Voice of Russia
Recorded on December 7, 2013
December 11, 2013
Having established itself on the European continent in the devastating aftermath of World War II, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has emerged as a tool for the execution of aggressive wars against small countries that maintain some modicum of independence and for which they are targeted for destruction by the West and NATO. US/NATO are following a policy summed up by the words of former US President George Bush, one of “either you are with them or they will destroy you”, and we have seen proof of that since the invasion of Yugoslavia. As for the encirclement of Russia with interceptor missiles, now that the supposed pretext for that missile shield is gone, the threat from Iran, the intent of the encirclement of Russia is clear, the target has always been Russia. Rick Rozoff spoke to the VOR’s John Robles about this and more.
The West and the United States through its military wing NATO, which has expanded into a global military force, continues to attempt to expand its influence into the former Soviet space. Although NATO, which is struggling to stay relevant, should have been disbanded at the same time that the Soviet Union collapsed and the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, continues to expand worldwide. Recently the ambassador of the Russian Federation to Serbia gave a speech in which he called Serbia’s membership in NATO a red line for the Russian Federation.
With events in Ukraine and continued war games, which envision military operations against regular army forces in the Caucasus, and the continued building and expansion of the US missile shield, even though the supposed purpose of that shield – the Iranian nuclear program – is no longer a threat, NATO continues to show itself as a threat to regional and international security and continues to operate, apparently, with the goal of existing only to expand itself so as to be, as the US Pentagon recently stated, an “effective tool for the projection of the US force worldwide”.
The Voice of Russia spoke to Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list about these issues and more.
You are listening to part 2 of an interview with Rick Rozoff. You can find part one on our website at voiceofrussia.com.
Robles: Back to NATO for a minute and the comments by the Russian ambassador to Serbia. I believe he said that NATO was, and you quoted him as saying that NATO was organized and founded to fight the Soviet Union, and it wasn’t clear what its objectives are now, right? What do you think are its objectives? If you can, again. We’ve talked about this many times in the past.
Rozoff: I think Chepurin’s, the Russian ambassador’s comments were meant to be rhetorical rather than strictly accurate. He knows what the current objective of NATO is, as do we and, I’m sure, most of your listeners and what it is is no longer even maintaining the pretense of being a defensive organization, but rather having been transformed into what I would consider to have been an aggressor in the Cold War, to begin with… maybe, perhaps not in terms of a “hot” war, but, nevertheless setting up a military bloc in a continent that had just been devastated by a world war.
But, nevertheless, what we know is in the post Cold War period NATO has emerged not as an alleged defender of the territory of its member states, but as an expeditionary military force that is used outside the territory of NATO member states in wars of aggression against essentially defenseless and for the most part small countries, that is evidenced, of course, by the 1999 seventy-eight-day air war against Yugoslavia, the six-month air war and naval blockade against Libya, the war against Afghanistan in its 13th year – that’s what NATO is about now.
Robles: Smaller countries that what?
Rozoff: Small countries that maintained some modicum of independence and non-alignment and for which they have been destroyed. Let me as blunt as I can be about that. Countries, like Yugoslavia, that were founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement had to be taught a lesson and in the words of Voltaire from the novel Candide “for the encouragement of others”.
That is if anyone dreams about maintaining a semblance of neutrality, of military non-alignment, of not permitting their sons and daughters to be dragooned into foreign wars…as perhaps the Russian ambassador to Yugoslavia, I mean to Serbia, warned his audience. If you really want your sons and daughters to kill and die in countries like Iraq and Libya and Syria, then joining NATO is your ticket to that.
But if you don’t, then in the viewpoint of the US and its major NATO allies you are marked for extinction. You are either with us or against us, to use the infamous terminology of the last American commander-in-chief. And I think it is irrefutable at this point that the world’s sole military superpower (and again, that designation is by Barack Obama, that’s how he identifies his own country, for which he is commander-in-chief) you are either with us or we’ll destroy you.
Robles: Back to Ukraine a little bit, and this is a little bit away from NATO. The incentive was economic for Ukraine. There would be billions of dollars coming into the country from the European Union. That figure was in the single digit billions in over like a 7-year period, I think. Yet, if they join the Customs Union of Russia, the Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan and integrate further into other economic blocs, namely Russian-led blocs, the incentives are in the hundreds of billions of dollars in the same period. Can you comment on that?
Rozoff: Yes, thanks for that arithmetic. I wasn’t familiar with that but it doesn’t surprise me. The intent of course is to buy off the political leadership of Ukraine, so that somebody retires to Monaco or something with a few billions stashed away as opposed to doing anything for the benefit of the Ukrainian people.
There’s been an energy war being waged for over 20 years. Ukraine is not only targeted by the Eastern Partnership, but it is one of the countries that contributes to the acronym GUAM – Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova – which the US set up in the early 1990s to act as an energy transit corridor to squeeze Russia out of the European natural gas and oil market.
For a while GUAM was with two Us (GUUAM), because Uzbekistan was in there, but then dropped out. But now it is Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova.
And by the way, John Kerry (the US Secretary of State) has been in Moldova recently, where with the change of government with one of these so-called “color revolutions” recently there is a much more pro-NATO regime.
The thing is, I think we have to remember about Ukraine’s Orange Revolution the occasion to allude to where Viktor Yushchenko through extra-constitutional means was installed as president, essentially, in 2004, when he ran for re-election, he got 5% of the vote, which is a good indication of how popular he truly was with the Ukrainian public.
The US seems to be wanting to punish the Yanukovych government for making decisions not to align themselves with the West against Russia, not independent of, but explicitly against Russia.
Robles: What do you think about these sanctions? Obama and the US Government is saying they are thinking of sanctions against Yanukovych.
Rozoff: It follows on heels of several years. You talked about the former now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or the Obama administration as a whole threatening Ukraine because of the court case and the incarceration of Yulia Timoshenko, who was, if you will, Joan of Arc of the Orange Revolution and has been sitting in a jail cell for years now because of crooked natural gas deals. And these are the standard-bearers of US democracy or the so-called democracy in the former Soviet space.
You know, it is not one thing, it is another. The US has to continually exercise pressure and threats and the menace of economic or worse actions against countries to kind of keep them in line.
By the way, before we end this thing, there was a comment a couple of days ago, I think two days ago, by the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stating that now with the historic, apparent, deal between the US and Iran on Iran’s nuclear program: What conceivable justification can there possibly be for the US and NATO continuing their encirclement of Russia with interceptor missiles.
Robles: Exactly! I was just going to ask you about that. I’m glad you brought that up. And North Korea if you could and Iran. Yes, exactly! What is the point now? What are they going to say now?
Rozoff: I guess, I would ask the question: why didn’t NATO not immediately state (if you are to believe anything they say) that they now see the error of their ways and they are abandoning the Phase Adaptive Approach interceptor missile system. Of course, they won’t say that, because the target has never been Iran, the target has been Russia. Lavrov has called their bluff.
Robles: Has that had any resonance over there?
Rozoff: Far too little. I mean, I wish people had really seized on that. I’ve seen a couple of comments, but not enough. This is something the whole disarmament and antiwar movement needs to pick up and pick up with a vengeance.
Robles: I think the taxpayers too, I mean American taxpayers are indebted for how many generations?
Rozoff: You are correct.
Robles: I mean, the next, I don’t know, two hundred generations are going to have to pay for the current war debt and they just want to keep building and building it up even more.
Rozoff: Two years ago, when the US military spending was in the neighborhood of $718 billion a year, which is in constant dollars the highest level since WW II, the official military spending came down to something like $2,400 per year for every man, woman and child in the US. Official military spending.
Robles: Against whom? Against some US-backed Al Qaeda terrorists in the desert somewhere in the Middle East?
Rozoff: I have my own opinion about whose assets they truly are, but, I mean that of course is ludicrous.
Robles: Can you comment on where do you think Iran is going? I think that’s very important. That’s going to change the whole game in the Middle East, I think.
Rozoff: Again, assuming even for the sake of argument that Iran is a rogue state that presented a threat to somebody and now that threat has been diminished, I just don’t buy that argument. It has not been a threat to his neighbours or anybody else, not for centuries surely.
And the fact that a more Western-leaning government has come to power since the last election, first of all suggests that elections in Iran actually mean something, as opposed to here, where the foreign policy is not going to change in any substantive way because individual or one party wins the election.
But I don’t yet know whether the new government in Tehran is willing to make peace with the US principally or otherwise and how many concessions they are willing to grant the US in order not to be bombed. I can’t say.
Robles: Can you comment on Netanyahu’s comment? He was huffing and puffing, he was all upset and he said that making an agreement with Iran is granting them some sort of legitimacy, making them a legitimate state. Since when wasn’t the Islamic Republic of Iran a legitimate country?
Rozoff: From the point of view the US and Israel of course it never has been. I mean, they much preferred the hereditary monarch – the Shah of Iran – their close military as well as political and energy ally incidentally.
And I’m sure in both instances, just like the US, which staged a coup d’état in Iran in 1953 overthrowing Mosaddegh and installing the Shah, until the US and its allies – Israel and Saudi Arabia – which have a joint interest in criticizing Iran, until those three countries install some puppet regime in Tehran, they are not going to be satisfied and they are going to continue to bluster. But I think we have to keep in mind that the sort of government they would envision for Iran would be one that’s in the least representative or democratic.
Robles: Anything else?
No, but thank you for the opportunity. It’s been a very far-ranging, but I hope a coherent discussion and I’m appreciative of the opportunity.
Okay, have a good one Rick.