Interview with Rick Rozoff
Rick Rozoff spoke to the Voice of Russia’s John Robles regarding the recent “quiet” of NATO. Rozoff says that NATO and its Western allies are attempting to isolate Russia and China politically and using Syria for that purpose.
On July 4th Rasmussen talked about global NATO. At the same time another NATO official talked about closer cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council. What can you tell us about that?
It’s very good of you to make that connection, incidentally. The speech you are alluding to by Anders Fogh Rasmussen, I did a work on it, it is a very brief speech by the way, and I believe I counted 27 times he where used the words global, globally, international and world – in reference to NATO. So, the so called North Atlantic Treaty Organization has appropriated or arrogated unto itself the right to be a global military intervention force. And the Persian Gulf is one of the key geopolitically strategic areas where they are concentrating.
And this is, again, in cahoots with the United States talking about perhaps expanding the deployment of the so called X-band portable missile shield radar sites of the sort that were placed in Turkey this year or in Israel four years ago into the Persian Gulf, into one of the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as the U.S. is exporting Patriot Advanced Capability-3 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense interceptors in those countries. So we are talking about a major military buildup – anti-missile, naval and other forms of military buildup – in the Persian Gulf states which are linked to NATO under what is called the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative of 2004, which was an overt effort by NATO to replicate other partnership programs around the world focusing on the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
I read somewhere that someone was calling for Israel to join NATO. Is that realistic, do you think?
There was an article about two days ago, if I’m not incorrect – the time zones are different of course – in Ha’aretz, the leading Israeli daily newspaper, calling for just that, for the formal inclusion of Israel into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization vis-à-vis the confrontation with Iran, which would inevitably then pull the entire NATO alliance, including nuclear powers the U.S., France and Britain, into any military conflict that could be initiated by Israel against Iran. It’s not the first time statements of this sort have being made. Indeed, Israel is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, a military partnership with NATO. It was the first country to be granted an individual partnership initiative under the rubric of the Mediterranean Dialogue.
It is the only country in the Middle East, I don’t know how many of your listeners know this, that is not subordinated to the Pentagon’s Central Command which takes in all the rest of the Middle East, as a matter of fact, from Egypt all the way to, say, Kazakhstan. Israel alone remains under U.S. European Command area of responsibility and the chief military commander of European Command, EUCOM, is simultaneously the chief military commander of NATO in Europe, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe. So that Israel has a very unique relationship with NATO, to begin with. And because of its geographical situation it may not be possible to be incorporated as a full member state, but politically and ultimately militarily it has functioned as such for a long time.
A lot of eyes right now are on the upcoming presidential elections in the U.S. How would the current plans of NATO change if Republican Mitt Romney is elected president?
What we’ve seen since the creation of NATO in 1949, initially by a Democratic president, Harry Truman, but its first military commander – Supreme Allied Commander Europe – was Dwight D. Eisenhower who would succeed Truman as the president of the United States as a Republican. Whatever differences exist domestically between the two major political parties and whatever shades of difference may exist between them on international affairs, one thing that is invariable and uniform is the endorsement of NATO as the U.S.’s military arm in Europe and as we’ve seen since the Afghan operation began almost 11 years ago increasingly in the Middle East, Asia and, with the war against Libya last year, in Africa. So I wouldn’t expect to see any substantial difference, not even a shade of difference to be honest between a second Obama or a first Romney administration in relation to NATO.
You’ve heard about his comments regarding Russia being geopolitical enemy number 1 etc. What do you make of those? Do you think it is just rhetoric? Or do you think he is really serious and if he becomes president, he is going to take an extremely hard line towards the countries he stated he would?
It’s both. It is rhetorical and it’s meant to achieve short-term political gains in the presidential election in November. At the same time it is authentic and it is a serious danger. As you’ve pointed out, among the best commentaries I’ve read on the subject on Voice of Russia, sometimes rhetoric gets ahead of itself and then a person acts on their own reckless misperception or commitment to the rhetoric they’ve been espousing and I would by no means underestimate the danger of Romney administration in terms of becoming even more provocative and even more bellicose towards Russia. And that’s a distinct possibility and it’s definitely a factor in the presidential election.
How do Americans feel about that?
About the question of baiting Russia, baiting the Russian bear again as though we’re living in the very depths of the Cold War and in many ways even worse? I wish I could tell you my fellow Americans have a decided opinion one way or any other on the matter, but our news media is such in this country, if I may speak poorly of your colleagues across the ocean, that superficial issues are dwelled on. Media event such as the Clint Eastwood speech at the Republican National Convention for example grab all the headlines and substantive issues of the sort you’ve raised tend to be buried and people either don’t hear about them or hearing about them don’t pay particular attention to them. That’s a tragedy.
U.S. relations towards Russia and particularly any escalation and provocations against Russia, which are plenty bad as they are, between the world’s two major nuclear powers, let’s be frank about that, is a matter of the outmost importance and certainly deserves a lot more attention than it’s receiving in the media and as a result the average American voter, when they walk in the polling booth in November, on their list of priorities Russian-American relations are going to be very low if they exist at all.
Ok, Rick is there anything else that you’d like to finish up with?
No, but again I want to commend the Voice of Russia on it excellent coverage of international affairs, but its very perceptive reporting on events within my country. Oftentimes we don’t read comparable coverage from local news sources.
So, you are saying to get good news on the US you have to… Go to the other side of the world.