As the US and NATO begin to pull out of Afghanistan what might wonder and attempt to fathom what they have achieved by invading and occupying the country for over a decade.
According to Voice of Russia regular Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO website, the entire campaign has been a debacle. Mr. Rozoff is another voice repeating what has clearly been discovered to be the US strategy in the Middle East: import murderous terrorists and Al-Qaeda fanatical mercenaries into a country and use them to destroy it and divide it up.
Hello, this is John Robles, I am speaking with Rick Rozoff, the owner of Stop NATO and the Stop NATO international mailing list.
Rozoff: The US supports what are clearly unprovoked, armed attacks by insurgents who are in most instances based in outside countries, usually contiguous ones but not necessarily, and then they launch what are just murderous raids inside the country. When the government then takes measures to protect the civilian population and government personnel including elementary letter carriers or school teachers or police officers.
They are then accused of disproportionate use of force, of gross human rights violations and then the US, increasingly now and recent years under the so-called Responsibility to Protect proviso, then intervenes militarily on behalf of these armed brigands and bandits, calling them rebels in most cases. That’s what happened in Libya.
So what you had was for 19 days the fairly recently inaugurated US Africa Command, that’s the first overseas regional military command created by the United States since the end of the Cold War, we should note, has to then be tried out, has to be tested and it was. For 19 days they launched so-called Operation Odyssey Dawn and absolutely blistered Libya with Tomahawk cruise missile attacks, bombing raids, Hellfire missiles and drones, without any…long surpassing any pretense of their intervening to protect the civilian population, and then NATO picks up under Operation Unified Protector and launches something like 30,000 air sorties over the country, almost 10,000 combat sorties.
This is a small country of six million people. And this goes on for six months, of concentrated NATO air bombardment. And the end result is, not surprisingly, people like ourselves warned people exactly what was going to come out of this, which is what we see now: is that the country is divided into three basically, based on tribal and other differences, that rival militias and little armed groupings that may vary from day to day in terms of their allegiance or their composition are fighting over the spoils.
But at the same time, again, NATO was reiterated, just in recent weeks in the last two or three weeks, NATO has reiterated they’re prepared (NATO is prepared) to provide military training and guidance to the armed forces of Libya, where there are no armed forces of Libya, you indicated that in your comment.
So what you have instead is something, almost like the Thirty Years’ War in Europe in the early 1600s: Rival groups of looters fighting for dominance in a given area.
Robles: Let’s not denigrate the Libyan people too much here because I mean, there is an army in Libya. I mean it’s fragmented, it’s weak but there is a loyal core army in Libya but they are having a very difficult time fighting all these groups that were armed to the teeth.
Rozoff: Then NATO steps in and arms them and trains them, much as they did with the NATO Training Mission – Iraq, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan, and they walk in and they train a central army, central armed forces in Libya, to fight the very same Islamic extremists that you indicated, that they bombed the country on behalf of for six months.
Robles: About NATO and Georgia, now it seems like they are focusing very closely on Georgia. Where do you see that going? Japan has been there recently. A post on your site says that they are going to be included in the Global Strike Force. Can you tell us about that?
Rozoff: Yes, Georgia remains a major linchpin for US and NATO interests. In the words of various pro-US Georgian officials, really proxies, like Mikhail Saakashvili, who has repeatedly referred to his country as being the gateway between Europe and Asia, which in fact it is geographically, and politically perhaps less so, but the intent is, the geopolitical purpose of Georgia, is to plant the US and its NATO allies squarely really where not only Europe and Asia meet but Europe and Asia and the Middle East meet with Africa not too far away, and of course we know there has been a whole series of pipelines: gas, natural gas, rail lines, other fairly strategic enterprises under way, or projects under way, of which Georgia is the pivot or the centerpiece. But what is happening most recently is just today one of the NATO websites announced that Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, announced Georgia will now join the NATO Response Force to bring this discussion full circle. That is, the global military expeditionary force that NATO is crafting, even though Georgia, of course, is not a full member of NATO at this point.
The other allusion you make is even more fascinating. The fact that the Japanese delegation met with the Defense Ministry, meet at the Defense Ministry in Georgia and the photograph on the Ministry of Defense of Georgia’s website showed a Japanese officer in a military uniform shaking hands with the defense minister of Georgia.
Japan has insinuated itself into Georgia for energy purposes. You know that ultimately the oil and natural gas that’s to flow from the Caspian Sea through Georgia into the Eastern Mediterranean or Eastern Europe…
Robles: Yeah, but Japan?
Rozoff: … could also go in the opposite direction, into East Asia.
Robles: I suppose. Very strange to see Japan in Georgia, I was quite astounded by that.
Rozoff: Well, this is where Japan and Germany finally link up, how many years later, almost 70 years later. Whatever they had intended during World War II, here they meet in the Caucasus. The German military influence already established there and a Japanese military official, that was the phenomenal thing about that photograph.
Had they even simply sent a civilian in Japanese defense (so-called Self-Defense Force), their equivalent of a defense ministry, over there, that’s one thing, but to send a military official suggests something is on their mind and in the post-Afghanistan world, post-Afghan war world, NATO in it’s own words -and I’m roughly paraphrasing it – is looking for some way of applying the lessons of Afghanistan elsewhere in the world and the Caucuses, the South Caucuses may indeed be where they intend to move.
Robles: The lessons of Afghanistan? A more than decade long quagmire!? What lessons are there to be applied? I think the main lesson to be applied is fight for peace and keep the soldiers at home. And stop invading other countries.
Rozoff: That&# 39;s how a sensible and sane and humane person would look at it, that’s precisely why NATO views it from the opposite perspective, and what NATO officials talk about, Rasmussen in the first place, is Afghanistan. This is something I’ve contended from the very beginning and we do have to note that as of October 7th, that is at least hear in Chicago three days ago, we are now in year 13 of the US and NATO war in Afghanistan. Year 13.
Robles: It’ s longer than Vietnam already.
Rozoff: It has been for a while, but this is certainly the longest war in American history. It’s NATO’s first war in Asia. It’s NATO first ground war.
Prior to this NATO essentially waged air wars over the Bosnian Serb Republic and then in Yugoslavia in 1999, but what NATO officials are alluding to is the fact that under the structure of the International Security Assistance Force, that NATO took over shortly after the invasion of the country, that troops from over 50 countries, over 50 countries were integrated into a common military command under NATO leadership and that’s something that the world has not taken note of sufficiently in my estimate, and it’s a fact that NATO in fact has reached that degree of integrating a global military force. And when the NATO officials talk about deriving the necessary lessons and so forth from Afghanistan that’s what they are talking about. They are talking about the ability to put out an integrated military command including troops in over a quarter of the countries in the world.
Robles: Another point I think that no one is paying attention to though: I would say, Afghanistan, was a complete failure.
Rozoff: Yeah, it has been a debacle, it truly has. You know, for a while I think there was a fallback position which was: the US and company didn’t want to win the war, they wanted to maintain military presence in that general area, but now it looks like they may well leave with their tails between their legs. And hundreds of thousands of Afghan people killed, maimed, displaced, traumatized, an entire generation of Afghan children who in many parts of the country never been to school, have no future. This is the legacy that they are going to leave behind. And they could leave, callously indifferent to the consequences of their intervention. But you know, the Afghan people are going to bear the consequences, of course.
Robles: Okay, Rick, I really appreciate you speaking with me.
Rozoff: Yes, thanks for the opportunity. I appreciate it. What I said about the invigorating conversations, the sort creating new ideas is absolutely the truth.
Robles: Thank you very much, Rick. I really appreciate it.