by Rick Rozoff
Stop NATO-Opposition to global militarism
May 25, 2011
The standard-bearers of Anglo-American imperialism in the current epoch, President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, met in London on May 25 to discuss the world’s two ongoing wars of aggression, those in Afghanistan and Libya, both under the command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization dominated by Washington and London.
As well as joining a barbecue for American and British troops in the prime minister’s haunts, in the gardens of Number 10 Downing Street, the two potentates called for continuing to bomb Libya back to the Paleolithic Age.
Displaying what passes for sophisticated humor in the contemporary deadened age, Cameron told the press, “It was…probably the first time in history, as we stood behind that barbecue, that I can say a British prime minister has given an American president a bit of a grilling.”
Correspondents chuckled as Libyan, Afghan and Pakistani civilians writhe in their death throes from the bombs and Hellfire missiles delivered by Cameron’s and Obama’s warplanes.
Waxing as reflective as he is capable of doing, the British prime minister added: “Barack and I came of age in the 1980s and ’90s. We saw the end of the Cold War and the victory over communism. We saw the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein and the world coming together to liberate that country. Throughout it all, we saw presidents and prime ministers standing together for freedom.”
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder in triumphalism and unbridled militarism, more like.
British, French, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Qatari and United Arab Emirate warplanes have flown over 8,000 sorties and more than 3,000 combat missions against Libya since NATO took control of the war on March 31, before which the U.S. and Britain fired at least 160 cruise missiles into the nation. Hours before Cameron and Obama enjoyed their barbecue, NATO warplanes launched a one-hour bombardment of the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the most ferocious attack in more than two months, killing 19 people and injuring over 130 others.
The third plenipotentiary of Anglo-American global power projection, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland – who succeeded former NATO secretary general Javier Solana in the post – was in Washington last week to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and plan more onerous joint sanctions against Syria, with Clinton stating “we discussed additional steps that we can take to increase pressure and further isolate the Assad regime,” exemplifying the diplomatic finesse the world has come to expect from the foreign policy executrix of the world’s sole military superpower.
A week before, the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), whose six member states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, to a one hereditary monarchies, emirates and theocracies, but accounting for 45 per cent of the world’s proven oil reserves – are the West’s main allies and proxies in the Arab world and the Persian Gulf, issued a joint declaration demanding that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi abdicate power in favor of the rebel Transitional National Council financed and armed by NATO and GCC nations and advocating the easing out of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in favor of a more pliant and reliable client.
The EU and GCC, with not a scintilla of apparent irony given the above, also demanded that Iran “play a constructive role and stop interfering in the internal affairs of GCC member states and other countries in the region.” On March 14 the first of 1,500 troops from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the other GCC states entered Bahrain, two days after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates left the kingdom, to back up the Al Khalifa dynasty against opponents of the religious minority-dominated autocracy.
The following week Kuwait deployed naval forces off Bahrain “to protect the territorial waters of the kingdom” as part of the GCC’s Peninsula Shield Force military intervention.
In announcing the penultimate round of sanctions against Syria in late April, President Obama included Iran, claiming “Iran’s actions in support of the Syrian regime place it in stark opposition to the will of the Syrian people.” The will of the Bahraini people is another matter.
Since April the GCC, of which Yemen is not a member, has been pressuring the Yemeni government to accept its alleged mediation efforts to effect a change of regime, an initiative backed by the U.S. and its NATO allies. As German foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke recently informed the press, “We call on President Saleh not to seek to wait out the situation, and to seriously consider and accept the mediation offer made by the Gulf Cooperation Council.” He added that “The European Union might take new measures to up pressure on the regime ‘should President Saleh stubbornly hang on.’” 
During his meeting with Prime Minister Cameron on the same day, President Obama chimed in by stating, “We call upon President Saleh to move immediately on his commitment to transfer power.”
On May 23 European Union foreign ministers levied more stringent sanctions against Belarus, Iran, Libya and Syria, four nations – hardly surprisingly – also targeted by the U.S. for regime change.
Neither the U.S. nor its NATO allies in the European Union have breathed a word about introducing sanctions against the kings and emirs of the GCC states.
Qatar and its GCC partners were the prime movers behind the action by the Arab League, of which they constitute barely a quarter of the members, to call for a United Nations resolution against Libya on March 12. A week later the U.S., Britain, France and their NATO allies began the bombardment of the country.
Diminutive Qatar, an absolute monarchy with a population under 1.7 million, was the first country to recognize the rebel regime in Libya, the first Persian Gulf state to join a NATO combat mission by supplying French-made Mirage fighter jets and U.S.-origin C-17 Globemasters for the war effort and set up a satellite television channel – Ahrar TV – as the mouthpiece for the Transitional National Council, as well as providing it with French-made MILAN missile launchers. Qatar is also managing oil exports from rebel-controlled Libya.
A news source in Azerbaijan published the following account on March 28, nine days after the war against Libya was launched:
“NATO’s operation, worth about $300-500 million a day, on sweeping the sky over Libya opens a new historical era: the beginning of colonial conquests by the Persian Gulf states. At the same time NATO acts as a ‘soldier of fortune’ – a professional mercenary, ensuring colonial conquest itself.
“The defeat of Colonel Qaddafi’s ground forces by NATO aviation has opened possibilities for the opposition for restoration of oil exports from Libya. As a result, according to a representative for the economy and oil of the ‘transitional government’ of the opposition, Ali Tarkhuni, the opposition has already reached an agreement on oil exports under the supervision of Qatar.” 
On April 14 President Obama hosted the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, at the White House and praised his guest for “the leadership” he demonstrated in promoting “democracy in the Middle East,” particularly in Libya, adding:
“Qatar has not only supported [the campaign against Libya] diplomatically but has also supported it militarily and we are very appreciative of the outstanding work that the Qataris have done side by side with other international coalition members.” The emir responded by thanking Obama for “the position the U.S. has taken in support of the democratization process that has taken place in Tunisia and in Egypt and what is attempting to take place in Libya.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is one of 49 official Troop Contributing Nations supplying forces for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (Bahrain, though not in that category, also has military personnel assigned to NATO in the war zone), announced last week that it will be the first Arab nation to send an ambassador to NATO headquarters in Brussels. The UAE is also the only other Arab state providing warplanes for the now 68-day attack against Libya.
Along with its fellow GCC member states Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, the UAE is a member of the NATO Istanbul Cooperation Initiative military partnership established in 2004. NATO has conducted conferences, sent leading military commanders and deployed warships to all six GCC nations, including Saudi Arabia and Oman, not yet full members of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. The Alliance’s ever-expanding role in the Persian Gulf is designed to contain and when the opportunity arises confront Iran.
Two years ago French President Nicolas Sarkozy travelled to the UAE to open his nation’s first military base in the Middle East, in the Abu Dhabi emirate, where he stated to his host: “Be assured that France is on your side in the event your security is at risk.”
In the middle of April, starting on the day Obama met with Qatar’s Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, NATO foreign ministers met in Berlin to plan the intensification of the war against Libya, with Hillary Clinton stating that the bloc’s members were “sharing the same goal, which is to see the end of the Gaddafi regime in Libya.” The NATO foreign ministers signed a declaration pledging continuation of the war which was also signed by representatives of Jordan, Qatar, Morocco, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates, all members of NATO partnership programs: The Mediterranean Dialogue, Partnership for Peace and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.
Ten days ago Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fihri announced that his nation intends to join the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the GCC reciprocated by confirming that it was considering the request and a parallel one by Jordan. Neither country is near the Persian Gulf but both are monarchies.
At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo, the monarchies in Russia, Austria and Prussia created what became known as the Holy Alliance to unite the European continent under a coalition of kings, czars and emperors exploiting a patina of religiosity to forever fend off the reappearance of republicanism. Of forces they couldn’t control.
The self-proclaimed champions of Euro-Atlantic values gathered under the banner of NATO have now found their fitting complement: The kingdoms and emirates of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A kinship indeed exists, as the majority of nations bombing Libya on both sides are monarchies: Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as NATO partner Sweden which has assigned eight Gripen warplanes for the war and Canada once removed.
Last September the Financial Times reported that Washington planned to sell $123 billion worth of arms to GCC states – $67.8 billion to Saudi Arabia, $35.6 billion to the United Arab Emirates, $12.3 billion to Oman and $7.1 billion to Kuwait – in addition to incorporating the Gulf states into the global U.S. missile shield system.
The White House later confirmed a $60 billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, the largest foreign arms transaction in American history.
The U.S., Britain, France, Italy and their NATO allies have revealed their plans for control of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf: A comprehensive military alliance with the royal families of the Arab world.
1) Agence France-Presse, May 25, 2011
2) NATO conquered from Gaddafi control over Libyan oil for Qatar
Azerbaijan Business Center, March 28, 2011
Kucinich Stands in Opposition to Permanent War and the National Security State
Nabeel Rajab: Bahrain situation beyond explanation + Protesters sentenced to death
Pepe Escobar: The Hijacking of the Arab Spring Protests, interviewed by Peter B. Collins and Sibel Edmonds
Bomb Everything in Libya – Pirates of the Mediterranean By William Bowles
NATO Continues Killing Spree in Africa And Asia by Rick Rozoff
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Protests as Obama arrives in London
President Obama Addresses the British Parliament
President Obama & Prime Minister Cameron Joint Press Availability
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