Russian/Chinese prevention of Syrian invasion: historic event – Rick Rozoff
This is John Robles, you are listening to an interview with Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the stop NATO website and international mailing list. This is part 2 of an interview in progress. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com
Robles: Two points I’d like to make and then you can continue any way you’d like. You said you wanted to speak about the human toll, the heroin wreaks on the world. The US taxpayers have spent, as far as I know, the figures I saw were about $7 billion in fighting narcotics production; opium production, heroin production – in Afghanistan. I believe that figure is correct, if I’m wrong, please, tell me. So, they weren’t there to stop heroin production. They weren’t there to get rid of the Taliban, while making secret deals with them and they are going to come back in power even more powerful than they were before. So, what was the real point of 12 years in Afghanistan then?
Rozoff: Well, I mean, I know what the answer to that is, but it is not what generally is offered as an explanation for the invasion, the occupation of Afghanistan. To read between the lines slightly all one needs to do, is read Anders Fogh Rasmussen or any other NATO official on their website. I invite people to visit the NATO website, it is where you are going to find out the truth but you may have to decipher it a bit.
And what you hear again and again is that Afghanistan has proven the testing ground or the training ground for a developing interoperability between NATO members and partners. Again, over 50 nations provided military forces for NATO in the ongoing war in Afghanistan. And what NATO walks away from… the Afghans of course have suffered a disastrous period, the region likewise and the world security has certainly not gained in any manner from the spot, NATO has walked away by having fused or integrated military units from 50 different countries.
People without any sense of history may not appreciate the significance of that fact, but for a moment, you know, the act of belligerence, even in WW II, for example, I’d be surprised if formally there were more than 20 on the side of the allies and now you’ve got 50 serving in one country, under one military command – NATO. That’s what NATO used Afghanistan for. It was simply a training ground for consolidating an international military strike force, what is referred to as the NATO Response Force, the nucleus of which will be this 50-nation alliance that NATO was able to put together inside Afghanistan.
On the question of the human toll of heroin, I’ll be brief on that but I’ll be personal. I worked in the past as a substance abuse counselor. I worked at methadone maintenance clinic. I know what heroin addiction does to people. I’ve seen young women out prostituting themselves. I’ve seen young babies left in their own feces and so forth as their parents are hunting down a fix. I know what heroin does to people. And if you multiply that on the level of hundreds of thousands or millions and this is what is happening, this is the untold cost of the Afghan war.
And you don’t have to look too far. The Russian Government will tell you what the figures are in their own country in heroin deaths and heroin addiction. The Iranian Government will tell you the same. I’m sure the five nations of Central Asia can say something similar. I’m sure that Pakistan and India are suffering this as well. And this is going to take generations to rectify.
Robles: It is an insidious cycle, and I’d really like you to comment on this as well, the whole heroin cycle includes the cultivators, the farmers – right? It begins with them, it ends up with somebody dying in a stairwell in Chicago with a dirty needle in their vein or something. But in between you’ve got government officials, you’ve got even US diplomats, maybe, you’ve got the CIA, you’ve got NATO officials and everyone is making money of it. How much do you think the US and NATO have profited from the entire heroin scheme in Afghanistan?
Rozoff: That’s rich ground for speculation. I would reference I think, as you were talking about the golden triangle earlier, Alfred McCoy he is a Professor, or was at least, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He wrote a book on just that topic, about the Southeast Asia during the war in Indo-China.
Robles: I’ve actually read that.
Rozoff: Good, talk about it! Inevitably, all the other plagues follow in the track of war; famine, disease, drug addiction, prostitution, dislocation. It is as sure as the night follows day you are going to find that. However, there is a more insidious side that you are alluding to, which is that one way of in the post WW II period of financing counterinsurgency groups that are artificially governmental in nature is through the drug trade.
This occurred in central America, it has occurred in south America, it has occurred in Indo-China, it has occurred in the Balkans, it is occurring currently in south and central Asia where cutthroat mercenary outfits do the dirty work, particularly for the CIA, and in return are allowed to run narcotics trafficking, perhaps, in conjunction with US military forces, as a way of paying themselves outside of the congressionally scrutinized budget. You know, it is a slush fund or a secret budget of some sort. We just have to assume that’s going on.
There has been discussion, I think there’s even been some degree of proof that there is a drug route that goes now from Afghanistan possibly through the air base in Manas in Kirgizstan fairly directly into the Balkans, probably Kosovo. And we know that criminal gangs or syndicates affiliated with the putative government of Kosovo, of Hashim Thaçi, have been directly implicated in running the preponderance of the drug trade throughout Europe. So, it would seem logical that opium, cultivated, farmed, semi-processed in Afghanistan or even processed into heroin and other by-products would then make their way into the drugs circuit in the Balkans, and from there to the West. It is more than a likely possibility.
Robles: So, this is going through… out of US military installations in Afghanistan to the US base possibly in Kosovo you think or… ?
Rozoff: There has been a discussion about that. And it seems plausible, at the very least. We are talking about the transit center of Manas in Kirgizstan, which is supposed to be closed down finally next year, unless the US raises the bid, as they’ve done in the past to maintain it yet further. But assuming that’s closed down, the US has modernized and expanded several air bases within Afghanistan itself – the Bagram Air Base north of the capital, Shindand near the Iranian border and other places and the US has no intention of vacating those bases ever, I think it is safe in assuming.
So, amongst other things that provide them probably long enough and big enough runways to accommodate strategic aircraft, should the US want to position such in the center of the south Asian region, but also cargo planes – they can bring anything in or out of the country as they choose, much as Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. It is not under any international supervision. The Kosovo force, the NATO military force in Afghanistan is, at least nominally, under the UN mandate but the US military base in Kosovo – Camp Bondsteel, as far as I know, is not inspected by anybody.
There’s been speculation by the Russian officials that if the US chooses to place nuclear weapons, say tactical nuclear weapons closer to the Russian border or the Iranian border, they could do so in Kosovo without anyone being wised up. So, why not narcotics?
Robles: This collusion in narcotics trafficking has been very well documented and proven. And it doesn’t matter how many times Oliver North said “I have no recollection” I mean, this is a fact of their operations.
Rozoff: Yes, war is a filthy business. It is one that by definition really is without ethics. And if Congress puts up even a titular or nominal opposition in any way or demands any sort of supervision of activities, then the Oliver Norths of the world find some way of getting it done otherwise. And that if means arms to terrorist gangs in central America going south and those same cargo planes coming back with marihuana and cocaine coming north, then what is the objection from the point of view of somebody who is willing to kill innocent people. I mean, if murder is justifiable, then what crime is not?
Robles: And you are alluding to?
Rozoff: I mean, you were mentioning the example during the 1980s of the dirty-tricks-operations… oh, not dirty tricks actually, but covert operations run out of the basement of the White House.
Robles: You hit the nail on the head there. I’m sorry, go ahead Rick.
Rozoff: That's actually an allusion to the Nixon committee to reelect the president tactics in 1972. But, you know, be it whatever it is or however we want to call it. I don’t mean to go off on too much of a tangent on that, that is something that, hopefully, enterprising journalists are going to be able to dig up without spending the rest of their life in a dungeon somewhere for revealing the truth.
But in the interim, what we do know about this past year is that it has signaled the beginning of the slowing down of the post Cold War momentum of the US and its military allies around the world.
They still expanded in certain areas, we can’t deny or minimize that. The Asia-Pacific pivot of the Obama administration starting last year, where the new enemy transparently right at this point is China, which is to be encircled militarily by an increased number of new US military bases, including interceptor missile facilities throughout Asia, aimed clearly at China reproducing something analogous to what’s happened with Russia through NATO expansion on the western-southern borders of Russia.
That is something that has occurred, but we’ve seen I think psychologically, as well as maybe a little bit more tangibly, an important pivot with the situation in Syria, as we talked about. And coming out of that a clear resolve by many nations in the world, and we have to remember that Chinese navy is now assisting Russia, the Chinese Navy right now in the removal of chemical weapons from Syria, which a Russian official was quoted as of yesterday as saying: “… this is the first time Russian and Chinese military have cooperated together in a real life crisis.” I think that’s almost a quote.
So, what we are seeing now is the evolution again, and this is so important to emphasize, to underline, of a model of international multipolarity with the basis on international law. And what that means is if countries like Russia and China, who are simultaneously the mainstays of two very-very important organizations – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and what is loosely known as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa now)…
Robles: If I can make a little kind of maybe sarcastic comment, but, are you implying that Russia and China are somehow part of the “international community?”
Rozoff: I know they were written off some time, roughly 22 years ago and you didn’t have to consult their interests in any way or form. That has now changed and it changed pretty demonstrably. And what is evident this past year in particular is that because of consistency and determination we had from both those countries, particularly Russia but China also, we have to recall that in an unprecedented series of actions those three countries three times in succession vetoed the proposed resolutions in the UN Security Council that would have laid the groundwork for a replication of the Libyan model in Syria.
And the fact that Russia and China did not back down even in the face of what is very formidable American ability to mould public opinion internationally and even to have that reflected within the affected countries Russia and China, where media, either from the West or parroting the line of the West oftentimes, is able to influence public opinion domestically in those two countries – that despite all that Russia and China stood their ground, refused to back down.
And we can flash back to some of our earlier programs or interviews with the horribly insulting and condescending, and contemptuous statements made by major US political officials, for example, the former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Dr. Susan Rice – the current National Security Advisor – and others who spoke about Russia and China in terms that really do not belong in international diplomacy in any way or form.
But not withstanding all that the fact is a couple of very significant nations – Russia and China – they’ve proven thus far and no farther, I want to say.
They allowed a resolution against Libya in early 2011 to pass the UN Security Council and saw what occurred, which is six months of US and NATO bombardment of the country, as you indicated, and never again this is going to occur. And this is a very important stand that was taken on the issue of Syria. You know, had it not been Syria, it may have been some other nation. But the fact is – historically it was Syria and this is going to be recorded unquestionably as a major historical turning point.
Robles: Thank you Rick!
That was the end of part 2 of an interview with Rick Rozoff – the owner and manager of the stop NATO website and international mailing list. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com