Voice of Russia
Recorded on September 3, 2013
September 5, 2013
Statesmen, diplomats, leaders and countries worldwide are condemning the United States for their obtuse and entirely self-serving desire to launch military aggression against Syria, yet another small and almost defenseless nation that the U.S. wants to decimate with their unparalleled military might as they continue to aggressively bomb and attack every nation that attempts to pursue any king of independent foreign or other policy. Voice of Russia regular Rick Rozoff adds his voice to the growing chorus of people worldwide who are calling on the aggressors to stand down and stop their madness.
Hello, this is John Robles, I’m speaking with Rick Rozoff, he’s a regular contributor for The Voice of Russia and the manager and owner of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.
Robles: Hello, Rick, how are you?
Rozoff: I am as concerned and as distressed as I’m sure you and most of the world is currently knowing that we are on the precipice of what could be a disastrous military action by the United States in the Middle East.
Robles: Is it possible that somebody may, at the last moment, talk some sense into those beating the war drums in Washington?
Rozoff: Certainly there have been efforts to do so. Even today such an unlikely person as the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, who was known to have been the United States’ choice for that position and who has generally gone out of his way not to offend Washington in any way, nevertheless reminded the world community and the US, in particular, that there are only two justifications to taking military action against another country.
The first is Article 51 of U.N. Charter that the country is in imminent danger of attack from the other country, that is, self-defense, and secondly, if there is authorization through the Security Council. Neither of those criteria, of course, applies in any manner to U.S. plans for military attacks against Syria. That’s number one.
Number two, and I think that is not insignificant: this past Sunday in his weekly address in St. Peter’s Square Pope Francis I, the head of the largest religious organization in the world, the Roman Catholic Church with 1.2 billion adherents, called for an international day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria. And making statements like, and this is from the press agencies, quotes of his talk, stated quote: “War, never again.” And also made the following statement: “Violence never leads to peace. War leads to war, violence leads to violence.” This is an almost unprecedented statement by the religious leader of the largest religious faith in history, the Catholic Church.
And this Saturday he is going for an international day of prayer and fasting, not only for the world’s Catholics, his own flock, but other religious believers and even non-believers. That’s number two.
Number three, a statement was quoted today by Interfax, the Russian press agency, quoting the chairman of the upper house of the Russian parliament, the Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, Viktor Ozerov, and I am quoting him because it is worth getting these words out more broadly than I expect they have, and his quote says: “If we recognize the supremacy of international law and the sovereignty of UN member states, the start of a U.S. military actions against Syria bypassing the U.N. Security Council could only mean one thing, another American aggression against an Arab state.” More or less paralleling or echoing the statements by Ban Ki-moon.
He further howover went on to list what this means in terms of escalation of a long-term pattern, and again this is Ozerov speaking: “The aftermath of the U.S. aggressive operations are still fresh in our memory. Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya…The list could be extended. No arguments can be accepted here in defense of democracy or human rights.” As the alleged purpose of those wars; my comment.
And he goes on to say, “What is really happening is that Washington cannot agree that countries exist that do not dance to its tune or play by its rules.” That’s the end of the quote by the Russian senator. And that, I think, hits the nail pretty squarely on the head and gets to the gist of the issue.
Syria’s crime is not kowtowing to the United States, capitulating to it. And any other countries, and there aren’t many currently, that have the courage to maintain an independent foreign policy, that have close state-to-state, diplomatic, economic and military ties with nations like Russia and China are also targeted in this.
And in a way, how I envision it, John, is that you have the United States, as a wolf outside of a pen of sheep and it’s selecting them one by one as to which it’s going to devour. And as long as the sheep permit themselves to be picked off individually and sequentially then all of them eventually are going to be victims.
And what’s needed at this point is what even the otherwise fairly timid Ban Ki-moon has reminded the world of, that at the most the use of military aggression by one state against another, and certainly not one which has military superiority that’s almost incalculable, like the United States vis-a-vis Syria, unless in immediate self-defense or with U.N. Security Council authorization, neither of which is in the offing. And that is the sentiment of Senator Ozerov from the Federation Council, who said exactly the same thing, that war outside the Security Council threatens the system of international law, the international global order.
So I think, given the gravity of the situation and the almost unprecedented comments which I just shared with you, by the head of the United Nations, the head of world’s largest religious faith and by the chairman of a key committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament, that we’re looking at something quite serious right now and that the world needs to be able to marshal all the resources it has: information, organization, moral resources, in order to combat the threat of a war against Syria, which could quite entirely possibly expand into something not only a regional conflict or conflagration, but into something that could be a global showdown.
We’ve already talked about this, John, repeatedly, that the U.S. has exploited the Syrian crisis to create a new Cold War with Russia, which is now simply indisputable, on the heels of the cancelled meeting between Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Edward Snowden affair and a number of other things. But resting at the base of it is the U.S. exploiting the Syrian crisis to berate, denigrate and threaten Russia.
We’ve heard some of the worst rhetoric coming out of Washington vis-a-vis Russia since the Cold War and even worse in certain ways, as we’ve had ample opportunity to discuss in the past.
So my plea would be that people take to heart very seriously the statements by Ban Ki-Moon, the statement by Viktor Ozerov, the statement by Pope Francis I and realize that something is so severe, so grave, so historic at this point that all efforts have to be made between now and, say, the beginning of next week when there’s likely to be a vote in both houses of the U.S. Congress, that world public opinion has to tell Washington, both the legislative and executive branch: No war! It’s against the law internationally. It’s a moral crime. And it’s an historic crime that will be judged in that manner and its perpetrators will be held accountable.
Robles: OK, thank you, Rick! We’re out of time! I really appreciate it!
Rozoff: Thank you, John.