The US did not set up US/AFRICA Command as a social service agency - Rozoff
Robles: There’ve been reports that Russian anti-aircraft and defensive systems are the only thing stopping a US invasion of Syria. How much credence would you give to those reports?
Rozoff: I think that’s a very plausible contention. And that in fact over the decades, during the Soviet period and in the post-Soviet period, that Russia has maintained military-to-military ties with the Government in Syria and has, as is the Russian policy, provided strictly defensive weapons to an ally, to a client state, to Syria.
And that I’m sure anyone in the know about this thing wouldn’t be talking about it. But I think it is a safe assumption that Syria has an integrated air defense system that is substantially more advanced and effective than anything that the countries that have been in recent years the victims of US-NATO military onslaughts have had. For example Libya and certainly Afghanistan, Iraq after over a decade of sanctions, and perhaps even Yugoslavia. So, one of the factors, as you mention, that may have already prevented more reckless provocative military action by Western powers against Syria is the fact that Syria has the ability to protect itself.
As you are aware of and this has been mentioned by the Russian officials is the deployment of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Interceptors in Southeastern Turkey may in fact, in part, be to effectively enforce a no-fly zone over the border land, you know, the area on the other side of the Syrian border, to prevent aircraft, as well as cruise missiles or other theatre missiles, from being used in that area, and as such, may be preparatory to plans to cripple or neutralize the Syrian air defense system on a more ambitious scale. That’s certainly a possibility.
While reflecting on developments in Syria, and even more so, developments by outside players meddling in internal affairs in Syria, and I’m talking of course about the United States and its NATO allies and their allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council; the monarchies and sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf, we have to recall that Russia does have its only military facility in the entire Mediterranean in Tartus, in Syria, and that, affecting, as the West and its Persian Gulf allies intend to, regime change in Damascus would inevitably lead to the eviction of the Russian Naval Forces, or their ability to use the facility in Tartus.
We also have to recall that Syria is the only Arab country currently that has particularly close state-to-state relations with Russia, as it does with Iran, same category, and that with the displacement or the replacement of the Government in Damascus we will see the entire Mediterranean Sea basin turned into a Pentagon-NATO stronghold. With no… Libya being knocked out last year and Lebanon presumably going the way of Syria, so that Russian strategic interests in the Mediterranean would be seriously hurt with the overthrow of the Government in Syria and its replacement by a US puppet regime.
Robles: Can you give a prediction, more or less, or see where things are going into Africa?
Rozoff: Yes, along with the so called pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, which is meant to create an alliance based on a model of NATO by the US and the several of its NATO allies, like Britain and France who are past colonial powers in the East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, to encircle and contain China much as NATO expansion in Europe is aimed to do it vis-à-vis Russia, but we are also seeing the increased military focus on Africa by the United States, by the entire continent, following in the wake of the creation of the US-Africa Command. The latest, and in terms of the number of countries included, the largest, overseas US regional military command in history.
And because nations like China, Russia, India and others are reaching out to Africa for trade, economic and natural resource purposes, we are seeing the US increasingly intensifying its military presence and activity on the continent. A recent article many of your listeners may be aware of, documents the United States is to deploy, initially at least, limited contingents of military forces to 35 nations in Africa. Depending on how one counts them there are 54 members of the African Union, so that’s a pretty sizeable percentage of the total number of countries in Africa. And that’s in addition of course to the US-NATO war against Libya in North Africa last year.
Robles: So, what exactly are they going to be doing in these 35 countries?
Rozoff: Most of what we’re talking about will be covert activities. The official explanation is “fighting al-Qaeda forces in Africa”. I cannot believe there are 35 nations in Africa that are threatened by al-Qaeda in Africa or anything like it.
Robles: That’s been the whole pretext of this global expansion and this global war on terror. When is this going to stop? How is this going to stop? I mean: how can they just keep doing this over and over? Invade country after country after country on the same fantasy pretext? I mean: no one is ever going to be able to stop this until we all become slaves or what?
Rozoff: You are raising a very interesting question, particularly as it seems to be a real drum beat for military intervention in Mali, in Northwest Africa, and again, ostensibly to combat al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Robles: I mean they created al-Qaeda, for Christ’s sake!
Rozoff: Yes, that’s the irony that I think needs to be emphasized, is the fact that while the US and its NATO allies are actively supporting al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda -linked foreign fighters and terrorists against governments in Libya and Syria, and who knows where else tomorrow, they are using the pretext of fighting al-Qaeda to introduce military forces into Africa, throughout the continent of Africa indeed. So, I think we can take that at face value, that this is a charade, this is a pretence.
We should also of course, since we talked about earlier, the fact that the US has pivoted to the Asia-Pacific region after having subjugated the greater Middle East, that somebody is playing off an old script, if you will, when they come up with these sorts of bogus excuses, because that really belongs to phase 2, if you will, of post-Cold War global US military expansion. So, they need a new script writer in the State Department and the Pentagon.
Rozoff: The reason why they are increasing military forces in Africa. We know for example that last year the Obama Administration announced a deployment of (special operations) special forces troops to four countries in Central Africa to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army. And they were going to Uganda, the Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan. So, in that case it is clearly not al-Qaeda. The US military forces have been involved in counter-insurgency operations in Mali for several years and not against al-Qaeda but against ethnic Tuaregs.
So, they’ll use whatever excuse, I guess is at hand, you know, fighting pirates in the Horn of Africa, or pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, or the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa, but at the end of the day, the US did not setup the US-Africa Command as a social service agency. They set it up as the scaffolding for increased US military activities in Africa. And what we’ve seen, with the confirmation of the fact that the Pentagon is going to deploy new military forces to 35 nations, is that the US is intent on establishing a permanent military presence throughout the length and breadth of Africa.