The Reality Principle -Episode 33

“Syria, NATO, and the Global Empire” with Rick Rozoff

RPLogoThis week Eric sits down for an in depth conversation with independent journalist and geopolitical expert Rick Rozoff of Stop NATO. Eric and Rick examine the latest developments in Syria with a particular focus on the regional and international geopolitics. They discuss the role of Russian diplomacy and Putin's strategic outlook in the Middle East and beyond. Additionally, Eric and Rick break down in detail the competing pipeline projects throughout Central Asia, and discuss how these developments impact current events internationally.

The second half of the interview focuses primarily on the global development of NATO, specifically its expansion to South America, Africa, and elsewhere. The conversation also touches upon the economic context within which these important geopolitical developments are occurring, with specific attention to free trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Rick Rozoff- Boiling Frogs Post Contributing Author & Analyst
Rick Rozoff is an investigative journalist based in Chicago and has been an active opponent of war, militarism and intervention for over 40 years. He manages the Stop NATO e-mail list, and is the editor of Stop NATO, a website on the threat of international militarization, especially on the globalization of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Mr. Rozoff has a graduate degree in European literature

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Post-Election: Expect More Drone & Space War

warsAn estimated $6 billion was spent on the November 7 U.S. federal elections – $2.5 billion on the two major parties’ presidential campaigns alone, $1 billion of that on television ads – and Americans woke up the following morning to discover that nothing had changed. Sadder perhaps if no wiser.

The White House and the Senate remained in the hands of the Democratic Party and the House of Representatives under Republican control. Built-in structural stalemate will continue, with no substantive legislation passed for four more years, surely none beneficial to the American people or to world peace, each party blaming the other for the lack of results. Onward to the next six-billion – or ten-billion – dollar election.

In the closing words of William Thackeray’s 19th-century novel Vanity Fair, “come, children, let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out.”

History’s most expensive Punch and Judy show completed, domestic and foreign policy affairs will remain as they are. In fact will grow worse. Especially the second. [Read more...]

U.S. Intensifies Military Encirclement of China

chinaWith the emergence of China as the world’s second-largest economy and its concomitant renewal of (comparatively minor) territorial claims in the East China Sea and South China Sea, the stage is set for a U.S.-Chinese confrontation of a nature and on a scale not seen since before the Sino-Soviet split of 1960.

Following the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization throughout Europe over the past thirteen years – every European nation is now a full member of or involved in one or more partnership arrangements with the U.S.-led military bloc except for Cyrus, which is under intensified pressure to join the Partnership for Peace program – which has enforced a cordon sanitaire on Russia’s western and much of its southern frontier, it was inevitable that the U.S. and its allies would next move to encircle, quarantine and ultimately confront China. [Read more...]

Turkey Plotting NATO Attack on Syria

Turkey & Its NATO Allies Have Lit a Short Fuse to a Large Powder Keg!

turkey&natoA maelstrom is sweeping the Middle East and Turkey is in the center of it; is in fact the cause of it.

The only member of the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization military bloc in Asia, and one moreover bordering Syria, Iran, Iraq, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, it is intensifying military attacks inside Syria and Iraq and threatening to plunge the entire region into destabilization and war.

Having shelled targets inside Syria daily for a week after a mortar shell landed inside its southeastern territory on October 3, which Ankara blamed on the Syrian military, the Turkish armed forces have again, as they did two months ago, moved tanks, armored personnel carriers, missile defenses and troops to the border and have deployed 25 warplanes to a base in Diyarbakir in the Kurdish region of the country, both actions allegedly targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) though in fact part of a general military mobilization that will not be limited to strikes against that group’s fighters and supporters.

Turkey’s Doğan News Agency reported that 25 F-16 fighter jets and other aircraft arrived at the air base on October 8 and Today’s Zaman announced that 12 F-16s struck what were identified as PKK sites on Mount Qandil on the Iraqi-Iranian border.

The following day Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh denounced the violation of his nation’s sovereignty, stating “These Turkish attacks on Iraqi territories are not acceptable and we will take the necessary diplomatic measures” and adding, “We do understand the reasons behind such acts, yet we do not tolerate such breaches.” [Read more...]

Partners Across the Asia-Pacific: NATO Reinforces Pentagon’s Shift to East

partnersOn September 24 the North Atlantic Treaty Organization granted Iraq the second Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme under the auspices of the bloc’s latest military collaboration and integration framework, partners across the globe.

The latter program (for which the substantives are occasionally capitalized), NATO’s latest, incorporates to date eight nations in the broader Asia-Pacific region (including West Asia, the Middle East) that have supplied troops for the U.S.-led military organization’s war in Afghanistan under International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) command or are subsumed under NATO consultative arrangements and training programs like the Afghanistan-Pakistan-ISAF Tripartite Commission, the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan and the NATO Training Mission – Iraq. [Read more...]

Turkey: NATO’s Neo-Ottoman Spearhead in the Middle East

turkey1Turkey already has troops in Syria and has threatened military action to protect the site they guard.

A 1921 agreement between Ottoman Turkey and France (the Treaty of Ankara), the latter at the time the colonial administrator of Syria, guaranteed Turkey the right to station military personnel at the mausoleum of Suleyman Shah (Süleyman Şah), the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I (Osman Bey).

Turkey considers the area adjacent to the tomb to be its, and not Syria’s, sovereign territory and late last month reinforced its 15-troop contingent there.

turkey2Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated the following in an interview televised on August 5: “The tomb of Süleyman Şah and the land surrounding it is our territory. We cannot ignore any unfavorable act against that monument, as it would be an attack on our territory, as well as an attack on NATO land. Everyone knows his duty, and will continue to do what is necessary.” The gravesite of a Seljuk sultan who was reputed to have drowned in the Euphrates River while on a campaign of conquest is now proclaimed a NATO outpost in Syria.

If confirmation was required that a neo-Ottoman Turkey is determined to reassert the influence and authority in Mesopotamia it gained 700 years before and lost a century ago and, moreover, that it was doing so as part of a campaign by self-christened global NATO to expand into the Arab world, the Turkish head of state’s threat to militarily intervene in Syria with the support of its 27 NATO allies should provide it. [Read more...]

U.S. Uses NATO for Black Sea Military Buildup

nato1With permanent access to eight air and other military bases and training facilities in Bulgaria and Romania acquired over the past seven years, and advanced interceptor missiles to be stationed in the second country in three years, the Pentagon is establishing a firm foothold in the Black Sea region from which to continue current and initiate new military operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans and the Caucasus.

The U.S. Marines Corps’ Black Sea Rotational Force and the U.S. Army’s Task Force-East are assigned to the region on a regular basis and American warships are frequent visitors to the Black Sea, notwithstanding the 1936 Montreux Convention which limits the passage of non-littoral nations’ military vessels through the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits to the Black Sea.

Last year the flagship of the U.S.-NATO interceptor missile system, the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey, participated in the U.S.-led Sea Breeze naval exercise in the Black Sea – a NATO Partnership for Peace initiative – coordinated from Odessa, Ukraine, only 187 miles from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol. [Read more...]

The Template: NATO Consolidates Grip on Former Yugoslavia

natoNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization chieftain Anders Fogh Rasmussen has spent much of the past week in the former Yugoslavia, visiting Slovenia and Croatia on July 5 and 6, respectively, then arriving in Kosovo with the 28 members of the North Atlantic Council on July 11.

Twenty years after NATO was unleashed as an active warfighting force with a naval blockade of Yugoslavia’s Adriatic coast (Operation Maritime Monitor and Operation Maritime Guard, 1992), enforcement of a no-fly zone in Bosnia (Operation Deny Flight, 1993, which included shooting down Bosnian Serb jets) and large-scale bombing of Serb targets (Operation Deliberate Force, 1995, involving 400 alliance aircraft), NATO has returned to the Balkans to complete the absorption of former Yugoslavia as a base for operations elsewhere in the world and for the recruitment of expeditionary troops for wars abroad.

In the interim the Western military bloc conducted a savage 78-day bombing campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 before expanding the scope of its wars and other military operations to include Afghanistan and Pakistan, Libya and the Horn of Africa. [Read more...]

U.S.’s Georgian Satrapy Prepares For “Total Defense”

satrapy1Six days after being installed as the Mikheil Saakashvili regime’s new defense minister, Georgia’s Dimitri Shashkin briefed one of his nation’s newspapers on what he referred to as a three Ts policy in regard to the armed forces.

The Ts in question were identified as Total Care, Total Training and Total Defense.

The account of the above on the English-language Civil Georgia website employed the term three Ts, though the Georgian language uses its own alphabet and not the Latin. There is reason to believe that the new Georgian defense chief’s initiative was written in English – by the Pentagon – and transliterated into the local language.

By way of substantiating the above suspicion, Shashkin also announced that he was introducing a new motto for the Georgian Defense Ministry – No Man Left Behind in Peace and in War – which he acknowledged as a derivation of the slogan No One Gets Left Behind used by U.S. Army Rangers and other American special operations forces. [Read more...]

Podcast Show #89: Persian Gulf of Strategic Interest to NATO

The Boiling Frogs Presents Rick Rozoff

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Investigative journalist and NATO expert Rick Rozoff joins us to discuss the largest-ever one-time expansion of NATO membership, NATO’s invitation to the Persian Gulf kingdom to join NATO’s partnership program in the region, and its consideration of Saudi Arabia as a key player in the region. With the threat of Western military action against Syria and Iran mounting, Rozoff explores NATO’s intention to recruit Saudi Arabia for the Persian Gulf partnership, and how the U.S. and its Western counterparts are promoting in the Arab world from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf is a lethal mixture of militarism, monarchism and theocracy. He also talks about the Syria situation and how the Gulf monarchies are supplying the funds as well as many of the arms and recruiting foreign religious extremists as fighters, while the U.S. and its NATO allies are preparing to arm anti-government forces with more advanced weaponry and train and advise them with Western Special Forces personnel.

RozoffRick Rozoff is an investigative journalist based in Chicago and has been an active opponent of war, militarism and intervention for over 40 years. He manages the Stop NATO e-mail list , and is the editor of Stop NATO, a website on the threat of international militarization, especially on the globalization of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Mr. Rozoff has a graduate degree in European literature.

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Donald Rumsfeld Returns to Georgia

The War-Tested & Conflict-Ready Pentagon-NATO Surrogate Army in Georgia

By Rick Rozoff

rum1Only reported in English on the website of the Georgian Ministry of Defense, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Georgia for a week in late June.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, NATO’s Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, also an American, and NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation General Mieczyslaw Bieniek were also in the country last month. During Vershbow’s visit Georgian Deputy Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze announced that Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will visit his nation in September.

Something is drawing top U.S. and NATO officials to the South Caucasus nation, as a six-member U.S. Congressional delegation also arrived there on July 2 to meet with President Mikheil Saakashvili and Deputy Defense Minister Nodar Kharshiladze and observe U.S.-trained Georgian troops prepare for deployment for NATO’s war in Afghanistan.

rum2Vershbow, former ambassador to NATO and to Russia and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, was in the nation to attend the Georgia Defence and Security Conference on June 29 and was accompanied by Assistant Secretary of Defense (and principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics for matters concerning nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs) Andrew C. Weber; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia Celeste Wallander; and Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery, U.S. European Command’s deputy director of plans, policy and strategy.

In May Admiral Montgomery was the first to announce, a week before the NATO summit, that the U.S.-NATO European interceptor missile system had reached initial capability with the deployment of American warships equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptors, a forward-based radar in Turkey and a command and control center at the U.S. air base in Ramstein, Germany.

Before the conference in Georgia, NATO’s Vershbow met with Georgian Defense Minister Bachana (Bacho) Akhalaia to discuss the host country’s NATO integration and its enhanced troop strength in Afghanistan, where Georgia will soon be the largest contributor of any non-NATO member.

Poland’s General Bieniek, second-in-command of NATO’s U.S.-based Allied Command Transformation, was also in Georgia for two days in June during which time he delivered a lecture at the National Defence Academy and met with NATO member states` defence attachés accredited to Georgia.

The American congressional delegation will “observe U.S. and Georgian service members training together in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF),” according to a U.S. embassy press release. [Read more...]

NATO Expands Military Network to All Continents

NATO1The top military officials – chiefs of defense staff – and other representatives of 55 North Atlantic Treaty Organization and partnership states met in Croatia on June 18-20 for the 2012 Strategic Military Partnership Conference.

NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, established at the 1999 fiftieth anniversary summit in Washington, D.C. and the first alliance command based in the U.S. (in Norfolk, Virginia), reported that participation came from “numerous partnership nations that came from all over the world including South America, North Africa, the South Pacific and East Asia” and that attending nations were members of the bloc’s Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and other military partnerships.

The first of the above three includes 21 nations in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.) The Partnership for Peace program was employed to prepare the twelve nations incorporated as full members between 1999 and 2009: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Mediterranean Dialogue members are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. As will be seen below, Libya is scheduled to be the next partner.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are members of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, with Saudi Arabia and Oman being groomed as new members and perhaps Iraq and Yemen behind them. [Read more...]

Saudi Arabia: Persian Gulf of Strategic Interest to NATO

NATO Promotes Lethal Mixture of Militarism, Monarchism & Theocracy in the Arab World

nato1On June 18 Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar Madani at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The head of the Western military alliance extended an invitation to the Persian Gulf kingdom to join NATO’s partnership program in the region, stating “Saudi Arabia is a key player in the region and NATO would welcome the opportunity to engage the Kingdom’s government as a partner in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.”

The latter was launched in 2004 during the NATO summit in the Turkish city which gave the partnership its name, part of a series of sweeping measures that also saw the largest-ever one-time expansion of NATO membership – the absorption of seven new nations in Eastern Europe, including the first former Yugoslav and first three former Soviet republics – as well as committing the bloc to upgrading its other Middle Eastern military partnership program, the Mediterranean Dialogue (whose members are Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia), to that of the Partnership for Peace, which was used to elevate NATO’s 12 new post-Cold War members to their current status. [Read more...]

Libya: New AFRICOM & NATO Beachhead in Africa

Africa vs. the offensive by the axis of AFRICOM, EUCOM, NATO and the European Union, with assistance from the Arab monarchies

By Rick Rozoff

libya1On June 15 the news agency of the U.S. Defense Department, American Forces Press Service, ran a story on commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) Army General Carter Ham’s testimony before the House Armed Services Committee four months before in which he which averred that last year’s war against Libya “imparted important lessons” for the Pentagon’s newest regional military command.

Operation Odyssey Dawn, as the first twelve days (March 19-31) of the naval blockade and air attacks against the North African nation of slightly more than six million people was codenamed, was AFRICOM’s first operation – its first war – before the North Atlantic Treaty Organization took control with its six-month Operation Unified Protector.

Testifying with General Ham was Admiral James Stavridis, jointly commander of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe. [Read more...]

Pentagon’s Last Frontier: Battle-Hardened Troops Headed to Africa

Africa’s Hour has Arrived

By Rick Rozoff

africa1As the U.S. begins to wind down more than ten consecutive years of combat, mainly counterinsurgency, operations in what has variously been labeled the Broader, Greater and New Middle East, war-tested troops are being prepared for redeployment to Africa and Latin (largely South) America.

Last September President Barack Obama hailed the five million U.S. soldiers that have served in the so-called global war on terror, what he called the 9/11 generation, in the preceding decade.

American commanders issue regular statements that war-time experience in Afghanistan and Iraq has trained the armed forces for new operations in other parts of the world: Africa, Latin America, those parts of the Middle East so far not undermined and attacked, the Balkans-Black Sea-Caucasus arc and the Asia-Pacific region.

On June 8 the Gannett newspaper chain’s Army Times cited the commander of U.S. Army Africa, Major General David Hogg, disclosing that a brigade-size force of U.S. troops – 3,000 “and likely more” – will begin regular deployments to the African continent beginning next year.

africa2As a component of U.S. Army Africa’s “regionally aligned force concept,” the American military personnel will concentrate on training the armed forces of U.S. Africa Command’s new military allies – which have grown to include all 54 African nations except for Eritrea, Sudan and Zimbabwe after the overthrow of the governments of Ivory Coast and Libya last year – and, in Pentagonese, to advise, assist, partner, enable and mentor in counterinsurgency campaigns like those currently underway in Mali, Somalia and Central Africa.

As Africa is (along with South America) alone in not yet being the site of extensive and sustained U.S. military deployments, according to Hogg “As far as our mission goes, it’s uncharted territory”; in the words of Army Times, Africa is “the Army’s last frontier.”

The latter source stated the initial 3,000-troop-plus initiative is “a pilot program that assigns brigades on a rotational basis to regions around the globe.” [Read more...]