Jar2

Interviews With Rick Rozoff

By John Robles 

"A brutal gratuitous slaying"

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FORMAT

FORMAT

 

 

 

Time to Draw a Line for NATO

1 March 2012, 13:03

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Interview with Mr. Rick Rosoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to www.globalresearch.ca Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has written is a white paper regarding Russian security and the upgrading of Russian military forces in response to NATO’s expansion. Can you give us some view insights into this?

Interview with Mr. Rick Rosoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to www.globalresearch.ca

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has written is a white paper regarding Russian security and the upgrading of Russian military forces in response to NATO’s expansion. Can you give us some view insights into this?

I’m probably not that familiar with all the particularities as you are but I think I understand the gesture which is right in the phase of increased military hardware by the United States and its NATO alliance being brought closer to Russia’s border and we are talking particularly about the so called missile shield that is placing interceptor missiles capable of knocking out other nations’ missiles and radars to accompany those missile deployment. So that Russia needs to be able to protect its strategic military potential against the efforts to neutralize it.

Early this month Prime Minister Putin made a comment and a pretty straight forward one that neither Iran nor North Korea poses any missile problem so that this development he, quite accurately by the way, described as a global missile shield with the European component. And that reflects what was said by the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov early this year, he used the same expression because in fact that’s what it is – it’s an effort to be able to have sea and land based interceptor missiles placed strategically to achieve global dominance. Putin was also alluding, without naming it as such, to what we understand to be as a grand global strike concept.

When he said that certain countries, and he meant the United States in the first place without naming it, are developing the capability to deliver high precision, long range missiles with conventional loads and that’s a grand global strike. And as the Prime Minister put it, strategic weapons are of the same effect, it’s just another word but they have the same ability to upset the international balance of military force in the world but also to be able to ultimately destroy the military potential of other countries short of using nuclear weapons. That’s grand global strike.

What do you think about the current situation? Last time we talked about Ambassador McFaul and this before there was supposed to be this bigger opposition rallies. They’ve come and gone, they were a big disappointment, I’m sure, for Mr. McFaul. What do you think about this orange threat, is it really a threat?

Now it looks like it’s been diffused, I mean there are certainly efforts taken by the usual cast of characters – a broad gallery of US agencies like the US Agency for International Development, USIA and others.

Do you think the Russian Federation has the technology to be able to neutralize the attempted neutralization of its own forces?

Yes, counterneutralization, if you will. I sincerely hope it does. Recently it has been confirmed that the US is deploying a four-aged class guided missile destroyers permanently to the Rota naval base in Spain, to be used in the Mediterranean and that’s adding to the recently deployed missile shield radar in Turkey and so forth. And also the United States confirmed after the meeting of the US and Georgian Presidents – Barack Obama and Mikhail Saakashvilli, that the US is going to help rebuilding the so called military defense capability of Georgia.

Another comment by Vladimir Putin that has been reported today, he is talking about the fact that certain countries, and again we know who he is speaking about – the United States and its NATO allies, are fomenting and stalking conflicts near and on the borders of Russia and its allies. I have paraphrased but your listeners will get the idea. And earlier we talked about the efforts by certain officials in the United States and I’m sure the US embassy in Moscow fomented the so called color revolution type political activities in Russia and having failed that, and these people, and I’m talking about the West, of course are intended to win and to have their will forced in the world by fair or foul means. And as they fail in one respect, they resort to another.

We have to keep in mind by the way as the presidential elections are coming up the political elite in the United States and other NATO capitals hold against Vladimir Putin. Aside from all domestic and foreign policy issues there is one overriding grudge their bear against him and that’s for a nine minutes speech at the Munich Security Conference in February of 2007. For people familiar with the Aesopian fable about the cat and the mice, what he did was, he belled the cat. He identified to the world and the world heard him that in the past twenty years it’s been the emergence of, and I use his own wording, a unipolar world. I believe these are the exact terms of the time where there is now one center of power, one center of force, one center of decision making and the world battles under that sort of unilateral domination.

And it’s for that speech, I believe more than anything else, it is for that that he will never be forgiven and it’s for that the United States would not like to see him become the President of the Russian Federation but of course again they are not going to be able to prevent it. But what the US is doing relentlessly of course is increasing its strategic and missile shield capabilities dangerously close to Russia’s borders, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea of the Caucuses. 

McFaul, he was the supposed the architect of this “reset”, now people are saying that if Vladimir Putin becomes the President of the Russian Federation again the “reset” will be over. What do you think about that?

I think the “reset” can’t be over, I think it was stall-born. I don’t believe that there can be anything in the public relations gamboled by the United States. The fact that the US and NATO still refuse to give Russia any guarantees whatsoever that the so called European Phased Adaptive Approach Missile Shield System, which becoming more ambitious with each succeeding phase, is not targeted against Russia. And in fact what Vladimir Putin said recently was that as Iran and as North Korea are not the threats or betrayers, then the missile shield is indeed aimed at Russia and the same does the strategic potential on the west of the country.

In one year what do you see the relations between Russia and NATO?

If NATO continues to aggressively assert itself as a self proclaimed international security provider, to use the youth, which is a military alliance willing and able to intervene in the internal affairs of other nations with military means to its disgrace, then Russia is going to have to draw a line and the world is going to have to draw a line.

Russia’s Nuclear Forces in Danger?

23 March 2012, 12:41

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the Manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a Contributing Writer to GlobalResearch.ca.

What do you think will be some of the evidence that Ministry of Defense will present very soon proving the ABM shield is a danger to Russia’s nuclear forces?

You are referring of course to the statement by Russian Defense Minister Serdyukov about a conference that will be held in Moscow in early May.

One can speculate about what evidence the Russian Defense Ministry and government as a whole is prepared to present but if we are to trust an account run in today’s RosBusinessConsulting, quoting Kommersant, the newspaper, there are some concerns that the velocity of the Standard Missile 3, SM-3’s, that the U.S. intends to deploy in Romania and Poland as well as their ship-based equivalents. Should that velocity be intensified that in the words of the Russian daily the U.S. NATO missile system could threaten Russian strategic nuclear potential.

There is another component to that, incidentally, which is; from its inception, Prompt Global Strike program is to include intercontinental ballistic missiles, which the U.S. states will be equipped with non-nuclear warheads, with conventional warheads. Of course taking the U.S.’ word on that, that an ICBM would be used to deliver a nuclear warhead, nevertheless this is a question of trust; whether a country like Russia and China takes the word of the United States that the ICBM heading towards them or in the general direction of their country, is or is not equipped with a nuclear warhead, and this has been a consistent pattern on behalf of the Pentagon and the White House, on one hand, and NATO headquarters and Brussels, on the other, or jointly rather. Where they are loathe to divulge any meaningful details and they are certainly not willing to give any assurances, which would include for example the possibility of Russia inspecting both radar and the missile sites that have been installed and will be installed in South Eastern Europe and Turkey as well as throughout Eastern Europe.

We have to keep in mind by the way what we are talking about with the U.S. system is something that in the autumn of 2009, the incoming at that time Obama administration, referred to as the European Phased Adaptive Approach. That is, it’s a four-pronged process of introducing increasingly larger and more sophisticated missile and radar deployments in the area of the Baltic Sea in Poland, in the area of the Black Sea in Romania, and recently what’s referred to as a Forward-based X-Band Transportable Missile Radar facility in Turkey, which is now operational. And this is the U.S. component, the major component of the Phased Adaptive Approach. However, at the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal in November of 2010 NATO endorsed the U.S. plan and is integrating it with two other NATO programs, one of which is called Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense and the other – NATO program that goes by the acronym of MEADS, Medium Extended Air Defense System, which is a joint project of the United States, Germany and Italy. Incidentally, the Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile System was… achieved interim operational capability last November, where there was for the first time a live fire exercise of a missile for that purpose. So what we are looking at is an increasingly broad stratified sophisticated anti-ballistic missile system, which includes an intensification of what are refered to as Aegis class U.S. warships, which carry the sea-based version of the Standard Missile 3. Just last week the Netherlands announced it is going to upgrade four frigates for radar purposes for the U.S. NATO missile system.

What can you tell our listeners about the upgrades?

There are constant upgrades, that aren’t always publicly acknowledged, for example, in May of 2010 the opening salvo of the U.S. interceptor missile system in Europe was fired when the U.S. deployed a Patriot Missile Battery in Polish city of Morag on the Baltic Sea, which is only some 40 miles from Russian territory from the Kaliningrad district, and this is the newest and most sophisticated longest range version of the Patriot, it’s referred to as Patriot Advanced Capability-3, but there is also an enhancement, which is called Missile Segment Enhancement that permits an even greater distance, and I believe what Russia fears is the Standard Missile 3, which has been used up until now strictly on ships, will be, when they are based on land in Romania, Poland and who knows where else after that, also enhanced in such a manner to give them greater velocity and greater range.

The other thing Russia has to be worried about is that more advanced interceptor missiles could follow the SM-3’s and thinking particularly of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, the acronym is THAAD, that can intercept not only short and medium, but intermediate range missiles, (there is actually a distinction between medium and intermediate) and then behind that what the George W. Bush administration had planned to install in Poland, 10 Ground-Based Midcourse weapons, which can intercept missiles in space. So, you know, U.S. and NATO assurances have been proved less than trustworthy in the past, there is no reason to believe that the U.S. may exceed its announced goal, the four-phased European Adaptive Approach and institute in its place or in addition to that, more advanced weapons like the THAAD and the ground-based midcourse weapons.

Recently Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov offered NATO the Vostochny airport in Uliyanovsk. Have you heard about this?

I have no idea what Russian national interest Mr. Lavrov is defending. You know, we have to keep in mind that referring to NATO and the Pentagon as partners, when just this week as a matter of fact there’s an unprecedented NATO war game going on in the Arctic with 16,000 troops, and that’s of course could only be aimed against Russia, and simultaneously 300 U.S. marines are in Georgia conducting the second of what have now become annual, joint military exercises called Agile Spirit. So that you have the southern border of Russia and the north-western border of Russia with U.S. and NATO military exercises going on, and to accommodate NATO in any manner by setting up a transit center in Ulyanovsk to ease their transition out of Afghanistan seems to me perhaps not the most well advised move. I believe to allow NATO and U.S. cargo planes to fly over Russian territory, with assurances in that case that they don’t carry surveillance equipment and so forth, is something I would want to look into very closely before I permitted it to occur were I an official of the Russian government.

Parting

Violence in Russia Would Satisfy US

4 February 2012, 21:08

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Interview with Mr. Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

I’d like to speak today a little bit about color revolutions. I think we will go back to Saakashvili, Mr. McFaul might play into this and all these demonstrations going on all over the world.

Yes, one of the more significant developments of the past decade is, you know, what is euphemistically referred to as color revolutions, and you are right, to cite the example of the current head of state, I hesitate to call him president, Mikhail Saakashvili in Georgia, who came to power on the back of the prototype of the color revolution, what was called “The Rose Revolution”. It was shortly thereafter followed by a comparable development in Ukraine, the so called “Orange Revolution”, and the following year the US State Department and its various adjuncts stepped up the pressure to replicate that model in several countries both within the former Soviet Union and outside it. I’m thinking of the so called “Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan in March of 2005 and subsequently the “Cedar Revolution” in Lebanon and a number of others in the interim. It’s a method for unconstitutionally unseating a standing head of state through a series of what are referred to as demonstrations and other non-violent actions but which in many cases are very coordinated efforts to attempt to delegitimize the standing government in the eyes of its populace and certainly to do so in the eyes of the international community. They generally occur, the prototype again being in Georgia in 2003, they generally occur against the backdrop of national elections.

Do you see parallels in Russia 2012 after parliamentary elections leading into presidential elections?

Well, the fact that the parliamentary and presidential elections are occurring so close together, the parliamentary elections in December and of course March 4th the presidential election, gives time for, what is referred to by Russian political analysts sometimes, political technologies to be able to be put in place and to build up momentum. We have to recall for example that maybe the real prototype of the color revolutions is what is enduringly known in the West as the “Bulldozer Revolution” in Yugoslavia in the year 2000, that at that time there were methods of communication by anti-government forces that were fairly limited compared to those in existent now.

For example, I just saw in Novosty a few minutes ago the fact that the Russian “Opposition”, or the coalition of opposition forces claims to have recruited 30,000 people, I can guess their age incidentally, through social networks, that is social media like Twitter and Facebook. It was roughly a year ago today that the US Secretary State Hillary Clinton announced at the State Department, which at that time had recently started that Twitter feed in Arabic and Farsi, revealing languages considering what has happened in the interim, was going to expand those Twitter feeds into Russian, Hindi and Chinese. So, the social networks that are recruiting people for anti-government marches in Russia are ones that the State Department openly acknowledges as playing a direct role in, meaning its interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation of course and it’s interfering particularly in terms of elections.

What can you tell us about the new Ambassador to Russia – Mr. McFaul? I think what he did was unprecedented, I can’t think of any other examples ever, anywhere in the world where an ambassador has come into a country and the first thing he does is meet with opposition politicians and opposition leaders, an opposition, I might add, that appeared not long ago.

Yes, immediately ahead of the presidential elections. Were the situation to be reversed, any newly appointed Russian Ambassador who acted in that manner, would be declared persona-non-grata and expelled from the country. The fact that on the second day on the job Mr. McFaul, who came to that position from being in the Obama Administration’s National Security Council Advisor on Russian and Eurasian Affairs revealingly enough and who was cited as having acted as the so called advisor to Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996 during the presidential election, one that, the results of which were controversial even on this side of the Atlantic.

There’s a…on the Wikipedia entry on Mr. MacFaul, there is a quote attributed to Russian news portal in which McFaul delivered an interview and described himself, if this account is to be trusted, as, and I quote Wikipedia quoting McFaul, “a specialist in democracy, anti-dictator movements and revolutions”. This fellow in fact sees himself in that capacity and on the second day again, of his taking charge of his position as the US envoy to Russia, he met with the coalition of opposition forces, then to claim in any way or form that he is not interfering in the internal affairs of Russia is ludicrous.

Why would the US be interested in doing this now?

The United States wants to weaken Russia in any capacity regardless of who the head of state would be. The fact that Vladimir Putin in his earlier term as President of the Russian Federation made statements challenging the uni-polar world, one power dictating terms to the rest of humanity and so forth, hardly endeared him to Western policy makers, particularly those who would like to see NATO expansion progress into the South Caucasus and into the Ukraine and so forth. It’s very important to note that the first two official colored revolutions, those in Georgian and Ukraine were followed immediately by an intensification of the integration of those two countries into arrangements with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

As a matter of fact that in the year of 2008, shortly after Georgia provoked a war with Russia by invading South Ossetia, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization setup what they call Annual National Programs with both Georgia and Ukraine and the United States setup roughly at the same time what were called Charter on Strategic Partnerships with both Georgia and Ukraine. So, colored revolutions are followed by increased NATO integration as certainly as night follows day.

But I think there are a number of objectives in terms of Mr. Mcfaul’s appointment to the ambassadorship to Russia and what his role is likely to be between now and the presidential elections on March 4th, the US may not realistically expect to be able to affect the outcome of the Russian election. But they certainly can attempt the standard color revolution approach of discrediting government institutions in the country, trying to alienate and antagonize sectors of the electorate and also on the international scene to try to discredit Russia as a whole. They have several degrees of objectives if you will, and just simply bring chaos or dissension, you know, if some form of violence can be provoked in the process, the US would be even more satisfied with the outcome.

It is one thing to engage in a standard electoral or political opposition to the government, it is another thing to accept foreign monies from a power that’s increasingly hostile. I mean we have established the fact that no one less than the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton states that the State Department is tweating in the Russian language to an audience in Russia, and this is the same Hillary Clinton who said the parliamentary elections in December last year were “neither free nor fair”, so you can imagine what the content is of the State Department propaganda going into people’s cell phones in Russia.

Parting

Saakashvili: NATO’s Favorite Little Despot

25 January 2012, 13:46

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list, a contributing writer to GlobalResearch.ca, and a regular contributor to the Voice of Russia.

Mikhail Saakashvili, some have called him NATO’s favorite despot.

I think that’s an accurate characterization of Mr. Saakashvili, yes.

He made some statements that the Russian Empire is about to collapse.

Yeah, he’s been making statements along that line for a couple of weeks, maybe longer. It’s a repeated leitmotif for Mr. Saakashvili that the Empire, I take it that’s a borrowing from a person he no doubt admired greatly, Ronald Reagan, and his, 30 years ago, his reference to the former Soviet Union as being "The Evil Empire". I imagine Saakashvili knows what sort of terminology to use to be picked up in the west, but yesterday he made quite characteristic comments, but were they to be made by any other head of state, they would certainly raise a few eyebrows around the world, but not when it comes from Mr. Saakashvili. For example, speaking again about Russia, Russia was now, and I quote him - “like crazy”- because Georgia not only survived the war that it provoked with South Ossetia and Russia in August of 2008. And since he came into power in the back of the so-called “Rose Revolution” in 2003, Mr. Saakashvili - U.S. educated incidentally, Columbia graduate - he’s clearly modelled himself after a medieval Georgian monarch, one David the Builder, and in his speech yesterday Mr. Saakashvlili evoked once again King David and Queen Tamara. But then at another point, referring to Russia, and I am quoting this from Civil Georgia, an English language website from the nation, this is in Georgia’s political reality, “Political vampires, mummies and various monsters will not be able to return”, and so forth. So, this sort of lunatic verbiage is what we’ve come to expect from Mr. Saakashvili, notwithstanding which, however, he remains, as I mentioned, a pet despot of NATO countries, and their political darling outside the Euro-Atlantic area.

Why?

He serves their purposes. He and his regime have recently authorized the deployment of another large military unit of Georgian troops to Afghanistan to serve under NATO’s international security assistance force. When they arrive to join their cohorts already there, the Georgian troop contingent in Afghanistan will be the largest of any non-full NATO member, exceeding even the 1550 troops that Australia currently has in Afghanistan. So they are providing cannon fodder.

How many troops are there from Georgia?

It will be over 1600.

Back to Afghanistan, can you fill us in also, you know about this scandal with the marines and that trophy video?

For those of us who have seen it, I assume you have and I regret that I have, it is - I don’t even know the proper adjectives to use in a case like this - appalling, repugnant, but also I am afraid, reflective of the attitude of the 21st century new colonial troops that NATO has deployed, you know, in the Balkans and South Asia and so forth, and U.S. military forces around the world who evidently believe they can commit any kind of, not only gruesome, but degrading act of any sort; you know, an ultimate insult to the nation, of course, of which they are occupying with impunity, because there is no force big enough to make them pay the consequences of this sort of actions. You are, of course, referring to a video that’s gone around the world of four, what are identified as four U.S. marines in Afghanistan, joking while the four of them urinate on the corpses of what are identified as Taliban fighters, dead Taliban fighters. Heaven knows who they truly were, but to commit an action like that is appalling to a degree imaginable, and the soldiers, of course, are treating this as all good fun, U.S. marines, and it’s part of a series of similar behaviors including cutting off body parts as trophies and such like, in the name of spreading civilization and democracy to Afghanistan.

Do you think, maybe this was orchestrated?

As I was just saying that anyone who was killed in Afghanistan or on the other side of the border in Pakistan is automatically referred to not only by the U.S. and NATO officials but by their ever-obedient mass media in the west as being Taliban or al-Qaeda. They could simply be militiamen; they could be people fighting to defend their country against foreign occupation. But on the broader question of whether the timing of the release of these videos, one can never rule out in the world of psi-ops and black-ops, that provocative material is released or permitted to be released at a given period with an ulterior motive.

Anyone who’s fighting against the United States is actually some sort of weird terrorist, even if they're defending their own country.

Right. That could be like Serbian women in northern Kosovo, who are…

Sure, terrorists!

Yeah, they are “terrorists” for, you know, opposing NATO actions to deprive them of what's left of their homeland. It can be Libyans defending their country against bombings.

They all are terrorists.

Evidently anyone with any shred of dignity, self-respect and national pride would be referred to as terrorist.

Can you give our listeners a rundown, what’s the real situation there on the ground?

There may be a sincere desire by the United States to extricate itself from Afghanistan by making whatever deal they have to cut, even with their alleged adversaries, you know their adversaries of the last decade. You know, militarily it’s gone catastrophically for the U.S. and NATO and it’s the longest war in America’s history.

After 10 years what are they leaving behind?

Devastation, dislocation, hundreds of thousands of Afghans forced to flee their towns and villages; heaven knows what sort of unexploded ordnance, depleted uranium, and so forth have been strewn throughout the country in the past 10 years, certainly, nothing good; and heroin-opium cultivation epidemic, of course.

What about the thousands of men in prison in Afghanistan accused of being terrorists, being detained indefinitely without charges?

In far from closing down the torture chambers in Guantanamo Bay, or in Bagram, in Afghanistan, and so forth, as you are alluding to, the U.S. government now, the White House, has officially signed off on the Defense Authorization Act that would permit the internment of U.S. citizens under basically martial law conditions, military trials without recourse or access to the standard legal protection.

I talk a lot against NATO. You do too. Could we be called terrorists?

You know, that’s probably more serious a question than we both realize at the moment.

So, we should really be afraid that we could be picked up and taken to Guantanamo tomorrow?

Technically speaking, even American citizens residing in the United States might be susceptible to that sort of treatment.

Where Will America’s Imperial Hubris Lead To?

29 December 2011, 20:18

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

Can you give us the latest on NATO and your predictions for 2012, as far as the ABM system in Europe and NATO global expansion in general? I know it’s a big question.

The past year, of course, has been a momentous one. I think it’s has been a very troubling one in many regards. What we’ve seen this year in regard to NATO and what we’re likely to see an intensification of next year, 2012, is a follow-up on the strategic concept, as they call it, adopted at the Lisbon summit in November 2010, which is unveiling and unleashing NATO as an increasingly global political and military player. We saw this with the seven-month air war campaign against Libya, of course, earlier this year when NATO flew an estimated 26,000 air missions against a small country with six million people, over 9,000 of which were combat sorties. We are seeing that as a template. That’s pretty much what NATO officials and heads of state of major NATO countries have characterized it. We are likely to see more of that most prominently, of course, – it can’t be missed – in one manner or another in relation to Syria, but with any number of other potential military interventions. Your listeners are probably aware of the fact that the Collective Security Treaty Organization met in Russia two days ago, on the 10th anniversary of the founding of the only security block within the CIS, amongst former Soviet States. And one of the statements – rather straightforward and candid – was warning about military intervention in the internal affairs of the countries beset by domestic problems. That’s clearly an allusion to the Libyan action by the major NATO powers but also in reference to the current crisis in Syria. A Wednesday statement by the White House saying that the government of Bashar al-Assad “does not deserve to rule Syria” is an indication that, far from being humbled by the recent symbolically important, I suppose, withdrawal of the final US military forces from Iraq, far from being humbled by the debacle on Iraq and the equally catastrophic experience in Afghanistan, the US is still ordering heads of state to resign, as they did earlier this year in Ivory Coast, in Libya and may tomorrow in Belarus, Venezuela and a number of other countries. We still see the imperial hubris of the major Western countries, US in the first instance, in determining who else is not fit to govern most every country in the world.

What was the connection with Gbagbo? You mentioned Ivory Coast.

Earlier this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Obama and other major US officials ordered Gbagbo to step down. They didn’t recognize the results of the runoff election last December in Ivory Coast. The irony is – it’s so transparent it has to be undeniable – in the US a comparable situation, of course, and a far worse situation, existed in 2000 where George W. Bush received half a million votes less than his opponent and through the decision made by the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, Bush, the recipient of the fewer votes was designated the elected president of the United States. Something comparable happened with the decision by the Elections Commission in Ivory Coast but the US, which has one set of rules for itself and another for the rest of the world, determined that the decision reached by the court in Ivory Coast was invalid and the one in 2000 in the US was valid, because it was in the US.

I thought that maybe there was a NATO connection that I hadn’t heard anything about there in Ivory Coast.

No, there wasn’t a NATO connection, but French military forces were instrumental in assaulting government buildings in Abidjan, the commercial capital of the country, and directly in the capture of Gbagbo. NATO countries, if not collectively under the banner of NATO, were certainly instrumental there. I’ve sighted that as part of the pattern over past year Washington has ordered in some many ways heads of state to step down, including Saleh, the President of Yemen, Assad in Syria, and Gbagbo in Ivory Coast and Gaddafi in Libya. So, it’s four heads of state that they ordered to step down this year.

Can you tell our listeners a little bit about Kosovo and Serbia?

Yes. I have friends in Kosovo and I have friends from Kosovo – ethnic Serbs and others. The situation is that of the few remaining non-Albanian ethnic minorities in Kosovo, I’ve seen estimates as high as 250,000 ethnic Serbs who have fled the country in terror. Several thousands have been killed, of course, since NATO came in June of 1999. I’ve seen comparable figures for Roma people, so-called Gypsies, including Ashkalis and Egyptians, as they are known in Kosovo. Other ethnic minority groups suffered similarly. And today I saw a few days ago a tape of the so-called “president” of Kosovo meeting Hillary Clinton at the White House to sign an agreement on protecting the cultural heritage of Kosovo, when several hundred Orthodox monasteries, churches, cemeteries and so forth have been desecrated and destroyed. It’s not ignorance. Clinton knows pretty well this story. Her husband, after all, is the person responsible for starting a 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, which wrested Kosovo from Yugoslavia and Serbia. This is again the imperial arrogance I was speaking about earlier that Washington arrogates to itself the exclusive prerogative, or at least in relation to its NATO allies and certain key non-NATO allies, to determine how national boundaries can and cannot be drawn, which political entities are to be recognized as legitimate countries, such as when NATO recognized the state of Kosovo but denied the same right to nations like Abkhazia or South Ossetia.

"U.S not in a position to criticize Russian elections"

8 December 2011, 17:00

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Interview with  Rick Rozoff , the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca. Mr. Rozoff also worked "against the Chicago political machine" for approximately 25 years, from 1976-2000, including as: a ward-wide voter registration coordinator, the founder and leader of an independent ward organization, a congressional district coordinator for Mayor Harold Washington's 1987 reelection bid, a campaign manager in two state representative and one alderman election, and as a third party candidate for state office.

What’s the reaction there to the Russian elections? We’ve heard a lot of statements that I think are way out of line from the US State Department, in particular Hillary Clinton. What’s your opinion of those statements?

They are outrageous. They are unwarranted. Regardless of what the actual details are about the recently concluded Duma elections, parliamentary elections in Russia, the statements emanating, as you mentioned, from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others, are arrogant to a degree. If the situation were reversed and Russian and/or others major political figures in other nations commented similarly on US elections, which are not without their flaws as we can talk about, I hope, there would be the strongest possible protest from the State Department and the White House. You know, statements by Clinto, for example that she has serious concerns about the elections on Sunday, presuming to speak on behalf of the Russian people, stating that Russian voters deserve, an I quote: “a full investigation of electoral fraud and manipulation.” end quote. This is somebody who is from the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. And like her commander-in-chief, Barack Obama, who is from Chicago and is a product of the Chicago political machine. They are hardly in a position to complain about electoral fraud, and manipulation, and ballot box stuffing. They are products of the political machine that all but invented the process. I’ve spoken with a fellow Chicago resident who had lived in the former Soviet Union and talked about the fact elections were held, where election days were holidays so that people were off work and could not only vote but could participate in the political process, including in the polling place, which is not a luxury accorded to Americans, though we hold ourselves up, of course, as being the model for democratic processes, including elections. She (Clinton) made this statement about the recently concluded parliamentary elections in Russia, in State Duma and stated, mentioning again, in her own words, “electoral fraud and manipulation.”

What are some of the other flaws in the US system? Can you tell us something about foreign observers? Why aren’t they allowed into the US?

The second question is particularly fascinating! The first: “Their name is legion”, to use the line from the Gospels. That is there are so many flaws in the American electoral system, not least of which of course is that next year several billion dollars are going to be spent by lobbyists and others to choose their candidates, buy their candidates into office, what is politely put an auction block. I’ll give you the best example I can think of. Today at work in Chicago most everyone were glued to television sets to learn which sentence was going to be passed down on former Governor Rod Blagojevich on 18 counts of corruption. He was sentenced to 14.5 years, as it turns out. We have to recall his major transgression was trying to sell the Senate seat, of at the time incoming US President Barack Obama. During the course of the initial trial, Blagojevich mentioned that he had had several phone calls with Rahm Emanuel – who is now the mayor of Chicago; at the time he was Chief of Staff of the White House – about just that, about selling, the Senate seat, or selling the right to appoint the successor to the incoming president of a country that President Obama in December of 2009 referred to as “the world’s sole military superpower.” But it’s tolerated in the US simply because the US is the US, what's referred to as “American exceptionalism,” so that even though we have an electoral system tainted by billions of dollars changing hands as almost all offices go to the highest bidder. As to foreign observers, the US will not tolerate any intrusion on its own sovereignty – but will interfering in the grossest fashion imaginable in other peoples’ internal political processes.

 Regarding NATO?

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has recently presumed again to lecture Russia, just as Hillary Clinton does, on how Russia should conduct its elections. Rasmussen is telling Russia, though he is in no formal position to do so, how to defend itself, saying for example that Russia should not follow up on the pledges and on some of the actual commitments made by President Medvedev to increase surveillance radar and other surveillance installations in North-East Russia and to reposition tactical missiles in both Kaliningrad Enclave near North-East Russia and so forth. But the statement by Rasmussen was particularly condescending and patronizing, at one point basically telling the Russian government they’d better take care of their own people first, or words to that effect, again just reeking of arrogance and contempt. This sort of talk one expects from a NATO chieftain and Rasmussen, though less abrasive than some of his predecessors, feels empowered evidently to tell major nations like Russia what they ought to and ought not to do in terms of defending the borders of their own country. I should add that the current US permanent representative to NATO, Ivo Daalder, made a statement two days ago where he said the US and NATO are forging ahead with the interceptor missile system in Europe, and I believe I am quoting him word for word: "whether Russia likes it or not.”

He said that?

That's correct. If anything, we are hearing more and more ambitious plans. For example, the Upper House of the Romanian Parliament, their Senate, yesterday ratified the agreement of the US to station 24 anti-missile -3 interceptors in Romania, which as we know is immediately across the Black Sea from Russia. This is in conjunction with the comparable deployment of missiles in Poland in addition to the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles that are already present in Poland; the radar missile defense facility that will be placed in Turkey. And there is a discussion now about maybe in the dozens, maybe in the scores of NATO nations’ warships being converted to the so-called Aegis combat system so that they could be equipped with either radar or in most instances missiles, Standard Missile-3s for what’s called the European Phased Adaptive Approach, a US-NATO missile system. So they are forging ahead at all fronts, at the same time the Secretary General of NATO is lecturing Russia on what it should or should not do in terms of self-defense. And the US Ambassador to NATO, who is a pretty influential person in his own right – he is a former senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, I am talking about Daalder of course – who could make such a curt and arrogant statement, as the one I just cited, you know: that the US and NATO are going ahead with the missile shield "whether Russia likes it or not.”

Hypersonic Missile: To Target Russia

28 November 2011, 18:23

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

The first thing that is on everybody’s minds is President Medvedev’s statement regarding NATO. Why at this late date exactly, at this juncture?

In a rather alarming manner we’ve seen the recruitment, for the US missile system in Europe at large, through the mechanism of NATO, in the last couple of months where in addition to the countries where we know there are going to be US interceptor missiles stationed the extension of foreign based X-Band radar facility in Turkey but we’ve also seen the recruitment of nations like Spain, the Netherlands and others into what the While House and the Pentagon curiously refer to as the European Phased Adaptive Approach Missile System, one that is going to proceed in four phases, but the third and fourth phase, with the introduction of very advanced-stage, what are called Standard Missile-3 Land-Based Interceptors, that the understanding is that these can be employed not strictly for defensive purposes but to target all Russian strategic deterrent forces and capabilities rather in Europe.

Recently, the US and NATO conducted tests for their new hypersonic missile. Could you tell the listeners a little bit about that?

Earlier this month, the US DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).  And it’s actually an interdepartmental weapon system, its part of what’s called Conventional Prompt Global Strike, or sometimes simply Prompt Global Strike. Last year, for example, the Obama administration asked for somewhere in the neighbourhood of the third of a billion dollars for this year to develop this capacity. It’s meant to deliver conventional weapons attacks, or conventional attacks on any site on the planet within no more than 60 minutes. And what happened earlier this month was that the US army tested the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), which traveled an estimated 7,400 km/h, which is over six times the speed of sound. In August, an unsuccessful test of AHW-related component was to have traveled at 27,000 km/h, which is known as over MACH 20 – that is 20 times the speed of sound. To be hypersonic one has to exceed MACH 5, or five times the speed of sound. What happened the day before President Medvedev’s statement about moving mobile ISKANDER missiles into the Kaliningrad District, but also potentially into Belarus and into the Southern Krasnodar Region, which would be closer and closer to US missiles in Romania and to the NATO radar facility in Turkey, the day before the Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov mentioned that Russia’s new air-defense systems are capable of intercepting any kind of missiles, including US interceptor missiles but also he explicitly mentioned  hypersonic weapon.

He said that explicitly? Hypersonic?

Yes, he said it specifically in reference that had been conducted a couple of weeks earlier by the US.

You mentioned earlier this was a part of the Prompt Global Strike System? Is this a first-strike system?

I’ll read you a comment that was made a couple of years ago by the person who is now retired. It was Deputy Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, US military General Cartwright, who stated that the proclaimed intent of the Prompt Global Strike was to deliver a conventional missile or heavy bombers – you know, long-range bombers – anywhere in the face of the Earth within an hour. Marine General James Cartwright, who is now retired, stated: “At the high end, strikes could be delivered in 300 milliseconds,” which is a fraction of a second. There was a comment by another person, who is retired, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defense, William Lynn, who stated roughly the same things but a year and a half ago. He said: “The next air warfare priority for the Pentagon is developing a next-generation, deep-penetrating strike capability that can overcome air defenses,” meaning again that this first-strike capability or part of a general first-strike capability that would permit the US to strike fast, deep and undetected presumably into the interior of countries that have advanced air defense systems. I can only think of three countries that would match that description – Iran, to a lesser extent, and Russia and China, to a greater.

How would this all tie in with the Cyber Warfare Center that’s been active recently in Estonia?

Yes, in 2008, NATO set up one of what they call, what NATO calls a Center of Excellence, a Cyber Defense Centre in the capital of Estonia, in reaction to alleged cyber attacks, real or alleged. So that we have three components being integrated, one of them being the so-called Global Missile Shield. But, first of all, there is no real assurance that the missiles, in fact pack a non-explosive warhead. They are supposed to be what kinetic or hit-to-kill missiles but at any time that the US chooses I suspect put a strategic warhead on one of these missiles and when they are deployed in Poland or Romania no one would be the wiser. We know that the momentous statement by President Medvedev on Wednesday cited the fact that Russia was not consulted about anything. In his own words, the US rather blithely announces after the fact or rather that the President or Defense Minister of Russia have to read in western newspapers US plans to deploy, under NATO auspices, 48 Standard Missile-3 interceptors in Romania and Poland, 24 each, and, as he put it, it’s presented to us as an accomplished fact. With that lack of consultation, with that lack of openness, transparency, one could, with great justification, fear the ultimate purpose of US missiles in nations like Poland and Romania or ship-based versions of Standard Missile-3 that will be deployed in the Baltic Sea – and they may well find their way into the Black Sea.

Does the West Want Arms Race in Europe?

29 November 2011, 18:36

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to GlobalResearch.ca.

About a month ago, NATO tested first-strike capabilities of using mobile radar in Turkey. Why would a defensive system need to test offensive capabilities? We have the cyber warfare center. You said it also can be used as an offensive tool by the US. We have hypersonic missile tests and the Prompt Global Strike system. I think these are pretty good reasons for the Russian Federation to be worried, to put it mildly, as to the intentions of the West. Why would the West want to start an arms race in Europe? Why would this be profitable? Why not include Russia as part of the sectoral approach system? It’s probably a rhetorical question but can you touch upon it?

There is no rational answer to it, certainly not a persuasive from the point of view of the West. For example, as you mentioned, Russia is far from simply arbitrarily and firmly opposing the creation of a unilateral US interceptor missile system in Europe.  The entire western flank of Russia is affected by this of course– from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Russia went out of its way. Russian political leadership went out of its way to be accommodating to offer, for example, the Gabala radar site in Azerbaijan it maintains in conjunction with NATO. It offered this sectoral approach where Russia would cover part of affected area and NATO the other and so forth, the integration and communication. But we know that several things have occurred this week, and so far this month – the advanced hypersonic weapon test earlier this month, the statement by Sergei Serdyukov, the Defense Minister of Russia the day before Medvedev’s statement, stating that Russian Air Defense is now to be equipped to protect Russian nuclear strategic capability in the European part of the Russian Federation, but also that the US announced – and was soon followed by 14 NATO allies – that they are effectively pulling out of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, blaming Russia for it, of course, for it, because Russia suspended its activities with the CFE, as it’s known, in 2007 – but did so because the US and its NATO allies refused to ratify amendments to the treaty. The US has used the presence of a comparatively small contingent of Russian peace-keepers in Transdnester and, before Mikhail Saakashvili launched an assault against South Ossetia and began the 5-day war with Russia in August of 2008, the existence at that time of, again, a small contingent of Russian peace keepers in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, using that as an excuse for basically suspending, for not ratifying, amendments to the CFE Treaty. And we have, as you know, President Medvedev’s statement on Wednesday, the fact that Russia may be compelled to suspend its activities in or withdraw from the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). This is a very momentous week in terms of security in Russia and the fear of not only a new arms race, a new missiles race but something perhaps even more ominous than that. What we are looking at is a brinksmanship, lawlessness – I don’t know what other words to use to describe it – very bold and threatening actions by the US and its NATO partners to move missiles up to Russia’s borders, in the case of Poland, which joins Kaliningrad, and perhaps Aegis-class warship equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptors in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Russia and, of course, the 24 Standard Missile-3 land based missiles that are going to be placed in Romania, directly across the Black Sea from Russia. I believe that President Medvedev mentioned precisely that – on our borders and in waters bordering Russia and so forth. What we are seeing is an almost calculated provocation, as I would characterize it. That’s the best interpretation. The worst is that the US and NATO are building up the military capability of neutralizing Russia’s strategic deterrent capability in the west and the south of the country. And I suspect that, having a military budget of some $730 billion, which is constant dollars, World War II level the highest since 1945, I’m reminded of the old expression that the abuse of power inevitably results in the power to abuse. As long as the US has built itself into, in Obama’s terms, “the world’s sole military superpower,” it feels it’s going to operate with impunity.

Would you say it’s time for the world to be very concerned here?

It’s way past time to be very concerned. I don’t know if it occurred at this year’s General Assembly Session at the UN but I know that, in preceding years, Russia and China jointly went to the General Assembly and introduced resolutions, talking about yet another threat, which is the militarization of space by the US. This is the ultimate part of the so-called global missile shield. So there will be a space component to this in addition to land, air and sea-based interceptor missiles and components. So the world has sounded alarm, at least major nations have. But I would like to see both the Security Council and the General Assembly convene on emergency session, to be honest about it, to demand that this rampant militarization of world stop. Two years ago, The Financial Times talked about $123 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia and three of its Persian Gulf allies with the US. The Saudi component of that is estimated at $60-67 billion, which is a single largest bilateral military deal in human history. We’ve seen incomparable deals with countries like Canada, Australia, Japan. You don’t build up this kind of military capability, unless, at the very least, you are going to use it to blackmail somebody. We recall that on Wednesday president Medvedev statements were very tempered. He was mentioning certain contingency plans that would only be put into operation if the US didn’t eventually heed the plea by Russia to notify it of its missile deployment plans and not pose a threat, or a potential threat, to Russian strategic interests and so forth. This wasn’t a threat. This was rather stating that Russia would be compelled to introduce certain defensive measures if the US and NATO continued to turn a deaf ear to Russia’s offers of cooperation but also to the expression of its concern. One major Russian official – that may have been Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, I’m not sure – says the US claims to be defending its own territory by building up a missile defense system but that missile defense system is encroaching on Russian borders.

Iraq 2003/Iran 2011: Parallel Can't Be Missed

10 November 2011, 17:22

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

You’ve read the IAEA report on Iran. Can you give us your quick overview?

Yes. It’s a very lengthy, involved, detailed, technical document. It actually has 65 different sections, 23 pages on the online edition. IAEA claimed to give an authoritative interpretation of the document. But there are certain points that stick out repeatedly on several occasions. For example, the report mentions that Iran may have been working on an alleged military component to its nuclear energy policy prior to 2003 – and I’m roughly paraphrasing the report – and may still be doing so. So, there are several qualifiers, the word ‘maybe’ being the chief one. Additionally, sources of information about the current situation with the enrichment of uranium, with the development of the industry as a whole and also with alleged military components like detonators and so forth, the report cites information provided by ten member states, but on several occasions by one member state. The member states are never identified. My supposition would be that the US is the first and the remaining nine are NATO allies and perhaps Israel.

Do you think that the internal US political situation has anything to do with the release of this report at this time?

It may well have everything to do with the release of the report at this time. There was an unsigned editorial in Global Times in China, which is a publication of the ruling party, the Communist Party of China, which suggests exactly: the economic crisis unparallel, one could argue, in the US and in Europe, is such that this would give rise to adventurous and even ‘catastrophic’, to use the word of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, ‘catastrophic’ actions in the Middle East, meaning strikes against Iran. In fact, that has been mentioned by several Russian diplomats, by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently, by Deputy Minister Gennady Gotilov, I believe today, where he suggests that one of the major purposes of the release and of the details and the media representation of it in the west is to prepare the ground for, in his own words, ‘change of the regime in Iran.’ So, there is a transparent political motive. Other, much more frightening statement, of course, is that of President of Israel Shimon Peres over the past weekend that the military option is quickly overriding diplomatic ones in dealing with Iran over its nuclear program.

It seems pretty obvious, I think, to a lot of people that rhetoric is being built up in order to launch an invasion. A lot of people believe this would really destabilize the entire Middle East even further. What do you think?

It’s an interesting use of the word ‘rhetoric’. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has recently sounded the alarm about what he termed ‘militarist rhetoric' in the Middle East and warned about potentially catastrophic consequences as a result of that. Yes, you are correct. A script that would have been rejected by even a third-rate Hollywood studio about an alleged assassination plot comes within weeks of the release of the IAEA report on Iran’s civilian nuclear power plant program. So, all the pieces seem to be falling into place. And the statement here, in Chicago, on November 9 by the Russian Foreign Ministry that the release of the report and the political interpretation placed on the IAEA report is, not in my own words, frighteningly reminiscent of what was does in the UN Security Council in the early 2003, when the US made a similar claim about Iraq at that time developing weapons of mass destruction. A parallel could hardly be missed.

What is the view by the men in the street in the US? Are they buying it this time?

I’m not in a position to comment. I haven’t read polls, which I don’t think have been conducted. There is healthy skepticism among the general population, even in relation to the recently concluded war in Libya, where polls – I’m sure your listeners are familiar with them –showed the majority of Americans not supporting the military action. So, military strikes against Iran – one could assume – would meet with the similar response amongst the general population in the US. However, we have to keep in mind how fairly disenfranchised the average American, including myself, is in the political process.

What I see as a parallel, also that nobody is talking about, with Iraq and Iran was that Iran is, I think, attempting and trying to cooperate actively with the IAEA. But the IAEA seems not to want to listen to them and come to their own conclusion. Do you think it is a fair assessment?

That is exactly what’s happening – and again, in the words of a Russian diplomat within the last day or two – that the content of the report has been ‘twisted’ and placed in the service of political agenda. Political agenda, as he alluded to earlier, may very well have to do with domestic policies in the US, both related to the presidential election of next year and with congressional and senatorial elections. But also, because of the economic crisis, American people… Let me just share one anecdote with you very quickly. I am a native of Johnston, Iowa. The lead story in the local newspaper, the Johnston Vindicator, says that Johnston currently has the highest poverty rate in the US – 49.1%. There are 250 people applying for every job, for the most part a minimum-wage part-time job. And when you have almost half of the total city living in poverty, then self-serving and unprincipled politicians are going to point people’s animosity and hostility elsewhere they are going to do it overseas. And Iran appears to be the lightning rod that is slated to receive that animosity. Johnston is particularly concerned– as I know a lot of people around the world are –about the prospect of military strikes against Iran. I needn’t tell anyone what the consequences would be. This will involve a general conflagration in the area and perhaps even globally. Whereas in the past attacks against nuclear reactors in other countries, such as that in Iraq in 1983 and recently by Israel in Syria against an alleged nuclear reactor, have been contained or limited in their scope, a massive series of strikes against the Bushehr power plant in Iran would be nothing of that sort. It’s be something of an entirely differ magnitude. And the fact that the Russian foreign minister, two deputy foreign ministers, the Foreign Ministry collectively and so forth have issued some of statements in past few days suggesting this is a much graver situation then what we have faced over the last ten years of repeated speculation about or even threats of military strikes against Iran.

Gaddafi Assassination: A Brutal Gratuitous Slaying

22 October 2011, 11:42

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Interview with Mr. Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and the contributing writer to www.globalresearch.ca.

How are you today, Mr. Rozoff?

Rather distressed by the news of this morning or yesterday morning, in your case.

Ok, what is your first impression?

It was a brutal gratuitous slaying of an almost 70-year-old man. You know, killed after being captured. And if, you know, the intent of 216 days of NATO bombing was to kill him in the first place which is you know clearly the case, the multiple bombings of his compound  in Tripoli, you know the one, which killed his son and two grandchildren, you know it is clearly targeting for killing and I suppose NATO can now claim success. It has got what it wanted.

President Barack Obama said that there is going to be pulling out of Libya very soon so in your mind does that mean the objective has been met?

Yes, it has entirely. Regime change, take over the Africa largest oil reserves, the incorporation of Libya which hitherto had been the only Northern African country that was not incorporated into NATO’s so called Mediterranean dialogue is now according to Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen been slated for the military partnership with the North Atlantic Alliance, so in every sense their objective has been accomplished. It certainly nothing that it’s going to benefit the Libyan people.

You don’t see this as being  justice for the oppressed Libyan people? I mean there are people saying that Gaddafi was a terrible guy. He killed thousands so he deserved to die.

You know, there is so much just, what term do I want to use? Low taste, gratuitous, reveling in the murder of this man, who was born 70 years ago in the very city he was murdered in on the 216th day of NATO bombing of his country. He was born under Italian fascists’ occupation and he died under NATO occupation. I think, you know, the parallel there can’t be missed, including the fact that Italy supplied some of the warplanes that have devastated his country, since the middle of March, since March 19th . If he was the monster they’ve portrayed him as being and you know I invite your listeners to go to the NATO website and see some of the crude caricatures they’ve had over the last few days of Gaddafi, and, you know, wall graffiti and so forth, portraying him in a demeaning and belittling way, to further dehumanize him preparatory to murdering him.

Alright, I saw some television coverage of his naked body being thrown around like a piece of meat, I am sorry for the expression.

Yes, after they brought him to Misrata. You know, this sickening, barbaric and worse than barbaric treatment and, you know, it’s a long line of this going on, this is true with Slobodan Milosevic in Yugoslavia, Saddam Hussein in Iraq. You know that a leader of the country that doesn’t cow-tow entirely. And I am not putting all these people in the same basket, it’s not in my capacity. Let’s rephrase that. Any leader whose time has come according to the United States and NATO can expect death. You know, Hussein was hanged, Gaddafi was captured. You know, whereas he was considered to be, he was only nominally so, but he was considered to be the head of the state and even the head of the military. In the bombing of his private residences, in the name of, under the guise of being command and control centers suggests that he was considered by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to be in charge of the Libyan Military so when he was captured on that Thursday, his treatment was governed by the Geneva Conventions, but instead he was shot through the head and murdered. This is the new regime that is being implanted in Libya and for all West’s talk of the rule of Law and humanitarian concerns and so forth this is a graphic image just like the death of Slobodan Milosevic in a veritable dungeon in the Netherlands because he was denied proper medical treatment in Russia and the grotesque hanging of Saddam Hussein. You know, this is the image of a new world order, a world order and all its transparent barbarism.

What do you mean he was denied medical treatment in Russia?

Russia offered to make a deal with the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia to bring Slobodan Milosevic to Moscow for medical treatment but he was denied that and he died shortly thereafter. Even more foul play but the message is very clear.

Do you see a pattern, I am sorry to interrupt you there. Do you see a pattern here, I am sure you do, between Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and now Gaddafi? I mean, we have countries, for example, Hussein and Gaddafi, they pretty much stopped their weapons’ programs. They cooperated with the CIA, in this case from what I’ve heard, and it’s pretty much a given, Gaddafi was assisting the war on terror fight by the United States by allowing rendition flights to Libya. He stopped his weapons programs. Do you see a pattern here?

Yes, that’s a very clear pattern. That’s the United States and NATO Alliance use somebody whatever purpose they want to and then get rid of them and kill them afterwards. You know, Slobodan Milosevic had political risk to himself inside, you know, at that time the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia but played a role in negotiating  an end to the armed hostilities in Bosnia and in gratitude for which his country was bombed for 78 days in 1999 by the United States and its NATO allies and subsequently he was left to die in prison.

He had a deal with the CIA, I think, it came out, and I think that it’s pretty much a part of the public record that he believed that he was going to be protected.

I don’t know the details about that but at the end of the day what we see there is a lot of corpses and we see corpses of heads of state. You know, we have to recall that again even though he was a titular a nominal head of state, Muammar Gaddafi was the longest reigning leader in the world. He is the one personal link since Fidel Castro, the president of Cuba, retired, he was the last link between the post-World War II, national liberation struggles and the emergence of new nations, and he is also the last link between the cold war era and the post-cold war era that is issued in NATO an International Military strike forth that can topple governments. You know, NATO boasts on its website as of today of flying over 26,000 air missions over a country of 6 million people well over 9,000 of those combat sorties. So this monster has been unleashed over the last 20 years and Libya will not be the last country. That you can be assured of.

What do you think is going to happen next?

I don’t know if Libya is able to be put back together again. The Western powers incited regional and tribal differences in order to topple the former Gaddafi government and believing you can put that Genie back in the bottle along with the commander of the National Transitional Council, who is somebody the United States captured and incarcerated in Guantanamo. Former fighter in Afghanistan and in so called Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, you have Al Qaeda elements, tribal separatists – they’ve created real Pandemonium here and now they claim that they want to stabilize Libya. I don’t see it happening. At the end of the day, the so called no-flight zone and Humanitarian intervention, NATO has transparently waged a  war on the government on behalf of insurgents, period. This was clearly the intent from the beginning and now, you know, it’s successful.

NATO Planning First-Strike Again

19 October 2011, 16:02

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

Related http://www.eutimes.net/2014/06/us-plans-first-strike-nuclear-attack-on-russia-and-china/

US Advances Reagan’s Star War Plans for Global NATO and Global Military Domination

9 September 2011, 13:28

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca. They tried to shut you down over the weekend. Can you tell us what happened? Yes, thank you for asking.

Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

They tried to shut you down over the weekend. Can you tell us what happened?

Yes, thank you for asking. The Stop NATO website was shut down by its host WordPress on Friday without any plausible explanation, just with a vague statement about “concern over some content on your site.” The site is a reputable news one and it took 24 hours and a good deal of pressure from sources around the world before WordPress relented and allowed the site to be reactivated. They didn’t close it down, it just prevented me from posting any new material. Of course, by the nature of these things it’s hard to determine whether it was a conscious political decision, but one has to allow this possibility. Anyway, we are back online for the time being and thank you for asking.

Turkey has recently agreed formally to host NATO anti-ballistic missile elements on its territory.

What I understand, the agreement of Turkey that they are going to station what’s called Forward-Based X-Band Transportable Missile Radar of the sort that installed in Israel three years ago by the US, in the Negev Desert, which has by the way a range of 4,300 km (2,500 ml) but if aimed in the proper direction could take in the entirety of Western Russia and a good deal of Southern Russia. And it’s an equivalent of what is to be based in Turkey, aimed exclusively against Iran but I think only the credulous would believe that. This has to be seen, of course, following the decision reached at the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, last November to incorporate all NATO nations and US-NATO Missile Defense Agency plans for a global NATO. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has recently clarified we are not talking about regional or even European continent-wide interceptor missile systems but one that is international in scope. And bringing it into Turkey – there’s incidentally been discussions going back ten or more years from respective heads of Missile Defense Agency of the US Defense Department about situating interceptor missile facilities not only in Turkey, but also in nations like Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan. So, there are plans to extend US-dominated interceptor missile system from Europe to east and south, that is into the Middle East and presumably into the South Caucasus and all the way to Central Asia.

Of those countries that you’ve mentioned, which are in the process of soon signing formal agreements with NATO that you know of?

Every single one of them has an advanced partnership program with NATO, except for Turkey, which is, of course, a member. But I think another important consideration is that Romanian President Traian Basescu said last week that the US in Romania are very soon signing an agreement for the stationing of 20 Standard Missile-3 interceptor missiles in Romania, which is part of what the Obama Administration terms Phased Adaptive Approach, there are actually four phases of the SM-3, and Lockheed Martin is establishing a testing facility for what will be the most advanced, which is SM-3 block to go online in 2020. There will be an intermediate to go online in 2015 but they will be based, estimates are 24 each, in Romania and Poland. And we have to recall that last year the US moved the first Patriot Advanced Capability-3, an advanced version of Patriot interceptor missile, into the Polish city of Morag, which is only some 35 miles away from the Russian border.

I would like to add that accompanying the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles in Poland are a hundred or more US servicemen, which are the first foreign troops to be stationed on Polish soil since the breakup of the Warsaw Pact, and the Forward-Based X-Band Radar of the sort they set up in Israel includes something in the neighborhood of a hundred US troops, which are the first foreign troops stationed in Israel for a long period of its history and the situation with Romanian SM-3, where a hundred US troops will also be stationed – we are seeing export of US military personnel and equipment to the east and to the south. I think it’s noteworthy that the announcement by the new State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, who from 2003 to 2008 was US permanent representative to NATO. This is the person who announced that Turkey is going to host US-NATO interceptor missile radar facilities.

NATO is making overtures to India and India looks like they are considering working with them as well.

The actual announcement was made by another very interesting fellow, the current US ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, who incidentally 5 years ago co-authored a piece in Foreign Affairs, the monthly publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), with the intriguing title of Global NATO, the opening  sentence of which states that NATO has gone global and openly advocated at that point that NATO incorporate as full members, not simply as partners, what he deemed to be the world’s democracies, amongst which was India. We are talking about people pursuing a long-term agenda. What the US is reactivating now with the inclusion of NATO is realization of Reagan’s so-called “Star Wars” plan, that is the one that allowed the US and its allies to be impenetrable to any retaliation or any capability of retaliating by other countries that might be subjected to attacks by the US and its allies.

We have to recollect that the Head of State of the US. Currently President Barack Obama, ironically, paradoxically, distressingly on the occasion of delivering his Nobel Peace Prize speech openly boasted that the US was “the world’s sole military superpower.” And I think to maintain that status in the face of a weakening US economy, with the rise of the BRICS nations and so forth, with trends that suggest that the US is under the grime internationally that Washington holds its military supremacy and that the country has the ability to retaliate, particularly in strategic terms. And when we are talking about the latest proposed model of the SM-3 we are talking about one that could threaten Russia as well as China. I could argue that North Korea and Iran are a pretext for developing a global Star Wars system that would place both Russia and China within a circle of US and allied interceptor missile system.

NATO missile elements in India would protect or annul what threat for NATO?

There is no threat to NATO at all in my estimate, so that’s a fictitious claim. What in fact you are seeing is consolidation of what observers have warned about for a decade – the emergence of an Asia-Pacific NATO.

Libya: Another Country for NATO

31 August 2011, 18:23

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

Can you shed a little light on the situation in Libya, in particular with NATO?

As you know, I’m in Chicago, not in Tripoli, so I’m observing events from afar. Yet there is an old roman expression which says “The game is best viewed by the spectator.” So, what I have to say I think is trying to situate developments in Libya, whatever they are on the ground, within both original and even international context. And, within that network, we know today that the African Union has refused recognition to the so-called Transitional National Council, comprised of what by all accounts is a fairly motley, heterogeneous grouping of anti-government forces in Libya, aided and abetted by major NATO powers like France, Britain, the US and Italy and also by Persian Gulf monarchies like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. So, the fact that the continent, on which Libya, has located has collectively refused recognition to the new rebel regime I think is significant, as is the fact that Russian Foreign Ministry has voiced its concerns and its opposition to any plans that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization may entertain for either placing troops on the ground in Libya, ostensively under the guise of peacekeeping or stabilization force, but also I think more prominently voiced some concern about the prospect of NATO military facilities and the opposed Gaddafi.

Would you characterize everything that you heard and seen as a true revolution of the people or is it some sort of a western-backed insurgency in your opinion?

I think, by universal accord, those people are celebrating the apparent overthrow of the government in Libya as a triumph of a people’s power democracy or however they choose to phrase it. What is unquestionable is in fact that, whatever the nature of the rebel coalition is, it would never succeed in consolidating support outside of Libya, much less moving into the capital, if it had not been for over 20,000 NATO air missions since March 31 and almost 8,000 combat air sorties in the same period of time. Additionally, more and more information is emanating from sources in Britain, newspapers in Britain  and elsewhere that special operations troops, special forces from several major NATO countries, including I believe the CIA that is acting on the streets of Tripoli.

Are they hunting Gaddafi or providing air support for the rebels?

There is no question about that. The attempt, or rather the intent of the United Nations Resolution 1973 adopted in March to “use all means necessary to protect Libyan civilians” was being extended and in essence violated by France, Britain, Italy, the US, Canada and other major NATO nations to wage what can only be characterized as a war against the incumbent government in Libya and this includes, according to the NATO’s own statistics, over 2,000 air missions flown over Libya since March 31, of which almost 8,000 are combat sorties. And what is documented even in western news sources, western newspapers for example, is that as recently as today Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown has been attacked by NATO warplanes and earlier, a couple of days ago, the major governmental compound in Tripoli was attacked by as many as 64 missiles. These attacks are coordinated with the military activities of rebel groupings, so that NATO basically bombs them into areas, including the capital and including other cities in Libya. So, the coordination of NATO’s aerial and naval blockade of Libya with the rebel forces is unquestionably an act of participation on behalf of one of the belligerent forces against the other – the government of Libya. And in that sense it’s a perfect parallel to what happened in Yugoslavia in 1999, where NATO bombed the country mercilessly for 78 days in coordination and in conjunction with the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army.

You mentioned that some people from Global Research.ca are in Libya, in Tripoli, and they are trapped in a hotel there.

Actually, the international press corps is there. But there are particular concerns about Canadian-based journalist Mahdi Nazemroaya and also French journalist Thierry Meyssan, who have voiced concerns about their well-being. Their position is very well-known as not parroting the official line of the western countries and that information I’m sure has been passed on by establishment western journalists within the hotel to rebel forces in Tripoli. And there is concern by the two journalists I’ve mentioned that their lives may be in danger.

What do you see as NATO’s role in Libya after Gaddafi is gone?

Time will tell. But assuming that this is a scenario, we have a lot to go on. I mean we have the fact that the Turkish Foreign Minister announced yesterday that NATO’s role will continue in Libya after the installation of the rebel government, the so-called Transitional National Council. And similar soundings have emanated from major figures and NATO countries that suggest that, far from NATO’s role ending, it may in a certain sense just be beginning. And that parallels almost identically what happened in Yugoslavia in 1999 and what has happened in Afghanistan in the past decade, where bombs itself into a country and sets up military bases and doesn’t leave. The US still has Camp Bondsteel in the current Serbian province of Kosovo, which is a large, expensive base, by some accounts the largest overseas military base built by the US since the war in Vietnam. And that remains there over 20 years after the end of the 78-day bombing campaign against Yugoslavia. Similarly, the US has upgraded pretty substantially airbases in Afghanistan, including those near Central Asia and close to the Iranian border, and there is no indication they are ever going to abandon them, as they are not going to abandon military bases in Iraq and other places. It’s a lot easier to bring NATO into one’s country or have them coming than to get them out.

US Afghan strategy: senseless and merciless

22 July 2011, 15:04

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca in Canada.

I want to ask you some questions about the transfer of command in Afghanistan from General Petraeusto General Allen. Do you see any definitive change in the situation in the country in the near future?

No, I don’t. This is the latest in the series of rotations of the top military commanders simultaneously, of course, throughout the US’s so-called Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. Two years ago, Gen. David McKinnon was ousted and replaced by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who in turn was kicked out in favour of Gen. David Petraeus. And now we have a Marine General John Allen stepping in. Throughout that succession series of top commanders, I think, have gone from bad to worse, and, with recent events in Afghanistan, there is no reason to believe anything is going to be subsequently changed and certainly not improved. We do know that each success of commanders intensified the brutality and intensity of military actions, that Petraeus most notably had increased the so-called night raids, special forces operations, which, as often as not, resulted in deaths of Afghan civilians but also in intensification of air raid. We know, for example, that, as of the end of last month, the first half of this year, almost 15,000 Afghan civilians were killed, which is the highest in the six-month period in the war and certainly higher than it was a year ago during the same period. There is also a recent report that stated that in the last two years that 250,000 – a record – of Afghan civilians have been forced to flee their towns and villages because of the intense fighting. So, if there is any index, there is no way of portraying the situation in Afghanistan as having become any better.

Why is the US in Afghanistan? Did I ask you this question?

I’ll give you my personal estimate and I think it’s the one that became apparent with the initial thrust into Afghanistan almost ten years ago, which occurred less than three months after the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the summer of 2001. My supposition is going to be – not withstanding the hunt for Osama bin Laden and whatever else was presented as the casus belli for the invasion of Afghanistan and its continuation for ten years – that, in essence, the US and its Western allies wanted to plant itself firmly at the point of confluence where Russia, China, Iran, India, Pakistan and other nations might be able to cooperate in building a multipolar alternative to the US-dominated unipolar world and being in Afghanistan and the environs. We have to keep in mind that the US and its NATO allies, their military facilities, are still based in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the latest of now – Pakistan, where the US has been told to leave the base, from which it was waging drone missile attacks, which have killed 2,500 or so people in Pakistan, last year was the highest with almost a thousand people killed. And they are proceeding that there is something like 714 people killed in Pakistan by US drone missile attacks and out of those 714 five are either al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters.

Five?

Five. And let’s assume, several hundred, if not a thousand or more civilians have been killed in the drone attacks, which are not, of course, being spread with increased intensity not only in Afghanistan and Pakistan and, earlier, in Iraq, but in Yemen, most recently in Somalia and, of course, with the deployment of US Predator drones in Libya, in that country. So we now have six countries, in which the US is waging drone warfare. And I think we will see the intensification of that mode of warfare under Gen. Allen as he assumes the command of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Even now the Pentagon is not responsible for those attacks. The Central Intelligence Agency is – and guess who is taking over that agency in September?

Petraeus?

Yes. So, there will be continuity on that end that the top West military commander in Afghanistan is now in charge of the US government agency that is waging the drone attacks. So I think one will be justified in expecting an escalation of drone attacks inside Pakistan. The carnage inside Afghanistan is keeping pace with the killings by drone missile attacks, Hellfire missiles inside Pakistan.

How would you characterize the entire campaign by NATO and the US in Afghanistan? As a complete failure, or were there any gains?

There was an article recently by the US Department of Defense, Pentagon’s press agency, American Force’s press service that just happened to mention in passing that Shindand Air Base in the Herat Province has tripled in size recently to become the second largest military air base in Afghanistan next to that of Bagram. Last year, the US and its NATO allies stepped up the extension of air bases in Afghanistan – I mean in Kandhar, in Mazar a Sharif, in Jalalabad in addition to Bagram and Shindand – they are going to have air bases that control the entire region, a good deal of the Greater Middle East, if you will, in addition to continuing troop transit. They’ve also set up the northern distribution network that way. It’s an amazing access of air, ground, rail and truck transportation in the Northern Afghanistan, which now includes 13-15 former Soviet Republics, all except Moldova and Ukraine currently. Men and material are being moved in and out, and this is an amazing net work, when you look at it, including just recently the first air flight from the US over the North Pole and then over Kazakhstan into Afghanistan. So, in terms of building up a military network around the world – and we also have to remember there are troops from over 50 countries serving under NATO in Afghanistan, which is the largest amount of countries offering troops for one military commandment of one nation in world history. We also have to recall that Afghanistan has become a training ground, if you will, to place US-NATO allies and partners in real life combat situations, to integrate the militaries of at least 50 countries under, basically, US command, using English as their common language. I’m arguing that Afghanistan was a laboratory for integrating the militaries of these various countries.

 

NATO and the Militarization of the Arctic

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca

Canada has announced that they will be conducting large-scale exercises in the Arctic. NATO also announced claims on the Arctic. What can you say about the militarization of the Arctic?

It’s something that has been under way, rather in earnest, for the last four years. What I think is most noteworthy is that Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay, while visiting his nation’s troops in Afghanistan last week, accompanied by the top military commander of Canada, Walter Natynczyk, who’s by the way being voted for a top NATO post – at least Canada is promoting that – mentioned this year ‘s now annual “Canadian sovereignty exercises” in the Arctic Ocean codenamed Operation Nanook that this year’s will be the largest to date, with at least a thousand Canadian military personnel participating. Last year’s Operation Nanook was the largest to date at that time, which included 900 Canadian troops. But I think what’s even more revealing than the size of the Canadian contention was that for the first time ever – and these exercises began in 2007 and were referred to as “Canadian sovereignty exercises” – they occurred directly in response to Russia renewing territorial claims on the Arctic Ocean, particularly using the Lomonosov and the Mendeleev Ridges to sustain their claim.

Do you know what the current status of the claimed zone of the Lomonosov Ridge is?

They have to be adjudicated in the United Nations. These were, in some sense, all but abandoned in waning days of the former Soviet Union by the Mikhail Gorbachev Administration. But Russia, over the last six or so years, has expressed renewed interest in the arctic for a number of reasons. There was a US geological survey perhaps two or three years ago that suggested that as much as 30% of hitherto undiscovered gas and 13% of oil resources exist in the Arctic Ocean. So, there are natural resources that are involved. Of course, now, with the melting of the Polar Ice Cap and the opening of much fabled Northwest Passage north of Canada, which connects the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans that would allow nations – China as one – to circumvent the Panama Canal or even longer journeys for commercial shipping and for the shipping of natural resources, the Arctic is taking on increasing not only economic, but, one can argue, geostrategic importance at the moment. But Russia is simply pursuing, as any nation could and should, I suppose, its national, economic and other interests of the Arctic. But, as a response, Canada started holding regular military exercises in the Arctic – the Operation Nanook maneuvers. And last year, as I was going to mention, for the first time ever the exercises included the participation of militaries from other countries, and those two countries were the United States and Denmark. The United States and Denmark along with the fifth claimant to the Arctic territory, Norway, are, of course, members of the North Atlantic treaty Organization. Russia alone of arctic claimants is not. And it’s ironic or revealing, as you will, that Denmark and the US are the only two countries that have direct territorial disputes with Canada: in the case of the US – with the Beaufort Sea, which is claimed simultaneously through the US’s State of Alaska and Canada’s Yukon Territory; and, on the other end – the Eastern and something called Hans Island, which is claimed by both Denmark through its Greenland possession and by Canada. So that, although the only real disputes that exist, are between the US and Canada, and Denmark and Canada, nevertheless, these three countries, three NATO members, engaged in common military exercises last August – Operation Nanook 2010 – with the clear indication that NATO countries are closing ranks against the only non-NATO claimant, which, of course, is Russia.

Are you saying that NATO has an interest in the Arctic?

Yes, most surely. And it’s acknowledged it. In January 2009, in the last days of the George Bush Administration, the White House issued a Presidential National Security Directive, Directive 66, in relation to the Arctic. And it claimed amongst other things that not only does the US contend with Canada for the part of the Beaufort Sea, but the US maintains the Northwest Passage as international waters, whereas Canada claims that it’s entirely its own. And the National Security Directive #66 included amongst other things that the US warships and warplanes would have free passage through that area. And within, I believe, about couple of weeks after that, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization held an unprecedented summit in Iceland something to the effect of security prospects in the High North, at which point NATO openly acknowledged having strategic interests in the Arctic region. This meeting was top-level. It was attended not only by the Secretary General of NATO, but by the Alliance’s two top military commanders, Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, who, as you know, was an American commander at all times, but also Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia, as well as the head of the NATO military Committee. I mean, they weren’t talking about the weather. It was clear that NATO has charted out the Arctic as yet another area. And this is quite in line with the new NATO strategic concept, which was adopted at Lisbon Summit of the military block last November that highlighted in particular so-called energy security issues, that NATO has a self-appointed role, or mission, to protect energy security in the Caspian Sea, in the Gulf of Guinea of West Africa and indeed everywhere in the world – but certainly not in the Arctic.

For whom?

For the interests, I presume, of the leading NATO member states – the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and so forth – as against the rest of the world.

NATO Ambition is Global Domination 

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Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to the web site Global Research.ca.

My first question regards Russia, and NATO, and the integrated ABM shield that Russia has been, for want of a better word, pushing for. Implementing a sectoral defence architecture is what Russia was looking for. What are the chances of this happening, in your opinion?

By all indications after the meeting of the NATO-Russia Council in Sochi, there are few opportunities or prospects of this occurring in terms of – using your wording – an integrated ABM system. No. NATO, with the US constantly barking orders at it, one assumes, is adamantly opposed to a sectoral approach that would permit the integration of Russian interceptor missile, radar and other operations with those of NATO. NATO insists on going it alone, if you will. And, as always, when it makes overtures to Russia, bringing Moscow in as a junior partner. We have to recall that at the Lisbon Summit of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization last November the US missile system, what is now called the Phased Adaptive Approach, initiated by the Obama Administration almost two years ago has been endorsed heartily, that is unanimously, by NATO. So, what we are talking about is a continuation of the US interceptor missile system in Europe, throughout Europe, covering the entire continent, excluding perhaps Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The overtures have been made for the last decade to try to enlist Ukraine as part of the NATO project. And those efforts are still not dead, if they haven’t born fruit to date. First of all, I think, at the root of this issue is what the true intention of the so-called Aegis Ashore, or Phased Adaptive Approach – Obama Administration and former Secretary of Defence Robert Gates’ project, which is a four-phased programme to bring Standard Missile-3 interceptors, which to date have been ship-based and to place them on land. The reports are, as the third and the fourth phases arrive in the upcoming years, that as many as 20 Standard Missile-3 advanced types will be placed each in Poland and Romania – and that’s in addition to the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 theatre interceptor missiles that are already placed in Poland. And then, of course, the ship-based versions on Aegis class cruisers and destroyers will be deployed as Washington sees fit – in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and the Baltic Sea. What we’re seeing is an almost impenetrable missile shield being erected along the entire western flank of Russia. You know, Russia is not allowed to be an integral part of that system and with projected or anticipated more sophisticated versions of the Standard Missile-3 that are able to intercept both intermediate and perhaps even long-ranged rockets, in the words of several Russian officials, civilian and military, this potentially threatens Russia’s strategic interests. So, you mean, is there any hope that they have been wrangling over this for a long time? The fact that Dmitry Medvedev became the first Russian or Soviet head of state ever to attend a NATO summit, as he did in Lisbon last November, while NATO was formally endorsing a continent-wide that some people refer to as “Son of Star Wars”. Perhaps, somebody in the Kremlin at that time had hopes that NATO would listen to reason. But I think the evidence of the Sochi NATO-Russia Council meeting suggests that NATO is not budging, it is not prepared to compromise.

Some Russian experts are saying that there was more progress made in Sochi. You see the opposite?

I’m just quoting Russian officials, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov both on the issue of Libya, the war against Libya, as well as the interceptor missile defence system, which is still fantastically described by the US and by NATO, by NATO Secretary GeneralAnders Fogh Rasmussen as being aimed at some 23 countries, I believe, some astronomical number of nations that are supposedly developing ballistic missiles. But nations that are usually identified are, of course, Iran, Syria – interestingly enough, given the current situation in that country – and others. I cannot, for the life of me, understand in terms of trajectory or anything else why 20 advanced Standard Missile-3 interceptors are to be placed in Poland to intercept missiles from Iran. It’s nonsensical as the George W. Bush version – putting ground-base midcourse missiles there.

Backing up a little bit: some experts say that NATO should have been disbanded when the Warsaw Pact was dissolved. NATO was designed, in fact, to contain the USSR and continues to operate in such a manner. What do you think about that statement? As far as the ABM shield goes, I agree with you about trajectory and the location – I mean that there could be no other reason for it rather than to contain Russian missiles.

You know, the Patriot Advanced Capability Missiles were placed in Poland, in the city of Morag 60 km from the Russian territory, to believe against whom else these missiles have been deployed, with accompanying US military personnel who are manning them. You now have the first permanent deployment of foreign troops in Poland since the breakup of the Warsaw Pact 20 years ago. Should NATO be disbanded? It should never have been formed, that having been done in 1949, most assuredly it should have been a precondition, as a matter of fact, for the former Soviet government of President Gorbachev that, while discussing the breakup of the Warsaw Pact and so forth, a quid pro quo reciprocity should have been demanded that NATO should have been disbanded. The fact that instead, within one decade, from 1991 to 2009, it increased its membership by 75%, going from 16 countries to 28 countries, all 12 new countries in Eastern Europe, of course, from the Baltic to the Adriatic Seas. And every one of them either former members of the Warsaw Pact, Albania for a short while – or former republics of Yugoslavia – is a clear indication NATO expansion eastward is meant not only to contain Russia, I would argue it’s meant to confront Russia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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