Global Warfare and NATO’s “Quick Reaction Strike Force”

‘The magniloquence of the US’ language is almost pharaonic’ – Rick Rozoff

While in fact being illegal aggressions and incursions onto these southern territories of foreign countries recent operations by the US in Somalia as well as the kidnapping of a Libyan citizen go further to underline the illegality of United States government and their actions around the world. Sadly, the US media has portrayed such events and actions as being “bold military flexing of muscles” and somehow proving that their president and leadership is legitimate and powerful and not to be messed with. Most leaders of the world attempt to show that they are for peace or they are for diplomacy, however, due to the belief by Americans in their own exceptionalism acts of aggression are seen as events to be lauded, applauded and proud of. Nowhere has the western media focused in detail on the fact that the kidnapped Libyan citizen was actually one of the US’ own freedom-fighters and opposition members for he was branded a terrorist and was then kidnapped from his own country.

These further acts by the United States against the sovereignty of other nations, well, perhaps playing well back home only go to underlying the complete and total illegality of the current regime in America. Such aggression and rapid worldwide military expansion are the largest threat to world peace that has existed since WWII.

Hello, this is John Robles, I am speaking with Mr. Rick Rozoff, the owner of Stop NATO

Robles: It is a pleasure to be speaking with you again. Can you give our listeners an update on this NATO “quick reaction strike force”?

Rozoff: Yes, the NATO Response Force, I am glad you raised that. It’s something that was inaugurated, truthfully, and I don’t know how much of the world paid attention to that by the time, or subsequently, but by a series of large scale- war games off the coast of West Africa in the former Portuguese possession, the island nation of Cape Verde – Cabo Verde – in 2006, and this was the launching of the NATO Response Force.

As its name indicates, this is slightly euphemized, but a more accurate characterization of it would be global strike force and the attempt is to employ air, naval and infantry, ground forces by NATO forces to be deployed anywhere in the world, at short notice, for a comparatively prolonged period of time, and even though there has been some scaling back in terms of the scope or the dimensions of the force because of the economic crisis the Western suffered over the last five years, nevertheless this is still a very active project and we see, for example, what are going to be fairly large-scale naval, with an air component, exercises in the Baltic Sea and the Lithuania-Latvia- Estonia-Poland area, very shortly called Steadfast Jazz 2013, the latest iteration of that military exercise, but also, you know, throughout the world, one needs only to go to the NATO website to see various activities related to launching the Response Force.

This might appear to be grandiose at this moment, John, given the fact that the West has suffered – and I think this is worth noting somewhere in the program; it’s definitely suffered a diplomatic rebuff and political damage over Syria, in that Russian intervention to prevent US and NATO military aggression against that country has resulted, I think temporarily – I compare to the West, say NATO, to a boxer who’s just been hit pretty hard on the head and is still rather stunned and almost swaying, still dangerous, but lacking direction currently and I think that is probably a safe summary of what NATO is up to.

However, we also know that NATO officials have been traveling to countries like Jordan, to Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, so they still entertain hopes of consolidating a global military network.

Robles: Can you comment on this, on these…Well they were actually hostile military incursions into Somalia and Libya, that were supposed to regain Obama’s war president image back in the United States? Can you comment on those events?

Rozoff: That’s an astute observation of yours. This is damage control, or trying to boost the war credentials.

The head of state of any other country, of course, would go out of his or her way to stress how peaceful they are. Uniquely with the world’s “sole military super power”, and that term is of course Obama’s issued on the occasion, in almost Orwellian Newspeak, of his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize almost four years ago, but for the world’s sole military super power as you are indicating (I hadn’t thought of it, but I am sure you’re correct) he has to repair the damage occasioned by the fact that he wasn’t permitted to launch war against Syria. By performing “bold” and “determined&qu ot; military actions around the world, his reputation and that of the US as a whole, I suppose, is still somewhat smarting because of the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya over a year ago and the CIA and State Department personnel with him, so pulling off another “daring” mission such as the alleged killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan or something of that sort or the storming of a pirate vessel off the coast of Somalia a couple of years ago.

A made in Hollywood approach to restoring confidence in the commander-in- chief, so that’s perhaps what in fact occurred in both Somalia and in Libya.

Robles: I found it interesting that usually these NAVY 6 (Navy Seal Team 6 carried out the Bin Laden assassination and the Somali incursion) missions, they used to be done in secret, you know they were “secret operations”, here it’s all over the news a few minutes after it happens.

Rozoff: Yeah, they have the Krieg lights out to make sure that not a bit of the action is missed. Again, though, we have to keep in mind that the Obama presidency, whereas just as militarily reckless, ambitious and irresponsible as its predecessor, has focused on politically low-cost operations. And they include, of course, drone warfare and special operations of the sort you are talking about, so that if you send a helicopter gunship or parachute – however one gets special forces into an area – and 2,000 of them get killed, nobody ever hears about it.

So they are usually low profile, but you are correct in this instance they are being highlighted and emphasized and celebrated as an act of “derring- do” but for the most part we can expect from the Obama administration, given the fact that war morale, or war fatigue is probably a good term for it, over the last 15 or so years is such that no prolonged labor-intensive military intervention with a lot of boots on the ground is going to pass muster with the American population for very long. So that special forces attacks and drone warfare are the trademarks of the Obama administration.

Robles: In the past we have talked about the breaking and destruction of countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia is a “broken country”, these were hostile incursions into the sovereign territories, in Libya they kidnapped a Libyan citizen. Can you comment on that?

Rozoff: You’re talking about the prime minister being kidnapped? Oh you’re talking about the US kidnapping the Libyan citizen..

Robles: I am talking about the ex-CIA poster-boy for the opposition that was… Actually he had asylum in the UK, and then all of a sudden, he’s, uh (surprise! surprise!), al-Qaeda, and he had a 5 million dollar bounty on his head.

Rozoff: Yeah, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, evidently, and once again let this be a lesson to any unprincipled mercenary extremist who wants to throw his lot in with the United States: he may thrive in the short term but he can be turned on and destroyed by the very power, Washington, that supported him.

You know, certainly, people like Jalaluddin Haqqani and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in Afghanistan can tell you that, currently, and I am sure it’s true for a lot of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group veterans and al-Qaeda veterans that the US generously supported with weapons and with the six-month bombing campaign two years ago in 2011, and they are now, you’re right, when needed, they go from poster boy to wanted poster.

Robles: He went from the classic “freedom fighter” to terrorist in not too long of a period.

Rozoff: And vice versa, they can also go…as in the case of the Kosovo Liberation Army, so-called, in Serbia they can go from State Department officials branding them terrorists, bona fide, dyed-in-the- wool terrorists, and then a couple of months later, when it’s expedient to reappraise them, they’re freedom fighters, heroes and democrats.

Robles: Osama Bin Laden is the classic case, I mean he was a great Mujahidin freedom fighter in Afghanistan who became terrorist number one.

Rozoff: He either outlived his usefulness or central casting determined in the next chapter of the serial he was going to be a villain whereas he had been a hero in the preceding one.

Robles: Back to the sovereignty question, do you see more of these attacks on these small broken countries coming in the future? I found it kind of disgusting: the media, I can’t remember one of the main media outlets in the US, called it “a powerful flexing of military muscle” in Somalia.

They snuck out of the ocean, they killed some terrorists or al-Qaeda or al-Shabab people, or whoever they killed and then they had to retreat. This was the big “flexing of military muscle”. As far as peace goes it sounds promising but as far as desperation to show: “Oh, we can do whatever we want!”, it sounds dangerous. That’s not really a question but can you give us your thoughts on that point?

Rozoff: Yeah, the muscle-flexing, paraphrasing American mainstream media’s celebrating in Somalia, or for that matter in Libya or anywhere else it occurs, is really very pitiable, how the Gods have fallen indeed; this is a power that sent entire armies into Europe in World War II and waged war against actual, formidable military adversaries in the past, which is now reduced to, you know, attacking a nation that’s been in a state of veritable anarchy for 35 years, Somalia, that is really been trifurcated; the US seem to like to trifurcate countries, Iraq and Libya come to mind, but you have Somaliland and other parts, Puntland, you have the country divided up, there is a Transitional Federal Government which has only as much power as US- and NATO-allied trained troops from Uganda and Burundi and Kenya give it.

Robles: And the United Nations…

Rozoff: Much like Afghanistan and others. So, you know, that the world’s mightiest military super power and so forth is reduced to celebrating triumphs of the sort you have describe, suggests far from it being invincible and uncontested in its military superiority, looks rather pathetic.

Robles: I don’t want to say that too much because, I mean, then they’ll a nuclear missile on some countries to prove how powerful they are.

Rozoff: Don’t taunt and tempt the Devil, I agree with you.

Robles: Right, right! I would really like to hear from you, we have been kind of focusing here in the Voice of Russia on the topic of “American exceptionalism”, as a peace activist, as an expert on NATO what is your opinion on American exceptionalism?

Rozoff: You recall, John, you and I discussed just this immediately after Obama’s speech and I think we were, to use the cliché that’s popular over here, ahead of the curve.

Robles: We usually are, Rick! (laughs)

Rozoff: Well, thank you, sir. Let me return the compliment. But you provide a very comfortable and stimulating environment, where, you know, ideas germinate and come to fruition and I think that’s the case. It’s not something, you know, either of us have sat down and thought out on our own, but in the course of the give- and-take of a real dialogue, (the Socratic method), new ideas are born, or synthesized, but you know, in fact that’s what occurred and perhaps two days later Vladimir Putin in a guest editorial at the New York Times focused on precisely that aspect of Obama’s speech, which was the US touting and reiterating and almost turning it into a divine Messianic mission of being exceptionable…“exceptional” nation.

Robles: Exceptionable, thank you.

Rozoff: Yeah, I am sorry, I am playing off your word, I remember in your column and you are correct. Objectionable might be a little bit closer to truth, but then Obama followed up after his Russian colleague, counterpart, Vladimir Putin, statement in the New York Times, by going to the UN, as host, of course, to the General Assembly meeting and reiterating that the US alone in the human history has not only sought to defend its own interests around the world but that of other nations around the world. I mean this is a degree of grandiosity, global grandiosity, that truly is the geopolitical equivalent of delusions of grandeur in a bipolar patient or in religious terms messianic, believing they’re the savior.

Robles: That was really evident during the Bush presidency, I don’t know if you remember the Daily Briefs with the religious quotes and everything else on it.

Rozoff: I am laughing out of…[being] bemused rather than amused; I mean there is nothing funny, of course, that people would appropriate to themselves, arrogate to themselves divine attributes.

I suppose nobody has really done that since the late Roman emperors,  who were deified and self-deified, who in at least one instance deified their own horse, but I am afraid we are probably dangerously close to that in terms of the grandiosity, the magniloquence of the language, the arrogance of the attitude, the unlimited entitlement and so forth that we are seeing is something almost pharaonic; I mean it’s more the Egypt of the pharaohs than it is an alleged republic, some 250 years after its founding.

Robles: What about the government shutdown in the US? There was this desperate push for this attack on Syria and then, you know, less than a month later the government shut down. Do you think that’s related?

Rozoff: Maybe the scheduling issues on both were related with each other, though, you want to talk about grandiosity, with the federal government in part shutting down, I would have to say I think most people haven’t even noticed…


Articles by: Rick Rozoff and John Robles

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