NATO’s Pet Despot
Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list, a contributing writer to GlobalResearch.ca, and a regular contributor to the Voice of Russia.
Recorded on January 12, 2012
Mikheil Saakashvili, some have called him NATO’s favorite despot.
I think that’s an accurate characterization of Mr. Saakashvili, yes.
He made some statements that the Russian Empire is about to collapse.
Yes, he’s been making statements along that line for a couple of weeks, maybe longer. It’s a repeated leitmotif for Mr. Saakashvili, that the Empire – I take it that’s a borrowing from a person he no doubt admired greatly, Ronald Reagan, and his – 30 years ago – his reference to the former Soviet Union as being the Evil Empire. I imagine Saakashvili knows what sort of terminology to use to be picked up in the West, but yesterday he made what were quite characteristic comments that, were they to be made by any other head of state, would certainly raise a few eyebrows around the world, but not when it comes from Mr. Saakashvili. For example, speaking again about Russia, Russia was now, and I quote him, “like crazy,” because Georgia survived the war that it provoked with South Ossetia and Russia in August of 2008. Since he came into power on the back of the so-called “rose revolution” in 2003, Mr. Saakashvili, U.S.-educated incidentally, Columbia graduate, he’s clearly modeled himself after a medieval Georgian monarch, one Davit the Builder, and in his speech yesterday Saakashvlili evoked once again King Davit and Queen Tamara. But then at another point, referring to Russia, and I am quoting this from Civil Georgia, an English-language website from the nation, this is in Georgia’s political reality, “Political vampires, mummies and various monsters will not be able to return” and so forth. This sort of lunatic verbiage is what we’ve come to expect from Mr. Saakashvili, notwithstanding which, however, he remains, as I mentioned, the pet despot of NATO countries, and their political darling outside the Euro-Atlantic area.
He serves their purposes. He and his regime have recently authorized the deployment of another large military unit of Georgian troops to Afghanistan to serve under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. When they arrive to join their cohorts already there, the Georgian troop contingent in Afghanistan will be the largest of any non-full NATO member, exceeding even the 1,550 troops that Australia currently has in Afghanistan. So they are providing cannon fodder.
How many troops are there from Georgia?
It will be over 1,600.
Back to Afghanistan, can you fill us in also about this scandal with the Marines and their trophy video?
For those of us who have seen it, I assume you have, and I regret that I have, it is, I don’t even know the proper adjectives to use in a case like this: appalling, repugnant, but also, I am afraid, reflective of the attitude of the 21st century new colonial troops that NATO has deployed in the Balkans and South Asia and so forth, and U.S. military forces around the world who evidently believe they can commit any kind of, not only gruesome, but degrading act of any sort, an ultimate insult to the nation, of course, which they are occupying, with impunity, because there is no force big enough to make them pay the consequence of those sort of actions. You are, of course, referring to a video that’s gone around the world of four, what they identified as four U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, joking while the four of them urinate on the corpses of what are identified as Taliban fighters, dead Taliban fighters. Heaven knows who they truly were, but to commit an action like that is appalling to a degree unimaginable, and the soldiers, of course, are treating this as all good fun, U.S. Marines, and it’s part of a series of similar behaviors including cutting off body parts as trophies and such like, in the name of spreading civilization and democracy to Afghanistan.
Do you think, maybe this was orchestrated?
As I was originally saying that anyone who was killed in Afghanistan or on the other side of the border in Pakistan is automatically referred to not only by the U.S. and NATO officials but by their ever-obedient mass media in the West as being Taliban or al-Qaeda. They could simply be militiamen; they could be people fighting to defend their country against foreign occupation. But on the broader question of whether the timing of the release of these videos, one can never rule out in the world of psy-ops and black ops, provocative materials released or permitted to be released at a given period with an ulterior motive.
Anyone who’s fighting against the United States is actually some sort of a weird terrorist even if they are defending their own country.
Right. That could be Serbian women in northern Kosovo, who are…
Yeah, they are “terrorists” for opposing NATO actions to deprive them of what’s left of their homeland. It can be Libyans defending their country against bombings.
They all are terrorists.
Evidently anyone with any shred of dignity, self-respect and national pride would be referred to as terrorists.
Can you give our listeners a rundown what’s the real situation there on the ground?
There may be a sincere desire by the United States to extricate itself from Afghanistan by making whatever deal they have to cut, even with their alleged adversaries, adversaries of the last decade. Militarily it’s gone catastrophically for the U.S. and NATO – it’s the longest war in America’s history.
After 10 years what are they leaving behind?
Devastation, dislocation, hundreds of thousands of Afghans forced to flee their towns and villages; heaven knows what sort of unexploded ordnance, depleted uranium and so forth strewn throughout the country in the past ten years. Certainly nothing good. And a heroin, opium cultivation, epidemic, of course.
What about the thousands of men in prison in Afghanistan accused of being terrorists, being detained indefinitely without charges?
Far from closing down the torture chambers in Guantanamo Bay or in Bagram, in Afghanistan, and so forth, as you are alluding to, the U.S. government now, the White House, has officially signed off on the National Defense Authorization Act that would permit the internment of U.S. citizens under basically martial law conditions: military trials without recourse or access to standard legal protection.
I talk a lot against NATO. You do too. Could we be called terrorists?
You know, that’s probably more serious a question than we both realize at the moment.
So, we should really be afraid that we could be picked up and taken to Guantanamo tomorrow?
Technically speaking, even American citizens residing in the United States might be susceptible to that sort of treatment.