Department of Research


Just Say NO To NATO

Just Say NO to NATO, written by Freydis


"It [NATO] is dedicated to protecting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The best means of safeguarding these shared values is to bring about a just and lasting peaceful order in Europe as a whole."

Ever expanding in membership and geographic focus, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had 19 countries in 2000 but now includes 26: Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States. NATO is like a trap that nations fall into but never leave. NATO spreads like melanoma and doesn't shrink. NATO constantly ratchets up its requirements of member states, demanding more soldiers, more weapons, and more missions, yet peace and the new order NATO seeks in its charter remains more elusive than ever. Despite NATO's self-stated magnanimity, worldwide vigorous anti-NATO sentiment is more popular than ever, because NATO takes but never gives. The time is overdue to start asking why and to start searching for alternative solutions that can actually deliver what they promise.

NATO in the Balkans: Operation Spurious Harvest

Operation "Essential Harvest" is a typical vignette of the Kafkaesque world of floundering folly that NATO inhabits, where the failures of the past never get in the way of the failures of the future. A dream enthusiastically driven by the detached political machinations of the thousand miles distant planners for a more peaceful Europe under the big barrel of NATO's guns. Code name "Spurious Harvest" is where the diametrically opposed reality on the ground in the Balkans collides with NATO power-plans.

Isn't it convenient how they neatly line up all the guns in pretty rows just for the cameras instead of just counting them off into a pile? This is all show and both sides know it. The rebels get to make NATO happy by unloading all their old weapons they can't sell on the black market anyway and NATO gets a public relations boost and a pretext to dump more troops into Macedonia.

NATO has admitted the majority of arms handed over by the rebels are not state of the art. The real breakdown is "about one-third good, one-third serviceable, and one-third antiquated."

NATO originally promised to remain "only for 30 days in Macedonia". It took about a week before that thirty days morphed to a perpetual imperative, to ensure the safety of third parties of course.

NATO trains terrorists and promotes organized crime...

The KLA, (formally known as the Ushtria Clirimtare e Kosoves, or UCK) guerilla group, once trumpeted by official mouthpieces as freedom fighters, may have changed in name but not its criminal character while continuing to expand their tendrils of corruption throughout Europe mostly unmolested. Guns, drugs, sex-slavery prostitution all flooding into western Europe at an unprecedented rate remarkably paralleling Milosevic's unheeded warnings of the rebel threat. Thanks to the timely aid of NATO these criminal enterprises have now succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.

Ripley warned that a British training programme for the Macedonian army's special anti-terrorist forces could backfire. "The theory is that they're going to be taught good practice, when in fact they just want to know how to kill Albanians better," he said. "How are Jack Straw's spin doctors going to cope?" Tim Ripley, an analyst with Jane's Defence publications 2001.

General Clark salutes the UCK

All of this is more than just thoroughly documented in the mainstream press; the public knows it because the stuff is on the streets. NATO knows this but either ignores the problems or continues to pretend they have the situation under control. NATO is run by criminals because they're clearly accessories to the spread of violent crime and criminal syndicates all over western Europe.

Synopsis: War on Serbia and  Kosovo's Independence

The KLA was secretly armed and trained by the US and Germany, while Washington officially designated it as a terrorist organisation funded by heroin trafficking. In 1996, it began targeting Serb police units in Kosovo, sparking a military conflict with the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic that, by 1998, saw the province divided along ethnic lines. The KLA took control of between 25 to 40 percent of Kosovo in mid-1998 before Serb forces wrested the KLA-held area back. The imminent defeat of the KLA prompted direct intervention by NATO in 1999, justified in the name of opposing ethnic cleansing and atrocities by Serbian forces.

The war ended on June 10 after a 78-day aerial bombardment of Serbian forces and Serbia itself. Its end saw a military standoff between British and Russian forces at Pristina airport.

Resolution 1244 of June 10, 1999 ordered the withdrawal of Yugoslav forces and the handing over of Kosovo to the control of the UN Security Council—of which Russia is a permanent member—and its military mission, KFOR. It made no mention of independence and was based on the general principle of “facilitating a political process designed to determine Kosovo’s future status” and a “political solution to the Kosovo crisis”. Its preamble referred specifically to the “territorial integrity” of Yugoslavia, and Article 10 authorises only “substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia” and deployment “under United Nations auspices”.

However, since the West engineered the downfall of Milosevic in September 2000 and the subsequent inauguration of Bush as president, the US has been pushing for Kosovo’s independence. Bush visited Albania last June and has challenged Russia to try and block independence on the Security Council.

It is against this background that the move towards Kosovan independence must be judged. In reality what is being created is nothing more than a Western protectorate. It will be administered by the EU, but will act as a spearhead of a more general US-led offensive against a Russia that is resurgent, thanks to its growing revenues from oil and gas. In every respect, it represents a grave threat to the peoples of Europe and the entire world. From: Kosovo’s declaration of independence destabilises Europe, by Chris Marsden, WSWS, February 18, 2008.

The War Criminals

Isn't it odd that NATO and its political masters continually decry violence and 'atrocities' yet go on to create more damage, destruction and death than 1,000 of their targeted enemies, like Milosevic, could ever do?

During the NATO war on Serbia, aircraft did not limit their attacks to military targets but quite the contrary, they struck numerous civilian, commercial and non-combat related installations. In other words NATO egregiously, intentionally and flagrantly violated the Geneva Convention. For example in just one strike NATO hit both the 'Special Hospital for Tuberculosis and Pulmonary Diseases' in Belgrade and damaged a retirement home. Maybe they were retired war veterans, yeah that must be it.

NATO used the most accurate ordnance in the world, the laser (and now GPS) guided weapons made famous during the Gulf War for flying through air shafts, yet despite this they made one of the most spectacular and incomprehensible 'mistakes' in military history when a B-2 bomber struck the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, a building that not only had no military value but was occupied by friendly civilians! This was not an isolated mistake but part of a lengthy comedy of errors, if you can call war a comedy, but more on that below.

In Yugoslavia NATO bombed foot bridges, they attacked power stations, they directly damaged the environment by bombing factories and chemical plants. NATO created oil slicks on the waterways and released dioxins into the air. And when not blowing up fertilizer plants they pumped radioactive and toxic depleted uranium into the ground on a massive scale with anti-armor shells. Evidently NATO didn't commit any type of war crimes because only the BAD guys do that stuff.

NATO even lied about their original pretext for involvement, that being Serbian ethnically motivated atrocities, as these remain unsubstantiated or at least to the extent of NATO claims, and may even be entirely erroneous. These "mass graves" actually consisted of at most a few hundred dead. Regardless, without even any clear chronological connections, culpability is impossible to establish. All of this has been thoroughly documented and substantiated by independent investigators on the ground in the Balkans.

NATO even violated Articles 1 and 7 of its own charter which claims it is a defensive organization. But I guess 'defensive' has a very broad interpretation under the present leadership.

Milosivec's crimes may be real or imagined but putting him on trial while flagrantly ignoring excesses and violations by the NATO war-machine only makes the notion of impartial justice thoroughly risible. NATO makes a mockery of justice and destroys any moral superiority that NATO, and by corollary the west in general, may ever have had to justify their wars to begin with.

A Guide to the Guilty (partial listing)

Clinton's bombing of Serbia was a thinly veiled personal effort to create a public distraction from the imminent publication of the infamous Cox report detailing presidential indiscretions and ethical lapses (to put it diplomatically); it didn't work.
Tony Blair
Should have stayed with his garage band, torturing only the foolish ticket-buying audience.
Once made the incredible statement concerning NATO's war on the former Yugoslavia: "This is a just war, based not on any territorial ambitions but on values."
Defense Secretary Cohen
Vowed NATO would never serve as
"the air force of the Kosovo Liberation Army" and compared Slobodan Milosevic to a World War II Nazi. Holocaust allusions were necessary to deflect criticism of inflated atrocity figures.
Mad. Albright
Don't even get me started, I'll let her do the talking:
"I could end my career as secretary of state with a barnyard expletive, but I will not do that," She probably lied about that one too.
Bubba Bill's chum from both Arkansas and Oxford - General Clark.
His political machinations were more important than all the advice of the domestic military establishment put together.
And where are you now Mr. Clark?
British foreign secretary Jack Straw, left, and General Michael Jackson right (no relation to the pop-star) discussing (spin) strategy.
Senator Joseph Lieberman proclaimed that, "Fighting for the KLA is fighting for human rights and American values."

'NATO' Stands For 'Military Failure'

NATO claimed for the most part their weapons struck the intended targets in the campaign against Serbia. They trumpeted hit after hit on the news briefs but no sooner had the depleted uranium dust settled and the toxins from the bombed factories floated down river than it leaks out almost every piece of military hardware struck was a decoy, scrap junk or mistaken target. The Serbs used black plastic to mimic a tarmac and pipes and cinder blocks to mimic field artillery. At 15,000 feet the pilots congratulated their impeccable successes while the Serbs laughed in their foxholes. NATO proudly proclaimed crushing defeat of Milosevic's 'war-machine' and hundreds of tanks and equipment obliterated only to have ground forces and objective damage assessments later reveal destroyed armor figures at around a dozen or so! NATO never publicly recanted or apologized for these stunning errors, or lies depending on one's view. Furthermore, major newspapers all over the world concluded shortly after the Serb capitulation that NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia had nearly no military effect on the regime of President Milosevic. Despite burning up some $4 billion on munitions the entire campaign failed to either stop 'ethnic cleansing' or generate a coup to oust Milosevic from power.

NATO's lengthening list of blunders, (from two months in 1999)
 
BRUSSELS, June 1 (AFP) - NATO confirmed Tuesday that one of its bombs had landed in a residential neighbourhood in the Serbian town of Novi Pazar, adding to the growing list of alliance air strikes which have led to civilian casualties since the air campaign began 10 weeks ago.
Serb officials put the death toll from the following incidents, most of which but not all NATO acknowledges as errors, at more than 460.
Overall, they say, some 2,000 civilians have been killed since the start of the air campaign on March 24.
NATO has repeatedly denied that it deliberately attacks non-military buildings and insists that all possible precautions are taken to avoid civilian casualties.
  • April 5: A 250-kilo (550-pound) NATO bomb aimed at Yugoslav army barracks in Aleksinac in southern Serbia misses its target and lands in a residential area. Serbs put death toll at 17.
  • April 9: NATO hits homes near a telephone exchange in the Kosovo capital, Pristina. NATO said civilian casualties were possible but neither side provided a death toll.
  • April 12: A NATO pilot fires two missiles into a train crossing a bridge at Grdelicka Klisura in southern Serbia, killing 55 people, according to Belgrade. NATO insists the bridge, a key supply line for Yugoslav forces in Kosovo, was the target and that the pilot saw the train too late.
  • April 14: NATO bombs refugee convoys in the Djakovica region of south-east Kosovo, leaving 75 dead, according to Belgrade. NATO, without confirming the civilian toll, said it was targeting military vehicles but admitted hitting two convoys.
  • April 28: NATO, aiming for an army barracks in the Serb village of Surdulica (250 kms/150 miles south of Belgrade), bombs a residential area, leaving at least 20 civilians dead.
  • May 1: NATO bombs a bridge at Luzane near Pristina, killing 47 people aboard a bus which was travelling along it. NATO, without confirming the figure, admitted the following day having targetted the bridge without the intention of causing civilian casualties.
  • May 7: A NATO air raid hits central Nis in southeast Serbia, leaving at least 15 dead and 70 injured. NATO said its planes were aiming for a landing strip and a radio transmitter but that a cluster bomb had missed its mark.
  • May 8: NATO mistakenly attacks the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, killing three journalists. The United States and NATO said the intended target was a Yugoslav building with military use, but US maps used in the planning of the operation were old and marked the embassy at a previous address.
  • May 13: NATO bombs the village of Korisa, leaving 87 civilians dead according to the Serbs. The allies claim that the civilians were being used as "human shields" and that Korisa was a legitimate military target.
  • May 20: A Belgrade hospital is hit by a missile at around 1:00 a.m., killing three patients. NATO attributes the accident to a missile which went astray during an attack on a nearby military barracks.
  • May 21: NATO bombs Istok prison in north-west Kosovo. Alliance officials insist the prison was being used as an assembly point for Serb forces in the province. Serbs say at least 100 inmates and a prison officer were killed.
  • May 22: NATO admits bombing by mistake positions of the Kosovo Liberation Army at Kosare, near the border with Albania. Sources close to the KLA say seven guerillas were killed and 15 injured.
  • May 30: NATO bombs a highway bridge at Varvarin in a daytime raid in central Serbia. The Serbs claim 11 people died while attempting to cross the bridge in their cars. NATO has not confirmed whether there were cars on the bridge and insists the bridge was a legitimate military garget.
  • May 31: Missiles strike a sanatorium at Surdulica, southern Serbia, killing at least 20 people, according to the Serb authorities. NATO says it successfully attacked a military barracks in the town but refuses to confirm, or categorically deny, hitting the hospital.
  • May 31: A NATO bomb aimed at a military compound strikes a four-storey apartment block in the town of Novi Pazar. NATO confirms one of its bombs went astray and landed in a residential area. Serb authorities report 23 dead.

Probably the most serious technical loss by NATO during the air-campaign was the F-117A stealth fighter downed by Serbian air-defenses. The highly classified remnants were quickly carted off for analysis and reverse engineering by less than friendly states, most notably Russia. For unknown reasons NATO never bombed the wreckage in an effort to destroy the stealth materials.

The Chinese Embassy Bombing

One of the biggest mysteries that came out of the war on Serbia was the attack on the Chinese embassy building in Belgrade, May 1999 killing three Chinese journalists and injuring more than 20 diplomats. Several explanations have been suggested, mostly without any satisfying resolution. The Chinese always maintained that their embassy was intentionally attacked and indeed later collected four and a half million dollars from the American government in July of 1999 for compensation. NATO claimed it was victim of an outdated map but that story reeks of back justification. It almost sounds like Clark demanded action that was unacceptable to his more ethical underlings who were inevitably forced to concoct an excuse after the fact, no matter how flimsy it may seem. There can be no doubt that whoever picked the target was very high on the food chain, so to speak, because of the nature of the weapons platform used to conduct the strike. The strike was carried out by a B-2 using the advanced JDAM weapon. These GPS bombs are rare and expensive and the most accurate that the Air Force has, at least that can be used in a strategic situation (i.e. non-laser). Most importantly the B-2 is NOT under the command of NATO, it's under the control of ACC of the USAF and is not a toy for NATO to play with at all! Stealth technology is jealously guarded. The embassy bombing mission was tasked from the very top.

But why would they need four (some claim three) huge bombs for just an embassy building? The answer slipped out immediately after the ruckus when a few speculated that it had to do with an underground bunker directly beneath the embassy. That was the reason for the heavy firepower and also explains the relatively light damage to the exterior structure of the building. My hypothesis is that the whole strike was intended to blow up a very important target beneath the embassy.

Operation Allied Force marks the first time the Air Force's heavy bomber fleet was used together operationally, according to Maj. J.C. Valle, deputy chief of ACC's Weapons and Tactics Branch.
The B-2 stealth bomber made its operational debut March 24 when two Spirits dropped 32 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions during a 31-hour, non-stop mission from Whiteman AFB, Mo. The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) is a guidance kit that converts existing unguided free-fall bombs into precision guided "smart" munitions."
[From ACC website]

Only one target is so important that it would have been worth sacrificing the whole war to get, something so critical that it could have won the war if successful and made blowing up an embassy a trivial problem for the diplomats to work out. Yes this project has the name of Gen. Wesley Clark and Mad. Albright (AKA Panic) written all over it. Only one target fits this description – Slobodon Milosevic! Probably one of his generals, who is no doubt dead now that the mission failed, cut a deal with the US/CIA to replace Slobodon.

Another possibility was released by a British newspaper The Observer:

The Observer said it had been told by a NATO flight control officer in Naples that the Chinese mission was correctly located on a map of "non-targets'' which included churches, hospitals and embassies.

It said the Chinese embassy had been removed from the list after NATO electronic intelligence detected it was rebroadcasting Yugoslav Army communications to units in the field. From: NATO Bombed Chinese Embassy Deliberately - UK Paper LONDON (Reuters) Saturday October 16, 1999.

It's a sign and testament both to the desperation of NATO and also to the folly of a war without moral superiority which only leads to self-destruction in the end. Clark, Albright and Clinton wanted victory at any price and accepted any short term cost to achieve a flimsy long term goal. They ended up winning only fantastic failure.

The Needs of NATO

NATO wouldn't really risk lives and billions of dollars over the Balkans if they didn't get something out of it. The US Army walked away with the strategically located, ultra-fortified base called Camp Bondsteel in the middle of Kosovo. NATO gets a live-fire test range to try out new weapons and tactics as well as psychological warfare, riot control and a host of other civil coercion techniques. NATO has also finally gained a foothold in the former isolationist, communist nation of Albania, providing access to some coveted strategic real estate in south east Europe, perfect for forward deployment operations in the future. Most importantly NATO finally gets a mission, a reason and excuse to use its massive firepower and justify budget increases, and at minimum keep otherwise unemployable military leadership collecting a paycheck. NATO expansion also justifies defense spending on expensive new death machines from rifles to jet-fighters, a definite gain for the struggling arms industry of the post Cold War era.

NATO is really just the muscular arm of the American empire, a means of force projection from a central node. Although that node may technically be Brussels, for all practical purposes it's actually Washington DC because the American military is such a disproportionate member of the alliance. This Empire serves nothing but its own self interest and those of the powerful commercial entities that exert their corporate influence over government. As NATO's status evolves into the active war machine from the passive Cold War defense shield it reveals itself as but an extension of a political power system far removed from responsiveness to both the interests of the public and the democratic values that NATO purports to fight and kill for.

NATO is an imminent threat to freedoms as well as the interests and well-being of the European and American public because it has the mandate and the force to not only compel allegiance and obedience through military law, and even mandatory conscription in many countries, but also the deadly force to wreak havoc in environment, economy, politics and the already destitute daily lives of impoverished people.

It's indicative of corrupt and despotic regimes to abuse language in sanctimonious and contradictory ways. Listen carefully to the apocryphal terms NATO employs, think of the slogans like SFOR 'Stabilisation Force' to "help to build the basis for future peace in the [Balkans] region," or the PfP 'Partnership for Peace' entangling twenty six nations "developing a new security relationship between the Alliance and its Partner countries." NATO claims to be a force of peace but attacks kills and destroys on a massive scale. NATO has no interest in maintaining peace, negotiations, or stability but feeds of violence, destabilized government and fomented revolt because it further justifies NATO existence and the continued meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign nations. For this reason the wise never listen to what the mouthpieces and the PR men speak, study what they actually do!

It's tragic that likely the only way NATO and its military descendants can be eradicated is through the death of many NATO soldiers in bloody ground conflict. And this is the conclusion that NATO is rapidly heading for in the near future as the entanglements become more convoluted and the imperative mandate to remain involved become impossible to sever. As long as the western public remains apathetic to NATO mendacity it's likely nothing will change, but even if they can maintain domestic ambivalence they're losing world opinion. If they had the sense to see it the NATO generals and the politico wire-pullers would realize they're digging their own graves plus ample room for their electorate.

Finally, if you are a NATO soldier you may even believe that you are helping out the indigenous peoples, probably because you've been repeatedly told that. Except it's really your ass on the line taking risks for insulated politicians sipping cognac at dinner parties. If you violate the Geneva code or break a direct order it's off to prison yet strangely enough the same doesn't seem to hold true for your superiors. Think about it, and think about how you're the one getting rocks or bullets thrown at you while trying to help a mob that hates you and that flag on your shoulder one day and then begs you to stay and fight their enemies the next day. You don't have to do anything seditious, just keep your head down and do what you have to, then get out as soon as your contract expires or your term of duty ends. Otherwise you'll get a one-way ticket home in a body-bag from the next 'Vietnam'; and the retirement pay's only good if you're alive to collect it.

Everyone else should let their political leadership know through letter, petition and every other means available in no uncertain terms that NATO is really an acronym for collective condemnation.

Welcome to Afghanistan NATO

With a name like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and a traditional European focus you would probably think NATO would have enough sense to keep their own people out of distant trouble. Think again. If NATO was ever really about peace and security for Europe that phony façade has long since fallen off. Now more than ever before NATO has become an extension of imperial power-projection that lends credibility to the questionable machinations of the White House by offloading some of the responsibilities onto NATO nations.

Despite an unambiguous history of sucking in and chewing up invaders NATO has eagerly stumbled into one of the most dangerous and unstable countries on the planet in Afghanistan, all with the best of intentions of course, just like always. Democracy and freedom for everyone! Yes, the same quagmire credited with mortally wounding the Soviet Union, just a few decades ago, is now the playground for British, Canadian, German, and other NATO countries to send their citizens to get blown up and shot at in a futile attempt to subdue the natives with a foreign authority structure so that privately owned western enterprises can try and achieve some dubious economic gains. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Anyone remember Kosovo?

So why has NATO suddenly gone halfway across the globe to Afghanistan? The official NATO website has this to say:

NATO is helping establish the conditions in which Afghanistan can enjoy a representative government and self-sustaining peace and security.

NATO took over command and coordination of ISAF in August 2003. This is the first mission outside the Euro-Atlantic area in NATO’s history.

Initially restricted to providing security in and around Kabul, NATO's mission now covers about 50% of the country's territory. The Alliance is currently in the process of further expanding its presence and role. [1]

What the official statements don’t tell you is that the government in power in Afghanistan barely controls just the capital of the country and is little more than a puppet regime imposed upon the nation by President George Bush’s White House. Drug production, once banned under the Taliban, has now exploded across Afghanistan, flooding Europe with illegal drugs while enriching regional warlords and petty despots, while destabilizing neighboring countries.

Afghanistan's opium output last year was about 4,500 tonnes and about 90 percent of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan. Experts have said the huge trade is feeding an escalating insurgency against foreign troops and Afghanistan's Western-backed government.

NATO is planning expanded operations in Afghanistan in the coming months that will take foreign troop numbers there to the highest level since the Taliban's overthrow in 2001.
[2]

Afghan farmers were promised economic assistance to grow crops other than opium poppies but when the assistance never showed up they realized the joke was on them in the form of yet another empty promise from supposedly benevolent outsiders, and they went back to planting drug crops the next season. Radical Islamic beliefs are increasingly popular. Suicide bombings were once unheard of in Afghanistan but now take place on a regular basis.

The scale of the danger facing British forces in Afghanistan became clear yesterday when more than 100 people were killed across the country in the biggest offensive by the Taleban movement since it was driven from power five years ago. British forces have been ordered to pacify the large and restless province of Helmand, where one of the bloodiest incursions took place.

Hundreds of fighters in robes and black turbans rolled into the town of Musa Qala by day in four-wheel drive pick-up trucks and motorbikes weighed down by heavy machineguns and rocket launchers.

After almost ten hours of fighting at least 40 Taleban rebels were dead in Musa Qula, along with 13 police and an unknown number of civilians.

Amir Muhammad Akhunzaba, the deputy governor of Helmand, said the fighting was the worst in five years, but the Taleban issued a warning that there was more to come.  [3]

British objectives in Afghanistan are supposed to include everything from reconstruction to military training, counter-drug and counter-insurgency operations. Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox aptly described this situation as "complete confusion". [3]

Soldiers from many nations are given the opportunity to die in vain for their government thanks to NATO in Afghanistan.

Even though American military commanders once had the foolish audacity to declare success in Afghanistan a few years ago, the country has nonetheless become a complete fiasco, a fiasco that NATO has jumped into even as the United States is struggling to get out before it gets even worse.

Welcome to Afghanistan NATO. 19.05.06

1. NATO in Afghanistan, by NATO

2. NATO general says drugs Afghanistan's biggest threat, Reuters, May 20, 2006

3. British troops are caught in deadly trap as troubles grow on two fronts, by Tim Albone and Ned Parker, The Times (UK), May 19, 2006.

NATO's defeat in Afghanistan now seems unavoidable

Despite the presence of tens of thousands of Nato-led troops and billions of dollars in aid, the insurgents, driven out by the US invasion in 2001, now control "vast swaths of unchallenged territory, including rural areas, some district centres, and important road arteries," the Senlis Council says in a report released today.

The council goes as far as to state: "It is a sad indictment of the current state of Afghanistan that the question now appears to be not if the Taliban will return to Kabul, but when this will happen and in what form."

From: Afghanistan 'falling into Taliban hands', by Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian (UK), November 21, 2007.

Afghanistan 2008: Interminable Bloody Failure

The situation in Afghanistan has rapidly deteriorated during 2008. NATO’s war is bleeding over the border into Pakistan, threatening to destabilize another Islamic nation, this one armed with nuclear weapons. On the Afghanistan side of the border U.S. and NATO forces continue to produce a parade of pain for innocent civilians, usually from air strikes, one typical event was a wedding party in early July 2008 where 47 people were killed, including 39 women and children. The U.S. military emphatically denied that any civilians were killed in the air strike, as they always do, until the facts eventually leaked out and they were forced to admit otherwise. [1] When not getting bombed by aircraft, shot at, or accidentally shelled by NATO the average Afghan is struggling just to find enough food to eat amid rampant unemployment, soaring inflation, drought, and famine. Not surprisingly the drug crops grow larger every year.

In short the U.S. / NATO mission in Afghanistan is a raging failure that shows no signs of resolution anytime soon, and indeed more soldiers are being added to this very volatile conflict. The Taliban and other militants have expanded their range of control in a classic guerrilla war and conducted several startling operations in the first half of 2008 with great success, including a massive prison break freeing about 1,000 and a deadly attack on a border outpost that killed nine U.S. soldiers leading to the abandonment of the position. 18.07.08

1. US air strike wiped out Afghan wedding party, inquiry finds, by James Sturcke, Guardian, July 11, 2008.

The continuous civilian slaughter in Afghanistan, and now Pakistan too, by US/NATO forces has enraged the local population. Afghan's interviewed in 2008 are now emphatic that not only has the US lost the war in Afghanistan but they have no faith in their thoroughly corrupt government either, creating ample space for a Taliban resurgence.

"Daily we have headaches from the troops. We are fed up. Our government is weak and corrupt and the American soldiers have learned nothing." ...

Villagers say the U.S. does not understand how complex alliances, violence and even drugs play out in their culture. The eyes of elderly Malik Bakhtiar well with tears as he recalls his brother's arrest by U.S. troops for apparently running a drug laboratory in his home. In certain regions of Afghanistan, people grow opium for their livelihood. "They don't understand us," Bakhtiar says. "Every house has a gun. Every house has opium." From: AP IMPACT: Afghans fed up with government, US, by Kathy Gannon, AP, September 5, 2008.

US attempts to assassinate former CIA asset near Afghanistan border, kills 23:

In the 1980s, Jalaluddin Haqqani was cultivated as a "unilateral" asset of the CIA and received tens of thousands of dollars in cash for his work in fighting the Soviet Army in Afghanistan, according to an account in "The Bin Ladens," a recent book by Steve Coll. At that time, Haqqani helped and protected Osama bin Laden, who was building his own militia to fight the Soviet forces, Coll wrote. From: U.S. attack on Taliban kills 23 in Pakistan, by Jane Perlez and Pir Zubair Shah, IHT, September 9, 2008.

Why are the Taliban winning in Afghanistan? The Taliban aren't winning so much as US/NATO are losing through heavy-handed tactics, support of a rotten and corrupt puppet regime, and a complete lack of concern and comprehension for how the people in Afghanistan live.

"Pay in Afghanistan is low, and the Taliban is getting stronger because the people don't know where to turn," said Abdul, a resident of Kabul and employee of a security firm that works closely with the government. He asked that only his first name be used because of the sensitivity of the topic.

"The U.S. and coalition should pay attention to this," he said. "Even though the majority of people in the country are opposed to the Taliban insurgency, many villagers, in areas where the militants have gained strength, will turn to the Taliban to settle land disputes and other legal issues ... because they don't trust the judges," he said.

"Even though they don't necessarily support the Taliban, they turn away from the central government because they know in these issues the Taliban elders will be fair, and this is damaging the international effort."
 From: Graft undermines support for Karzai, by Sara A. Carter, Washington Times, September 11, 2008.

The Pentagon and NATO downplay and deflect instances of civilian deaths from their weapons, even claiming that the Taliban and other opponents fabricate these stories in order to gain support. Yet as frequently as these deadly events occur it’s apparent that the Taliban doesn’t need to manufacture this publicity because NATO hands it to them on a silver platter! The August 2008 Azizabad incident, where about 90 civilians were killed, is typical of this behavior.

The United States military, in a series of statements about the operation, has accused the villagers of spreading Taliban propaganda. Speaking on condition that their names not be used, some military officials have suggested that the villagers fabricated such evidence as grave sites — and, by implication, that other investigators had been duped. But many villagers have connections to the Afghan police, NATO or the Americans through reconstruction projects, and they say they oppose the Taliban.

In a series of statements about the operation, the American military has said that extremists who entered the village after the bombardment encouraged villagers to change their story and inflate the number of dead. Yet the Afghan government and the United Nation have stood by the victims’ families and their accounts, not least because many of the families work for the Afghan government or reconstruction projects. The villagers say they oppose the Taliban and would not let them in the village.
“You can see our I.D. cards,” said a police officer, Muhammad Alam, 35, who was accused by the Americans of being a Taliban supporter and was detained for a week after the airstrikes, then released. “If the Taliban caught me, they would slaughter me.”

Particularly ironic, the memorial service attacked in Azizabad was being held for an anti-Taliban tribal leader killed a year earlier!

Flawed intelligence and a shoot-first-ask-questions-later attitude on the part of American troops is a thoroughly self-defeating combination.

His claim was supported by the district chief, Mr. Umarzai, who said, “The victims did not fire on the Americans.” He said he suspected that an informer falsely told the American forces that Taliban fighters were in the village and also staged the firefight. The gunmen first fired on the police checkpoint on the edge of the village that night, he said. “When the Americans came, they laid down heavy gunfire and then they left the area. Then the Americans called in airstrikes,” he said. From: Evidence Points to Civilian Toll in Afghan Raid, by Carlotta Gall, NYT, September 7, 2008.

The true reality of events on the ground in Afghanistan completely demolishes the excuses NATO has used to justify invading and continuing to militarily occupy that country. Although institutional and individual corruption are pervasive under NATO rule and under Karzai's puppet regime, one group of courageous women, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), remains apart from the corruption while actively opposing both religious fundamentalists and foreign military occupation.

Seven years back the US government and its allies were successfully able to legitimize their military invasion on Afghanistan and deceive the people of the US and the world under the banners of “liberating Afghan women”, “democracy” and “war on terror”. …

the country has been turned to a mafia state and self-immolation, rape and abduction of women and children has no parallel in the history of Afghanistan. …

The day to day expansion of the power of Taliban reflects the real nature of the “war on terror” which has empowered the roots of fundamentalist terrorism more than ever.
From: RAWA's statement on the seventh anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan, October 7, 2008.

The US sponsored 'reconstruction' of Afghanistan is just as much the scam that it is in Iraq, if not more so.

[I]n the long run, it's not soldiers but services that count - electricity, water, food, health care, justice, and jobs. Had the US delivered the promised services on time, while employing Afghans to rebuild their own country according to their own priorities and under the supervision of their own government - a mini-Marshall Plan - they would now be in charge of their own defense. The forces on the other side, which we loosely call the Taliban, would also have lost much of their grounds for complaint.

Instead, the Bush administration perpetrated a scam. It used the system it set up to dispense reconstruction aid to both the countries it "liberated", Afghanistan and Iraq, to transfer American taxpayer dollars from the national treasury directly into the pockets of private war profiteers. Think of Halliburton, Bechtel and Blackwater in Iraq; Louis Berger Group, Bearing Point and DynCorp International in Afghanistan. They're all in it together. So far, the Bush administration has bamboozled Americans about its shady aid program. Nobody talks about it. Yet the aid scam, which would be a scandal if it weren't so profitable for so many, explains far more than does troop strength about why, today, we are on the verge of watching the whole Afghan enterprise go belly up.
...

It's hard to overstate the magnitude of the failure of American reconstruction in Afghanistan. While the US has occupied the country - for seven years and counting - and efficiently set up a network of bases and prisons, it has yet to restore to Kabul, the capital, a mud brick city slightly more populous than Houston, a single one of the public services its citizens used to enjoy. When the Soviets occupied Afghanistan in the 1980s, they modernized the education system and built power plants, dams, factories, and apartment blocs, still the most coveted in the country. If, in the last seven years, Bush did not get the lights back on in the capital, or the water flowing, or dispose of the sewage or trash, how can we assume Obama will do any better with the corrupt system he's about to inherit?
From:
The Afghan reconstruction boondoggle, by Ann Jones, Asia Times, January 13, 2009.

Another 'Mission Accomplished' Moment

Well, the US/NATO did it again, another classic ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment and another slaughter of the innocent. This time a bombing atrocity in the village of Granai, in Farah province Afghanistan, killed up to 147, turning mostly women and children into piles of sliced meat. Oh, and they bombed the mosque too.

The best excuses the military establishment can come up with, and they vary by the day, is that this massacre was either a Taliban setup, or the Taliban were there at the time of the attack but were using innocent people as shields. Afghan child injured by U.S. bombing attack in Afghanistan, May 2009.However, these excuses just raise the obvious question – why drop any bombs at all in these situations when doing so only makes the situation far, far worse regardless of how many (or how few) ‘bad guys’ get killed in the process? Aren’t these weak excuses just an admission that the Taliban are winning and running circles around a pathetically clueless and hopelessly violent NATO military machine? As one local asked to a reporter after losing his family in the attack, "Why do they target the Taliban inside the village? Why don’t they bomb them when they are outside the village?” [1]

As chants of “death to America” spread across the Afghan countryside like a wildfire, it’s obvious this is no way to win a counter-insurgency. Yet US/NATO forces keep doing the same thing, over and over. If the real mission of the US and NATO in Afghanistan is to kill as many Afghans as they can get away with, and inflame the public sentiment against the West, then this really is a mission accomplished moment.  

1. Afghan Villagers Describe Chaos of U.S. Strikes, by Carlotta Gall and Taimoor Shah, New York Times, May 14, 2009.

The Police are on Patrol in Afghanistan

Some wonder why the Taliban have any popular support in Afghanistan, considering their harsh brand of justice and often brutal tactics. But for decades Afghanistan has been an exceedingly brutal and unpleasant place to try and live, full of sadistic warlords, drug barons, and corrupt officials everywhere. The Taliban formed as a reaction to this environment, not the other way around. So, we have to remember that the Taliban operate in relative situation, and others in the mix are even less desirable.

In Afghanistan even the police are a hazard to the life and well-being of average people. Besides setting up random checkpoints to rob and beat people, the cops also like to kidnap pre-teen boys, lock them up in a jail cell, and take turns raping them. With this kind of behavior an everyday event it’s no surprise that the locals in Helmand welcomed the Taliban with open arms when they arrived. The Taliban were viewed as liberators because they removed the police from power and restored a sense of order and fairness that was completely lacking before.

NATO’s problem is that they support the police; they aren’t on the wrong side, they are part of the wrong side! The US and NATO are just visitors to Afghanistan, and as long as they continue to support brutal warlords, corrupt officials, and sadistic cops they have no chance of ever winning their counter-insurgency war. 02.08.09

The real nail in NATO's coffin, however, has been its stunning lack of success on the ground. The Taliban have, in fact, not only increased their hold over large parts of southern Afghanistan, but spread north as well. Most embarrassingly for NATO, a recent surge of alliance troops seems only to have made the Taliban stronger. Nearly eight years of alternating destruction (air bombardment, over 100,000 troops on the ground) and reconstruction (US$38 billion in economic assistance appropriated by the US Congress since 2001) have all come up desperately short. A new counter-insurgency campaign doesn't look any more promising. What was once billed as the most powerful military alliance in history has been thwarted by an irregular set of militias and guerrilla groups without the backing of a major power in one of the poorest countries on Earth.

From: If Afghanistan is its test, NATO is failing, by John Feffer, Asia Times Online (ATO), October 1, 2009. [italics added]

Afghanistan 2010, US & NATO More Detached than Ever

18.04.10 U.S. and NATO authorities have publicly stated that they're killing too many innocent people. They recognize the problem, or at least recognize the massive anger that it produces in the populace. In fact the situation has gotten so precarious that even Hamid Karzai, the US/NATO puppet ruler of Afghanistan (or part of the capital, anyway), has openly threatened to resign and join the Taliban if occupational forces don’t dramatically reduce the indiscriminate slaughter!

"I have made it clear to our forces that we are here to protect the Afghan people, and inadvertently killing or injuring civilians undermines their trust and confidence in our mission." - General Stanley McChrystal, commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)

Nonetheless, despite the rhetoric from US and NATO officials, actual events continue as before, revealing that there’s no genuine desire to protect civilians, certainly not as long as there’s the remote possibility that they might kill a ‘bad guy’ in the process.

It [indiscriminate killing] came not just to a police officer and his brother and family in Paktia province, but to a "wealthy businessman with construction and security contracts with the nearby American base at Shindand airport" who, along with up to 76 members of his extended family, was slaughtered in such a raid on the village of Azizabad in Herat province in August 2008.

It came to the family of Awal Khan, an Afghan army artillery commander (away in another province) whose "schoolteacher wife, a 17-year-old daughter named Nadia, a 15-year-old son, Aimal, and his brother, employed by a government department" were killed in April 2009 in a US-led raid in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan. (Another daughter was wounded and the pregnant wife of Khan's cousin was shot five times in the abdomen.)

It came to 12 Afghans by a roadside near the city of Jalalabad in April 2007 when Marine Special Operations forces, attacked by a suicide bomber, let loose along a 16-kilometer stretch of road. Victims included a four-year-old girl, a one-year-old boy, and three elderly villagers. According to a report by Carlotta Gall of the New York Times, a "16-year-old newly married girl was cut down while she was carrying a bundle of grass to her family's farmhouse ... A 75-year-old man walking to his shop was hit by so many bullets that his son did not recognize the body when he came to the scene."

It came in November 2009 to two relatives of Majidullah Qarar, the spokesman for the Minister of Agriculture, who were shot down in cold blood in Ghazni City in another special operations night raid. It came in Uruzgan province in February 2010 when US Special Forces troops in helicopters struck a convoy of mini-buses, killing up to 27 civilians, including women and children.

And it came this April 5 in an air strike in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan in which a residence was hit and four civilians - two women, an elderly man, and a child - were killed along with four men, immediately identified in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization press release as "suspected insurgents". ("Insurgents were using the compound as a firing position when combined forces, unaware of the possible presence of civilians, directed air assets against it.")

The usual joint investigation with Afghans has been launched and if those four men later morph into "civilians," the usual apologies will ensue. ("Suspected insurgents," too, can have wives, children, and elderly parents or relatives, or simply take over compounds with such inhabitants.) And it came this Monday morning on the outskirts of Kandahar city, when US troops opened fire on a bus, killing five civilians (including a woman), wounding more, and sparking angry protests. [1]

1. God and Monsters , by Tom Engelhardt, Asia Times Online, April 15, 2010.

US experiences blowback from forced radicalized of Afghanistan

Cheryl Bernard, a RAND analyst and husband of Zalmay Khalilzad, UN Ambassador of the George W. Bush administration, explained one of the key reasons for the lack of good governance: “To defeat the Soviets we threw the worst crazies against them. Then we allowed them to get rid of, just kill all the moderate leaders. The reason we don’t have moderate leaders in Afghanistan today is because we let the nuts kill them all. They killed all the leftists, the moderates, the middle of the roaders. They were just eliminated, during the 1980s and afterwards.” The United States continues to tolerate high-levels of corruption out of perceived geo-political expediency, claiming that it is engrained within the political culture of Afghanistan and other “backward nations” in which it intervenes. In reality, however, it is a product of historical contingencies, the breakdown of social mores caused by the war-climate and the need of elite officials lacking popular legitimacy to obtain money for counter-insurgency operations. [1]

1. American Police Training and Political Violence: From the Philippines Conquest to the Killing Fields of Afghanistan and Iraq, by Jeremy Kuzmarov, 15 March 2010, Japan Focus.

More on Afghanistan at Holology


NATO on the March: Plan Georgia

Buried in the back pages of the ‘international’ news section, NATO, under the guidance of the U.S. political establishment in Washington DC, is exploiting tensions in the small Caucasian country of Georgia and the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as part of a malevolent effort to weaken independent Russia while expanding the NATO roster.

The Caucasus Republic of Georgia, as nations go, is not apparently a major global player. Yet Washington has invested huge sums and organized to put its own despot, Mikhail Saakashvili, in the presidency in order to close a nuclear North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) iron ring around Russia. [1]

Why a self-proclaimed defense and security alliance needs to foment conflict and create enemies where none are needed would seem to be a primary question, but one that remains noticeably unanswered by NATO authorities. Nonetheless the ulterior motive remains fairly obvious just beneath the surface of misleading rhetoric.

Rather than initiate discussions after the 1991 dissolution of the Warsaw Pact about a systematic dissolution of NATO, Washington has systematically converted NATO into what can only be called the military vehicle of an American global imperial rule, linked by a network of military bases from Kosovo to Poland to Turkey to Iraq and Afghanistan. [1]

Picking sides with Georgia and intentionally antagonizing Russia is a particularly foolish move on the part of Europe because Russia supplies most all of Europe’s natural gas! Not just Afghanistan but now Georgia too. The appalling stupidity and cowardice of Europe’s political leadership is clearly demonstrated by their cooperation with NATO's military and political operations that can only lead to direct and costly consequences for the people of Europe, even without any gain in return! 18.07.08

1. A war waiting to happen, by F William Engdahl, Asia Times Online, July 16, 2008.

Georgia Starts War with Russia

On August 8th 2008 as the world was paying attention to the elaborate opening Olympic ceremonies in Beijing, Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili launched a military assault on South Ossetia, a small region that broke away from Georgia during the early 1990s and sides with Russia, the country on its northern border. Russia has responded with military force to protect South Ossetia and now a day later the conflict has already spread to Abkhazia, another small independent region to the northwest of Georgia that also sides with Russia.

Mikheil Saakashvili has a reputation as a volatile dictatorial leader but nonetheless Washington DC has extended support to his country, promised Georgia membership in NATO, provided millions of dollars in military aid, and sent U.S. soldiers to train the Georgian military. The Caucasian region is a very risky place to be picking sides but Washington has eyes on Georgia as a military base and as an avenue for oil and gas pipelines that can bypass Russia, but in effect the main purpose is simply to intimidate Russia.

Both George Bush and John McCain have visited Georgia, made glowing speeches praising Saakashvili and were rewarded with the Order of St George. [1]

NATO backing of Georgia has polarized and inflamed tensions in the region making the coexistence of different ethnic groups and a peaceful settlement on political boundaries increasingly difficult to achieve.

Many Ossetians say they believe the United States supported Georgia's use of military force to try to restore Georgian rule in South Ossetia. Following the Georgian assault on Tskhinvali, [Zema] Kulumbegova said she expects many South Ossetians who once might have agreed to reunification with Georgia to oppose the idea. More, she predicted, will support unification with Russia. [2]

It’s safe to say that Saakashvili would not have triggered this war if he didn’t think he has the backing of Washington and the hope of NATO military support. And that’s the real issue of concern here for it's painfully clear that NATO is not a force for peace but a force for starting wars! The spreading warfare between Georgia and Russia is a screaming warning of the very real threat that NATO presents to the world. Just as Marine Corps commander Daniel Ellsberg said about the U.S. in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, ‘we aren’t on the wrong side, we ARE the wrong side.’

The U.S. investment in Georgia is proving costly in more than one way as Georgia, the third largest contributor of troops to the region, is removing all 2,000 of its soldiers in Iraq and sending them back home. American troops will now have to fill in the gaps left by the absence of the Georgians. 09&10.08.08

1. Georgia's volatile risk-taker has gone over the brink, by Thomas de Waal The Observer, August 10 2008.

2. South Ossetians describe fleeing from the fighting, by Douglas Birch, AP, August 10, 2008.

 

* * *

While many Western critics declared the Russian actions of the past week a reversion to Cold War tactics, Moscow sees NATO itself as a Cold War relic. The Russians complain that following the demise of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Treaty Organization, the U.S. reneged on promises to create a new global security order and instead moved to expand its own Cold War military alliance — NATO — into Moscow's own sphere of influence.
From: The Georgia Crisis: A Blow to NATO, By Tony Karon, TIME Magazine, August 15, 2008.

Unofficially, some of the trainers acknowledge, the program hopes to give the U.S. a more robust ally on Russia's border in a country that houses a vital oil pipeline.
The Americans aren't the only ones here. Georgian corporals and sergeants train with Germans, alpine units and the navy work with French instructors, and special operations and urban warfare troops are taught by Israelis, said Georgia's deputy defense minister, Batu Kutelia.

While the U.S. mission is specifically aimed at getting troops ready for Iraq, the "overall goal is to bring Georgia up to NATO standards," Kutelia said in an interview at the Defense Ministry on Sunday.
From: US trainers say Georgian troops weren't ready, by Matti Friedman, AP, August 18, 2008.

Independent Investigation Finds Georgia Started War

In September 2009 the European Union published its official report on the war between Georgia and Russia, researched by their independent fact-finding mission. Although the report lays some blame on just about everyone involved, including the UN Security Council, as well as both Russia and Georgia, it nonetheless thoroughly demolishes the U.S. and NATO storyline that Georgia is the victim and Russia the aggressor.
You can read the full report here: IIFFMCG - CEIIG

14.) Open hostilities began with a large-scale Georgian military operation against the town of Tskhinvali and the surrounding areas, launched in the night of 7 to 8 August 2008. Operations started with a massive Georgian artillery attack. [1]

1. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia - Volume I, by the IIFFMCG-CEIIG and the Council of the European Union, September 30, 2009.


Kosovo Revisited

13.12.08 & 17.04.09 U.S. plans for NATO expansion to include Georgia and the Ukraine have been temporarily stifled by the resistance of some European states, unable to countenance their provocative inclusion into the war treaty and pushing Russian into a corner only to start a potentially nuclear conflict. Nonetheless there’s been no trouble approving the addition of Albania, Croatia, and the Republic of Macedonia. And although it has been a province of Serbia since the 14th century the now independent state of tiny Kosovo can’t be far behind on the list to join the ever-expanding NATO.

Far from stabilizing the Balkans and improving the well-being of the regional population NATO has consistently made life more miserable and impoverished for the majority, while enriching and empowering a highly corrupt elite willing to act as stooges serving NATO machinations.

[T]he country [Kosovo] has a government and state apparatus that are notoriously corrupt and are closely linked with organised crime. According to a report by the Berlin Institute for European Policy, produced last year on behalf of the German army, drugs, human trafficking and arms smuggling, theft, robbery and car crime are the only increasing and profitable sectors of the country’s economy. ...

Kosovo has become a “poly-criminal multifunctional region,” with Kosovo playing an important role, particularly as a transit country for Afghan heroin. [1]

The current Prime Minister of Kosovo in 2008, Hashim Thaci, has extensive mafia ties and was one of the founders of the notorious Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The KLA is also called the Ushtria Çlirimtare e Kosovës (UÇK) in Albanian and was classified as a terrorist organization linked to the illegal drug trade, among other unsavory endeavors, by the Clinton Administration in 1997. [2] Nonetheless Hashim Thaci led the delegation to the Rambouillet conference in 1999 that established the pretext for NATO’s war on Yugoslavia. [1] Previous leaders of NATO-fostered Kosovo governments have been no better.

In December 2004, Haradinaj, who was considered a protégé of the US, became prime minister of Kosovo. However, he had to resign in March 2005 because the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicted him for crimes against humanity. Among other things, he was accused of the forceful abduction of civilians, kidnapping, unlawful detention, torture, murder and rape. He was acquitted in April 2008 for lack of evidence, after nine out of ten prosecution witnesses died violently and the tenth withdrew his statement after narrowly escaping an assassination attempt. [1]

We’ve known for a long time that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) was a very dirty group for the US and NATO to get in bed with, and that the public platitudes about human rights and self-determination were simply hypocrisy and smokescreen. Remember the first chapters in this report? NATO launched its war on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999 based on the pretext that Slobodan Milosevic's forces were conducting ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. But that's not what really concerned the US and NATO leadership because their plan was always to break up the Balkan region, divide and conquer, to gain control politically and economically and then ‘defeat’ Russia, even though the Cold War was over and the Soviet Union had disintegrated. When presented with the choice between peace and demobilization, or war and escalation, NATO chose war.

The KLA was fighting, with NATO support, to wrest Kosovo away from Serbia, and then to turn it into an enclave that excluded Serbs. Now that Kosovo has its independence the details are safer to leak out. The KLA was running torture and extermination camps in Albania, capturing Serb civilians and shipping them across the border, fueled by intense ethnic hatred and a ‘good guys’ versus ‘bad guys’ mentality that NATO sponsored. The KLA even cut out the organs of Serbs and sold them for transplants.

Information about terrible activities taking place at Burrel first reached the International Centre for the Red Cross in 2000 after KLA fighters reported that Serb civilians were taken there in 1999 and their organs removed and sold abroad for transplant operations. An investigation at a farmhouse carried out by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) found syringes, empty bottles of drugs including strong relaxants, drip bags and other surgical equipment. Human blood covered the floor. [3]

And NATO had to know at least some of these atrocities were occurring, but they didn’t care because they needed the image of good Albania versus evil Serbia. And of course the corporate mass media was there every step of the way, assisting the plan with biased commentary and an endless deluge of supportive propaganda. 

1. Kosovo’s dirty secret: the background to Germany’s Secret Service affair, by Peter Schwarz, WSWS, December 1, 2008.

2. The Criminalization of the State: "Independent Kosovo", a Territory under US-NATO Military Rule, by Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, February 4, 2008.

3. Kosovo: Evidence of KLA torture and murders revealed by BBC, by Paul Mitchell, WSWS, April 11, 2009.


NATO Expansion

During the first Bush presidency Gorbachev agreed to allow Germany to be reunited, but he needed a security guarantee that NATO would not expand into the Warsaw Pact countries of Eastern Europe. The United States agreed that NATO would not move east, and so Gorbachev essentially pulled the plug on the Soviet Union and ended the Cold War by allowing East and West Germany to merge, triggering a domino effect throughout the region.

Yet despite the golden opportunity for new cooperation the United States did not uphold their promise, and NATO has been expanding rapidly ever since. Russia has been justifiably incensed, and not just over the broken promise, but for very simple and apparent security reasons. Russia feels threatened by an opposing military alliance that uses every opportunity to expand around them while destabilizing their periphery. Consequently, Russia has no confidence in NATO’s official pronouncements as being a purely defensive and innocent organization. Russia's perceptions matter greatly to all of us because as long as NATO is an opposing force, real or imagined, it effectively recreates a totally unnecessary Cold War situation along with all the associated waste, stupid belligerence, and authoritarian politics.

NATO’s march eastward continues because it perfectly serves the narrow interests of the West’s power elite. And so in March 2009 NATO announced that the small states of Croatia and Albania will join NATO. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that he intends to fully reintegrate an estranged France into NATO; a move that has been greeted with less than stellar enthusiasm in France amidst public concern that it undercuts local control over national defense. Undeterred, Sarkozy is set to announce France’s return to NATO during the 60th anniversary event. Sarkozy, of Jewish origin himself, has evinced notable enthusiasm for the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan and threatened wars against Iran, and wants to do everything he can to gain the approval of both Israel and the Zionist-dominated political establishment in the United States. 04.04.09


And our nuclear weapons are going to stay in Europe!

“We should recognize that as long as nuclear weapons exist, NATO will remain a nuclear alliance.”
- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Estonia, April 22, 2010


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Updated: January, 2011
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