don Wolkerstorfer, a Los Alamos manager, mentioned a new bunker buster, the B-61-11, during a radio debate.[3] The B-61-11 is a variable-yield nuclear penetrator (maximum yield: 340 kilotons). The following year Department of Defense (DoD) spokesperson Kenneth Bacon revealed that other earth penetrators were also in the works. Bacon told reporters that “We are now working on a series of weapons, both nuclear and conventional, to deal with deeply buried targets.”[4] There were even indications that the labs were moving ahead on an even more ambitious effort to develop the next generation of nuclear weapons. On April 25, 1997, the physicist Hans Bethe, the most senior surviving scientist from the Manhattan Project, sent a letter to Clinton, a letter that one day may have historic significance. In it Bethe urged the president to halt research on new weapons designs, including a pure fusion bomb, long regarded as the nuclear Holy Grail. Bethe, who led the theoretical division at Los Alamos during the development of the Atomic Bomb, was long retired. Yet, he maintained contacts in the labs and was informed about the kind of research that was underway. Bethe informed Clinton that the US already possessed more than sufficient weapons for it security, and he urged that

“…the time has come for our Nation to declare that it is not working, in any way, to develop further weapons of mass destruction of any kind. In particular, this means not financing work looking toward the possibility of new designs for nuclear weapons. And it certainly means not working on new types of nuclear weapons, such as pure-fusion weapons.”[5]

Bethe deserved to be taken seriously. After all, he won the 1967 Nobel Prize in physics for describing the fusion process that drives the stars. In his letter Bethe further wrote that because “new types of weapons [i.e., a pure fusion bomb] would, in time, spread to others and present a threat to us, it is logical for us not to pioneer further in this field.” Although the great physicist affirmed his support for the stewardship program, he also cautioned that computational experiments could be used to design new categories of weapons, even in the absence of underground testing. For this reason Bethe urged Clinton not to fund such programs. Again, this was sage counsel. It is believed that Israel evaded international detection while clandestinely developing nuclear weapons by this very means, i.e., through the use of computational models and computer simulations. Israel, which has never signed the NPT, is known to have staged only a very few small nuclear tests, perhaps even as few as one.[6] Yet, Israel succeeded in developing a large and advanced nuclear arsenal. Six weeks later Bethe received a polite reply from Clinton, in which the president deftly side-stepped all of the main points Bethe had raised.

Just five months later, in November 1997, Clinton issued a presidential directive, PDD-60, formalizing the outcome of his nuclear policy review. Most of the document remained classified, but more than enough was released to serve notice to the world that the United States had now become a far greater threat to the nonproliferation treaty than any terrorist or rogue state.[7] Clinton’s directive flew squarely in the face of the noble principles he had agreed to at the 1995 NPT conference. The directive reaffirmed the logic of the Cold War and announced a cornucopia of new spending to be showered upon the nuclear establishment over the next two decades. The directive announced that the US would maintain the status quo, that is, the Cold War triad of nuclear forces (i.e., bombers, ICBMs and submarines) as well as the hair-trigger launch-on-warning posture. The US insisted upon the right to nuclear first-use and even the right to use nukes against non-nuclear states that might somehow threaten US “interests.” These shocking revelations were unprecedented. The US also rejected a Russian proposal for deeper cuts in the number of strategic warheads. Instead, the US would move ahead with plans to upgrade the US Trident missile force and the B-2 bomber. The US would also resume production of plutonium pits, which are the fissile cores used in nuclear weapons. The directive reaffirmed the new emphasis on sub-critical testing and advanced computer modeling procedures: the very thing that Hans Bethe had cautioned against. Additionally, the US announced that it would resume production of tritium, an isotope of hydrogen used in thermonuclear weapons. The stated purpose was to provide additional supplies for the stewardship program. Because tritium has a half-life of twelve years, the tritium gas used in nuclear weapons decays and periodically must be replenished. Even so, the explanation was dubious, since tritium can be scavenged from deactivated weapons and recycled. Given even modest reductions in the size of the US nuclear force, in 1997 there was at least a thirty-year supply for the stewardship program.[8] This hinted that Hans Bethe was correct and the US was already secretly developing the next generation of nukes. As if all of this were not enough, the directive also announced that the US would complete construction of a brand new National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore laboratory, where the world’s most powerful lasers would be used to study nuclear fusion–––another clue.

These policies had been decided with no public debate or consultations with Congress. Ten years later, it appears that Clinton had made a bargain with the devil. He may have acted in the mistaken belief that the much-anticipated ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban by the US Senate would provide him some flexibility, allowing him to later rescind at least some of the newly announced policies. As we know, of course, in 1998 the Republican-controlled Senate rejected the Test Ban, dealing Clinton a stinging defeat. Obviously, Clinton’s attempts to placate the militarists in his administration backfired, with the tragic result of locking the US into a Cold War posture for many years to come, even though the Cold War was long over. All of which raises serious questions about Bill Clinton’s style of leadership, or lack thereof. But his character issues were not limited to placating generals. The more fundamental problem is that he chose to serve a small group of rich and powerful men, instead of serving the nation.

Clinton’s Expansion of NATO

For many years, during the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was the first line of defense against a possible Soviet attack on Western Europe. But when the old Soviet state collapsed in the late 1980s during the presidency of Mikhail Gorbachev, NATO’s original purpose also ceased to exist. Later, when the Berlin wall came down, President George Bush Sr. assured Gorbachev that the US would not expand NATO into eastern Europe, if Russia did not oppose the reunification of Germany. The agreement was mutually beneficial, and Russia was true to its word. However, during his second term in the White House Clinton reneged on Bush’s promise by proposing to admit eastern European nations to the NATO alliance, starting with Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, went on tour promoting the new plan. She argued that NATO expansion was a good idea because it would stabilize central Europe politically and economically. Thoughtful critics, however, such as former Senator Sam Nunn (R-GA), a long-time expert on US nuclear policy, pointed out that because Moscow would naturally view the eastward expansion of NATO as a threat to its national security, the probable consequence would be exactly the opposite. Clinton’s plan would destabilize Europe, stall progress toward arms reductions, and over the long term might even lead to a new Cold War. The critics also warned that the US taxpayer would pick up much of the tab for NATO expansion to the tune of many billions of dollars, most of which would end up in the bank accounts of various arms merchants. Yet, in 1998, with almost no debate the US Congress closed ranks behind Clinton and voted to support NATO expansion.

With hindsight, the critics were correct. Despite claims by the Clinton administration to the contrary, the expansion of NATO into eastern Europe was not in the best interests of the United States, nor in the best interests of Europe. At the time, the relatively poor nations of eastern Europe did not have money to waste on arms. Their top priority was to rebuild their infrastructure after the disaster of communism, and to improve the lives of their people. Of course, Washington promised that in return for purchasing our weapons the US would support their entry in the European Union (EU), which most of western Europe opposed at the time. Yet, this was an illusion, since their purchase of large quantities of US weapons actually slowed their economic recovery, and this more than anything delayed their entry into the European Union. No, the primary beneficiaries of NATO expansion were the US arms makers and their financial backers on Wall Street. All of whom saw in the break-up of the former Soviet bloc an opportunity to enrich themselves. A scurrilous lot, they can only be compared with the wave of carpetbaggers who infested the southern states after the American Civil War, for the purpose of exploiting the defeated Confederacy. The US arms industry, the world’s largest, spent millions successfully lobbying the US Congress and the Clinton administration to expand NATO, and subsequently they cashed-in on this vast new arms bazaar. As early as 1995 Clinton had telegraphed his obeisance to these same powerful interests when he issued presidential directive 41, which announced that arms sales were essential for preserving US jobs. The directive instructed US diplomats to get busy and boost foreign sales of US-made weapons for the good of the economy. Obviously, Clinton found it easier to maintain the status quo, however perilous, rather than use the considerable power of his office to change that reality and move the nation away from the weapons economy built up during the Cold War. When Moscow protested the expansion of NATO Clinton brushed aside Russia’s security concerns with practiced aplomb. The president insisted that NATO was a force for stability, and his casual demeanor seemed to make light of this quaint idea that NATO might somehow threaten the Russians. How absurd!

Today, of course, as George W. Bush prepares to install an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system in Poland and a new ABM radar site in the Czech Republic, on Russia’s doorstep, and as we hover on the brink of world war, it is perfectly clear that Moscow’s concerns were well-founded. The issue is why our former president, a Rhodes scholar, was purblind to the fact, ten years ago. The truth is that Bill Clinton’s expansion of NATO was never about the stability of Europe. It was never about US or global security. It was always about one thing: the sale of weapons for profit. All of this becomes more obvious as the world situation deteriorates, yet, the Democratic candidates in the presidential marathon apparently still don’t get it. As far as I can tell, they have been conspicuously silent about Clinton’s failed NATO policy. Which I take as a sober commentary on our deaf and dumb political culture. Someone needs to corner Hillary and ask her this pointed question, on camera: Why did your husband put the interests of the weapons manufacturers and bankers above the interests of our nation and our planet? Why, Hillary? Because there is no doubt that Bill’s NATO policy set the stage for the disasters that have overtaken us. Perhaps the real issue is whether Hillary, or any of the Democratic front-runners, have the integrity and courage to answer a simple question.

Mark H. Gaffney’s latest book, Gnostic Secrets of the Naassenes, was a finalist for the 2004 Narcissus Book Award. Mark can be reached for comment at markhgaffney@earthlink.net Check out Mark’s web site www.GnosticSecrets.com


[1] Helen Caldicott and Craig Eisendrath, War in Heaven: The Arms Race and Outer Space, The New Press, New York, 2007, p. ix; also see Helen Caldicott, The New Nuclear Danger, The New Press, New York, 2004.

[2] Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path, St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, 1982.

[3] Broadcast by radio station KSFR in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on July 18, 1995. For more details about the B-61-11 go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B61_nuclear_bomb

[4] Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), DoD News Briefing, Tuesday April 23, 1996.

[5] The text of Bethe’s letter, and Clinton’s reply, have been posted by the Federation of American Scientists. http://www.fas.org/bethecr#letter

[6] Mark Gaffney, Dimona: The Third Temple?, Amana Books, Brattleboro, 1989, chapters 4 and 5.

[7] For an excellent discussion of PDD-60 see Rear Admiral Eugene Carroll, USN (ret), “The NPT Review — Last Chance?”, The Defense Monitor, Vol. XXIX, No. 3, 2000. Posted at http://www.cdi.org/dm/2000/issue3/NPT.html

[8] Kenneth D. Bergeron, Tritium On Ice, MIT Press, 2002. Also see Charles D. Ferguson’s review in the March/April 2003 issue of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, (vol. 59, no. 02) pp. 70-72.

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The Sino-Russian Alliance: Challenging America’s Ambitions in Eurasia

September 25, 2007

The Sino-Russian Alliance: Challenging America’s Ambitions in Eurasia

Global Research, September 23, 2007

“But if the middle space [Russia and the former Soviet Union] rebuffs the West [the European Union and America], becomes an assertive single entity, and either gains control over the South [Middle East] or forms an alliance with the major Eastern actor [China], then America’s primacy in Eurasia shrinks dramatically. The same would be the case if the two major Eastern players were somehow to unite. Finally, any ejection of America by its Western partners [the Franco-German entente] from its perch on the western periphery [Europe] would automatically spell the end of America’s participation in the game on the Eurasian chessboard, even though that would probably also mean the eventual subordination of the western extremity to a revived player occupying the middle space [e.g. Russia].”

-Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, 1997)

 

Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” These precepts of physics can also be used in the social sciences, specifically with reference to social relations and geo-politics.

America and Britain, the Anglo-American alliance, have engaged in an ambitious project to control global energy resources. Their actions have resulted in a series of complicated reactions, which have established a Eurasian-based coalition which is preparing to challenge the Anglo-American axis.

 

Encircling Russia and China: Anglo-American Global Ambitions Backfire

 

“Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. As a result we do not have sufficient strength to find a comprehensive solution to any one of these conflicts. Finding a political settlement also becomes impossible. We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way.”

 

-Vladimir Putin at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in Germany (February 11, 2007)

 

What American leaders and officials called the “New World Order” is what the Chinese and Russians consider a “Unipolar World.” This is the vision or hallucination, depending on perspective, that has bridged the Sino-Russian divide between Beijing and Moscow.

China and Russia are well aware of the fact that they are targets of the Anglo-American alliance. Their mutual fears of encirclement have brought them together. It is no accident that in the same year that NATO bombarded Yugoslavia, President Jiang Zemin of China and President Boris Yeltsin of Russia made an anticipated joint declaration at a historic summit in December of 1999 that revealed that China and the Russian Federation would join hands to resist the “New World Order.” The seeds for this Sino-Russian declaration were in fact laid in 1996 when both sides declared that they opposed the global imposition of single-state hegemony.

 

Both Jiang Zemin and Boris Yeltsin stated that all nation-states should be treated equally, enjoy security, respect each other’s sovereignty, and most importantly not interfere in the internal affairs of other nation-states. These statements were directed at the U.S. government and its partners.

The Chinese and Russians also called for the establishment of a more equitable economic and political global order. Both nations also indicated that America was behind separatist movements in their respective countries. They also underscored American-led amibitions to balkanize and finlandize the nation-states of Eurasia. Influential Americans such as Zbigniew Brzezinski had already advocated for de-centralizing and eventually dividing up the Russian Federation.

 

Both the Chinese and Russians issued a statement warning that the creation of an international missile shield and the contravention of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) would destabilize the international environment and polarize the globe. In 1999, the Chinese and Russians were aware of what was to come and the direction that America was headed towards. In June 2002, less than a year before the onslaught of the “Global War on Terror,” George W. Bush Jr. announced that the U.S. was withdrawing from the ABM Treaty.

On July 24, 2001, less than two months before September 11, 2001, China and Russia signed the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation. The latter is a softly worded mutual defence pact against the U.S., NATO, and the U.S. sponsored Asian military network which was surrounding China. [1]

The military pact of the Shanghai Treaty Organization (SCO) also follows the same softly worded format. It is also worth noting that Article 12 of the 2001 Sino-Russian bilateral treaty stipulates that China and Russia will work together to maintain the global strategic balance, “observation of the basic agreements relevant to the safeguard and maintenance of strategic stability,” and “promote the process of nuclear disarmament.” [2] This seems to be an insinuation about a nuclear threat posed from the United States.

 

Standing in the Way of America and Britain: A “Chinese-Russian-Iranian Coalition”

 

As a result of the Anglo-American drive to encircle and ultimately dismantle China and Russia, Moscow and Beijing have joined ranks and the SCO has slowly evolved and emerged in the heart of Eurasia as a powerful international body.

The main objectives of the SCO are defensive in nature. The economic objectives of the SCO are to integrate and unite Eurasian economies against the economic and financial onslaught and manipulation from the “Trilateral” of North America, Western Europe, and Japan, which controls significant portions of the global economy.

The SCO charter was also created, using Western national security jargon, to combat “terrorism, separatism, and extremism.” Terrorist activities, separatist movements, and extremist movements in Russia, China, and Central Asia are all forces traditionally nurtured, funded, armed, and covertly supported by the British and the U.S. governments. Several separatist and extremist groups that have destabilized SCO members even have offices in London.

 

Iran, India, Pakistan, and Mongolia are all SCO observer members. The observer status of Iran in the SCO is misleading. Iran is a de facto member. The observer status is intended to hide the nature of trilateral cooperation between Iran, Russia, and China so that the SCO cannot be labeled and demonized as an anti-American or anti-Western military grouping.

 

The stated interests of China and Russia are to ensure the continuity of a “Multi-Polar World.” Zbigniew Brzezinski prefigured in his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and the Geostrategic Imperatives and warned against the creation or “emergence of a hostile [Eurasian-based] coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America’s primacy.” [3] He also called this potential Eurasian coalition an “‘antihegemonic’ alliance” that would be formed from a “Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition” with China as its linchpin. [4] This is the SCO and several Eurasian groups that are connected to the SCO.

 

In 1993, Brzezinski wrote “In assessing China’s future options, one has to consider also the possibility that an economically successful and politically self-confident China — but one which feels excluded from the global system and which decides to become both the advocate and the leader of the deprived states of the world — may decide to pose not only an articulate doctrinal but also a powerful geopolitical challenge to the dominant trilateral world [a reference to the economic front formed by North America, Western Europe, and Japan].” [5]

Brzezinski warns that Beijing’s answer to challenging the global status quo would be the creation of a Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition: “For Chinese strategists, confronting the trilateral coalition of America and Europe and Japan, the most effective geopolitical counter might well be to try and fashion a triple alliance of its own, linking China with Iran in the Persian Gulf/Middle East region and with Russia in the area of the former Soviet Union [and Eastern Europe].” [6] Brzezinski goes on to say that the Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition, which he moreover calls an “antiestablishmentarian [anti-establishmentarian] coalition,” could be a potent magnet for other states [e.g., Venezuela] dissatisfied with the [global] status quo.” [7]

 

Furthermore, Brzezinski warned in 1997 that “The most immediate task [for the U.S.] is to make certain that no state or combination of states gains the capacity to expel the United States from Eurasia or even to diminish significantly its decisive arbitration role.” [8] It may be that his warnings were forgotten, because the U.S. has been repealed from Central Asia and U.S. forces have been evicted from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

 

“Velvet Revolutions” Backfire in Central Asia

 

Central Asia was the scene of several British-sponsored and American-sponsored attempts at regime change. The latter were characterised by velvet revolutions similar to the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and the Rose Revolution in Georgia.

These velvet revolutions financed by the U.S. failed in Central Asia, aside from Kyrgyzstan where there had been partial success with the so-called Tulip Revolution.

As a result the U.S. government has suffered major geo-strategic setbacks in Central Asia. All of Central Asia’s leaders have distanced themselves from America.

Russia and Iran have also secured energy deals in the region. America’s efforts, over several decades, to exert a hegemonic role in Central Asia seem to have been reversed overnight. The U.S. sponsored velvet revolutions have backfired. Relations between Uzbekistan and the U.S. were especially hard hit.

 

Uzbekistan is under the authoritarian rule of President Islam Karamov. Starting in the second half of the 1990s President Karamov was enticed into bringing Uzbekistan into the fold of the Anglo-American alliance and NATO. When there was an attempt on President Karamov’s life, he suspected the Kremlin because of his independent policy stance. This is what led Uzbekistan to leave CSTO. But Islam Karamov, years later, changed his mind as to who was attempting to get rid of him.

 

According to Zbigniew Brzezinski, Uzbekistan represented a major obstacle to any renewed Russian control of Central Asia and was virtually invulnerable to Russian pressure; this is why it was important to secure Uzbekistan as an American protectorate in Central Asia.

Uzbekistan also has the largest military force in Central Asia.  In 1998, Uzbekistan held war games with NATO troops in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan was becoming heavily militarized in the same manner as Georgia was in the Caucasus. The U.S. gave Uzbekistan huge amounts of financial aid to challenge the Kremlin in Central Asia and also provided training to Uzbek forces.

 

With the launching of the “Global War on Terror,” in 2001, Uzbekistan, an Anglo-American ally, immediately offered bases and military facilities to the U.S. in Karshi-Khanabad.

The leadership of Uzbekistan already knew the direction the “Global War on Terror” would take. To the irritation of the Bush Jr. Administration, the Uzbek President formulated a policy of self-reliance. The honeymoon between Uzbekistan and the Anglo-American alliance ended when Washington D.C. and London contemplated removing Islam Karamov from power. He was a little too independent for their comfort and taste. Their attempts at removing the Uzbek President failed, leading eventually to a shift in geo-political alliances.  

 

The tragic events of Andijan on May 13, 2005 were the breaking point between Uzbekistan and the Anglo-American alliance. The people of Andijan were incited into confronting the Uzbek authorities, which resulted in a heavy security clampdown on the protesters and a loss of lives.

Armed groups were reported to have been involved. In the U.S., Britain, and the E.U., the media reports focused narrowly on human rights violations without mentioning the covert role of the Anglo-American alliance. Uzbekistan held Britain and the U.S. responsible accusing them of inciting rebellion. 

 

M. K. Bhadrakumar, the former Indian ambassador to Uzbekistan (1995-1998), revealed that the Hezbut Tahrir (HT) was one of the parties blamed for stirring the crowd in Andijan by the Uzbek government. [9] The group was already destabilizing Uzbekistan and using violent tactics. The headquarters of this group happens to be in London and they enjoy the support of the British government. London is a hub for many similar organizations that further Anglo-American interests in various countries, including Iran and Sudan, through destabilization campaigns. Uzbekistan even started clamping down on foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) because of the tragic events of Andijan.

The Anglo-American alliance had played its cards wrong in Central Asia. Uzbekistan officially left the GUUAM Group, a NATO-U.S. sponsored anti-Russian body. GUUAM once again became the GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldava) Group on May 24, 2005.

On July 29, 2005 the U.S. military was ordered to leave Uzbekistan within a six-month period. [10] Literally, the Americans were told they were no longer welcome in Uzbekistan and Central Asia.

Russia, China, and the SCO added their voices to the demands. The U.S. cleared its airbase in Uzbekistan by November, 2005.

Uzbekistan rejoined the CSTO alliance on June 26, 2006 and realigned itself, once again, with Moscow. The Uzbek President also became a vocal advocate, along with Iran, for pushing the U.S. totally out of Central Asia. [11] Unlike Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan continued to allow the U.S. to use Manas Air Base, but with restrictions and in an uncertain atmosphere. The Kyrgyz government also would make it clear that no U.S. operations could target Iran from Kyrgyzstan.

 

Major Geo-Strategic Error 

It appears that a strategic rapprochement between Iran and America was in the works from 2001 to 2002. At the outset of the global war on terrorism, Hezbollah and Hamas, two Arab organizations supported by Iran and Syria, were kept off the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist organizations. Iran and Syria were also loosely portrayed as potential partners in the “Global War on Terror.”

Following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Iran expressed its support for the post-Saddam Hussein Iraqi government. During the invasion of Iraq, the American military even attacked the Iraqi-based Iranian opposition militia, the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK/MOK/MKO). Iranian jets also attacked the Iraqi bases of the MEK in approximately the same window of time.

Iran, Britain, and the U.S. also worked together against the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is worth mentioning that the Taliban were never allies of Iran. Up until 2000, the Taliban had been supported by the U.S. and Britain, working hand in glove with the Pakistani military and intelligence.

The Taliban were shocked and bewildered at what they saw as an American and British betrayal in 2001 — this is in light of the fact that in October, 2001 they had stated that they would hand over Osama bin Laden to the U.S. upon the presentation of evidence of his alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks.

Zbigniew Brzezinski warned years before 2001 that “a coalition allying Russia with both China and Iran can develop only if the United States is shortsighted enough to antagonize China and Iran simultaneously.” [12] The arrogance of the Bush Jr. Administration has resulted in this shortsighted policy.

According to The Washington Post, “Just after the lightning takeover of Baghdad by U.S. forces three years ago [in 2003], an unusual two-page document spewed out of a fax machine at the Near East bureau of the State Department. It was a proposal from Iran for a broad dialogue with the United States, and the fax suggested everything was on the table — including full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups.” [13]

The White House impressed by what they believe were “grand victories” in Iraq and Afghanistan merely ignored the letter sent through diplomatic channels by the Swiss government on behalf of Tehran.

However, it was not because of what was wrongly perceived as a quick victory in Iraq that the Bush Jr. Administration pushed Iran aside. On January 29, 2002, in a major address, President Bush Jr. confirmed that the U.S. would also target Iran, which had been added to the so-called “Axis of Evil” together with Iraq and North Korea. The U.S. and Britain intended to attack Iran, Syria, and Lebanon after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In fact immediately following the invasion, in July 2003, the Pentagon formulated an initial war scenario entitled “Theater Iran Near Term (TIRANNT).”

Starting in 2002, the Bush Jr. Administration had deviated from their original geo-strategic script. France and Germany were also excluded from sharing the spoils of war in Iraq.

The intention was to act against Iran and Syria just as America and Britain had used and betrayed their Taliban allies in Afghanistan. The U.S. was also set on targeting Hezbollah and Hamas. In January of 2001, according to Daniel Sobelman, a correspondent for Haaretz, the U.S. government warned Lebanon that the U.S. would go after Hezbollah. These threats directed at Lebanon were made at the start of the presidential term of George W. Bush Jr., eight months before the events of September 11, 2001.


The conflict at the United Nations Security Council between the Anglo-American alliance and the Franco-German entente, supported by Russia and China, was a pictogram of this deviation.

American geo-strategists for years after the Cold War had scheduled the Franco-German entente to be partners in their plans for global primacy. In this regard, Zbigniew Brzezinski had acknowledged that the Franco-German entente would eventually have to be elevated in status and that the spoils of war would have to be divided with Washington’s European allies.

By the end of 2004, the Anglo-American alliance had started to correct its posture towards France and Germany. Washington had returned to its original geo-strategic script with NATO playing an expanded role in the Eastern Mediterranean. In turn, France was granted  oil concessions in Iraq.

The 2006 war plans for Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean also point to a major shift in direction, a partnership role for the Franco-German entente, with France and Germany playing a major military role in the region.   

 
It is worth noting that a major shift occurred in early 2007 with regard to Iran. Following U.S. setbacks in Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as in Lebanon, Palestine, Somalia, and former Soviet Central Asia),  the White House entered into secret negotiatiations with Iran and Syria. However, the dye has been cast and it would appear that America will be unable to break an evolving military alliance which includes Russia, Iran, and China as its nucleus.

 

The Baker-Hamilton Commission: Covert Anglo-American Cooperation with Iran and Syria?

 

“America should also strongly support Turkish aspirations to have a pipeline from Baku in [the Republic of] Azerbaijan to Ceyhan on the Turkish Mediterranean cost serve as [a] major outlet for the Caspian Sea basin energy sources. In addition, it is not in America’s interest to perpetuate American-Iranian hostility. Any eventual reconciliation should be based on the recognition of a mutual strategic interest in stabilizing what currently is a very volatile regional environment for Iran [e.g., Iraq and Afghanistan]. Admittedly, any such reconciliation must be pursued by both sides and is not a favor granted by one to the other. A strong, even religiously motivated but not fanatically anti-Western Iran is in the U.S. interest, and ultimately even the Iranian political elite may recognize that reality. In the meantime, American long-range interests in Eurasia would be better served by abandoning existing U.S. objections to closer Turkish-Iranian economic cooperation, especially in the construction of new pipelines…”

 

-Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, 1997)

 

The recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton Commission or the Iraq Study Group (ISG) are not a redirection in regards to engaging Iran, but a return to the track that the Bush Jr. Administration had deviated from as a result of the delusions of its hasty victories in Afghanistan and Iraq.  In other words, the Baker-Hamilton Commission was about damage control and re-steering America to the geo-strategic path originally intended by military planners that the Bush Jr. Administration seems to have deviated from.

The ISG Report also subtly indicated that adoption of so-called “free market” economic reforms be pressed on Iran (and by extension Syria) instead of regime change. The ISG also favoured the accession of both Syria and Iran to the World Trade Organization (WTO). [14] It should also be noted, in this regard, that Iran has already started a mass privatization program that involves all sectors from banking to energy and agriculture.

The ISG Report also recommends an end to the Arab-Israeli Conflict and the establishment of peace between Israel and Syria. [15]

The joint interests of Iran and the U.S. were also analysed by the Baker-Hamilton Commission. The ISG recommended  that the U.S. should not empower the Taliban again in Afghanistan (against Iran). [16] It should also be noted that Imad Moustapha, the Syrian ambassador to the U.S., the Syrian Foreign Minister, and Javad Zarif, the Iranian representative to the United Nations, were all consulted by the Baker-Hamilton Commission. [17] The Iranian Ambassodor to the U.N., Javad Zarif, has also been a middle man between the U.S. and Iranian governments for years. 

 

It is worth mentioning that the Clinton Administration was involved in the track of rapprochement with Iran, while also attempting to keep Iran in check under the “dual-containment” policy directed against Iraq and Iran. This policy was also linked to the 1992 Draft Defence Guidance paper written by people within the Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. Administrations.

It is worth noting that Zbigniew Brzezinski had stated as far back as 1979 and again in 1997 that Iran under its post-revolutionary political system could be co-opted by America. [18] Britain also ensured Syria and Iran in 2002 and 2003 that they would not be targeted and encouraged their cooperation with the White House.

It should be noted that Turkey has recently signed a pipeline deal with Iran that will take gas to Western Europe. This project includes the participation of Turkmenistan. [19] It would appear that this cooperation agreement between Tehran and Ankara points to reconciliation rather than confrontation with Iran and Syria. This is in line with what Brzezinski in 1997 claimed was in America’s interest.

Also, the Anglo-American sponsored Iraqi government has recently signed pipeline deals with Iran.

Once again, America’s interests in this deal should be questioned, as should the high opinions being given about Iran by the puppet leaders of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Something’s Amiss…

The media attention given in North America and Britain to the positive comments made about Tehran by Anglo-American clients in Baghdad and Kabul is sinister.

Although these comments from Baghdad and Kabul about the positive role Iran plays in Iraq and Afghanistan are not new, the media attention is. President George W. Bush Jr. and the White House criticized the Iraqi Prime Minister for saying Iran plays a constructive role in Iraq in early-August of 2007. The White House and North American or British press would usually just ignore or refuse to acknowledge these comments. However, this was not the case in August, 2007.

The Afghani President, Hamid Karzai, during a joint press conference with George W.  Bush Jr. stated that Iran was a positive force in his country. It is not odd to hear that Iran is a positive force inside Afghanistan because the stability of Afghanistan is in Iran’s best interests. What comes across as odd are “when” and “where” the comments were made. White House press conferences are choreographed and the place and time of the Afghani President’s comments should be questioned. It also so happens that shortly after the Afghani President’s comments, the Iranian President arrived in Kabul in an unprecedented visit that must have been approved by the White House.

Iran’s Political Leverage

In regards to Iran and the U.S., the picture is blurry and the lines between cooperation and rivalry are less clear. Reuters and the Iranian Student’s News Agency (ISNA) have both reported that the Iranian President may visit Baghdad after August 2007. These reports surfaced just before the U.S. government started threatening to label the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a special international terrorist organization. Without insinuating anything, it should also be noted that the Revolutionary Guard and the U.S. military have also had a low-key history of cooperation from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

The Iranian President has also invited the presidents of the other four Caspian states for a Caspian Sea summit in Tehran. [20] He invited the Turkmen president while in Turkmenistan and later the Russian and Kazakh presidents at the August of 2007 SCO summit in Kyrgyzstan. President Aliyev, the leader of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Azarbaijan) was also personally invited during a trip by the Iranian President to Baku. The anticipated Caspian Sea summit may be similar to the one in Port Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan between the Kazakh, Russian, and Turkmen presidents where it was announced that Russia would not be cut out of the pipeline deals in Central Asia.

Iranian leverage is clearly getting stronger. Officials in Baku also stated that they will expand energy cooperation with Iran and enter the gas pipeline deal between Iran, Turkey, and Turkmenistan that will supply European markets with gas. [21] This agreement to supply Europe is similar to a Russian energy transport deal signed between Greece, Bulgaria, and the Russian Federation. [22]

In the Levant, Syria is involved in energy-related negotiations with Ankara and Baku and important talks have started between American officials and both Tehran and Damascus. [23]

Iran has also been involved in diplomatic exchanges with Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Additionally, starting in August 2007, Syria has agreed to reopen Iraqi oil pipelines to the Eastern Mediterranean, through Syrian territory. [24] The recent official visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Al-Maliki to Syria has also been described as historical by news sources like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Also, Syria and Iraq have agreed to build a gas pipeline from Iraq into Syria, where Iraqi gas will be treated in Syrian plants. [25] These agreements are being passed as the sources of tensions between Baghdad and the White House, but they are doubtful. [26]

Iran and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are also planning on starting the process for creating an Iranian-GCC free trade zone in the Persian Gulf. In the bazaars of Tehran and amongst the political circle of Rafsanjani there are also discussion about the eventual creation of a single market between Iran, Tajikistan, Armenia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. The American role in these processes in regards to Afghanistan, Iraq, and the GCC should be explored.

Under President Nicholas Sarkozy, France has indicated that it is willing to engage the Syrians fully if they gave specific guarantees in regards to Lebanon. These guarantees are linked to French economic and geo-strategic interests.

In the same period of time as the French statements about Syria, Gordon Brown indicated that Britain was also willing to engage in diplomatic exchanges with both Syria and Iran. Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, the German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, has also been involved in talks with Damascus on mutual projects, economic reform and bringing Syria closer to the European Union. These talks, however  tend to be camouflaged by the discussion between Syria and Germany in regard to the mass exodus of Iraqi refugees, resulting from the Anglo-American occupation of their country. The French Foreign Minister is also expected in Tehran to talk about Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq. Despite the war-mongering by the U.S. and more recently by France, this has all led to speculation of a potential about-turn in regards to Iran and Syria. [27]

Then again, this is part of the two-pronged U.S. approach of preparing for the worst (war), while suing for the diplomatic capitulation of Syria and Iran as client states or partners. When large oil and weapons deals were signed between Libya and Britain, London said that Iran should follow the Libyan example, as has the Baker-Hamilton Commission.

Has the March to War been Interrupted?

Despite talks behind closed doors with Damascus and Tehran, Washington is nonetheless arming its clients in the Middle East. Israel is in an advanced state of military preparedness for a war on Syria.

Unlike France and Germany, Anglo-American ambitions pertaining to Iran and Syria are not one of cooperation. The ultimate objective is political and economic subordination.

Moreover, either as a friend or foe, America cannot tolerate Iran within its present borders. The balkanization of Iran, like that of Iraq and Russia, is a major long-term Anglo-American goal.

What lies ahead is never known. While there is smoke in the horizon, the U.S.-NATO-Israeli military agenda will not necessarily result in the implementation of war as planned.

A “Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition” — which forms the basis of a global counter-alliance — is emerging. America and Britain rather than opting for outright war, may choose to reel in Iran and Syria through macro-economic manipulation and velvet revolutions.

War directed against Iran and Syria, however, cannot be ruled out. There are real war preparations on the ground in the Middle East and Central Asia. A war against Iran and Syria would have far-reaching worldwide implications.


Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is an independent writer based in Ottawa specialising on the Middle East and Central Asia. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).


NOTES

 

[1] Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation, signed and entered into force July 16, 2001, P.R. of China-Russian Federation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.

http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjdt/2649/t15771.htm

 

The following are treaty articles that are relevant to the mutual defence of China and Russia against American-led encirclement and efforts to dismantle both nations;

 

ARTICLE 4

 

The Chinese side supports the Russian side in its policies on the issue of defending the national unity and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.

The Russian side supports the Chinese side in its policies on the issue of defending the national unity and territorial integrity of the People’s Republic of China.

 

ARTICLE 5

 

The Russian side reaffirms that the principled stand on the Taiwan issue as expounded in the political documents signed and adopted by the heads of states of the two countries from 1992 to 2000 remain unchanged. The Russian side acknowledges that there is only one China in the world, that the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The Russian side opposes any form of Taiwan’s independence.

 

ARTICLE 8


The contracting parties shall not enter into any alliance or be a party to any bloc nor shall they embark on any such action, including the conclusion of such treaty with a third country which compromises the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the other contracting party. Neither side of the contracting parties shall allow its territory to be used by a third country to jeopardize the national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the other contracting party.

Neither side of the contracting parties shall allow the setting up of organizations or gangs on its own soil which shall impair the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the other contrasting party and their activities should be prohibited.

 

ARTICLE 9

 

When a situation arises in which one of the contracting parties deems that peace is being threatened and undermined or its security interests are involved or when it is confronted with the threat of aggression, the contracting parties shall immediately hold contacts and consultations in order to eliminate such threats.

 

ARTILCE 12

 

The contracting parties shall work together for the maintenance of global strategic balance and stability and make great efforts in promoting the observation of the basic agreements relevant to the safeguard and maintenance of strategic stability.

The contracting parties shall actively promote the process of nuclear disarmament and the reduction of chemical weapons, promote and strengthen the regimes on the prohibition of biological weapons and take measures to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their means of delivery and their related technology.

 

[2] Ibid.

 

[3] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (NYC, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997), p.198.

 

[4] Ibid., pp. 115-116, 170, 205-206.

 

Note: Brzezinski also refers to a Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition as a “counteralliance” (p.116).

 

[5] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the 21st Century (NYC, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993), p.198.

 

[6] Ibid.

 

[7] Ibid.

 

[8] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Op. cit., p.198.

 

[9] M. K. Bhadrakumar, The lessons from Ferghana, Asia Times, May 18, 2005.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/GE18Ag01.html

 

[10] Nick Paton Walsh, Uzbekistan kicks US out of military base, The Guardian (U.K.), August 1, 2005.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1540185,00.html

 

[11] Vladimir Radyuhin, Uzbekistan rejoins defence pact, The Hindu, June 26, 2006.

http://www.thehindu.com/2006/06/26/stories/2006062604491400.htm

 

[12] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Op. cit., p.116.

 

[13] Glenn Kessler, In 2003, U.S. Spurned Iran’s Offer of Dialogue, The Washington Post, June 18, 2006, p.A16.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/17/AR2006061700727.html

 

[14] James A. Baker III et al., The Iraq Study Group Report: The Way Forward A New Approach, Authroized ed. (NYC, New York: Random House Inc., 2006), p.51.

[15] Ibid., pp.51, 54-57.

[16] Ibid., pp.50-53, 58.

[17] Ibid., p.114.

[18] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Op. cit., p.204.

 

[19] Iran, Turkey sign energy cooperation deal, agree to develop Iran’s gas fields, Associated Press, July 14, 2007.

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/07/14/business/ME-FIN-Iran-Turkey-Energy-deal.php


[20] Tehran to host summit of Caspian nations Oct.18, Russian Information Agency (RIA Novosti), August 22, 2007.
http://en.rian.ru/world/20070822/73387774.html

 

[21] Azerbaijan, Iran reinforce energy deals, United Press International (UPI), August 22, 2007.

[22] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The March to War: Détente in the Middle East or “Calm before the Storm?,” Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), July 10, 2007.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6281

[23] Ibid.

It is worth noting that Iran has been involved in pipeline deals with Turkey and in negotiation between Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and the Republic of Azerbaijan in the possible creation of an energy corridor in the Eastern Mediterranean. These deals occurred in the same time frame that both Syria and Iran started talks with the U.S. after the Baker-Hamilton Commission’s report.


[24] Syria and Iraq to reopen oil pipeline link, Agence France-Presse (AFP), August 22, 2007.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Roger Hardy, Why the US is unhappy with Maliki, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), August 22, 2007.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6958440.stm

[27] Hassan Nafaa, About-face on Iran coming?, Al-Ahram (Egypt), no. 859, August 23-29, 2007.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2007/859/op22.htm


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Cold War II by Noam Chomsky

August 30, 2007

Cold War II

by Noam Chomsky
August 27, 2007

 


These are exciting days in Washington, as the government directs its energies to the demanding task of “containing Iran” in what Washington Post correspondent Robin Wright, joining others, calls “Cold War II.”[1]

During Cold War I, the task was to contain two awesome forces.  The lesser and more moderate force was “an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever cost.” Hence “if the United States is to survive,” it will have to adopt a “repugnant philosophy” and reject “acceptable norms of human conduct” and the “long-standing American concepts of `fair play’” that had been exhibited with such searing clarity in the conquest of the national territory, the Philippines, Haiti and other beneficiaries of “the idealistic new world bent on ending inhumanity,” as the newspaper of record describes our noble mission.[2] The judgments about the nature of the super-Hitler and the necessary response are those of General Jimmy Doolittle, in a critical assessment of the CIA commissioned by President Eisenhower in 1954.  They are quite consistent with those of the Truman administration liberals, the “wise men” who were “present at the creation,” notoriously in NSC 68 but in fact quite consistently.

 

In the face of the Kremlin’s unbridled aggression in every corner of the world, it is perhaps understandable that the US resisted in defense of human values with a savage display of torture, terror, subversion and violence while doing “everything in its power to alter or abolish any regime not openly allied with America,” as Tim Weiner summarizes the doctrine of the Eisenhower administration in his recent history of the CIA.[3]  And just as the Truman liberals easily matched their successors in fevered rhetoric about the implacable enemy and its campaign to rule the world, so did John F. Kennedy, who bitterly condemned the “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy,” and dismissed the proposal of its leader (Khrushchev) for sharp mutual cuts in offensive weaponry, then reacted to his unilateral implementation of these proposals with a huge military build-up.  The Kennedy brothers also quickly surpassed Eisenhower in violence and terror, as they “unleashed covert action with an unprecedented intensity” (Wiener), doubling Eisenhower’s annual record of major CIA covert operations, with horrendous consequences worldwide, even a close brush with terminal nuclear war.[4]

 

But at least it was possible to deal with Russia, unlike the fiercer enemy, China.  The more thoughtful scholars recognized that Russia was poised uneasily between civilization and barbarism.  As Henry Kissinger later explained in his academic essays, only the West has undergone the Newtonian revolution and is therefore “deeply committed to the notion that the real world is external to the observer,” while the rest still believe “that the real world is almost completely internal to the observer,” the “basic division” that is “the deepest problem of the contemporary international order.” But Russia, unlike third word peasants who think that rain and sun are inside their heads, was perhaps coming to the realization that the world is not just a dream, Kissinger felt.

 

Not so the still more savage and bloodthirsty enemy, China, which for liberal Democrat intellectuals at various times rampaged as a “a Slavic Manchukuo,” a blind puppet of its Kremlin master, or a monster utterly unconstrained as it pursued its crazed campaign to crush the world in its tentacles, or whatever else circumstances demanded.  The remarkable tale of doctrinal fanaticism from the 1940s to the ‘70s, which makes contemporary rhetoric seem rather moderate, is reviewed by James Peck in his highly revealing study of the national security culture, Washington’s China.

 

In later years, there were attempts to mimic the valiant deeds of the defenders of virtue from the two villainous global conquerors and their loyal slaves – for example, when the Gipper strapped on his cowboy boots and declared a National Emergency because Nicaraguan hordes were only two days from Harlingen Texas, though as he courageously informed the press, despite the tremendous odds “I refuse to give up. I remember a man named Winston Churchill who said, `Never give in. Never, never, never.’ So we won’t.” With consequences that need not be reviewed.

 

Even with the best of efforts, however, the attempts never were able to recapture the glorious days of Cold War I.  But now, at last, those heights might be within reach, as another implacable enemy bent on world conquest has arisen, which we must contain before it destroys us all: Iran.

 

Perhaps it’s a lift to the spirits to be able to recover those heady Cold War days when at least there was a legitimate force to contain, however dubious the pretexts and disgraceful the means.  But it is instructive to take a closer look at the contours of Cold War II as they are being designed by “the former Kremlinologists now running U.S. foreign policy, such as Rice and Gates” (Wright).

 

The task of containment is to establish “a bulwark against Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East,” Mark Mazzetti and Helene Cooper explain in the New York Times (July 31).  To contain Iran’s influence we must surround Iran with US and NATO ground forces, along with massive naval deployments in the Persian Gulf and of course incomparable air power and weapons of mass destruction.  And we must provide a huge flow of arms to what Condoleezza Rice calls “the forces of moderation and reform” in the region, the brutal tyrannies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia and, with particular munificence, Israel, by now virtually an adjunct of the militarized high-tech US economy.  All to contain Iran’s influence.  A daunting challenge indeed.

 

And daunting it is.  In Iraq, Iranian support is welcomed by much of the majority Shi’ite population.  In an August visit to Teheran, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki met with the supreme leader Ali Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad and other senior officials, and thanked Tehran for its “positive and constructive” role in improving security in Iraq, eliciting a sharp reprimand from President Bush, who “declares Teheran a regional peril and asserts the Iraqi leader must understand,” to quote the headline of the Los Angeles Times report on al-Maliki’s intellectual deficiencies.  A few days before, also greatly to Bush’s discomfiture, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Washington’s favorite, described Iran as “a helper and a solution” in his country.[5]  Similar problems abound beyond Iran’s immediate neighbors.  In Lebanon, according to polls, most Lebanese see Iranian-backed Hezbollah “as a legitimate force defending their country from Israel,” Wright reports.  And in Palestine, Iranian-backed Hamas won a free election, eliciting savage punishment of the Palestinian population by the US and Israel for the crime of voting “the wrong way,” another episode in “democracy promotion.”

 

But no matter.  The aim of US militancy and the arms flow to the moderates is to counter “what everyone in the region believes is a flexing of muscles by a more aggressive Iran,” according to an unnamed senior U.S. government official – “everyone” being the technical term used to refer to Washington and its more loyal clients.[6]  Iran’s aggression consists in its being welcomed by many within the region, and allegedly supporting resistance to the US occupation of neighboring Iraq.

 

It’s likely, though little discussed, that a prime concern about Iran’s influence is to the East, where in mid-August “Russia and China today host Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a summit of a Central Asian security club designed to counter U.S. influence in the region,” the business press reports.[7] The “security club” is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which has been slowly taking shape in recent years.  Its membership includes not only the two giants Russia and China, but also the energy-rich Central Asian states Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.  Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan was a guest of honor at the August meeting. “In another unwelcome development for the Americans, Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov also accepted an invitation to attend the summit,” another step its improvement of relations with Russia, particularly in energy, reversing a long-standing policy of isolation from Russia.  “Russia in May secured a deal to build a new pipeline to import more gas from Turkmenistan, bolstering its dominant hold on supplies to Europe and heading off a competing U.S.-backed plan that would bypass Russian territory.”[8]

 

Along with Iran, there are three other official observer states: India, Pakistan and Mongolia. Washington’s request for similar status was denied.  In 2005 the SCO called for a timetable for termination of any US military presence in Central Asia.  The participants at the August meeting flew to the Urals to attend the first joint Russia-China military exercises on Russian soil.

 

Association of Iran with the SCO extends its inroads into the Middle East, where China has been increasing trade and other relations with the jewel in the crown, Saudi Arabia.  There is an oppressed Shi’ite population in Saudi Arabia that is also susceptible to Iran’s influence – and happens to sit on most of Saudi oil.  About 40% of Middle East oil is reported to be heading East, not West.[9] As the flow Eastward increases, US control declines over this lever of world domination, a “stupendous source of strategic power,” as the State Department described Saudi oil 60 years ago.

 

In Cold War I, the Kremlin had imposed an iron curtain and built the Berlin Wall to contain Western influence.  In Cold War II, Wright reports, the former Kremlinologists framing policy are imposing a “green curtain” to bar Iranian influence.   In short, government-media doctrine is that the Iranian threat is rather similar to the Western threat that the Kremlin sought to contain, and the US is eagerly taking on the Kremlin’s role in the thrilling “new Cold War.”

 

All of this is presented without noticeable concern.  Nevertheless, the recognition that the US government is modeling itself on Stalin and his successors in the new Cold War must be arousing at least some flickers of embarrassment.  Perhaps that is how we can explain the ferocious Washington Post editorial announcing that Iran has escalated its aggressiveness to a Hot War: “the Revolutionary Guard, a radical state within Iran’s Islamic state, is waging war against the United States and trying to kill as many American soldiers as possible.” The US must therefore “fight back,” the editors thunder, finding quite “puzzling…the murmurs of disapproval from European diplomats and others who say they favor using diplomacy and economic pressure, rather than military action, to rein in Iran,” even in the face of its outright aggression.  The evidence that Iran is waging war against the US is now conclusive.  After all, it comes from an administration that has never deceived the American people, even improving on the famous stellar honesty of its predecessors.

 

Suppose that for once Washington’s charges happen to be true, and Iran really is providing Shi’ite militias with roadside bombs that kill American forces, perhaps even making use of the some of the advanced weaponry lavishly provided to the Revolutionary Guard by Ronald Reagan in order to fund the illegal war against Nicaragua, under the pretext of arms for hostages (the number of hostages tripled during these endeavors).[10]  If the charges are true, then Iran could properly be charged with a minuscule fraction of the iniquity of the Reagan administration, which provided Stinger missiles and other high-tech military aid to the “insurgents” seeking to disrupt Soviet efforts to bring stability and justice to Afghanistan, as they saw it.  Perhaps Iran is even guilty of some of the crimes of the Roosevelt administration, which assisted terrorist partisans attacking peaceful and sovereign Vichy France in 1940-41, and had thus declared war on Germany even before Pearl Harbor.

 

One can pursue these questions further.  The CIA station chief in Pakistan in 1981, Howard Hart, reports that “I was the first chief of station ever sent abroad with this wonderful order: `Go kill Soviet soldiers’.  Imagine! I loved it.” Of course “the mission was not to liberate Afghanistan,” Tim Wiener writes in his history of the CIA, repeating the obvious.  But “it was a noble goal,” he writes.  Killing Russians with no concern for the fate of Afghans is a “noble goal.” But support for resistance to a US invasion and occupation would be a vile act and declaration of war.

 

Without irony, the Bush administration and the media charge that Iran is “meddling” in Iraq, otherwise presumably free from foreign interference. The evidence is partly technical. Do the serial numbers on the Improvised Explosive Devices really trace back to Iran? If so, does the leadership of Iran know about the IEDs, or only the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.  Settling the debate, the White House plans to brand the Revolutionary Guard as a “specially designated global terrorist” force, an unprecedented action against a national military branch, authorizing Washington to undertake a wide range of punitive actions. Watching in disbelief, much of the world asks whether the US military, invading and occupying Iran’s neighbors, might better merit this charge — or its Israeli client, now about to receive a huge increase in military aid to commemorate 40 years of harsh occupation and illegal settlement, and its fifth invasion of Lebanon a year ago.

 

It is instructive that Washington’s propaganda framework is reflexively accepted, apparently without notice, in US and other Western commentary and reporting, apart from the marginal fringe of what is called ‘the loony left.” What is considered “criticism” is skepticism as to whether all of Washington’s charges about Iranian aggression in Iraq are true.  It might be an interesting research project to see how closely the propaganda of Russia, Nazi Germany, and other aggressors and occupiers matched the standards of today’s liberal press and commentators..

 

The comparisons are of course unfair.  Unlike German and Russian occupiers, American forces are in Iraq by right, on the principle, too obvious even to enunciate, that the US owns the world.  Therefore, as a matter of elementary logic, the US cannot invade and occupy another country.  The US can only defend and liberate others.  No other category exists.  Predecessors, including the most monstrous, have commonly sworn by the same principle, but again there is an obvious difference: they were Wrong, and we are Right.  QED.

 

Another comparison comes to mind, which is studiously ignored when we are sternly admonished of the ominous consequences that might follow withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.  The preferred analogy is Indochina, highlighted in a shameful speech by the President on August 22.  That analogy can perhaps pass muster among those who have succeeded in effacing from their minds the record of US actions in Indochina, including the destruction of much of Vietnam and the murderous bombing of Laos and Cambodia as the US began its withdrawal from the wreckage of South Vietnam.  In Cambodia, the bombing was in accord with Kissinger’s genocidal orders: “anything that flies on anything that moves” – actions that drove “an enraged populace into the arms of an insurgency [the Khmer Rouge] that had enjoyed relatively little support before the Kissinger-Nixon bombing was inaugurated,” as Cambodia specialists Owen Taylor and Ben Kiernan observe in a highly important study that passed virtually without notice, in which they reveal that the bombing was five times the incredible level reported earlier, greater than all allied bombing in World War II.  Completely suppressing all relevant facts, it is then possible for the President and many commentators to present Khmer Rouge crimes as a justification for continuing to devastate Iraq.

 

But although the grotesque Indochina analogy receives much attention, the obvious analogy is ignored: the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan, which, as Soviet analysts predicted, led to shocking violence and destruction as the country was taken over by Reagan’s favorites, who amused themselves by such acts as throwing acid in the faces of women in Kabul they regarded as too liberated, and then virtually destroyed the city and much else, creating such havoc and terror that the population actually welcomed the Taliban.  That analogy could indeed be invoked without utter absurdity by advocates of  “staying the course,” but evidently it is best forgotten.

 

Under the heading “Secretary Rice’s Mideast mission: contain Iran,” the press reports Rice’s warning that Iran is “the single most important single-country challenge to…US interests in the Middle East.” That is a reasonable judgment.  Given the long-standing principle that Washington must do “everything in its power to alter or abolish any regime not openly allied with America,” Iran does pose a unique challenge, and it is natural that the task of containing Iranian influence should be a high priority.

 

As elsewhere, Bush administration rhetoric is relatively mild in this case.  For the Kennedy administration, “Latin America was the most dangerous area in the world” when there was a threat that the progressive Cheddi Jagan might win a free election in British Guiana, overturned by CIA shenanigans that handed the country over to the thuggish racist Forbes Burnham.[11] A few years earlier, Iraq was “the most dangerous place in the world” (CIA director Allen Dulles) after General Abdel Karim Qassim broke the Anglo-American condominium over Middle East oil, overthrowing the pro-US monarchy, which had been heavily infiltrated by the CIA.[12]  A primary concern was that Qassim might join Nasser, then the supreme Middle East devil, in using the incomparable energy resources of the Middle East for the domestic.  The issue for Washington was not so much access as control.  At the time and for many years after, Washington was purposely exhausting domestic oil resources in the interests of “national security,” meaning security for the profits of Texas oil men, like the failed entrepreneur who now sits in the Oval Office.  But as high-level planner George Kennan had explained well before, we cannot relax our guard when there is any interference with “protection of our resources” (which accidentally happen to be somewhere else).

 

Unquestionably, Iran’s government merits harsh condemnation, though it has not engaged in worldwide terror, subversion, and aggression, following the US model – which extends to today’s Iran as well, if ABC news is correct in reporting that the US is supporting Pakistan-based Jundullah, which is carrying out terrorist acts inside Iran.[13]  The sole act of aggression attributed to Iran is the conquest of two small islands in the Gulf – under Washington’s close ally the Shah.  In addition to internal repression – heightened, as Iranian dissidents regularly protest, by US militancy — the prospect that Iran might develop nuclear weapons also is deeply troubling.  Though Iran has every right to develop nuclear energy, no one – including the majority of Iranians – wants it to have nuclear weapons.  That would add to the threat to survival posed much more seriously by its near neighbors Pakistan, India, and Israel, all nuclear armed with the blessing of the US, which most of the world regards as the leading threat to world peace, for evident reasons.

 

Iran rejects US control of the Middle East, challenging fundamental policy doctrine, but it hardly poses a military threat. On the contrary, it has been the victim of outside powers for years: in recent memory, when the US and Britain overthrew its parliamentary government and installed a brutal tyrant in 1953, and when the US supported Saddam Hussein’s murderous invasion, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Iranians, many with chemical weapons, without the “international community” lifting a finger – something that Iranians do not forget as easily as the perpetrators.  And then under severe sanctions as a punishment for disobedience.

 

Israel regards Iran as a threat. Israel seeks to dominate the region with no interference, and Iran might be some slight counterbalance, while also supporting domestic forces that do not bend to Israel’s will. It may, however, be useful to bear in mind that Hamas has accepted the international consensus on a two-state settlement on the international border, and Hezbollah, along with Iran, has made clear that it would accept any outcome approved by Palestinians, leaving the US and Israel isolated in their traditional rejectionism.[14]

 

But Iran is hardly a military threat to Israel. And whatever threat there might be could be overcome if the US would accept the view of the great majority of its own citizens and of Iranians and permit the Middle East to become a nuclear-weapons free zone, including Iran and Israel, and US forces deployed there.  One may also recall that UN Security Council Resolution 687 of 3 April 1991, to which Washington appeals when convenient, calls for “establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery.”

 

It is widely recognized that use of military force in Iran would risk blowing up the entire region, with untold consequences beyond. We know from polls that in the surrounding countries, where the Iranian government is hardly popular — Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan — nevertheless large majorities prefer even a nuclear-armed Iran to any form of military action against it.

 

The rhetoric about Iran has escalated to the point where both political parties and practically the whole US press accept it as legitimate and, in fact, honorable, that “all options are on the table,” to quote Hillary Clinton and everybody else, possibly even nuclear weapons. “All options on the table” means that Washington threatens war.

 

The UN Charter outlaws “the threat or use of force.” The United States, which has chosen to become an outlaw state, disregards international laws and norms. We’re allowed to threaten anybody we want — and to attack anyone we choose.

 

Washington‘s feverish new Cold War “containment” policy has spread to Europe. Washington intends to install a “missile defense system” in the Czech Republic and Poland, marketed to Europe as a shield against Iranian missiles. Even if Iran had nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, the chances of its using them to attack Europe are perhaps on a par with the chances of Europe’s being hit by an asteroid, so perhaps Europe would do as well to invest in an asteroid defense system. Furthermore, if Iran were to indicate the slightest intention of aiming a missile at Europe or Israel, the country would be vaporized.

 

Of course, Russian planners are gravely upset by the shield proposal.  We can imagine how the US would respond if a Russian anti-missile system were erected in Canada.  The Russians have good reason to regard an anti-missile system as part of a first-strike weapon against them.  It is generally understood that such a system could never block a first strike, but it could conceivably impede a retaliatory strike. On all sides, “missile defense” is therefore understood to be a first-strike weapon, eliminating a deterrent to attack.  And a small initial installation in Eastern Europe could easily be a base for later expansion.  Even more obviously, the only military function of such a system with regard to Iran, the declared aim, would be to bar an Iranian deterrent to US or Israel aggression.

 

Not surprisingly, in reaction to the “missile defense” plans, Russia has resorted to its own dangerous gestures, including the recent decision to renew long-range patrols by nuclear-capable bombers after a 15-year hiatus, in one recent case near the US military base on Guam.  These actions reflect Russia’s anger “over what it has called American and NATO aggressiveness, including plans for a missile-defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland, analysts said” (Andrew Kramer, NYT).[15]

 

The shield ratchets the threat of war a few notches higher, in the Middle East and elsewhere, with incalculable consequences, and the potential for a terminal nuclear war. The immediate fear is that by accident or design, Washington’s war planners or their Israeli surrogate might decide to escalate their Cold War II into a hot one – in this case a real hot war.

 

 

 



[1] Wright, WP, July 29 07

[2] Correspondent Michael Wines, NYT, June 13, 1999.  Doolittle report, Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: the History of the CIA, Doubleday 2007

[3] Ibid., 77.

[4] Ibid., 180.

[5] Paul Richter, LAT, Aug. 10, 2007.  Karzai, CNN, Aug. 5, 2007.

[6] Robin Wright, “U.S. Plans New Arms Sales to Gulf Allies,” WP, July 28, 2007.

[7] Henry Meyer, Bloomberg, Aug. 16, 2007.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Hiro

[10] Weiner

[11] Schmitz, Weiner.

[12] Weiner.  Failed States.

[13] Brian Ross and Christopher Isham, “ABC News Exclusive: The Secret War Against Iran,” April 3, 2007; Ross and Richard Esposito, ABC, “Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran,” May 22, 2007.

[14] On Iran, see Gilbert Achcar, Noam Chomsky, and Stephen Shalom, Perilous Power (Paradigm, 2007), and Ervand Abrahamian, in David Barsamian, ed., Targeting Iran (City Lights, 2007).  On Hamas, among many similar statements see the article by Hamas’s most militant leader, Khalid Mish’al, “Our unity can now pave the way for peace and justice,” Guardian, February 13, 2007.  Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has repeatedly taken the same position.  See among others Irene Gendzier, Assaf Kfoury, and Fawwaz Traboulsi, eds., Inside Lebanon (Monthly Review, 2007).

[15] Kramer, “Recalling Cold War, Russia Resumes Long-Range Sorties,” Aug. 18,  2007.

War and the “New World Order” by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

August 30, 2007

War and the “New World Order” by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya


Dandelion Salad

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, August 29, 2007

“We are now at the year 1908, which was the year that the Carnegie Foundation began operations. And, in that year, the trustees meeting, for the first time, raised a specific question, which they discussed throughout the balance of the year, in a very learned fashion. And the question is this: Is there any means known more effective than war, assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people? And they conclude that, no more effective means to that end is known to humanity, than war. So then, in 1909, they raise the second question, and discuss it, namely, how do we involve the United States in a war?” -Norman Dobbs, U.S. Congressional Special Committee for the Investigate of Tax-Exempt Foundations (1982)

War is the ultimate means of attempting to change societies and reshape nations. It is through war that national economies and political structures can be forcibly restructured. War is, potentially, the ultimate economic shock therapy. The wars in the Middle East are stepping stones towards establishing a vision of global order that has been in the hearts and minds of the Anglo-American establishment for years. That vision is global ascendancy.

Towards the “New International Order” through the “Global War on Terror”

“There is a chance for the President of the United States [George W. Bush Jr.] to use this disaster [meaning the attacks of September 11, 2001] to carry out what his father…a phrase his father [George H. Bush Sr.] used I think only once, and it hasn’t been used since … and that is a new world order. Think about this. We already have the support of NATO in a remarkable historic departure.” -Gary Hart, National Security in the 21st Century: Findings of the Hart-Rudman Commission (September 14, 2001)

On January 18, 2005 Henry Kissinger appeared on Charlie Rose, a television program on PBS, and talked about a “New International Order” being created by George W. Bush and his administration. [1] Henry Kissinger stated that within the next few years that humanity will see the emergence of the beginning of a “New International Order.” Kissinger also stated that the Bush Jr. Administration could bring about this state; “and it could well be this president, [meaning President Bush Jr.] that is so reviled by intellectuals, will emerge as one of the seminal presidents of …of this…of this period…of American modern history.” [2]

When asked what George W. Bush Jr. has to do to bring about this “New International Order” by his interviewer Kissinger paused again and gave a vague answer that avoided mentioning the criminality of war. “He has to do some certain things and he has to have some luck,” Kissinger answered followed by “Luck is the residue of design.” [3] It should be noted that if luck is a residue of design then it is no longer chance, but a calculation of intent.

Briefly the role of the American public was talked about by Charlie Rose with Kissinger who paused to pick his words carefully. Kissinger told his interviewer, Rose, that the United States is a nation whose public has no clue about American foreign policy. [4] In regards to the American public, the war agenda cannot move forward if the U.S. maintains its multi-cultural characteristics. It was this multi-cultural characteristic that initially presented the U.S. a problem in declaring war on Germany in both World Wars until the sinking of the RMS Lusitania and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. [5]

Thus, an end to a liberal North American immigration regime that ensures a multi-cultural environment in North America is a prerequisite to expanded American war(s). Zbigniew Brzezinski has written that “as America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues [amongst the American people], except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” [6] The E.U. is also beginning to follow suit. This premise by Brzezinski, an individual from within the ruling establishment of America, can be used to explain the demonization of Muslims and several national and ethno-cultural groups such as Arabs, Turks, and Iranians.

It is also worth noting that Gary Hart, a former U.S. senator from Colorado, implied on September 14 of 2001 that the “Global War on Terror” sponsored by the Bush Jr. Adminstration was a pretext for establishing the so-called “New World Order.” [7] Gary Hart also implicated NATO’s role in shaping this “New World Order.” [8] The project is to be implemented by military might.

A Unipolar World: Pax Americana?

“However, what is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.” -Vladimir Putin at the Munich Conference on Security Policy in Germany (February 11, 2007)

During his interview with Charlie Rose Henry Kissinger had referred to what George H. Bush Sr. identified as the “New World Order.” This was a term frequently used by the former American president that became famous during the Gulf War. With the end of the Cold War and the defeat of Iraq in the Gulf War, Georgia H. Bush Sr. said that the World in 1991 was witness to the emergence of a “New World Order” that would be led by America. [9] The Gulf War was merely the beginning of this “New World Order.” The seeds had been planted in the Middle East for future wars and Eurasian expansion.

The Trilateral Commission, an organization founded in 1973 and consisting of the wealthiest and most powerful elites from the U.S., the E.U., and Japan, originally created the term that George H. Bush Sr. drew on. Their word was “New International Economic Order.” The Trilateral Commission’s terminology lays bare the economic fabric of this program. Military might is merely the enforcer of foreign policy, and foreign policy is based on economic interests.

An agenda of perpetual warfare and violence has been fueling the march towards global domination through economic means. In essence this war agenda has been an unbroken process watched over by the different presidential administrations of the United States.

Stepping forth from behind the Curtains: NATO’s Role in the Eurasian Roadmap

“The policies of the U.S., since the end of the Cold War are complicated and vast. They involve an intent to dominate and the use of international organizations to advance U.S. economic and geopolitical interests. They also include the conversion of NATO into a surrogate military police force for globalization and U.S. world economic domination.” -Ramsey Clark, 66th United States Attorney-General (October 6, 2000)

NATO has started replicating long-term American war tactics and strategy. NATO is creating a rapid response force, which involves a significant German role. The force is modeled on the U.S. Rapid Response Force, the forerunner of CENTCOM, and has a global reach. The transformation of the U.S. Rapid Deployment Force into CENTCOM was part of long-term Anglo-American war plans. The NATO force is projected to be able to deploy to any region in the world within five days and planned to be capable of self-sufficient, detached operations for approximately one month. The force will also have land, sea, and air components, including an aircraft carrier. [10]

It is apparent that control over Iraq was planned during the culmination of the Cold War by Anglo-American policy makers. The series of wars that have occurred since the Iraq-Iran War are debatably the products of a historical Anglo-American project in the Middle East— a project that was once a solely British project that predated the Cold War. The project to reshape and control the Middle East is part of the greater project to control Eurasia. Just as how this grand project was embraced by the U.S., as the inheritor of British strategy, the project has been embraced by the Franco-German entente and NATO. Zbigniew Brzezinski argued in 1997 that “Europe is America’s essential geopolitical bridgehead in Eurasia,” or an entry point towards dominating Eurasia. [11]

From the statements and goals of U.S. officials going back to the 1990s NATO was projected to expand across the Eurasian landmass and set to embrace Japan, South Korea, and Australia in what Zbigniew Brzezinski identfies as the “trans-Eurasian security system.” [12] The characteristics of prospective conflicts seem to be slated to become dominated by NATO as France and Germany expand their roles in the “long war.” NATO’s role in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, along with NATO’s thrust into the post-Soviet niche and inner Eurasia, are all precarious indications of this.

Making Europe the Partner of America in the “Long War:” Enter the Franco-German Entente

“The victory over Iraq [in the Gulf War] was not waged as ‘a war to end all wars.’ Even the ‘New World Order’ cannot guarantee an era of perpetual peace.” -George H. Bush Sr., 41st President of the United States (March 6, 1991)

Brzezinski explained that although Japan was important to American geo-strategy, Europe as a geopolitical entity (via the E.U. and NATO) consitututes America’s bridgehead into Eurasia. [13] “Unlike America’s links with Japan, NATO entrenches American political influence and military power on the Eurasian mainland,” and that “the allied European nations [were] still highly dependent on U.S. protection, any expansion of Europe’s political scope is automatically an expansion of U.S. influence,” Brzezinski explained in regards to Europe and Japan. [14] Brzezinski was paying more than just lip service to America’s allies in continental Europe; he was stressing that they were crucial, albeit as subordinates, to American global interests.

The strength of NATO would rest on the vitality of the European Union, an Anglo-American and Franco-German device. To emphasis this Brzezinski wrote that “the United States’ ability to project influence and power in Eurasia relies on close transatlantic ties.” [15] Brzezinski also added that France and Germany, the Franco-German entente, would be America’s vital partners in NATO expansion and securing Eurasia, but a united Europe was an essential prerequisite. In regards to the Franco-German entente, Brzezinski wrote in 1998 that “In the western periphery of Eurasia, the key players will continue to be France and Germany, and America’s central goal should be to continue to expand the democratic European bridgehead.” [16] This was essentially the forecast of the “E.U. expansion” that has gone hand-in-hand with earlier NATO expansion since the end of the Cold War. According to Brzezinski it would be up to the Franco-German entente to led Europe: “America cannot create a more united Europe on its own — that is a task for the Europeans, especially the French and the Germans.” [17]

None of the Pentagon’s geo-strategic plans can go forward without the E.U. and NATO. For this to happen it is essential that a strategic consensus between the Anglo-American alliance and the Franco-German entente be forged. The Anglo-American alliance has pursued this track and deeper integration with the Franco-German side, while also taking an adversarial stance against the Franco-German entente. Iraq is a symbolic testimony to this rivalry while Lebanon and NATO expansion in the Eastern Mediterranean is a parallel testimony to the strategic cooperation between the Anglo-American alliance and the Franco-German entente. A contradictory and confusing message is sent from these tracks, but there is always more to the picture. However, it is clear that Franco-German and Anglo-American interests must be synchronized for America to expand its global control.

The Endgame: A “Single Market” under One World Administration?

“I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer…” – Major-General Smedley D. Butler, U.S. Marine Corp Commander (War Is a Racket)

After the Second World War, it was believed that from the nucleolus of Britain and American that a “New World Order” would be formed. Britain and America even had a combined military staff and combined chiefs of military staff. Imaginings for a singular global polity have vividly been tied to the Anglo-American establishment. In 1966, Professor Carroll Quigley, a noted American economist, wrote in his book Hope and Tragedy: A History of the World in Our Time that economics and finance vis-à-vis banking conglomerates were the engine in this drive and the real forces controlling national policies. Carroll Quigley wrote in regards to the Anglo-American alliance that “I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies (notably to its belief that England was an Atlantic rather than a European Power and must be allied, or even federated, with the United States and must remain isolated from Europe), but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.” [18]

“For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia,” insists Zbigniew Brzezinski. He also contends, “Now a non-Eurasian power [i.e., the U.S.] is preeminent in Eurasia— and America’s global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained.” [19] The former U.S. national security advisor has also stated, in 1997, that in order to co-opt the Franco-German entente a “Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement, already advocated by a number of prominent Atlantic leaders, could also mitigate the risk of growing economic rivalry between a more united E.U. and the United States.” [20]

There is opposition in North America to what is believed to be the emergence of a projected “North American Union.” This North American entity would further amalgamate Canada, the United States, and Mexico, but the mechanisms for a grander global confederacy have already been drawn. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the creation of the E.U. were stepping stones towards this aspiration. Economics is the key that fuses these polities.

A summit between the E.U. and U.S. has shed light on plans for economic amalgamation. [21] The term used at the summit was “single market” by “renewing the Trans-Atlantic partnership.” [22] This is the same term used to describe the “common market” as it intensified Western European integration, which eventually gave birth to the European Union. At the summit President Bush Jr. met with Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Federal Chancellor Merkel. Frau Merkel, while officially there on behalf of the E.U., represented the interests of the Franco-German entente while President Bush represented Anglo-American interests. Jose Manuel Barroso as the President of the European Commission represented both Anglo-American and Franco-German interests because the E.U. is a joint Anglo-American and Franco-German body. America is a de facto E.U. power due to its alliance with Britain, one of the three major E.U. powers along with France and Germany.

An agreement was reached between the E.U. and U.S. to integrate the markets and regulations of the America and Europe even further. This agreement was another layer to add to the strategic consensus that was reached at NATO’s Riga Summit. Both sides also stated that economics is the driving spirit in their relationship and that politics mattered very little. The liberal and conservative leaders of America and Europe are merely two sides of the same coin.

Decade after the end of the Cold War the globe is wrapped within a state of almost perpetual war dominated by the military might of America. The last lines in The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and the Geostrategic Imperatives reveal the ultimate objective of Anglo-American policy: “These efforts will have the added historical advantage of benefiting from the new web of global linkages that is growing exponentially outside the more traditional nation-state system. That web— woven by multinational corporations, NGOs (…) already creates an informal global system that is inherently congenial to more institutionalized and inclusive global cooperation [a reference to global government].” [23]

Brzezinski goes on to predict that “In the course of the next several decades, a functioning structure of global cooperation, based on geopolitical realities, could thus emerge and gradually assume the mantle of the world’s current ‘regent’[a reference to the U.S.],” and “Geostrategic success in that cause would represent a fitting legacy of America’s role as the first, only, and last truly global superpower.” [24] All around the globe nation-states are being absorbed into larger and larger political and socio-economic entities. This is part of the story of globalization, but it has its dark side. This is the globalization of the few and not of the many.

The Fight for Civilization and the Gathering Storm

“When all is said and done the conflict in Afghanistan will be to the war on terrorism what the North African campaign was to World War II: an essential beginning on the path to victory. But compared to what looms over the horizon— a wide-ranging war in locales from Central Asia to the Middle East and, unfortunately, back again to the United States— Afghanistan will prove but an opening battle.” -Robert Kagan and William Kristol, The Gathering Storm (The Weekly Standard, October 29, 2001)

One cannot help but remember what was elucidated in 2001 during the start of the “Global War on Terror” by two members of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), stating that Afghanistan was only part of a “wide-ranging war.” [25] Both Robert Kagan and William Kristol are deeply linked to U.S. foreign and military policy extending from writing presidential speeches to having a former spouse as the U.S. ambassador to NATO. It is not coincidental that a portion of their editorial from October of 2001 in The Weekly Standard has actually materialized. These men should be taken for their words when they say that Afghanistan is merely the “opening battle” compared to what is waiting in the horizon.

Referring back to Robert Kagan and William Kristol: “this war will not end in Afghanistan. It is going to spread and engulf a number of countries in conflicts of varying intensity. It could well require the use of American military power in multiple places simultaneously. It is going to resemble the clash of civilizations that everyone has hoped to avoid. And it is going to put enormous and perhaps unbearable strain on parts of an international coalition that basks in contented consensus.” [26] The “international coalition” being referred to is NATO and the international military network based around the U.S. and the “unbearable strain” is war, but of an unknown scale. On August 10, 2007 Lieutenant-General Douglas Lute, the “War Czar” overseeing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and any expanded theatre, publicly talked about restoring a mandatory military draft. [27] The march to war is not waning, but driving the world towards the abyss.

Afghanistan was the first volley in an advance phase of the global conflict that was in its preparatory stages decades ago during the Iraq-Iran War, the Gulf War, and the Kosovo War. Where this global conflict, this “long war” will lead us is unknown, but all humanity is in this together. The American people will sooner or later feel the pain of war as their freedom is effected. Autocracy is a prerequisite to grand empires. Brzezinski has pointed out that “America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad,” and “never before has a populist democracy attained international supremacy.” [28] Deviancy is being normalized all over the globe because of this global project. Those that are behind such projects must be reduced to social leprids, as outcasts, denounced by all societies.

Resistance in the Middle East: The Power of the People

“The Iraqi Resistance is by definition democratic as it is the spontaneous expression of a people who took its destiny into its hands, and is by definition progressive as it defends the interests of the people.” -Hana Al-Bayaty (March 18, 2007)

Anglo-American planners have underestimated the capacity of the power of ordinary people and the human spirit. In the Middle East it has been the resistance of ordinary people that has brought militant globalization to a standstill. Popular resistance movements have bogged down the military might of the remaining global superpower.

A nation is only as legitimate as the people(s) who live in it define it. America is not at war with individual nations, but with the people(s) of these nations. Nor are the American people at war with these nations, it is the American ruling establishment and elites that are at war with these people(s).

The forces of resistance are the forces of the will of the people, without the support of the people none of them could last or stand up to some of the most powerful war machines in human history.

The wars in the Middle East are as much about choice as they are about the right to live. What is at stake is self-determination and liberty. These wars represent the drive to impose an overall monopoly of controls over other nations by a few who have hijacked the foreign policies of America and Britain to serve their own goals.

The Iraqi Resistance and the other resistance movements of the Middle East are movements of the peoples and by nature egalitarian. Would anyone in the so-called West dare label the French, Czechoslovakian, Greek, Libyan, Chinese, Malaysian, and Soviet resistance movements against Germany, Italy, and Japan during the Second World War as terrorist movements? Did not France and the other areas occupied by Germany and the Axis Powers not have governments that said the Axis Powers were welcomed forces bringing stability as do Iraq and Afghanistan? For example in France there was the Vichy Government. When Germany was defeated the leaders of the Vichy Government in France was executed as a traitor.

The U.S. government misleadingly claims that it is bringing democracy to these lands, but since when was democracy forced from the top down to the bottom? Is this not what the opposite of democracy; things being forced down from the top to the bottom? Democracy is an expression of the masses that manifests its self upwards and not from the opposite direction.

No force on earth can defeat the popular will of the people; this is why domestic populations are manipulated into supporting wars. It is only division that allows small groups to take temporary reign over the people(s). However, for every scheme and plan to create division and anarchy amongst the people(s) of the world there is a plan to unite them and strengthen them. This is one of the greatest fears of many in positions of power. This is the fear of any awakening of large societal groups and populations.

There is no greater ally to the movements of resistance in the Middle East and beyond than unadulterated public opinion in the rest of the world. The people(s) of Britain, Israel, and the U.S. are also victims of their own governments who manipulate their fears and create animosity between them and other nations. This in itself is a great crime. What differences exist between nations are only a means to test the best of them.

Fear and hate are the weapons of the real terrorists, the masters of deception, and those who belittle others for profit and personal gain. These are the terrorists who give orders in positions of political leadership in the White House and elsewhere at the expense of their own people and the rest of humanity. The world is now embarking into the abyss of perpetual war and a period in which the contemplation of the use of nuclear weapons is being made. A stand must be made by individuals of good conscience and will. It seems possible that it will be a matter of time before the citizens of Europe, North America, and other lands will be compelled or necessitated to join the peoples of occupied lands in resistance.

War must be averted on two fronts; in the shorter-term (as differentiated from “short-term”) or near future, war must be averted from emerging in the Middle East and in Eurasia, the longer-term. Only the resistance of the people and public opinion can stop war from enveloping the globe. Public opinion must translate into public action if humanity it to spared from a massive war—a war that could prove to become a nuclear armageddon.

Countdown to 1984?

“In brief, the U.S policy goal must be unapologetically twofold: to perpetuate America’s own dominant position for at least a generation and preferably longer still; and to create a geopolitical framework that can absorb the inevitable shocks and strains of social-political change…” -Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, 1997)

In a twist of Orwellian fate, the earth seems closer to appearing like the rendition of the world in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. [29] However, the road ahead is not scripted. The future is only anticipated and planned, but never certain in a universe of infinite probabilities. Time will tell where the road ahead will guide us. Those that see themselves as masters of destiny have had their ideas proven wrong in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Somalia, and Lebanon. It may look as if opposition to a war agenda is like tiny raindrops beating against an unrelenting mountain, but mountains can be eventually eroded by those tiny raindrops. There exists a “sensitive dependence on initial conditions,” commonly called the “butterfly effect,” whereas the flaps of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil may set off a tornado in Texas. Individual actions can offset the march to war that is unfolding on this planet.

NOTES

[1] Henry Kissinger, A conversation with Henry Kissinger, interview with Charles P. Rose Jr., Charlie Rose (show), January 18, 2005.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] The U.S. government was secretly arming Britain during the First World War and profiting off the war. In regards to the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, a British passenger ship, unknown to the public at the time the ship was also carrying military supplies from the U.S. to Britain.

In the case of Pearl Harbour, the U.S. government was aware of a Japanese plan to attack the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii. American officials allowed the attack to take place to arouse public support for the entry of the U.S. in the Second World War. It should be noted that prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour the U.S. government had led a complete embargo of oil and materials to Japan and frozen all Japanese assets by July 25, 1941. Oil is needed to run economies and war and all strategists and military planners know this very well. Japan was baited into an inevitable war with the U.S. and decided to take the first shot. This benefited the U.S. government in mobilizing the American public to support the war effort in the Second World War just as the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 allowed the Bush Jr. Administration to launch the “Global War on Terror.” U.S. involvement in the Second World War was for economic purposes and had nothing to do with morality.

In the case of the RMS Lusitania the German embassy in Washington D.C. was trying to make clear to the Americans before it started sinking merchant ships helping Britain that it would engage in such activities. It should be noted that Britain was doing the same in both World Wars. U.S. officials are actually believed to have obstructed these attempts by the Germans in an attempt to involve the U.S. in the First World War.

[6] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and the Geostrategic Imperatives (NYC, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997), p.211.

[7] Gary Hart, Transcript. National Security in the 21st Century: Findings of the Hart-Rudman Commission, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), September 14, 2001.

http://www.cfr.org/publication/4049/national_security_in_the_21st_century.html

[8] Ibid.

[9] George Herbert Walker Bush Sr., Gulf War Victory Speech, (Address, Capitol Hill, Washington, District of Columbia, January 6, 1991) March 6, 1991.

[10] Bettina Berg, High readiness and global deployability, Federal Ministry of Defence (Germany), November 30, 2006.

[11] Zbigniew Brzezinski, A geostrategy for Eurasia, Foreign Affairs, vol. 76, no. 5 (September- October, 1997): p.50-64.

Note: The writings from Brzezinski’s paper for Foreign Affairs and the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR) were also used for his book The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and the Geostrategic Imperatives that had its first edition published in 1997. Brzezinski’s 1997 Foreign Affairs journal entry is a condensed synopsis of his 1997 book. Points and quotes cited from are identical or almost identical to the writing from his 1997 book.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time (NYC, New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966), p.950.

[14] Brzezinski, A geostrategy for Eurasia, Op. cit.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Op. cit., p.30.

[20] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Op. cit., p.200.

[21] Desmond Butler, E.U., U.S. Agree on Iran, Russia Disputes, Associated Press, April 30, 2007.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-6597779,00.html

[22] US and EU agree ‘single market,’ British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), April 30, 2007.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6607757.stm

[23] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Op. cit., p.215.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Robert Kagan and William Kristol, The Gathering Storm, The Weekly Standard, October 29, 2002, p.13.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/Editorial-102901.pdf

[26] Ibid.

[27] Toby Harnden, ‘Return to conscription should be considered,’ The Telegraph (U.K.), August 11, 2007.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/11/wdraft111.xml

[28] Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, Op. cit., p.35-36.

[29] Refer to the polity and geographic boundaries of Winston Smith’s fictional world, in Orwell’s novel. In the fictional state of Oceania (which includes America, the British Isles, and Australia) there is absolute control exercised over all aspects of the lives of all citizens by one single entity, the Party, which has three political mottos: WAR IS PEACE. FREEDOM IS SLAVERY. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

 


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Europe and America: Sharing the Spoils of War by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

August 20, 2007

Europe and America: Sharing the Spoils of War by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, August 19, 2007

– 2007-07-26

(Check the original with lots of maps.)

Europe and America have been long-term partners as well as rivals. New spheres of influence between the European Union and the United States have unfolded. The Middle East and its peripheral geographic areas lie at the heart of this process.

In the wake of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a unified stance has developed within both the E.U. and NATO in regards to this geopolitical re-division. This unified stance is a reflection of an unfolding political and strategic consensus between the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany.

While Iraq falls within the Anglo-American orbit, the Eastern Mediterranean and its gas resources have been set to fall into that of the Franco-German entente. In fact, the entire Mediterranean region, from Morocco and gas-rich Algeria to the Levant is coveted by Franco-German interests.

The Franco-German Entente and Anglo-American Alliance: Rivalry and Partnership

The Anglo-American alliance and Franco-German entente are economic, political, and military alliances that have been forged by historic and socio-cultural realities that gave rise to opportunities of great magnitude. The Franco-German entente is a continental European entity, whereas the Anglo-American alliance is the incarnation of maritime trade and the overseas legacy of Britain.

The Franco-German entente is based on the post-war partnership of France and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) after the Second World War. After the unification of West Germany and East Germany the Franco-German partnership evolved, strengthened, and spawned the European Economic Community (EEC). France and a unified Germany were the basis for the evolving structure of the European common market and later the European Union.

European nations such as Belgium and Luxembourg are members of the Franco-German entente. These European countries are economically integrated with France and Germany. This is why Belgium and France have been aligned together in an economic face-off against the Anglo-American alliance in the African continent. Countries like Belgium, Luxembourg, and Austria also sided with Paris and Berlin against the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. In February of 2003, Belgium even assisted France and Germany in obstructing Anglo-American plans involving the use of NATO in Iraq.

The Anglo-American alliance is formed from the remains of Britain’s overseas colonies and territories. Unlike the Franco-German entente, the base of the Anglo-American alliance is outside of Eurasia. This becomes apparent after one considers the island nature of Britain in addition to the geographic situation of America. This is additionally reflected in the naval strength of Britain and America.

Australia and Canada fall within the orbit of the Anglo-American alliance. English is also the official language of many of the nations within the alliance, which are also part of the Anglosphere (English-speaking World). This is a reflection of the historical roots of the Anglo-American alliance. The Anglo-American alliance also has an intimate relationship with Israel. Countries like the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, and Guam that have been under the military control of America in the past also fall within the orbit of the Anglo-American alliance.

America: The European Union’s Fourth Power

The E.U. is the creation of France and Germany, but it has become a shared body for the four most powerful nations of the so-called Western World. Without giving recognition to the fact that the E.U. is a creature of France, Germany, Britain, and America, it is hard to conceptualize Anglo-American foreign policy objectives being implemented through Europe. It should also be remembered that the E.U. is not the sole representative of the European continent or European civilization.

The three major powers in the E.U., the so-called “European Union-Three,” are France, Germany, and Britain. Yet, these three European countries are not alone. America in reality is the European Union’s fourth power, which acts through, or more properly with, Britain. The alliance between Washington and London makes America a de facto power in the European Union. London is also America’s voice in Europe. Several other mechanisms including control of Eastern European E.U. members and NATO also allow America to exert itself in Europe.

When it is recognized that the E.U. is a creature of both the Anglo-American alliance and the Franco-German entente, it can be recognized that American interests, like those of the British, are served through E.U. expansion. The expansion of the E.U. is an indirect expansion of America’s orbit and interests. This is why the E.U. is called a part of America’s bridgehead in Eurasia.

E.U. expansion also serves a second purpose for Anglo-American interests. The strength of the Franco-German entente can also be diluted or undermined as a result of E.U. expansion. However, this depends on the rate or velocity of E.U. expansion. A fast rate of E.U. expansion, but not exceedingly fast, serves Anglo-American interests by not allowing the Franco-German entente to consolidate its power within the E.U. and commandeer it. A steadier rate of E.U. expansion is in the best interests of the Franco-German entente. This is one of the reasons why tensions existed between Britain and France over E.U. expansion in Eastern Europe. This is also the reason why the U.S. openly called for the entry of several Eastern European countries such as Poland into the European Union.

Although the E.U. is a body of both the Anglo-American alliance and the Franco-German entente, the European bloc is overtly managed by the Franco-German side. France and Germany, with their allies, are still the dominant forces within the European Union. When international analysts talk about rifts or arguments between the E.U. and America they really mean the disagreements are between the Franco-German entente and America (and by extension Britain).

Dividing the World between the Twin Pillars of NATO

When NATO acts it does not necessarily serve Anglo-American interests. Just as when one conceptualizes that the E.U. also serves the interests of America they must also recognize the Franco-German relationship in NATO. NATO is the iron rod that both alliances share within the broader trans-Atlantic framework which evolved after the Second World War. In parallel to the dichotomy of the E.U., NATO is also divided into two main branches: the Franco-German entente and the Anglo-American alliance. The stronger of the two is the Anglo-American side because of the military might of America.

NATO is both a Franco-German and Anglo-American tool and has been used to further the economic and geo-strategic interests of both. Yugoslavia is one case where Germany and America worked hand-in-hand, reducing the former Yugoslav states into military garrisons and economic territories.

However, just as the E.U. is dominated by the Franco-German entente it is the Anglo-American alliance that inversely dominates NATO. In other words within the framework of Europe the Franco-German entente have the political upper hand, while the Anglo-American alliance holds military sway. It is this political-military imbalance which creates an economic equilibrium for both sides and a power sharing scheme.

This division of military and political power between NATO and the E.U., which also forms a triad with economic power, has allowed America to cleverly insert itself into the E.U. via Britain. Furthermore, the military sway that the Anglo-American side holds has always been a point of contention, to the point where the French left NATO for a period of time. The creation of a Eurocentric defensive strategy for the E.U. has been part of the past Franco-German attempt to gain control over the European Union. This initiative was also resurrected during the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq when France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg held a meeting on the issue. The subject was so corrosive that Britain said that it was a return to the splits of the Cold War in Europe in regards to its own Cold War allies.

Under Anglo-American geo-strategic planning, it was recognized at the end of the Cold War that the Franco-German entente and the Anglo-American alliance would eventually have to work together, if America wished to proceed with Britain in a quest for global primacy.

Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski, one America’s most influential geo-strategic experts, in 1997 foretold of the pivotal role that the Franco-German entente would play in extending American control of Eurasia. He maintained, like many of his colleagues at the Council for Foreign Relations (CFR), that E.U. expansion was equivalent to covert American expansion. It would be America that would be in the shadows of an expanded European Union. However, it was maintained that without the cooperation of France and Germany the task would prove next to impossible and for the naïve. NATO could not be applied and the E.U. would not expand without Franco-German cooperation. This meant that the Anglo-American alliance and the Franco-German entente would have to arrive to a compromise based on broader power sharing or a system of consensus that would cut across the board.

An understanding had been reached at some period during the eve of the “Global War on Terror” that the areas being encompassed within the geographic boundaries of United States Central Command (CENTCOM), along with vast geographic stretches, would be divided between the two pillars of NATO. In late-2001 preparations to essentially create the mechanisms for sending troops and naval power into the Eastern Mediterranean were made. Without these preoperational mechanisms the NATO naval contingent off Lebanon’s coast in 2006 would not have materialized as it did. The logistical mechanisms for the operation were prepared years beforehand. This is just one facet to add to the dossier that illustrates the preplanned nature of the 2006 Israeli attacks against Lebanon and NATO’s role. The confessions of the Israeli government at the Winograd Commission also are a direct verification of the calculated nature of the war against the Lebanese.

Bush Jr. Administration Deviates from Anglo-American Geo-Strategy

After the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the White House had a change of heart. The Bush Jr. Administration believed that the Anglo-American alliance could discard forming a greater partnership with the Franco-German entente, therefore ruling out any division of the proceeds of war and conquest. This infuriated the Franco-German entente which, with the help of Russia, created a worldwide political firestorm for Britain and America.

The Franco-German entente had been cut out of the agreement by the Anglo-American alliance. It seemed for a time that the Bush Jr. Administration was going to ignore what Anglo-American planners said was a necessity in geo-strategic planning. However, it appears that the American ruling establishment and the realities of the “Global War on Terror” have forced the White House to return to the path originally charted by Anglo-American geo-strategists in both Washington D.C. and London.

The sector scheme is being utilized. It is also under this framework that the spoils of war and the Middle East are supposed to be divided into areas of management by the Franco-German entente and Anglo-American alliance. The word management is employed as a suitable term due to the nature of the arrangement. Like in the former Yugoslavia, both sides can share a territory and its spoils, but one is responsible for supervision operations and administrating in their area of responsibility. This is comparable to the arrangement in Bosnia-Herzegovina between the Franco-German entente and Anglo-American alliance.

It is this deviation by the Bush Jr. Administration from the original track (set years before), which demarcates the so-called “neo-conservatives” in relation to the so-called “liberals” in America and Europe. In Israel the case is also similar. Liberalism in mainstream politics, as represented in the U.S. by the Democratic Party, prefers to be more subtle in its approach and therein is where the difference lies, but there should be no mistake about the fact that liberals will not hesitate to resort to the outright war as an instrument of US foreign policy.

Exposing the Political Myth of Conservatism versus Liberalism 

Both liberalism and conservatism in mainstream global politics have identical goals, but differ in discretion levels. Both conservatism and liberalism in the mainstream political environment are different sides of the same coin and serve the same interests. The difference between both is methodological and not about objectives. Their differences lack real substance.

Both Liberals and Conservatives complement one another and take turns at having power and being in office like a swinging pendulum. One side is labeled “Left” and the other side is tagged as “Right,” but the same source holds and controls the pendulum. The labels they use only serve the goal of presenting alternatives in monopolized political environments, controlling political platforms, and dividing populations. Why else would a supposed liberal like Prime Minister Blair of Britain, from the Labour Party, and a neo-conservative like President George W. Bush Jr. have worked on a single-track.

NATO’s Riga Summit seems to have been a deepening and a fine-tuning of the understanding between the Franco-German entente and the Anglo-American alliance. [1] It was an Anglo-American return to basics, so to speak. However, the process towards reconciliation was started shortly after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. France and Germany cancelled Iraqi debts after talks with Britain and America.

Despite the fact that new governments have taken office in Berlin and Paris, under Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicholas Sarkozy of France, Franco-German objectives have not changed. French and German policies like American are part of a continuum. The administrations of Merkel and Sarkozy are continuations of their predecessors, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schröder (Schroeder).

At a summit between the U.S. and E.U. both sides stated that economics was the most important factor in their relationship and that politics was merely secondary. What appear to be radically pro-American governments in Europe are merely European administrations which reflect the merging of Franco-German and Anglo-American interests. Gerhard Schröder, a German social-democrat, laid all the groundwork for Merkel’s conservative administration and for German rapproachment with America and Britain. It is also worth noting that Angela Merkel would be considered a Liberal by North American standards. This also further exposes the misleading and unreliable use of the terms conservative and liberal in modern politics.

The “Pivotal Area” Discovered: Defining Geo-Strategic Boundaries

The “pivotal area” was used in Sir Halford J. Mackinder’s “Heartland” to describe the area of Eurasia that formed the pivotally important core of the global geo-strategic and geo-political environment. We now find that through geo-political realities and necessity the area in question must be redefined. Halford Mackinder coined the term to define an area within the Eurasian landmass, but it is apparent that the “pivotal area” in the truest sense of the word and possibly the “Heartland” itself is a much broader and diverse area that not only lies in Eurasia, but extends into Africa. The global environment is not static. It seems that this area is anchored by geographic reality, but is shifting because of socio-economic, demographic, and political factors.

To define the pivotal area, we must look at the area(s) in which –in the course of the post-Cold War era– the U.S. military has been involved, from low spectrum to high spectrum warfare and operations. This also includes hostile economic actions and covert intelligence operations.

After pinpointing these areas one can set a conceptual boundary. This subject area is of vast geography, it includes the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa. These regions, arguably, together form the tectonic plate that holds the globe together in a geo-political sense. It is this geographic stretch that has been, and continues, to be a geo-strategic chessboard for competitions of expansion and repulsion. These areas are also some of the most important cultural bridges on the face of the earth. The cultures and knowledge of different civilizations have interacted here for thousands of years. Intense cultural diffusion has also taken place within this geographic stretch as a global cross-road.

Zbigniew Brzezinski has also stipulated that an area roughly corresponded in geographic boundaries to the area that has just been defined is pivotal to global power and Eurasian security. Henry Kissinger has also more or less made similar statements by explaining the importance of neutralizing Iraq and Afghanistan (before its pro-Soviet government was overthrown), both Soviet allies, and containing an Iran fresh with revolutionary fervor in 1979. This was according to Henry Kissinger because of the pivotal importance of the area. [2] Global security encompasses this vast and “pivotal” area as a singularity and it is the Middle East that is the focal point of this geographic stretch.

From “Pivotal Area” to “Arc of Instability”

An arc of uncertainty and instability has been generated by Britain, Israel, the U.S., and their partners, including their intelligence apparatus, from East Africa and the Balkans to the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.

Decades of American-led military confrontations, low-intensity warfare, sanctions, economic manipulation, and intelligence operations have undermined the nation-states of the subject area. From the remains of the former Yugoslavia, Sudan, war-torn Somalia, and Anglo-American occupied Iraq to Afghanistan, Kashmir, and the South Federal District of the Russian Federation where Chechnya is located the U.S. has fomented instability. This area roughly corresponds to what Zbigniew Brzezinski calls the “Eurasian Balkans” an area that the U.S. must seek to manipulate and ultimately control should it continue to be a superpower. [3] The pivotal area has also synthetically been manufactured into a zone of instability that can be called the “Arc of Instability.”

In 1993, Zbigniew Brzezinski stated that, “The tragedies of Lebanon of the 1980s, or of Kurdistan and the former Yugoslavia of the early 1990s are previews of things to come within the Eurasian oblong of maximum danger.” [4] What was implied by Brzezinski was Balkanization ranging from sectarianism to ethnic clashes. The situation in Iraq is part of this process, as are the tensions in Lebanon, Kosovo, Turkey, and Caucasia.

A classical “divide and conquer” strategy is at play. The underlying objective is to provoke ethnic clashes across the Middle East and Central Asia. This venture, which is linked to Bzezinski’s forecast, is part of an agenda which consists in literally redrawing the map of this broader region. Moreover, there have also been attempts at sparking sectarian and ethnic differences in Iran from adjoining areas in Anglo-American occupied Iraq and NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan that implicate America and its allies.

United States Central Command (CENTCOM)

Tension has gradually been building up in the Middle East, which is the central focus of this vast geographic area called the “Arc of Instability.” This area also roughly corresponds to what the U.S. military identifies as US Central Command (CENTCOM or USCENTCOM).

The U.S. military, through the inheritance and legacy of British geo-strategic projects, is acquainted with the pivotal area and has identified it in roughly the same corresponding areas that have just been defined. CENTCOM is the active manifestation of this conceptual geographic area.

CENTCOM is one of five U.S. military regional active theatre-stage command zones. It is also no mere coincidence that the geographic area that CENTCOM encompasses is also the most active plain of U.S. military action on the face of the earth.

CENTCOM is composed of East Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Although the Balkans, Turkey, the Caucasus (Caucasia), and Russia are located within the operational boundaries of another U.S. military region, United States European Command (EUCOM or USEUCOM), they are also vital to CENTCOM operations and are integrated into the preparation and the planning of CENTOM by the Pentagon and NATO.

It should be noted that Israel is not within the boundaries of CENTCOM by the Pentagon. Syria and Lebanon were also recently, in 2004, re-categorized or redrawn into the borders of CENCTOM. Both Syria and Lebanon were previously included as part of EUCOM, like Israel and Turkey, prior to 2004. This is an important fact to keep in mind and it is linked to the interests of the E.U. in the Mediterranean area.

With the recognition of a strategic consensus within NATO, the Franco-German entente has allowed NATO and the E.U. to play a far stronger role in the outer periphery of the theatre of operations from Central Asia to the Mediterranean Sea and the coast of Somalia. This has allowed the Anglo-American alliance to concentrate its resources on the central area of the theatre of operations, which corresponds to both CENTCOM and the “Arc of Instability.”

Anglo-American occupied Iraq, Eastern Syria, the Persian Gulf, portions of Turkey, and Iran seem to be the centre of this strategic area. The outer peripheries are currently the following; (1) the Eastern Mediterranean and the Levant, (2) NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan and Pakistan, (3) the ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia, (4) the Horn of Africa and East Africa, and (5) the Balkans.

CENTCOM and the Rimland: Encircling Russia, China, and Central Asia

CENTCOM more or less corresponds to what Brzezinski calls a “large geographic oblong that demarcates the central zone of global instability” which runs from the Balkans through the Middle East and Central Asia to Kashmir and East Africa. [5] This “central zone of global instability” is also linked to the central area of Nicholas Spykman’s “Rimland.” It must be noted that, during the Cold War, Nicholas Spykman was also known as a master of containment theory.

The Rimland is the concept of a geographic area adjacent to “the Heartland” that is comprised of most of Europe, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia, and the Far East. This area forms an enveloping geographic ring around Mackinder’s “Heartland.” In other words, the Rimland essentially surrounds the central, core region of Eurasia. CENTCOM lies in the axis or midpoint of Spykman’s Rimland.

This area, the Rimland, was central to Cold War containment theories in regards to the Soviet Union and China, the “Red Giants.” The concept of this area was also used in geo-strategic planning in regards to Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. This is an important fact to remember, because it deeply influences American geo-strategy in regards to the Iraq-Iran War and the Soviet-Afghan War. The encirclement of the Eurasian core, which was where the Soviet Union was geographically placed, is still a U.S. objective after the end of the Cold War. Containment theory it appears may really have been more about “penetration.”

Penetration of the Eurasian core is underway. NATO is a bridgehead from Europe that is pushing towards Russia. An Asiatic sister-alliance of NATO is being forged against China.

The axis of the Rimland, which includes the Middle East and Afghanistan, is being militarily infiltrated and mobilized by NATO and its allies. CENTCOM indeed is an appropriate and suitable name for this mid-area that is crucial and “central” to connecting the Asiatic and European flanks of any trans-Eurasian military network surrounding Russia and China. Furthermore, this area can also be used for creating a wedge between the European portion of Russia, which is the nerve of Russia, and China. Additionally, if one also examines the geographic position of U.S. and NATO military bases they are concentrated in the Rimland.

NATO’s Extinct Sister-Alliances in the Middle East

Two defunct military alliances that were animated by the Anglo-American alliance, the Middle East Treaty Organization (METO), also called the Baghdad Pact, and the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) were also located in the axis of the Rimland, where CENTCOM is presently located. Both the dead military pacts were modeled after NATO. In regards to the later military alliance, CENTO, it should be noted that the phrase “central” is used which denotes the geographic centrality of this area in Anglo-American geo-strategies. There is a direct correlation between the strategic nomenclature (naming system) used to denote CENTO and CENTCOM. Simply put, this demonstrates that this geographic area has been viewed as a central area for a historic period of time in Anglo-American strategic circles.

Both METO and CENTO were Anglo-American constructs. Britain, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan were all full members of CENTO, whereas the U.S. was an associate member. CENTO was forged out of the remains of METO, which became non-operational in 1958 when Iraq withdrew. Iraqi withdrawal from the Baghdad Pact was a result of Baghdad’s wishes to follow an independent path after an Iraqi revolution overthrew the Anglo-American puppet Hashemite king.

Baghdad would eventually ally itself to the Soviet Union and cut its ties with America in 1967. Almost overnight Iraq became known in London and Washington as a radical Arab state that was a threat to Israel and to a monarchical Iran allied to America and Britain. Anglo-American geo-strategists would always make calculations in regards to Iraq based on two goals: neutralizing Iraq and regaining the lost Iraqi oil fields. It would be the Iraq-Iran War that leads to this objective.

The Geo-Strategic Importance of the Middle East in regards to Eurasia

The Middle East, formerly called the Near East, is an abstract geographic concept that has been shifting with geo-strategic, political, and socio-economic policy. For example, there was a time when academics, map makers, and geographers considered the Balkans as a part of the region. In the mind of many the Middle East is a synonym for Arab World or for Southwest Asia, but both terms are different. The Middle East includes non-Arab countries like Iran, Turkey, and Cyprus. The term Southwest Asia also excludes Egypt, the European portion of Turkey in Thrace and even Greece, depending if you categorize it as a part of the region. The Middle East is a region that embraces three continents (two if you look at Europe and Asia as Eurasia); Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is from here that Anglo-American geo-strategists believed they could establish global hegemony by controlling Eurasia.

Three important maritime passages and five important bodies of water also are located or embrace the area around the Middle East. The important maritime passages and straits can be used to manipulate, cut, and control global navigation, international trade, maritime traffic, and energy supplies. Theses strategic maritime passages are the Suez Canal of Egypt, the Bosphorus/Bosporus of Turkey, and the Gate of Tears (Bab al-Mandeb) located between Djibouti and Yemen at the southern tip of the Red Sea. The five important bodies of water in this area are the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea. Control over these maritime passages would have grave ramifications for Russia, China, Iran, and any adversaries of NATO in regards to trade, naval movements, and energy supplies.

It is safe to say the post-Cold War objective of the United States in Eurasia is penetration. The different geographic regions of Europe and Asia are important, but they are not as pivotal in geo-strategic value as the Middle East and its geographic periphery (including Central Asia), which are also important energy hubs. If one scrutinizes a map of the earth or Eurasia they will notice that Indo-China or Japan or the Korean Peninsula cannot lead to any meaningful “penetration” of Eurasia. The Russian Federation also acts as a barrier to any drive from Eastern Europe that would be meaningless unless Ukraine fell into NATO’s orbit and Russia lost its Caucasian territories. Due to political realities India, the giant of the Indian sub-continent, can only be used as a counter-weight to China or to spoil the formation of a Eurasian alliance led by Russia, China, and Iran. Whatever value these geographic areas have in regards to containment theory is lost in regards to penetration, aside from India and Ukraine under the proper circumstances.

It is from the Middle East and the area that has been mandated to the U.S. military under CENTCOM that Eurasian penetration can commence. Thus, it is by way of instability and war in this region that the U.S. and NATO have a pretext and justification for their military presence. It is also this area that will be the linkage between the military flanks being created against Russia, China, and their allies on the outer edges of Eurasia.

The Outer Peripheries of the “Arc of Instability” are manned by NATO

The hub of the “Arc of Instability” is where Iraq, Iran, Eastern Syria, and portions of Anatolia are geographically situated. This area is the most dangerous and volatile section of the “Arc of Instability.” Should a crisis with Iran and Syria be lit then the whole “Arc of Instability” can be lit ablaze like a powder keg. Iraq and the Persian Gulf are currently active and tense military zones of operation. This hub within the “Arc of Instability” is distinctly Anglo-American in its characteristic. It is the Anglo-American alliance that manages and oversees this war zone.

Several European countries had initially posted their troops in Anglo-American occupied Iraq, but gradually reduced and removed their military contingents. Italy and Spain were amongst these countries. The European troop movements were publicly correlated to political changes in national governments within the respective capitals of these European countries. The aim of the troop movements was to portray the departures as acts of opposition to the war in Iraq.  Angry European populations were misled into believing that a shift in foreign policy was underway, but this was an act of public deception. These nations compensated the broader war effort and agenda by deploying or re-shuffling their troops to Afghanistan or to Lebanon. Their actions were almost inconsequential to the broader war effort.

NATO members, such as Germany, are also involved and present in military operations in the Horn of Africa. The military activities of NATO and its members, including their almost perfectly coinciding military operations in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and the Arabian Sea, discloses advanced insight about a larger war agenda.

The whole “Arc of Instability” is manned by NATO and close NATO allies, such as Australia and Israel. NATO as a whole is involved in the war project and American, British, Polish, Danish, Czech, and Romanian troops are present in Anglo-American occupied Iraq. Moreover, NATO is also responsible for certain aspects of military training inside Iraq. Additionally, there is a Franco-German presence in the Persian Gulf and NATO also has made security arrangements in the Persian Gulf with nations such as Kuwait.

However, what gives a particular NATO characteristic to the outer peripheries (tiers) of the “Arc of Instability” (in reality the area of military operations) is that greater numbers of NATO countries are involved in the military operations in these zones. Also NATO has an official mandate in these areas and has a role in the so-called “post-conflict” phase of operations in these areas. This phase in reality is the occupational and restructuring phase of the conflicts ensuing in the “Arc of Instability.” This form of “post-conflict” participation could also be linked to the low tolerance the populations of many of these NATO states would have in regards to casualties or supporting the war effort

The bulk of NATO troops have been positioned within the eastern and western outer peripheries of the military theatre of operations. Once again, the war zones almost precisely correspond to what is defined by the U.S. military as CENTCOM. It is only the former Yugoslavia that falls outside CENTCOM’s borders.

It is from the Balkans that academics get the geo-political term “balkanization,” meaning to divide. The Balkans constitutes the westernmost periphery of the “Arc of Instability.”

Yugoslavia was effectively divided by the “Big Four” of NATO as Henry Kissinger refers to America, Britain, France, and Germany. [6] In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), NATO operations wield great control over the country and its government. Germany and the U.S. both play major roles. Under the shadow of the E.U., NATO still plays a role in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Slovenia, the northernmost and smallest republic of the former Yugoslavia, has been absorbed into both NATO and the European Union. Nothing remains of the Yugoslav Federation.  Serbia, the last and declining bastion of independence in the Balkans, is under siege and has been reduced to a landlocked and paralyzed status.

In Bosnia-Herzegovina, NATO used to reside as the Implementation Force (IFOR) and the Stabilization Force (SFOR), before operations were handed over to the so-called European Union Forces (EUFOR). France, Britain, and the U.S. divided the Slavic country into three militarized sectors before the “Global War on Terror.” Despite the name change, nothing changed on the ground in Bosnia-Herzegovina in regards to the deployment of NATO troops. EUFOR was merely a facelift for Franco-German and Anglo-American operations.

While Bosnia-Herzegovina was divided between France, Britain, and the U.S., the German military was deployed to Croatia, where Germany had major interests. In fact, in regards to the former Yugoslavia, both Germany and the U.S. played the lead roles of dismantling the federation.

After the Kosovo War of 1999 between NATO and the remnants of the Yugoslav Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, the province of Kosovo was occupied and divided under a formal UN mandate into sectors. Kosovo Force (KFOR) was created by NATO to be in charge of Kosovo. Kosovo was divided into five zones by NATO. The U.S., France, Britain, Germany, and Italy all commanded one zone and the military forces of other NATO members in their respective zones of responsibility. However, Russian forces rushed into Kosovo to secure the area and their interests. Thus, the situation in Kosovo was complicated for NATO by the presence of Russia.

In all the conflicts in the western periphery of the “Arc of Instability” the Europeans are taking the political lead, independently from America. However, there subsists a unified stance and policy between America and these European countries, pertaining to the former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and Syria.

After all, the whole project is a NATO project. However, there is a distinctly Franco-German characteristic in the Eastern Mediterranean. In the western outer periphery, in particular the Eastern Mediterranean, the Franco-German entente, working politically through the E.U. and militarily through NATO, is overseeing NATO operations.

The informal presence of NATO on the ground and off the shores of Lebanon is merely part of this manning process by NATO in the broader war agenda. The NATO presence in the Eastern Mediterranean is also part of the eastward expansion or thrust of NATO that is matched by a westward push in East Asia and a growing American-led military position in the Indian Ocean that is pushing northwards from posts such as Diego Garcia in British territory.

In Afghanistan NATO is deployed under the mantel of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Aside from Britain and the U.S., the French, the Germans, the Italians, and the Canadians play lead roles on the ground in Afghanistan. In addition to Afghanistan, NATO is also present and involved within the borders of Pakistan. NATO has also established bases near the borders of China and Iran, which have concerned Beijing and Tehran.

The Militarization of Japan and NATO Expansion

The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), created in 1954 and dissolved in 1977, included the U.S., France, Pakistan, Britain, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, and the Philippines. This military alliance was in reality a small trans-Eurasian military arrangement positioned in the Rimland. Its mandate was to contain both the U.S.S.R. and the People’s Republic of China.

It is the structural design of this bridging alliance, SEATO, which the U.S. is in the process of restoring. SEATO created a formal military link between the western and eastern ends of the Eurasian landmass.

America’s objective is to create an enduring trans-Eurasian military bloc in which Japan is slated to play a key role from both an economic and military standpoint.

The projected Japanese role in Asia falls along the lines of the Nixon Doctrine, which calls for the transformation of regional nations into the regional arms of America. Presently, Japan is in the process of transforming itself from a pacifist country to a military power that will be the engine of an “Asiatic NATO.” Japan is an economic power which has the capabilities of developing its military strength and challenging China.

However, the Japanese government does not have the political capital to transform Japan into a military power because of internal opinions within Japan and the external opinions and fears of the rest of Asia. Asian societies will fear and view Japanese rearmament as a return to Japanese militarism and imperial ambitions in Asia. This is where the demonization of North Korea, China, and Russia plays an important role. North Korea has armed itself because of the legitimate fears of an American attack. Chinese and Russian activities are also of a defensive nature. The demonization of these three countries in Asia is meant to legitimize the militarization of Japan and several other Asian countries.

The other step being taken to alleviate the concerns of Asian societies about the militarization of Japan is the formulation of an Asiatic military alliance. This is where Australia has played a key role, by creating a framework for an alliance with Japan. In the mantle of collective security, a militarily robust Japan will not be seen or feared as a threat. It will be China and China’s allies which will be portrayed as the threat to Asian security. Thus, Japan and Australia will lead a military front in Asia as American surrogates.

This is part of the project to create three strategic fronts against Russia and China. Pressure will be exerted from NATO in the western end of Eurasia, while in the Middle East there is a strong NATO presence and a “Coalition of the Moderate” is being formed and armed, which will eventually become a de facto extension of NATO. The arming of Saudi Arabia and the Arab Sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf is directly linked to the inward penetration of Eurasia from the Middle East via Iran. While NATO exerts pressure from Europe and the Middle East, Japan and Australia will do the same from the eastern end of Eurasia. Russia, Iran, and China are all being addressed through three Eurasian fronts.

NOTES

[1] Michel Chossudovsky, Debating “War and Peace” behind Closed Doors: NATO’s Riga Security Conference, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), November 26, 2007.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20061126&articleId=3975

[2] Henry Kissinger, Years of Upheaval (Boston, Massachusetts:

Little Brown and Company, 1982), p.669-670, 675, 677.

[3] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East,” Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), November 18, 2007.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NAZ20061116&articleId=3882

[4] Zbigniew Brzezinski, Out of Control: Global Turmoil on the Eve of the 21st Century (NYC, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993), p.164.

[5] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives (NYC, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997), p.123.

[6] Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, Op. cit., p.722.

SOURCES FOR PHOTO AND MAPS

[1] NATO Headquarters.
[2] Paul L. Knox and Sallie A. Maston (Places and Regions in Global Context: Human Geography); obtained from the Universitat Pompeau Fabra (UPF), Spain.
[3] Zdravko Batzarov (Geopolitical Systems).
[4] Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives).
[5] U.S. DoD.
[6] Nicholas John Spykman (The Geography of the Peace).
[7] U.S. DoD.
[8] U.S. DoD.
[9] CIA.
[10] U.K. MoD.
[11] U.S. DoD.
[12] Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives).
[Annex] Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya (Centre for Research on Globalization).

What Comes After The U.S. Empire?

July 21, 2007

What Comes After The U.S. Empire? 

Introductory Speech at the TRANSCEND International Meeting – 6-12 June 2007, Vienna, Austria

By Johan Galtung 

07/20/07 “ICH — – I first want to say a few words about the current G8 meeting, and then talk about major conflicts in the world. This will cover much of the world situation, a reflection on global capitalism, and the US Empire and its imminent demise and what will happen after that. 

            The G8 meeting is actually an act of sabotage, and in my view a deliberate one. It sabotages and undermines the UN. In 1975, the meeting was established as a small forum for intimate meetings between 3 leaders from each participating country. However, from a purely economic agenda it has become much more, incorporating a lot of UN agenda items (security issues and global warming etc.) and thereby actually hijacking the subjects of global importance to about 8 countries only. Russia, which was invited under Yeltsin, is the black sheep in the community. Also, not inviting Chindia is a guarantee for sabotage, as is talking about Africa without having even one African representative present. The good news is that there were 100’000 demonstrators, and the bad news is that there were some violent idiots. 

            If the nonviolent majority could practice the technique of 20 nonviolent encircling every violent one in a nonviolent way, incapacitating their capacity for violence, it would be an enormous feat. There is, however another piece of what I would call bad news; the 100’000 without constructive, positive ideas. I’ve gone through the whole rigmarole of the slogans. Personally, I don’t like the slogans against globalization; there is no way in the world to stop globalization because it is driven by things we all love: communication and transportation. We are not going to turn that backwards. A good slogan would be “another globalization is possible” and spelling out that better globalization as opposed to the economically exploitative process we know. 

            So, having said that, we have dark days in front of us. We have impending climate and economic disaster and on top of that a political military issue, the so-called Shield. There isn’t hardly a person in the world who believes it is against Iran. It is a part of a policy started in 1996, counter-posing against each other, on the one hand NATO and AMPO (the US-JAPAN arrangement), and on the other hand the SCO countries, the biggest alliance in human history: the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, with 6 full members and 3 observers. The 6 members are China, Russia and four of the former Central Asian republics, excluding Turkmenistan. The three observers are India, Pakistan and Iran. Together, it’s about 50% of humanity, confronting a relatively small country called the United States of America, with only 300’000’000, not a very impressive size these days. 

            I have said this, knowing that of the 10 points of the Project for the New American Century–written by people who are still in power, although there is an erosion among them–point number 7 is to change regime in China. I am of the opinion that whatever be the method, that the Chinese will rather do the change of regime themselves, and are not enthusiastic about being encircled. It is the major conflict confrontation of the world today, between NATO/AMPO and SCO, and since it is the major one, it is also the one least talked about. The Shield has to neutralize missiles from Russia and China. I think Putin understood it correctly in Munich, and sees it in the light of the cancellation of the ABM treaty, which was a cornerstone of the peaceful development during the Cold War. It was canceled unilaterally by the United States, The anti-missile capacities in the Czech Republic and Poland come on top of the US and NATO breaking the promises made to Gorbachev at the end of the Cold War: that the Soviet Union would withdraw from Eastern Europe, including Eastern Germany, and the United States would not follow suit, whereupon the United States had filled almost every base opportunity, and enrolled practically speaking all the countries in NATO. That has heightened the tension immensely. Whether it will dominate the Heiligendamm [G8 meeting] meeting, I don’t know, but I would imagine that it could be quite important. The guess is that the US would do anything they can in order to bribe the citizens of the villages selected in Poland and the Czech Republic with high amounts of money in order not to demonstrate against. So, G8 spells only bad news, as introduction to the six conflicts: 

1.         Economic Contradiction: Global Capitalism 

            Let me just say a word about global capitalism. The two antidotes to the market mechanism that have been effective have been, on the one hand, a welfare state, and on the other hand, protectionism. Microcredit, you can forget about it, these are small drops in the bucket, giving relief to some small groups. The countries that practice it most, Bangladesh and Bolivia, are still at the bottom, economically speaking. The combination of selective protectionism and welfare state, that is the real stuff. The way Japan did it, the way Taiwan did it, the way South Korea did it, the way Hong Kong did it, the way Singapore did it, the way Malaysia did it, with considerable success. You find in the whole of the East Asia/South East Asia conglomerate countries that have been doing exactly this. That is important, and the neo-liberal free market syndrome is of course against that. They are doing everything they can to eliminate the two factors. That means that the global market place becomes a vertical assembly line for the transportation of capital from the bottom to the top. And this works with three mechanisms: monetization, privatization and globalization, border-free market, of which globalization is the least important. The most important is monetization, setting a monetary price on everything. It is the most important because it means that those who have no money have no chance, and they are about 1’000’000’000. Their option, that is very clear, is to join the ranks of the dying; 125’000 dying every day with 25’000 starving and 100’000 dying from preventable and curable diseases,  for which cures exist, but they are monetized. User’s fees in Africa are a disaster. All of this is known today! Adam Smith warned against unmitigated markets; David Ricardo warned against unmitigated labor markets in periods with high labor supply, saying that it would have lasting unemployment as a result, and extreme poverty among the labor. 

            From global capitalism as it is operating today, we can expect no solution to these problems. So let me then add the kind of approach that I, as one person, would advocate; taming capitalism, by introducing at the same time about 14 other types of economies. In other words, it is a little bit like the thinking about energy: we don’t say an unconditional no to hydrocarbons, but we introduce 6, 7, 8 other methods. The energy profile becomes complex. Time does not permit me to get into all 14, I’ll not do it, some of you have the manuscript and the book A Life-Sustaining Economy is close to completion. The point I am arguing is a pluralistic economy. There is no single formula that covers all the alternatives, and the pluralistic profile must be adjusted to the preconditions in space and time. 

2.         Military Contradiction: Terrorism and State Terrorism 

            Number two on this list is the military contradiction between terrorism and state terrorism. The USA state contradiction on terrorism has now entered military intervention number 73 since the Second World War; Number 73 being what they are doing in Lebanon right now: killing Palestinians. There are 470’000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, almost half a million, scattered in camps from the north to the south. We now know the number of the people who were driven out of the territory that became the Jewish state during the Naqba, the Catastrophe: the number of Palestinians driven out was 711’000, very far from ‘a couple of thousand’. It is a very major number for a small nation. Some of them, not necessarily in that period, found their way to Lebanon. This is number 73 and the number of people killed in overt Pentagon-driven military action after the Second World War is now between 13 and 17 million. The number of people killed in covert action is at least 6 million. The number of people killed by structural violence could be 125’000 people per day, but for that the USA is not alone responsible. What the USA is responsible for is giving the military cover for that economic system. You can go through the total amount of interventions, 243, since Thomas Jefferson started, and you will find that almost without exception the interventions are triggered by some political action that sounds like or might lead to redistribution of wealth and power somewhere in the world. So, you get this endless pairing: intervening when the Sandinistas are in power but not when Somoza is in power, intervening when Chavez is in power but not when, for instance, Jimenez is in power. Both of them were darlings of the International Monetary Fund, a solid pillar of exploitation. 

Iraq 

            Right now the major arena is Iraq, the coming arena may be Iran. One particularly gifted journalist, Andreas Zumach, has written an article saying that for the Iran war everything is prepared. It is totally wrong to assume that because the US has problems in Iraq it will not attack Iran. I will also say that it is totally wrong to assume that the US is losing in Iraq. You will only assume that if you assume that the major goal of the United States is a cohesive Iraq entity that has some semblance to parliamentary democracy. If you look at the real goals, oil and military bases, they may ever be winning. There could be an oil law, the chances that it could be passed are not that small. And it is the Paul Bremer concept they are working on that essentially presupposes that the oil resources are put on the global market, bought up by the 5 big companies, with 100% repatriation of profit. 

            It is sometimes pointed out that the US Empire is not colonial. That is correct. They had colonies in the past, after they in 1898 stepped into the Spanish empire and acquired some major indigenous problems. One interesting thing about colonialism, however, is that it gave colonizers some paternalistic sense of responsibility that you can forget about when it comes to what’s going on under imperialism. 

            Let me just add one point to that. I find the idea of pulling out of Iraq one of the most cowardly, dishonorable ideas I can imagine, so let me immediately formulate an alternative. Shed the uniform, and start helping the Iraqi people you have brutalized. Compensate, apologize, you have a lot of infrastructure at your disposal, you US army could still do a decent job. And one of the worst proposals in addition to that is to say “Just go to your bases and stay there”. Those bases are for the coming war with SCO, that’s why they are there. Have a look at the analysis of the length of the runways and you will see the purpose behind them. 

            Let me come back for a second to the idea of pulling out, which in my mind is such a bad idea that we could expect it from the US. What it means is that you pull out so that you don’t suffer any humiliating defeat. You make yourself unavailable for defeat. I can understand the reason, it is not difficult. The 30th April 1975, the humiliating defeat in Vietnam became a major trauma. To avoid that situation is the priority of course, pulling out better than to continue killing, but, I just think one should call a spade a spade, and no way I see cut and run as peaceful action. We shouldn’t, I would say, contaminate the concept of peace with cowardice, trying to “save face” after having killed 750’000 so far. Multiply that by 10 for the bereaved–the persons who feel the loss of a friend, a spouse, a brother, a sister, a child, a parent, a colleague, a neighbor–multiply 750’000 by 10 and you have an estimate of the hatred that has been created. Add to that the 4 million who are displaced, some of them among the 7,5 million I just mentioned; and add to that the psychosis induced in the high number of US military who have been to Iraq; and add to that the about 25’000 wounded who have come back to the US and you may probably add 10% of them dying. The definition of a person of the US army personnel killed in the war is that he dies in Iraq, that means “Put them on the plane get them to Walter Ried as quickly as possible, don’t let them die in Iraq”. I am not saying that to get somewhere closer to realism when discussing this enormity. 

            Why don’t the USA with some allies win? Because they are against an enemy that is unconquerable, and why is that? Because of “asymmetric warfare” is too sterile. Of course they are using “improvised explosive” devices against these sophisticated things that the US army used. But they have two more arms at their disposal: time and space. 

            An unlimited time perspective. There is no point called “capitulation” in their rules, that can just be forgotten, it belonged to the old days. We are dealing with a type of warfare where what used to be called the weaker party has any amount of time at its disposal. These people are trained in fighting a government empire for 400, 500 years, like the Serbs were fighting the Turks for 500 years. The Orthodox, among the three Christianities, have a time perspective very similar to the Islamic one. I don’t think you will find 500 years patience in Washington, maybe not even 5 months for that matter. 

            And, they have space, there are 57 members of the OIC, the Organization of the Islamic Conference. 56 of them are states, number 57 are the 160 million or so Muslims in India. Most of the borders of the 56 countries are drawn by the West; they are borders that make no sense to Islam at all. That doesn’t mean there are no fault lines inside Islam. More important than Shia-Sunni is probably Arab-non-Arab. The non-Arab countries are in the majority, of the 56 only 22 are Arab. Of the 1.350.000.000 Muslims, 300.000.000 are Arab. If the Arabs feel that the religion is essentially theirs, then they are in a minority position. That is becoming something interesting, and of course the US plays on those fault lines. It seemed to work as long as they were dealing with Khomeini, he is a Shia, the “bad” Islam. But, bin Laden, a Wahab, was a Sunni, and didn’t look much more attractive than Khomeini. So something went wrong somehow with that Harvard University distinction. 

            Harvard University, by the way, is the university that by far has contributed most economists to the neo-liberal attack on humanity. Like Jeffrey Sachs, a major person in the destruction of Bolivia and of Russia, and now proceeding to the whole world. He has changed his rhetoric, even humanized the rhetoric. But if we look at the measures, they look very much like what he did to Bolivia and Russia. 

            Having said that, if you have time and space on your side, then you are dealing with enormous resources. In principle, the whole Islamic world is on the other side. This constitutes the “Clash of Civilizations” that Samuel Huntington’s publisher stole from Bernard Lewis, a far more important intellectual, professor at Princeton University, and a major advisor to Cheney. One of those who, more than anybody else, has whispered in Cheney’s ears “Attack Iraq!”. Everybody is blaming Samuel Huntington, best read the book, you’ll find almost nothing about civilization. Read Bernard Lewis, and you will find quite a lot, particularly about Islam. 

            It is a complete mistake to talk about this as a civilizational-religious clash only. It’s economic, military, political, it’s the full house. The more one says the “clash of civilizations”, the more is one inclined to forget the economic, political, military interests hidden underneath. It must be wonderful for Washington to have all this clash-of-civilization-talk and establish 14 military bases, and then try to put your paw on all the oil. “Keep them discussing civilization”. And this of courseis why we need the concept of imperialism, because it is holistic, one reason why the concept does not have a very high standing in the USA. The war of state terrorism against terrorism is an elitist warfare against peoples warfare. The people’s war is close to unbeatable, but it may take time. That holds for Iraq and it holds for Afghanistan. Anybody who knows a little bit of the history of Afghanistan and the British attacks in 1838 and 1878 and the Soviet attack in 1978, also know how it ended; with humiliating defeats. The one in 1878 ended even with the massacre in the British embassy in Kabul in 1883. I think they would have wished for good life insurances for those people. 

            How is it possible to enter a thing when so much knowledge would indicate otherwise, with all these negative indicators? Is it permissible to be that ignorant of history? To deny entirely a whole lot of facts that nevertheless somehow play a role? I myself think we give much too much credit to facts, but some facts are quite useful. It tells a lot to have a President who has both ignorance and denial fitted into his mental framework, but I would warn strongly against associating the calamity with Bush alone. 

            The US empire is resting on a deep structure and a deep culture. Let me take the deep culture first. There is both Chosenness, the vision of past and present glory, and a strong sense of trauma. There is Dualism, Manichaeism, and the sense that Armageddon will solve it. But, this is no Republican monopoly. It is found in both corporate parties, with some fringes that feel some uneasiness. And, of course, of those, the Republicans have suffered the humiliation of losing the elections. But the two parties re-cohered, voted for the “surge”, voted for 100 billion more money, adding some clauses. In other words, we are faced with a Republican Democrat entity, a Repucrat, Repurat, whatever we want to call it; a single-party coalition with two wings. That was the bad news, the good news are the 50% who don’t vote. Somewhere in those 50% there is a solution, not as one person. In other words, there is good news and bad news. 

            How does a person like Andreas Zumach, very well informed, think that the war against Iran will be? It could be based on a provocation, constructed, fake and false. Like Racak in Kosovo. A Finnish forensic specialist has now released her report which was silenced by Joschka Fischer at a critical moment, and the report on Racak is very clear: there was a gun-powder slam, but, the slam was on their hands and not on the neck. In other words, it was on those who had been shooting, not on the executed victims. Killing had been done in an ordinary manner and they then assembled the corpses and lay them out. They need a US ambassador to make that, it bears the stamp of William Walker. The total number of killed in Kosovo was not 150’000, but 8’000 over the years, 5’000 Albanians and 3’000 Serbs. I am just saying that because we have been treated to lies, and if there is the war against Iran it will be initiated by lies. To propagate those lies we have the corporate press, meaning press owned by the corporation. Information is easily arranged. 

            From the plans that have emerged it looks as if the 100’000 targets have been identified in Iran. These targets include not only some nuclear arrangements, but the total military infrastructure of the country, that means any kind of center of command, naval points, air bases, anything that has to do with missiles. But that would only amount to one half of the 100’000 targets, the other targets would be anything that has to do with civilian infrastructure in the sense of railroads, airports, roads of course, sewerage, bridges, canals or watering, electric power plants, anything that keeps the civilian population going. Starting at 5 am some morning, 100’000 targets, in association with Israel. As far as I understand the Iranian counterattack will be considerable. I don’t know, but I could guess there could be dirty bombs inside the US, ignited by remote control. Only an idiot will use missiles. They will of course use totally different methods. So I mention it as an example of what we may be facing. 

Afghanistan 

            In March I was invited to give a talk for three ministries in the UK, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry or Department of Defense, and the Department for International Development (DFID). It was organized by the latter. I was a little surprised when I was asked to give the keynote address, and in the chair was the former Foreign Minister. The keynote was about Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. And since I have just been mentioning Afghanistan, let me say some words about what I saw as possible solutions. The basic point I have just made: you can forget any possibility of winning. You may have a lull, and God bless you when it comes to what happens after the lull: Osama bin Laden. You can also forget calling your enemy Taliban, Talib means “student”, it’s a highly anti-student type of word, you can forget about that too. We are essentially dealing with the Afghan people. I remember a discussion I had myself in that meeting, with an Afghan general. He gave a talk about how many small weapons he had confiscated, 90’000, and how his forces were fighting. And I said to him “General, tell me a little bit more about that fighting”, and he looked at me and said, “Of course it doesn’t work. I cannot ask my Afghan troops to kill Afghans, it makes no sense for them. The Russians, no problem.” He didn’t say, but he was thinking “Americans, no problem”, but that was not politically correct at such a conference in London. I will never forget how the twinkle in his eyes met with the twinkle in mine, twinkle meets twinkle, and we understood each other perfectly. 

            The 5 points that would give a solution to Afghanistan would be the following from the TRANSCEND mediation in Peshawar in February 2001. 

1.         Make a Coalition Government with the Taliban. 100% Taliban is intolerable. But the Taliban has a moral fiber, which most others don’t have. If you eliminate them you will get heroin and corruption and not much more. They are needed. 

2.         Afghanistan is the material from which a Federation is made, not a unitary state, even if the Northern Alliance based on Tadjiks and Pashtuns with Kabul in the middle, count for half. There are at least ten others. To call potential Prime Ministers “warlords” is an insult. You have to be very much removed from reality to believe that by insulting them you can eliminate them or make them your friends. 

3.         A Central Asian Community surrounding Afghanistan with the countries that contribute to the national mosaic that is Afghanistan, the Pashtuns from Pakistan, the Tadjiks from Tadjikistan and the Dari-speaking from Iran, and so on and so forth, would make a lot of sense. That will include Kashmir, and Pakistan, and Iran. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has almost realized it. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization does not publish much, but moves in very, very clever, slow, movements. It moves so slowly that the journalists do not discover it, because it would have to move from day to day in order for a jour-nal to record it. 

4.         Make Basic Needs the leading line of the Government policy. That means food, education, health, clothing, whatever is needed for the somatic human being, shared by all, and available to men and women alike. That last problem can only be solved on a Quranic basis, and is being solved in a number of Islamic countries. One of the most interesting solutions was by Saddam Hussein, number 3 of the 14 good things he did. He told the Iraqi women, “From tomorrow on you decide whether to wear the hijaab or not. Only you. And if anybody tries to change your view come to me.” Now, to come to Saddam Hussein was not a very appetizing invitation, so this was definitely under threat, but it worked. It created a very, very vibrant group of women in Iraqi society. That of courseis now all disappearing. 

5.         Security, provided by cooperation between the UN Security Council and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The UN Security Council has a veto nucleus of 4 Christian powers, and one Confucian. It has no legitimacy whatsoever in the Muslim world, that has to be understood. To believe that one can organize a UNSC-sponsored security operation in a country that hates the UN, not only because of the composition of the Security Council, but for having killed 1 million through the Iraq sanctions, is naive. And they gave a very clear expression for their hatred by killing the Secretary-General’s representative in the Iraq UN building. It doesn’t help much to call the people who did it “extremists”. In the war we had against the German occupation in Norway, the people who did violent acts were extremists, and most people were sitting on the fence, applauding. But, don’t be confused, don’t call the fence-sitters moderates. They were waiting for the wind to blow a little bit more clearly and then jumped down taking a clear stand. 

            With those 5 points, I think one could arrive at something. It is not for us to impose any solution on anybody, and TRANSCEND in this case was essentially the Canadians. I was an adjunct. One of them was an Afghan Canadian, Seddiq Veera, of considerable diplomatic acumen. When that report was read in front of the working groups, a former Cabinet Member said “This is the best I’ve ever seen, the only problem is it has no chance… Why, because,” he added, “the Americans will attack us in October 2001, because they want to control pipelines, and they want bases.” So I asked him, “How do you know that?”. And he said, “Would you mind coming to my room this evening?” The room was very dark, and had a considerable amount of electronics, and quite good assistants who were very discrete, and he presented quite a lot of very interesting pictures. “When the Americans attack in October, they will put their military bases exactly here”, he took a map and put his finger exactly where a major base is today. You will of course remember that this was to be exact seven months before 9/11. 

            But having said that, the question comes up: “How does one move a plan like those 5 points?” Well, the reports from the conference, with the keynote address, is there, circulated to all kinds of governmental circles, not only in England. I don’t know, but we need a better dissemination technique. The corporate press will do their best to deny us that access, because we are uncontrollable, unpredictable. And I think they want it to remain like that, and so do we. 

3.         Nations and States Contradiction: 200 States, 2000 Nations 

            Let me go on to number three, very briefly, 200 states, 2000 nations. In Kosova they are now practicing the principle of self-determination. They are not practicing it in Republica Srpska, they are not practicing it in Transdniestria, they are not practicing it for the Tamils in Sri Lanka. They are practicing it where they want to practice it. What TRANSCEND tries to do is to open the space between independence and unitary states. And we have a lot of research done and a lot of experience when it comes to the range of in between points. And the three best known points are of course federation, confederation and devolution. Those are in-between parts. We did not have any success so far in Sri Lanka. The parties are not convinced that they can win, but they are convinced that they can deprive the other side from winning. Not quite the same, but almost equally good. If both of them want to deprive the other side of winning it can go on for a considerable amount of time, because you won’t even have the mechanism of victory or capitulation which sets some full stop, for some period. They needed of course the cease-fire agreement brokered by the Norwegian government in order to arm and re-deploy, and both parties make use of it. During that period, there was not a single serious effort to solve the conflict; certainly not by the Norwegian government, nor by the others. A very sad picture. And I’m afraid that whatever beautiful peace-building efforts one can make, it has limited impact. There has to be a solution. The good news from my own experience: the moment you do have a solution, it is incredible how much bad sentiment and behavior can evaporate quickly because the solution is there. 

4.         Cultural Contradiction: Islam vs Christianity 

            Number four, the cultural one. Imagine that you take the TRANSCEND 5 point diagram and you simply say Islam hates Christianity, wants to kick it out, and Christianity hates Islam, wants to kick it out. That formula is called intolerance. We are against that. There is the neither/nor possibility they may both conclude that there is something crazy in both religions. Let us turn to Buddhism, or let’s become secular. Secularism, I think, can partly be traced back to the 30 years war in Europe (1618 – 48). I don’t have the historical evidence, but I have at least the hypothesis that a high number of people came to the conclusion that if these are two Christianities that both define themselves as the only correct one, and that’s the way they treat each other, there must be something basically wrong in the whole Christian message. At the time, they did not have alternative religion, so they turned to secularism. 

            Secularism supported itself as science, and they fell into a very deep dark hole. Science, as you know, is based on data as the ultimate arbiter between hypotheses. But, data come from the past. In opting for science you give the past practically speaking 100 percent of the power. I have been struggling almost all my life to develop epistemology that does not take that dramatic position, but maneuvering even-handedly between past and future. It means that you give the potential, the negatively non-existing, as much praise as the positively existing. The moment secularism allies itself with science, it allies itself with the past. It is very easy to understand why they do it: because they are Christians, maybe Jews, maybe Muslims, and God created the world, and if God is perfection then His work must also be perfection. To talk about an alternative future is to challenge the creation. Any alternative future from a science point of view is speculation. From that point of view Darwinism and intelligent design are very very similar. The driving forces are in the past. What could be a true global future of this relation? We should draw on the potential of future wishes, of the dreams and the wishes and the values as an equally important part of the intellectual enterprise, and here I am not with Noam Chomsky. Brilliant, he is a digger for facts, and I dig him too. But he is chemically free from any concrete, constructive and creative future. There isn’t one single idea except “writing a letter to your Congressman”. And he has proven again and again and again how futile that exercise is. He is called the major intellectual in the world. 

            So, having said that, I am very much attracted by a statement by an Iranian, and that statement by an Iranian is as follows. I will read it to you in English. It is the 14th Century Persian Sufi poet Hafiz and his ultimate words about the distinction and struggle between Christianity and Islam: 

            “I have learned so much from God that I can no longer call myself a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew. The truth has shed so much of itself in me that I can no longer call myself a man, a woman…”. 

            The latter is going a little bit too far, I’m not sure I can follow him into that! 

            “…An angel or even a pure soul, love has befriended Hafiz so completely, has turned to passion, freed me of every concept and image my mind has ever loved… man/woman, thing.” 

            And that is what I for reasons of time will say about number 5 on the list: 

5.         Sufism 

            It comes straight out of the Axis of Evil. Ahmadinejad wrote a letter of 18 pages to Bush, a little bit repetitive at times, but a fascinating letter. What an indictment of the Western civilization that they are not even able to answer that letter. Nobody is of course expecting any answer from George Bush, but he has a couple of people: couldn’t Condi try her hand at it for instance? I mean, she is a bright woman. Why not? 

            A quote from Daoism: 

            “Sharing the suffering of others, the life and joy of others. Use the good fortune of others as your own good fortune. View the losses of others as yours.” 

            This is “we-ness”, this is swinging in harmony, two persons, or, humanity swinging in harmony, sensing each other’s delight and suffering. Compare that with the profoundly egoistic lex talionis: “Do unto others as you want others to do unto you.” Why is it so profoundly egoistic? Because it ends up with my ego, somebody should do something good to me, but I’m so smart that I know that the best way to get that is to be nice to that person, you get much more from him with that method. If you treat him badly you might get nothing or worse. A light-year away from the Daoism of creating we’s. This is the kind of thing that I find fascinating in connection with religion: it is not neither/nor, it is not the compromise, it is not one dominating over the other. Better, try to take the both/and, pick up the gems from all of them, make them coalesce, cohere somehow! A fascinating challenge, a little bit ahead of its time, or then maybe not. Maybe a lot of people think that way, it only has to be released, perhaps, in public space. 

6.         The US Empire 

            Let me introduce number 6, with a quotation from the South African Nobel Prize winner in literature J.M. Coetzee. Absolutely brilliant. The essay he wrote and published in 1974, when he was 34 years old, was about South Africa and the Vietnam War. He wrote a statement about the USA, putting it in the working of a specialist in a U.S. think tank in California, southern part. The project he is working on is how to break the wild of the Vietcong, and substitute for Vietcong goals goals that are compatible with the sincere US love for the Vietnamese people. He writes: 

            “If the Vietnamese had come singing towards us through the hails of bullets, we would have knelt down and embraced them.”

            If they can come singing through the hails of bullets. A good way of putting it. Yes, if only it’s exactly what happens. The idea that we can bomb the people into submission, and make them love us, is insane. When the Germans were “bombed into submission”, it actually strengthened the Nazi party. What then happened to the Germans was something else. At a certain point they realized that their whole project was doomed, the whole Nazi project was wrong wrong wrong. They were not taught a lesson by being bombed. “If only they would come singing through the hail of bullets, we would go down on our knees and embrace them.” The perception of their own project came from the inside. What Coetzee leads up to is psychosis, diagnosis maybe a combination of narcissism, megalomania and paranoia, maybe with elements of a fantastic detachment from reality. But we are not dealing with psychopaths, we are dealing with socio-paths. Maybe lovely individuals, but with an image of the world totally devoid of any humanitarian reality when those attacked refuse to do what Reagan said when he was entering a helicopter, in connection with Nicaragua. “Mr. President, what do you want them to do?” “All I want them to do is to say ‘Uncle'”, meaning “I submit.” 

            It doesn’t work like that with a deep culture and a deep structure at work. US political science and US economics have no concept of history, and, it seems, only two concepts of structure, hierarchy and anarchy. If you come from a Nordic country, or from the European Union, you have no problem what equity is about, even if I had to make up the word “equiarchy”, to add to hierarchy, polyarchy and anarchy. Their only approach to equity was and is the signed agreement, contract, regardless of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th level consequences. Similarly, solution to them means settlement, a signed document, and I would argue it isn’t good enough, solution is deeper. 

            So how is the US Empire performing these days? There are 15 contradictions at the end in the hypothesis made in the year 2000. Let me say what the basic theory is about. An Empire is a transborder arrangement that combines economic, military, political and cultural power. It’s an enormous power display that obviously brings with it contradictions. Contradictions are problems you cannot solve unless you change the system, but you can coexist with a couple of contradictions. When the contradictions start multiplying, synchronizing and synergizing, they become serious. 

            For the Empire people hit by an Empire start understanding that they have a common cause: get rid of the Empire – like colonialism, like slavery. 

            I can now pick up some of them, such as the amount of Euros passing the Dollars in circulation last December, Toyota passing GM in January, and you have the number of patents in the world with the US proportion sinking in comparison with other countries passing the US in one domain after the other. There is all of this happening, and much much more. 

            Let me point to a key factor. It hasn’t happened yet. But, many Europeans have felt bothered, and the moment they meet people in the Iraqi resistance movement and they compare notes, a sense of a common cause may start arising. If I now take all of these 15 points, some of them also inside the US, and Americans also sense that they are better off without the US Empire, the moment that common cause factor comes about, the US Empire is doomed. That is what happened to the Soviet Union. My prediction made in 1980 was that the wall would fall before 1990 and that the Soviet Empire would follow and they performed on time. The prediction of the US Empire is by 24 October 2020, the UN day and also my 90th anniversary, and you are all invited to celebrate. And let us combine it with a TRANSCEND meeting, but we need to make a jump, because they are now in odd years. 

What comes after the U.S. Empire? 

A.        The European Union as Successor 

            And then what? Three possibilities. 1) A Successor Country or Countries, 2) A Regionalizing World, 3) Another Globalization. Let me say a couple of words on all three. And you will take note, of course, that the end of an Empire is the most natural thing in the world. Empires come and go, it’s been like that all the time. No empire lasts forever. However, this one happens to be so brutal, so killing, so intervening, doing so much damage that you would expect it to be more short-lived than many of the others. It didn’t have the decorum and the sense of responsibility sometimes exercised by the English and the French, to a large extent by the Spanish, to a minor extent also by the Dutch, much less by the Portuguese and the Belgians. You will of coursealso remember that the Portuguese in Brazil, with the US, were hanging onto slavery more than any other. So there is a tradition here. 

            But leaving that point aside, I think China is one of the least likely successor candidates. On my list, candidate number one is the European Union. You need a sense of universalism, China has nothing of that. They are still convinced that it is surrounded by barbarians. They are willing to buy quite a lot. The annual global income is 54 trillion dollars, and China’s reserves are more than one trillion. The US currency reserves right now amount to 47 billion, which is nothing. That means when you want 100 billion for more fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, you have to take more loans. That they get those loans is something still a little bit strange, but they do pay something in return, namely access to the US markets. So, having said that, a likely successor is the European Union, very universalist, with the 11 major colonial powers all members, and all concerned about their part of the world. And they are willing to say “I’ll not protest if you do something in your part if you’ll not protest when I do something in my part”. It is European political common market. There is much more to the European Union, but this is one important aspect. 

            We had a conference on peace studies in Hull in England one week ago, about democracy and peace. And I launched the idea of the European Union as a successor, after 19 reasons why the hypothesis of “democratic peace” is false, even a fraud, but I leave out all of that. The point I’m making is simply that the European Union has the deep culture and the deep structure it takes to become an empire. There were protests to the effect that there was no such plan also from Members of the European Parliament. Back then, a German from the European Commission raised his hand and said: “I’ll tell you one thing, I work in the European Commission, but occasionally I go over to the Council of Ministers and whenever I am in the building, so many of the people walking around are in uniform, they suddenly disappear into some room, and it is very clear that the doors are closed.” There is of course also the Tindemans plan, and the Tindemans plan is exactly what they need for that successor purpose. So let me proceed to what I think is most likely, regionalization. 

B.        Regionalization 

            We have 4 regions or maybe 5, EU, AU, SAARC and ASEAN. Number 5 is the G8, it’s not contiguous, but it doesn’t have to be contiguous to be a region. And we have 4 regions that are coming, and they have one thing in common: they are not going to ask Washington for permission. 

            The first one is the Estados Unidos de America Latina y el Caribe, the United States of Latin America and the Caribbean. The common currency will be a Bolivar. Nine of the countries met in La Paz in December and drew up the basic plans for the Charter. A basic pattern of thinking is what they call a “social economy” and about that one I will just say one or two lines. When sanctions came to Cuba in 1960, or 1961 rather, the only trading possibility was with the Soviet Union, meaning sugar in return for shoddily manufactured goods. The Soviet Union collapsed, so did the trade, and Washington was already looking forward to the collapse of Cuba. What did they do then? First of all they switched to organic agriculture to be self-sufficient. In industrial products, they have enormous shortages, but they have some trade possibilities. And then you would immediately say that it was obvious, but not everybody thought about it. “We have human material, let us process that human material to as high a level as possible.” That started university education to an extent unknown in most other countries, with a science and training center outside Havana for the training of doctors, dentists, engineers, social workers, educators, teachers of all trades. Thousands and thousands of them, ready to go to Latin America. But they didn’t have the money till Chavez. He had the money, and a messianic complex. He is the Messiah with a budget. Imagine Jesus Christ with an oil budget? You see the triangular theme? Chavez pays Cuba for providing the manpower for lifting the bottom level of those 9 countries, starting with the slums, and they pay Chavez a certain allegiance to the Estados Unidos, which is evolving everyday today. Venezuela then, a couple of weeks ago left the World Bank and the IMF. You cannot leave it unless you have paid all your debts and Venezuela paid them some time ago. The other countries cannot leave because they haven’t paid their debts, so Venezuela is going to pay their debts for them. The Messiah with a budget. The difficulty of it is, that Messianism might go to his head and make his populist democracy, as opposed to the usual Latin American elitist democracy, similar to people’s democracy in Eastern Europe, as opposed to any democracy. As it is obvious I like his policies, I would hate to see that happen. 

            The second one is an Islamic community from Morocco to Mindanao. 1’300’000’000 Muslims crossing almost 1’300’000’000 Hindus, from Nepal to Sri Lanka, like two highways, but at the same level. A major potential for a major conflict, making small riots in India look microscopic. I use that as an exercise for diplomats and say, “Please come up with 5 solutions for this one”. 

            Third, an East Asia Community, without Japan and with India, possibly combined with SCO. 

            And fourth, possibly, Putin could pull it off, but he may not be the man for it, is a Russian Union with a Chechnya having as much autonomy as the Netherlands in the European Union. Today widely off the mark. Tomorrow? Maybe. It would be widely in Russia’s interest. The problem is that Putin came to power by being anti-Chechen. So, let us see. Maybe somebody can come to power by being pro-Chechen. 

            In a regional world we do not have any guarantee for peace. As a matter of fact, the country that will benefit most from the decline and fall of the US Empire will be the US Republic. They may start sleeping well at night, and they might use their enormous natural and human resources for innovative projects and their capacity for cooperation, all of that, for better purposes, and make a decent country out of the USA. 

C.        Another Globalization 

            That means of course a stronger UN with globalization through the United Nations. I was advisor to the Commission for Global Governance. They had a lot of good ideas whose time had not come, so let me just say the three that for me are most important. 

            Abolish the veto power. They may meet, in the G8, but put their agenda on the UN agenda, and if they don’t like what they come up with, outvote them by expanding the Security Council to 54 members like the Economic and Social Council, and see to it that all parts of the world are there. That’s point one. 

            Point two, democratize the United Nations. They can mobilize an enormous amount of initiatives through a democratic United Nations. Maybe with one representative for each 1 million inhabitants, some say for each 10 million. 

            And, point three, take the United Nations out of the United States and put it somewhere else. Put it in a more friendly environment. This can all be done within a span from 5 to 20 years. If democracy is such a good idea, then why not practice it? 

            My own book on The Decline and Fall of the US Empire–And Then What? is scheduled for next Spring. The book on alternative economics is also for next year, and so is the book on deep culture. Books, books, books, what matters more is peace, peace. 

            So let me end by simply saying that I was asked to say something on the state of the world. I’ve done that. And, if anybody can come up with ideas on how to speed up constructive, creative, concrete development, please don’t hesitate! 

            Thank you.
Johan Galtung, Dr hc mult, Professor of Peace Studies; Founder, TRANSCEND, a peace and development network ( www.transcend.org )

15 contradictions of the US 

ECONOMIC 

1.         Between growth and distribution: overproduction, 1.4 billion below 1 dollar a day, 100’000 die a day from preventable and curable diseases and 25’000 from hunger; 

2.         Between productive and finance economy: currency, stocks, bonds, overvalued, crashes, unemployment, contract jobs, not positions; 

3.         Between production/distribution/consumption and nature: ecocrisis, depletion/pollution, global warming; 

MILITARY 

4.         Between US state terrorism and terrorism: blowback; 

5.         Between US and allies: except UK-Germany-Japan, allies will say “enough”; 

6.         Between US Eurasia hegemony and Rus-Chindia triangle with 40% of humanity; 

7.         Between US-led NATO and the EU army: a Tindemans follow-up; 

POLITICAL 

8.         Between USA and the UN: the UN ultimately hitting back; 

9.         Between USA and the EU: vying for Orthodox/Muslims support; 

CULTURAL 

10.       Between US Judeo-Christianity and Islam: the UNSC nucleus has four Christian, and none of 56 Muslim countries; 

11.       Between US and the oldest civilizations: Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Aztec, Inca, Maya; 

12.       Between US and EU elite cultures: France, Germany etc. 

SOCIAL 

13.       Between state-corporate elites and working classes of unemployed and contract workers; the middle classes? 

14.       Between older generation and youth: Seattle, Washington, Praha, Genova and ever younger youth. The middle generation? 

15.       Between myth and realities: the US dream and US reality.