NATO has decided to stop training Afghan soldiers. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about what you know about that? That seems to be the latest development. They’ve been very quiet lately, which worries me.
It worries us both, John. Yes, in fact NATO suspended, I suppose, what’s called the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan to develop, I guess, a more comprehensive and reliable system of, to use their own word, "vetting" potential recruits of the Afghan national army and this is after, as your listeners know, an unprecedented series of so-called “Green on Blue” attacks by Afghan military personnel against US and other NATO forces in the country. Simultaneously of course the United States’ armed forces in Afghanistan have announced that they are going to suspend if not terminate the training of Afghan police personnel, so it signals the west falling deeper and deeper into an intractable quagmire in South Asia.
Would you characterize this as part of an overall failure of US policy and NATO policy in Afghanistan?
Yes, it’s demonstrable, it's a signal, an indication of catastrophic failure in Afghanistan of course. On October 7th, which, say, next month, the US and NATO will be in Afghanistan for their 11th year and it’s certainly not produced any successful results, it’s led to the dislocation, impoverishment and in many instances, killing, of Afghan civilians without any measureable achievements even according to what the West itself claimed it had intended to do in Afghanistan when the first troops were sent there on October 7th 2001. However, I should mention, we are talking about a quiet NATO and for the most part they have been, arguably since the summit here in Chicago in May, but certainly over the last month or so, nevertheless, NATO is about to launch a fairly large scale air exercises, a series of air exercises in Czech Republic, something called Ramstein Rover 2012, which will include the participation of 12 nations, presumably, both NATO full member states and partners, and this is a test of what are called Forward Air Controllers by NATO, by the United States Joint Terminal Air Controllers. These are the people who call in support including attacks in Afghanistan. So, the fact that such a large scale air exercise clearly targeted either towards Afghanistan specifically, John, or with applicabilities for an Afghan-style operation elsewhere in the world afterwards, suggest that the US and NATO plans for Afghanistan have certainly not ceased and contrary to pledges that both US and NATO will draw down or withdraw troops from Afghanistan in 2 years it certainly suggests that they are planning an ongoing military operation.
On Saturday September 1st an article was published on the Internet. They say that NATO has secretly authorized an attack on Syria. Do you know anything about that?
Yes, I do. It’s by Gordon Duff who was a former US intelligence official. It’s actually quite a valuable work. In the article he talks about a meeting of NATO’s military committee in recent days where there were 2 topics on their agenda, one was Greenland, which he passes very quickly as it’s not of primary importance, but the second was on Syria. And what Duff indicates in his article rather convincingly, I am persuaded, is that NATO is elaborating plans for military action in, and against, Syria. I think it’s noteworthy that the meeting of the military committee that the author refers to is nowhere addressed on the NATO websites including on the main NATO homepage. I don’t know how Duff gained access to that information, but certainly it suggests that NATO is keeping a low profile so as not to divulge what its plans may be.
I’ve seen some reports say that NATO is actually targeting Bashar Assad and the Ayatollah of Iran for regime change. Do you know anything about that?
You know, it’s nothing that we are going to see NATO openly acknowledge but it’s common wisdom at this point, or conventional wisdom. To use the expression that's current, "the road to Teheran runs through Damascus” which is to say that the proxy war by NATO forces and their allies amongst the Arab Gulf sheikdoms and the Persian Gulf is, say, a warm-up exercise, if you will, for a comparable campaign against Iran. In that sense, if you want to draw a historical parallel, it’s much like the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s where forces on both sides of the political divide in Europe and in the world gave support either to the Spanish Republic that is to the elected government or to the military insurgents of Generalismo Franco. To update that parallel, just as Mexico and the Soviet Union had sent military and other aid to the Spanish Republic, so Hitler and Mussolini supplied troops and war planes against the government. And something comparable is accruing in Syria now where the United States and NATO allies. There was recent story in the British press, that at least 200 special forces troops from Britain and France, leading NATO members of course, are active on the ground, and your listeners I am sure have heard or read comparable reports. So that what you have is a proxy war by the NATO forces and their sheikdom allies in Persian Gulf not only directly against Syria but by proxy against Iran which, as you indicated in your comments, is the ultimate target. Though as we've had occassion to discuss before on your show, John, the other two targets of the campaign against Syria are of course Russia and China, you know, diplomatically at this point. But one wonders if the Russian North Caucasus, China’s Xinjiang province could not be made into the next Syria at some point in the future.
What is NATO’s position on intervention by Russia and China in Syria and Iran?
Of course there is no question about military intervention by Russia and China at this point but if you are talking about Russia and China’s defense of international law in the cases of both Syria and Iran, the position of NATO which has not been formulated as a collective position by the alliance, but certainly listening to the statements by the foreign ministers and the heads of states of the major NATO powers, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and others, it’s patently obvious that Russia and China are being criticized and in fact are being excoriated for having the alleged temerity to defend the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of other members of the United Nations such as Syria and Iran. So, the NATO members acting in collusion if not completely collectively under the banner of NATO are criticizing and more than criticizing, are attempting to politically, and diplomatically isolate Russia and China using Syria as a pretext.
That was PART I of the interview with Mr. Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list.