U.S. European Command
February 27, 2013
NATO allies participate in Proud Manta
U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
AUGUSTA BAY, Sicily: Exercise Proud Manta 2013 (POMA 13), NATO’s largest anti-submarine warfare exercise, began in the Ionian Sea, Feb. 23.
Participants in POMA 13 include four submarines, 16 aircraft and eight surface ships from 10 NATO nations, including the United States.
POMA is an annual at-sea exercise focused on training submarines, ships and aircraft in their NATO Response Force (NRF) roles and missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and precursor operations.
“We are very excited to participate in NATO’s Proud Manta, the world’s largest annual anti-submarine warfare exercise,” said Rear Adm. Frederick J. Roegge, Commander Submarines, Allied Naval Forces South. “While the participants will have the opportunity to exercise a wide range of tactical military objectives, the real value of Proud Manta is improving our ability to work together in a dynamic environment.”
Training with other military forces enhances mutual awareness and maritime capability of the partner nations. POMA 13 helps…interoperability among participating nations.
“Operating any ship, aircraft, or submarine in the maritime environment is never routine, so it’s even more challenging to coordinate eight surface ships, 16 aircraft and four submarines,” said Rear Adm. Roegge….
U.S. 6th Fleet units participating in the exercise are the guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52), homeported in Norfolk, Va., and a P-3 aircraft from Patrol Squadron 4 out of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Participating countries include Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
POMA 13 continues through Mar. 8.
From Under Fire (1917)
Translated by Fitzwater Wray
Some of the invalids break the silence, and say the word again under their breath, reflecting that this is the greatest happening of the age, and perhaps of all ages. Even on the lucid landscape at which they gaze the news casts something like a vague and somber mirage.
The tranquil expanses of the valley, adorned with soft and smooth pastures and hamlets rosy as the rose, with the sable shadow-stains of the majestic mountains and the black lace and white of pines and eternal snow, become alive with the movements of men, whose multitudes swarm in distinct masses. Attacks develop, wave by wave, across the fields and then stand still. Houses are eviscerated like human beings and towns like houses. Villages appear in crumpled whiteness as though fallen from heaven to earth. The very shape of the plain is changed by the frightful heaps of wounded and slain.
Each country whose frontiers are consumed by carnage is seen tearing from its heart ever more warriors of full blood and force. One’s eyes follow the flow of these living tributaries to the River of Death. To north and south and west ajar there are battles on every side. Turn where you will, there is war in every corner of that vastness.
One of the pale-faced clairvoyants lifts himself on his elbow, reckons and numbers the fighters present and to come — thirty millions of soldiers. Another stammers, his eyes full of slaughter, “Two armies at death-grips —that is one great army committing suicide.”
“It should not have been,” says the deep and hollow voice of the first in the line. But another says, “It is the French Revolution beginning again.” “Let thrones beware!” says another’s undertone.
The third adds, “Perhaps it is the last war of all.” A silence follows, then some heads are shaken in dissent whose faces have been blanched anew by the stale tragedy of sleepless night — “Stop war? Stop war? Impossible! There is no cure for the world’s disease.”
Some one coughs, and then the Vision is swallowed up in the huge sunlit peace of the lush meadows. In the rich colors of the glowing kine, the black forests, the green fields and the blue distance, dies the reflection of the fire where the old world burns and breaks. Infinite silence engulfs the uproar of hate and pain from the dark swarmings of mankind. They who have spoken retire one by one within themselves, absorbed once more in their own mysterious malady.
But when evening is ready to descend within the valley, a storm breaks over the mass of Mont Blanc. One may not go forth in such peril, for the last waves of the storm-wind roll even to the great veranda, to that harbor where they have taken refuge; and these victims of a great internal wound encompass with their gaze the elemental convulsion.
They watch how the explosions of thunder on the mountain upheave the level clouds like a stormy sea, how each one hurls a shaft of fire and a column of cloud together into the twilight; and they turn their wan and sunken faces to follow the flight of the eagles that wheel in the sky and look from their supreme height down through the wreathing mists, down to earth.
“Put an end to war?” say the watchers. “Forbid the Storm!”
Cleansed from the passions of party and faction, liberated from prejudice and infatuation and the tyranny of tradition, these watchers on the threshold of another world are vaguely conscious of the simplicity of the present and the yawning possibilities of the future.
The man at the end of the rank cries, “I can see crawling things down there” — “Yes, as though they were alive” — “Some sort of plant, perhaps” — “Some kind of men” —
And there amid the baleful glimmers of the storm, below the dark disorder of the clouds that extend and unfurl over the earth like evil spirits, they seem to see a great livid plain unrolled, which to their seeing is made of mud and water, while figures appear and fast fix themselves to the surface of it, all blinded and borne down with filth, like the dreadful castaways of shipwreck. And it seems to them that these are soldiers.
The streaming plain, seamed and seared with long parallel canals and scooped into water-holes, is an immensity, and these castaways who strive to exhume themselves from it are legion. But the thirty million slaves, hurled upon one another in the mud of war by guilt and error, uplift their human faces and reveal at last a bourgeoning Will. The future is in the hands of these slaves, and it is clearly certain that the alliance to be cemented some day by those whose number and whose misery alike are infinite will transform the old world.
Voice of Russia
February 28, 2013
The US built Al-Qaeda and Osama’s encampments – exclusive interview Kathy Kelly
In Afghanistan any 15-30 year-old-male is a target for US “elimination”, activists were arrested and sent to prison in the US for attempting to deliver a letter to Whiteman Air Force Base, where drone operations are conducted, stating why the United Nations believes drone are illegal, war and killing people is profitable for war-profiteers and the US government knew about war crimes and the stealing of US weapons by former Blackwater-XE Academy but looks the other way. All of these matters and more were discussed in an interview with three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly, the co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Non-Violence.
Robles: Do most Americans know, or is the “man-in-the-street” in the United States right now, are they aware of the fact that al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and even Osama bin Laden, they got their start in a large part thanks to the United States when they were fighting against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan? Do Americans know that?
Kelly: Well, if they do it’s not because they heard it on the mainstream media; they would have had to do some investigating. One of the reasons why initially the United States knew where to bomb potential encampments for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan was because the United States built them.
Robles: Recently there was this white paper came out justifying drone attacks on US citizens and basically it says: “…anyone who is a senior…A US citizen who is a senior al-Qaeda operative or associate…”, back to al-Qaeda: how many American senior operatives of al-Qaeda do you know in the world, or have you ever heard of, or known about?
Kelly: You know there’re some real tragedies associated with that. There was a 16-year-old boy who had gone to a conference in Pakistan and at the conference they had given the youngsters cameras and said: “Try to – because we can’t get journalists into North and South Waziristan, we can’t document what’s happening but maybe you can, and then send the footage out.”
And he was targeted for assassination and killed. He wasn’t an American but al-Awlaki of course was, and this means that people with no due process, with no judge, jury, no trial, sometimes no charges whatsoever, people are targeted for assassination.
They actually say that if you are a young man between the ages of 15 and 30, you potentially could be a figure that the United States could eliminate, without any consultation. The president has a Tuesday morning meeting with about 100 people sometimes, on a conference call, and then they draw up their list.
Robles: Medea Benjamin told me that’s called Terror Tuesdays, is that correct?
Kelly: Yes. She has done such a wonderful job. I hope people will read her book. And of course she stays on top of these issues.
There are many people all across the country right now who are protesting drone warfare. Our co-coordinator Brian Terrell is serving a six-month prison sentence because he crossed the line at the Whiteman Air Force Base where they are operating drones. And he just wanted to deliver a letter with Mark Kenney who served four months in prison for the same action, and Ron Faust who was given five years probation. They had a letter showing the Air Force, how it is that the United Nations believes that the usage of drones is a violation of international law.
Robles: Before we started the interview you mentioned some peace volunteers in Afghanistan. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about them and what they’re doing? And some of the things you are doing on your trips to Afghanistan?
Kelly: Well, a group of youngsters have decided that they want to live without wars. They are not interested in revenge and retaliation, even though some of them lost their fathers, their brothers, uncles. Even though they’ve been among those displaced by the war.
Young Abdullah, when he was just a toddler had to be held over an open flame so that they could thaw out his body when they lived in a wretched refugee camp.
But these kids – I shouldn’t say kids – these young men and women have decided that it is in their best interests by far to try to overcome ethnic divisions. So, the young men living together inter-ethnically and every morning they welcome seamstresses and students from different tribes and backgrounds and ethnic groups to come into their home, and some are heading to an English class and some are part of seamstress cooperative. And they delivered 2,000 very heavy quilts (they’re called duvets) to the neediest of families, and they fanned out up the mountainside and into the refugee camps to find out, where these duvets would most be needed.
The women seamstresses made them: they came every day and collected materials and then they’d send their little kids with wheelbarrows bringing back the finished duvets. And it is a very astounding project to me.
All the duvets were delivered free of charge and the women were paid a meager salary. And it was international, through Voices’ outreach, that paid for the materials and for this meager salary.
So we see small microcosmic examples of people wanting to work together to alleviate suffering, to build a better world. I find it so hopeful when I go to Afghanistan, but I’ll tell you it’s also really cold, and the harsh winters are hard even if you are in a room with a wood-burning or coal-burning stove, and people have respiratory diseases all across the country.
The conditions are very, very hard because the infrastructure is so awful. I mean the electricity goes out and your water might be dependent on a well linked to the electricity, and then you are without water. And you know, that’s how people get cholera; they can’t flush down their own wastes.
Robles: Who is causing all this suffering in your opinion?
Kelly: Well, I do want to remind us that the United States has been spending $2 billion a week, much of it lining the pockets of corrupt warlords. $2 billion a week on its military presence, while right across the street from some of the military bases there are sprawling refugee camps.
So, I think any time the US public wages a war of choice and chooses as its target civilians who are living in one of the poorest countries in the world, then I think we have to do with the cause of a great deal of suffering. We may not know it, but we are not innocent.
Robles: $2 billion a week. How many years has it been, over 12 years now? You’d think that every single Afghan person would be living in a mansion driving a Bentley for that much money.
Kelly: Yes, of course there are people who have ammassed huge fortunes, and before we point fingers at Afghans who have, through corruption amassed fortunes, we should look at the war profiteers and major US companies in the United States and the universities that take their contracts and the faith-based communities that look the other way and the media people that refuse to tell the story. So, there is plenty of blame to go around, and there are plenty of other countries that have fought their wars within Afghanistan.
Pakistan and Iran are fighting proxy wars as we speak today, and in many ways there are Cold War competitions going on between the United States and China, the United States and Russia, and all of those could be solved through negotiation and dialogue and coming to our senses, but instead people like to continue these wars because there is profitability in killing people.
Robles: You talked about war profiteers. Can you tell us a little bit, because we are almost out of time, about the former Blackwater who was then XE, and are now called Academy I believe?
Kelly: This is a group of mercenaries. They are people who have contracted themselves out at great profit. I mean, the going rate for the high-end security contractors is a salary of $129,000 a year, first $89,000 of it tax free. And uh, they’re adapted Special Forces Operations, and Academy, the new Blackwater incarnation I suppose, is building Camp Integrity on 10 acres of land just outside of Kabul which will train people in Special Forces Operations.
They got the contract from the United States government, even though the US Government certainly knew that their antecedents in Blackwater had been convicted of killing Afghan civilians and also allegedly killing Iraqi civilians, in Tahrir Square and also of stealing weapons from the United States military, but they must have fantastic inner connections to keep getting these contracts.
Robles: Before they changed their name to XE they were being investigated for war crimes in Iraq. What percentage would you say there are of private mercenaries and contractors in Afghanistan? And are those counted in any way when the US government talks about a drawdown or a withdrawal of forces?
Kelly: You know, it is so hard to learn that information. I honestly don’t know. You don’t see Westerners at all in the neighborhood where I am, when I’m moving around the city. It’s odd because when you are in the airports you see plenty of Westerners and most of them seem to be connected to some kind of military or security group. But I don’t have any numbers.
I think that also the CIA must have many, many operatives and they don’t have to give that kind of information out, but it is a good thing to keep exploring and trying to better understand. At one point there were as many security contractors in Iraq as there were US military, and the same could be true for Afghanistan.
Robles: Last point, this training base they are building, I was going to ask, is this supposedly to train Afghan peacekeeping forces or Afghan security services?
Kelly: I certainly wouldn’t call it peacekeeping. I think that would be euphemistic.
Robles: Yeah sure!
Kelly: The different versions of Afghan armed troops are staggering in their number; there is the Afghan local police and the Afghan National Security Force, you’ve got special operations now being trained amongst quite a few different military branches. So, it is not certain that the more armaments, the more weapons that flow into the country the more rage that is being felt between different ethnic groups, the more of a prescription for civil war there is, and so it is very alarming to see more sophisticated weaponry coming in and people being trained, to train their weapons on their own people.
Robles: Ok, thank you very Kathy. Unfortunately we are out of time. I really appreciate you speaking with me.
Kelly: Thank you!
This is John Robles you were listening to an interview with Kathy Kelly the co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Thanks for listening, and I wish you the best.
Voice of Russia
February 28, 2013
‘I salute the former Soviet Union’ – interview with Dr. Zalmay Gulzad
The former Soviet Union built everything in Afghanistan including the bases which the U.S. is now occupying. The United States is supporting radical Islamic groups, including Chechen terrorists, to destabilize countries they are targetting. Syria is the most progressive secular country in the Muslim world yet is being attacked by the West and all of the U.S. actions are back-firing on them; they believe that quick victory is the proper route. They are worng. All of theses issues were discussed in an interview with Dr. Zalmay Gulzad, an Afghan native who teaches political science at Harold Washington College in Chicago.
Gulzad: The point is that what the United States is doing and NATO is doing: they want to prolong this war with the collaboration of the Pakistani army. The very government in Pakistan is a joke, it’s silly, is nothing. The decisions are made by the military; the military is with the United States.
Robles: What are the reasons, I mean, why does the US want to be in Afghanistan and in your opinion, resources or what?
Gulzad: It is very important geopolitically and I will tell you why. Afghanistan is now very poor and I salute the Soviet people because the Soviet Union (the former Soviet Union) because Afghanistan has so many resources and now they have revealed how many resources they have. The Soviet Union did not take any of it. They did not take advantage of it, because we have petroleum, we have copper, we have so many things now.
They gave the biggest copper mine to the Chinese now, and in central Afghanistan they have steel and all that kind of stuff.
So anyway, the reason that United States wants to prolong this war and stay there is because, first of all, we have a 150-mile border with China. Then we are very close to Russia, if you pass Tajikistan, it’s Russia, and then we have Iran, then we have the Persian Gulf, so Afghanistan is a very important.
Now I’ll tell you that these bases that United States is using today which were made by the Soviet Union. One in the north of Afghanistan is an American base now. Shindand, the Soviet Union built it, it is bordering with Iran and Pakistan. Then Kandahar, then you have Bagram, which is north of Kabul, now they are building a base almost everywhere including Badakhshan. Badakhshan is not too far from Tajikistan and the Chinese border.
And also the United States is supporting the Uyghur Muslim group and Tajiks in Xinjiang Province, which is bordering Afghanistan. They are making trouble for the Chinese Muslims. And also the United States is supporting the Chechen group in Russia.
Robles: Which group did you say in Russia?
Gulzad: In Russia, the Chechen group.
Gulzad: And also in China they are supporting Uyghur and Tadjiks.
Robles: I think they would support any group that will destabilize or weaken any country that they want to attack, I think.
Gulzad: Absolutely. My point is that when they are saying that the Cold War is over, they were anti-communists. What the hell? I mean today Russia is not a Communist country.
Robles: No, we are not.
Gulzad: But the point is that United States has a phobia and they want to be the imperialist power. What they are doing with the world today, my God!!
I always discuss with my colleagues here that: Okay, how many countries did the Soviet Union invade? How many countries has the United States invaded in our lifetime? How many wars? Just recently: Panama, Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Iraq, for no reason, for no reason.
Robles: Iraq, Iran, the list goes on and on.
Gulzad: In Syria, they want to know, why doesn’t the United States want to – if they are such champions of human rights and democracy – why don’t they say anything about Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, all these kingdoms?
Gulzad: Why Syria? Syria is a more secular, more progressive country.
Robles: I don’t understand… Okay Syria; they were just attacked, about 50 people, this was yesterday, 53 people are said to have been dead by an al-Qaeda group.
Israel is bombing Syria, and the United States, so we have Israel, al-Qaeda and the United States working together (Working together right?) to destroy Syria. Doesn’t that seem strange?
Gulzad: Absolutely. And how it’s backfiring!! Let me tell you something. Just a few months ago I gave an interview on American television here, on the so-called Arab Spring. So what’s happened? I told them, the United States is not supporting the progressive group, intellectuals. They don’t have to be left group but just regular progressive, secular groups.
What they did, they supported the most radical Islamist group, the problem was Mubarak, because they were sick and tired of Mubarak. They wanted to find a new puppet. What happened is it backfired. Guess what? Who won? The Islamic fundamentalists.
In Libya they did the same thing because they are too stupid here because they think that quick victory will bring them happiness and glory. So, what they did in Libya. they did the same thing. Guess who took over? Islamic fundamentalists.
This is what happened in Tunisia: Islamic fundamentalists.
Right now, yesterday, the Congress of the United States decided to give millions of dollars to the radicals of Syria. They are not giving it to intellectuals, to secular groups, though they claim that they are fighting for democracy and secular regimes. But they are giving it to them because they want to get overthrough…
A lot of this is backfiring, so thre, four countries backfired on them. And then after Syria, mark my words for it, it is Iran. It’s not that I love Iran, Iran regime is a fascist regime, but my point is that the United States will go there because if you look from Morocco to Iran, to Afghanistan, to India and everything, guess what? All of them are pro-American except Iran and Syria. These two places are not puppets.
And the expansion of NATO, against who? Now the Warsaw Pact is not there! Against who? Why do you expand this? You took Saakashvili from Chicago. Do you know Saakashvili is from Chicago, he was a lawyer here, they picked him up and made him the president of Georgia, and now they find another puppet. Do you know that Karzai’s brother had a restaurant in Chicago? They picked him up from Chicago and gave him the same thing.
Robles: Bashar Assad was a dentist in London. I couldn’t understand why they went against him.
Gulzad: It is amazing, isn’t it? If you look at Lithuania, so many places, look at Ukraine, the guy who was the former president of Ukraine, his wife was from the United States, from Chicago.
Robles: I’ve talked to many people and it seems like most of the world is being controlled by some part of Chicago for some reason.
Gulzad: Chicago is the mafia city. It is just amazing.
Robles: Now listen, here is a hypothetical that I don’t think anyone has ever talked about, but… You say the plan is backfiring. We see, everybody sees: ok, they are funding these terrorists, they are promoting terrorism actually. They are creating more terrorists. They are financing radical-Islamic-violent-people, right?
Robles: Is it possible that that is what they want?
Gulzad: Well, they want to destabilize their enemy. The only way you can weaken a country and society is with a civil war, and how you do it? Like for example in China, you promote Tibet, you promote the idea of Islamist Uyghur and Tajiks, it’s one problem.
You go to Russia, make Russia very busy with the terrorists through Georgia, which Sakashvili was helping. From Georgia you head then to Dagestan, and the Chechen area and you could create problems for Russia. That is the only way, see?
And then you make excuses that I am staying in Afghanistan because the Taliban are still in power and al-Qaeda is still alive.
Robles: That is what I am talking about. And then they can continue the endless War on Terror because they keep creating more and more terrorists themselves.
Gulzad: You know there is a theory, the weak countries in the world, what they do is they are diverting attention from the inside misery of the people, from internal forces because inside it is empty and miserable and worse economy, so what they do they tell the people that outside is going to…
That’s the history of United States, think about it. Castro is going to attack Florida. The Soviet Union is going to come and get us. The Russians are coming. Okay? Then Saddam Hussein is going to come and invade the United States. Then they created this man, this stupid man with a beard called Osama, Bin Laden, okay?
So, what they did, they made Americans wave the flag! “We are Americans!” And the became very patriotic and all this. So, they continue finding these external unbelievable forces.
And their motive is this: as I said before and just recently I gave another interview, that what they want to do is they want to stay in Afghanistan. They want to stay in Iraq. Permanently. They will stay in Afghanistan because of Russia, because of China, because of the BRICs: China, India, and Russia, in this part of the world.
Plus they don’t like Iran, so they want to destabilize Iran through Afghanistan. These are all excuses.
Where are these terrorists? If you want to finish this thing, tomorrow you tell Pakistan that: “You will not get a penny.” Pakistan is a very poor country, and it is all over, give me these terrorist groups, one by one.
You were listening to an interview with Dr. Zalmay Gulzad, a Professor at Harold Washington College in Chicago. Thanks for listening, and as always I wish you the best.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
February 27, 2013
NATO Secretary General holds talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen held talks with the new US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday 27 February in Rome in the margins of a Transatlantic Dinner on global issues. “Today we discussed many key issues on NATO’s agenda. These include the progress of our mission in Afghanistan, maintaining NATO’s robust partnerships, and a fair burden-sharing in our Alliance,” the Secretary General said.
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said he was delighted that Secretary Kerry chose Europe for his first official trip. “We have often met in Washington, so I’m delighted that he’s chosen Europe for his first trip abroad. And I’m looking forward to working with him closely in the future,” he said.
The bilateral meeting took place just ahead of a “Dinner in Transatlantic Format” hosted by the Italian Foreign Minister, Giulio Terzi, which included foreign ministers from NATO and European Union nations, as well as the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton.
The Secretary General thanked the Italian Foreign Minister for hosting the event. “We face many challenges and we have a lot of work to do,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen. “Europe and North America are separated by an ocean but are united by core values and interests because our partnership is vital for our own security and the security of the world.”
Estonian Public Broadcasting
February 28, 2013
Paet and Kerry Talk Air Bases, Cyber Defense
In his first meeting with newly-appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet raised a range of bilateral issues from development aid cooperation to defense.
The Rome meeting, in which the foreign ministers of Latvia and Lithuania also took part, was undertaken as part of Kerry’s 11-day tour of Europe and the Middle East – his first junket to the region since taking office on February 1.
During the meeting, Paet expressed Estonia’s desire to continue defense cooperation with the US, both bilaterally and within the framework of NATO. Speaking about NATO’s Baltic air policing mission, Paet suggested that one of its rotations be conducted from Estonia’s Ämari air base starting from 2015, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Since it began in 2004, the mission has been conducted from Lithuania.
Speaking on Afghanistan, Paet said that the goal of handing over security responsibility to local troops by the middle of this year was realistic, as they already conduct 80 percent of the operations. He added that Estonia has decided to increase development aid to Afghanistan and send more civilian experts for police and NATO training.
Paet told his US counterpart that Estonia was interested in continuing cooperation on cyber defense, and suggested that the countries put down their plans for bilateral cooperation on cyber development in a joint declaration.
The Estonian foreign minister also noted the successful joint development cooperation projects that the countries had undertaken in Belarus and Moldova, and suggested that such projects be extended to Central Asia.
Paet invited Kerry to take part in a meeting of the Internet Freedom Coalition – a group devoted to keeping the internet free of government interference – to take place in Tallinn in 2014.
February 28, 2013
AKEL wastes no time in slamming PfP proposal
By Elias Hazou
“Our people know all too well that NATO and its arms, like the Partnership for Peace, promote anything but peace. Instead, as events themselves have demonstrated, NATO is responsible for waging unjust wars, promoting juntas and dictatorships, and bringing death and bloodshed across the planet.”
Cyprus is the only EU member state [indeed the only European state except for micro-states] that is neither a NATO member state nor a member of PfP.
…AKEL yesterday censured President-elect Nicos Anastasiades for his stated intent to apply for Cypriot membership of the NATO-affiliated Partnership for Peace.
A party spokesman warned such a move would backfire on the divided island.
It was the first skirmish between the soon-to-be opposition AKEL and the Anastasiades government which takes power in a few days.
In announcing plans to join the Partnership for Peace (PfP), Anastasiades has manifested a major foreign policy shift from the outgoing administration of President Christofias.
AKEL is strongly opposed to any links with NATO, holding it responsible for what it says was a conspiracy to split the island in 1974.
Through its spokesman, AKEL reiterated yesterday that joining the PfP would constitute a major strategic and diplomatic blunder.
The move would cast doubt on the Greek Cypriot side’s commitment to demilitarising the island subsequent to a political settlement, Giorgos Loucaides said.
In addition to undermining Cyprus’ credibility, he said, the move would play into the hands of Turkish diplomacy by taking the spotlight off Ankara.
Loucaides dismissed the notion that Cyprus was being blamed for its absence from the PfP programme, which is said to be causing problems in EU-NATO defence relations.
“We would actually be scoring an own goal because, by joining, the pressure would be taken off Turkey and shifted onto Cyprus,” he argued.
“Our people know all too well that NATO and its arms, like the Partnership for Peace, promote anything but peace. Instead, as events themselves have demonstrated, NATO is responsible for waging unjust wars, promoting juntas and dictatorships, and bringing death and bloodshed across the planet,” said Loucaides.
The matter should be debated at the National Council before any decision was made, he urged.
Anastasiades’ intentions, said Loucaides, served to expose DISY’s dogmatic persistence to “deliver Cyprus into the US-NATO tentacles.”
There was no immediate response from the DISY camp.
PfP is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) programme aimed at creating cooperation between NATO and other states in Europe and the former Soviet Union; 22 states are members.
Cyprus is the only EU member state that is neither a NATO member state nor a member of PfP.
In February 2011 parliament voted to apply for membership in the programme, but President Christofias vetoed the resolution.
The Cyprus Center of Studies, a foreign policy and strategy think tank, favours joining the programme, and has compiled an extensive report on the subject.
Their report concluded that the cons of joining PfP were “virtually nil,” said Christos Iacovou, the think tank’s director.
On the other hand, a major drawback of not joining, he said, is that Cyprus is not eligible to receive classified information as part of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
Iacovou dismissed also the notion that joining the PfP would drag the island into NATO-led military operations.
Neutral states such as Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Ireland and Finland are all members of PfP, but have no intention of joining NATO, he said. [All have sent troops to Afghanistan]
What’s more, most of the former Warsaw Pact nations (including Russia) are now members.
From After the Bombs (1979)
Translated by Asa Zatz
As soon as the bombing ended a new government was in. The distinguished man of arms, Colonel Castle Cannons, was in the Big Chair. The great colonel had been lifted into power by the first explosion right after he completed the long marathon from Fort Leavenworth in the wheatfield state of Kansas, covering the full distance in purple trunks and checkered socks. Upon reaching the palace he found the Big Chair adrift. Not losing a beat he jumped into it, shouting “If you can’t take the heat, you won’t hold your seat.” He settled back, comfortably, holes in the socks and all. After recovering his breath, he immediately ascended to the presidential balcony to explain to the people why bombing was necessary for the country’s progress. The days went by and he continued preaching against the horrors posed by the enemies of democracy. He delivered his sermons from dusk till dawn with a two-hour break between twelve and two.
The bombs. The bombs have stopped.
He already knew that. He knew what bombs were. His mother had shown him. Dropping gently from the sky like feathers and about the size of a thumb. And she was right. They had stopped. He hadn’t seen any for days now. Maybe months. Maybe even years. Did it make any difference? He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen one. But for sure, for sure, not this day. No. If it had been this day he wouldn’t have been able to come out. It had to have been some other day. Yes. The bombs had stopped. His mother had said the very same thing, now he remembered. The bombs had stopped.
His mother had told him about streets. Streets were where the houses didn’t grow. He was walking on one, looking for the fountain. He wanted to tell the little fountain his name. He knew his name. That was something else his mother had told him. His name was Máximo Sánchez. And if anyone said his name he knew they were talking to him. That’s how easy it was. He knew how old he was, too. He knew so much already! He was nearly five. Four and a half, actually, but he felt older when he said nearly five…Everything had its own name. He had to learn the names of a lot of things, especially now that he could go outside. To the street. Street was what they called where he was now. It was narrow and dark and zigzagged between the ruins of the houses. And there were bodies everywhere. They didn’t move. They were called corpses. And his mother had told him not to touch them. You got sick if you touched them. They were full of worms and worms were bad. He had asked his mother if he was full of worms, too, but she said only corpses. Poor little corpses! It was too bad they were dead. He couldn’t play with them…
Trend News Agency
February 27, 2013
Cooperation with NATO discussed in Kazakhstan
Steppe Eagle…exercises are annually held on Kazakh territory each year with the participation of Kazakh servicemen and representatives of foreign countries within the Individual Partnership Action Plan between Kazakhstan and NATO. In September 2012, the exercises were carried out in the spirit of the Partnership for Peace programme. Units of the Kazakh, U.S, British and Tajik Armed Forces as well as representatives from Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, France, Ukraine and Switzerland took part. [Kazakhstan is the only nation outside Europe, with the South Caucasus included, with a NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan.]
Astana: Kazakh Defence Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov has today met with Latvian Ambassador Juris Maklakovs on the occasion of the Latvian embassy obtaining the functions of the NATO Contact Point Embassy in Kazakhstan, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday.
‘The sides discussed the prospects of bilateral cooperation within the Partnership for Peace programme’, a statement said.
In this case emphasis was made on the development of the peacekeeping potential of the Kazakh Armed Forces.
The cooperation between the Kazakh Defence Ministry and NATO within the Partnership for Peace programme is aimed at developing a national peace-keeping potential, participation in joint training and exchange of experience in planning, implementation and comprehensive support for peacekeeping operations.
NATO contact embassies are not diplomatic missions, but play an important role in spreading information, its goals and directions of policy. Contact embassies also help in organising visits of the Secretary General, members of the International Secretariat and other NATO members to the country.
Steppe Eagle peacekeeping exercises are annually held on Kazakh territory each year with the participation of Kazakh servicemen and representatives of foreign countries within the Individual Partnership Action Plan between Kazakhstan and NATO. In September 2012, the exercises were carried out in the spirit of the Partnership for Peace programme. Units of the Kazakh, U.S, British and Tajik Armed Forces as well as representatives from Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, France, Ukraine and Switzerland took part.
The Partnership for Peace training centre of the Military Institute of Land Forces (KAZTSENT) was established to train Kazakh servicemen to NATO standards and procedures.
In 2008 KAZTSENT was recognised as the 19th Partnership Training and Education Centre.
More than 30 courses and workshops have been held on the basis of KAZTSENT with the participation of Kazakh servicemen, NATO member states and partners, including the courses ‘Military terminology of the English language in multinational operations’ and ‘NATO staff procedures’.
The course ‘Familiarising with Central Asia and Afghanistan’ was successfully held with representatives of NATO international headquarters, the NATO School, NATO member states and partners, as well as representatives of the Defence Ministry of the Republic of Korea in 2012.
Russian Information Agency Novosti
Febuary 27, 2013
Strategic Balance Being Disrupted – Putin
MOSCOW: Systematic attempts are being made to undermine the existing strategic balance of forces, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday at a meeting with senior military staff at the Russian Defense Ministry.
“Systematic attempts are being made from the outside to disrupt the strategic balance in this or that manner. In fact, the second stage of the US global missile defense system is being launched, and the possibilities for further NATO eastward expansion are being explored,” Putin said.
“The danger of the militarization of the Arctic also persists,” he added.
Those challenges affect Russia’s national interests and determine the priorities of its foreign policy, Putin said.
Those priorities include Eurasian integration, expanding the single economic space and possibly turning it into an economic union, strengthening ties with Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) partners and the BRICS group of emerging economies, and boosting the military capabilities of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Moscow has consistently opposed NATO’s US-led missile defense program for Europe, claiming it undermines Russia’s nuclear deterrent. NATO maintains the program is aimed at emerging nuclear weapon states such as Iran and North Korea.
February 27, 2013
Russia to build up defenses proportionately to threats – Putin
MOSCOW: Russia will keep building up its defense capacity proportionately to the forecast threats, Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Ministry of Defense board on Wednesday.
Instability zones are multiplying and expanding around the world. Armed conflicts continue unabated in the Middle East and in Central Asia. The risk of radicalism and chaos spilling over into regions neighboring Russia is increasing, Putin warned.
“At the same time we regularly see attempts at undermining the strategic balance. The US has launched the second phase of building a global missile defense system; NATO is probing into the possibility of its further expansion to the East. Some countries are pursuing policies aimed at militarization of the Arctic,” Putin said.
“All of the above-mentioned challenges directly affect Russia’s national interests and determine our priorities,” he said.
Putin pointed to such national priorities as close integration in Eurasia, stronger common economic space and transition to creating a future Eurasian Economic Union. He also mentioned deeper partnership within the SCO and BRICS, promotion of genuine multi-polarity and mechanisms of collective, allied response to likely challenges to regional security, including the OSCE. “In a word, Russia will be building up its defense potential proportionately to the expected threats,” Putin concluded.
Voice of Russia
February 26, 2013
US plans to deploy another radar in Japan
The USA plans to deploy another radar in Japan to keep an eye on missile launches, the Japanese NHK TV and radio company said Tuesday.
It says that a relevant agreement was reached last week at a meeting in Washington between Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama.
It is planned that this radar will be deployed on the Kyogamisaki Base of the Japanese self-defence forces on the coast of the Sea of Japan.
It is also planned that it will be able to locate and track down missiles launched by North Korea.
The first radar is already functioning in Aomori Prefecture in the northern part of Honshu Island.
Voice of Russia, Interfax
Xinhua News Agency
February 26, 2013
U.S. to deploy second X-band radar in Japan
TOKYO: Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said here Tuesday that Japan and the United States have decided to deploy the second X-band radar in Kyoto to cope with missile development of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Onodera told a press conference that the decision was made in recent Japan-U.S. leader talks and the deployment of such missile-tracing radar is to deal with DPRK’s missile development.
Japanese Self-Defense Forces’ Kyogamisaki base in Kyoto’s Kyotango city was considered the best place to install the radar.
However, local government said that if the central government could not relieve anxiety of local residents over the installation, it will not allow the radar to be deployed in the Kyogamisaki base.
The United States has deployed an X-band radar in north Aomori Prefecture and will tremendously improve the accuracy of the second one, said the defense minister.
February 26, 2013
‘US-led NATO forces perpetrated crimes against Afghans’
U.S.-led NATO forces have committed crimes against the Afghan people since they invaded the country more than a decade ago, an analyst said.
“NATO has perpetrated any number of crimes against the people of Afghanistan since the invasion of that country in October of 2001”, Rick Rozoff, manager of the organization Stop NATO, told Press TV’s U.S. Desk on Tuesday.
“It’s clear that NATO has been an occupying power, an abusive occupying power, has done nothing for the Afghan people, has exacerbated their condition in terms of refugees, in terms of deaths, in terms of national humiliation and it’s time for NATO to leave the country entirely”, he added.
On Sunday, the Afghan government called for the withdrawal of U.S. special forces from Wardak and Logar within two weeks, accusing them of fuelling “insecurity and instability” in the volatile provinces.
Residents in the Wardak province have complained to human rights groups and provincial leaders of being terrorized in recent months.
Kabul said that the foreign forces had been involved in the torture and murder of innocent people.
From his preface to the French edition of Jack London’s The Iron Heel
For various reasons the War, which showed itself so cruel to the lower middle classes, stripped them without forcing from them a single cry, for they are dumb creatures! The war was not too harsh to the workman employed in the greater industries, who by turning shells found the wherewithal to live, and whose wage, meagre enough when once the War was over, yet never fell too low. The masters of the hour saw to that! And after all, these wages were nothing but paper which the wealthy industrial chiefs, themselves in close touch with the higher powers, had little difficulty in procuring. And so the workman managed to exist the best way he could. He had heard so many lies told that he was no longer astonished at anything. It was just this time that the Socialist party selected to break up and reduce itself to dust. It was a grand defeat for Socialism, and accomplished without either dead or wounded! How came it about? How was it that all the forces of a great party fell asleep? The reasons I have given are insufficient to explain the matter. The War must count for something.
Do not let us jeopardize the future; it is our own. Plutocracy will perish. Already, in its very strength we can perceive signs of its ruin. It will perish because all caste government is vowed to death. It will perish because it is unjust. It will perish swollen with pride and at the height of its power, just as slavery and serfdom have perished. Even now if one observes it attentively one can see that it is decrepit. This War which the great commercial interests of all the countries of the world desired, this war which was ITS war, this war in which IT placed ITS hope of new riches, has caused so widespread and so deep destruction that international Oligarchy itself has been shaken, and the day is drawing near when it will crumble down upon a ruined Europe. I cannot tell you that Oligarchy will perish at once, and without a struggle. She WILL struggle. Her last war will perhaps be long, and of varying fortunes. Oh, you heirs of the Proletarians! Oh, you generations of the future, children of the days which are to come! You will struggle, and when reverses begin to make you doubtful of the success of your cause, you will again take courage and say with the noble Everhard:
“Lost for this time. But not for ever! We have learned many things. Tomorrow the cause will arise once more, stronger in wisdom and in discipline.”
February 26, 2013
Extrajudicial Killings through Drones
By Sajjad Shaukat
U.S.-led coalition forces have failed to stop incursions of heavily-armed insurgents in Pakistan from the Afghan side who have killed more than 100 personnel of Pakistan’s security forces in the last two years, while targeting the infrastructure of the affected area. In fact, the U.S. seeks to make North Waziristan a scapegoat for NATO’s defeat in Afghanistan by continuing the illegal mass murder of innocent people through drones.
The CIA-operated strikes which have continued in Pakistan’s tribal areas since 2004 have intensified under the Obama administration. In one of the major drone attacks, more than 40 civilians and policemen were killed on March 18, 2011 in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. In the past few months, these unmanned aircraft killed more than 150 people, especially in North Waziristan and South Waziristan.
Under the pretext of America’s so-called counterinsurgency programme, US President Barack Obama has broken all records of human rights by the extrajudicial killings of innocent people through CIA-operated drone attacks in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen in general and Pakistan in particular, while the United States claims to be the protector of human rights not only inside the country, but also all over the world.
Recently, the United Nations has opened a a probe regarding the Predator drone strikes. In this regard, Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism, said, “A UN investigation into targeted killings will examine the legality of drone strikes…will investigate 25 strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Palestinian territories. It will also focus on civilian killings by the strikes.”
For the first time a U.S. senator, Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of the Predator attacks, openly admitted that 4,700 people have been killed by raids in America’s secretive drone war. The number exceeds some independent estimates of the death toll. According to the research of the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between June 2004 and September 2012 these unmanned aerial vehicles killed between 2,562 and 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom between 474 and 881 were civilians, including 176 children. In this respect, a report published by The Guardian pointed out on August 11, 2011: “The CIA claims that there has been not one non-combatant killed in the past year…it is a bleak view: more people killed than previously thought.”
Nevertheless, details collected by Pakistani journalists show that civilian casualties through unmanned aircraft are higher than indicated by U.S. officials. In the last four years, more than 900 innocent civilians and only 22 al-Qaeda commanders have been killed by these aerial attacks.
While justifying these air strikes by the spy planes, counterterrorism advisor to President Obama, John Brennan, who faces a Senate confirmation hearing for his nomination for CIA director, is the main player, advising Obama on which strikes he should approve.
During his first presidential campaign especially, Barack Obama had pledged to reverse the excesses of the Bush era in relation to the war on terrorism. He also promised to reformulate a counterterrorism policy in accordance with the legal and moral values of the U.S. Contrary to his assertions, Obama followed the Bush approach to counterterrorism in its worst form by expanding and accelerating the Predator strikes.
In this context, The New York Time on May 26, 2011, in an article which was written with the assistance of several counterterrorism advisers of the administration, revealed: “President Obama has become personally involved in the process” and “has normalised extrajudicial killings from the Oval Office, taking advantage of America’s temporary advantage in drone technology. Without the scrutiny of the legislature and the courts, and outside the public eye, Obama is authorising murder on a weekly basis.”
Notably, the American constitution explicitly grants the right to declare war to the Congress so as to restrain the president from chasing enemies around the world, based solely on his authority as commander-in-chief by waging secret wars. But instead of capturing militants alive and to avoid giving the right of due process of law to them in a court, President Obama has openly been acting upon a ruthless policy of targeting killings by supervising the CIA-controlled drone warfare.
Besides, a report by the New America Foundation disclosed that President Obama has “authorised 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President Bush authorised during his two terms.” The report explained: “When the U.S. drones attack Pakistan’s tribal areas, it is not just the 10, or 50, innocent civilians they kill; these killings provide reason to the young for joining terrorist groups waging war against U.S. and of course Pakistan…[W]hile killing 10 militants, the U.S. has murdered more than 1,400 Pakistanis not involved in any terrorist activities. Could it not imply that it gave birth to another 1,400 militants?”
Based on research, a report, “Living Under Drones,” prepared by experts from Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law disclosed that the U.S. campaign of drone “strikes in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt is terrorising civilians 24 hours a day and breeding bitter anti-American sentiment [T]have killed thousands of people…even stopping their children going to school for fear of being targeted.” The report urged Washington to rethink its drone strategy, arguing it was counterproductive and undermined international law.
Citing unnamed U.S. officials, The Washington Post reported on January 21 of this year: “The Obama administration is completing a counterterrorism manual that will establish clear rules for targeted-killing operations…the guidebook would contain a major exemption for the CIA’s campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan to continue striking Al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan.”
Recently retired defense secretary Leon Panetta has defended these attacks on Pakistan’s tribal areas under the pretext of North Waziristan-based Haqqani network militants whom he blamed for several assaults on American and NATO bases in Afghanistan. On the other hand, U.S.-led coalition forces have failed to stop incursions of heavily-armed insurgents in Pakistan from the Afghan side who have killed more than 100 personnel of Pakistan’s security forces in the last two years, while targeting the infrastructure of the affected area. In fact, the U.S. seeks to make North Waziristan a scapegoat for NATO’s defeat in Afghanistan by continuing the illegal mass murder of innocent people through drones.
It is notable that Director General of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam, who visited America in August, 2012, emphatically told then-CIA Director David Petraeus that Predator strikes which are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty must be stopped. He pointed out that these strikes were proving counterproductive, giving a greater incentive to fundamentalist and extremist elements in Pakistan, and are increasing anti-U.S. sentiment among the people.
However, setting aside the parliament resolution, rallies and processions by Pakistan’s political and religious parties, and ignoring the new Pakistan-U.S. rapprochement, without bothering about any internal backlash, these aerial attacks keep on going on in the Federally Administerd Tribal Areas (FATA).
In fact, such a duplicitous American practice contains a number of covert designs. The fresh wave of strikes by the pilotless aircraft has thwarted the offer of militants and the Pakistani government for peace talks. And, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has accelerated subversive activities in the country. Now, the U.S. wants to incite the Haqqani network as it has over the past 15 months, as most of the drone strikes have targeted North Waziristan. So, these aerial attacks are provoking the tribal people against Pakistan’s security forces, and increasing the recruitment of insurgents. Another aim is to create a rift between Pakistan’s armed forces on one side and the political and religious parties on the other. Besides, Pakistan is the only nuclear country in the Islamic world. Hence, the U.S., India and Israel are determined to destabilise it. The drone campaign is also part of this game.
The CIA-operated strikes which have continued in Pakistan’s tribal areas since 2004 have intensified under the Obama administration. In one of the major drone attacks, more than 40 civilians and policemen were killed on March 18, 2011 in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan. In the past few months, these unmanned aircraft killed more than 150 people, especially in North Waziristan and South Waziristan.
On the one side, top U.S. officials have repeatedly said that America needs Pakistan’s help not only for the peace process with militants, but also for stability in Afghanistan in the post-2014 scenario, while NATO troops have started transporting their equipments via the Pakistani route as part of the exit strategy; but on the other, U.S. spy planes flying over Pakistani tribal regions are undermining international efforts of stability both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including a prospective peace dialogue with the Afghan militants.
Recently, ex-U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have opposed Obama’s faulty drone strategy. Even, new Secretary of State John Kerry has also criticised the unabated use of uniateral drones in Pakistan, saying, “The U.S. engagement with the world is not just about drones.”
Besides, there is widespread criticism from some U.S. allies and human rights groups which have remarked that these aerial attacks are illegal and unethical and a violation of the targeted countries’ sovereignty, the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international law, but the U.S.’s warrior President Obama remains obstinate in continuing extrajudicial killings through drones.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations
February 26, 2013
NATO reaches into Asia-Pacific on behalf of US foreign policy interests
By Clifford A. Kiracofe*
With respect to the Asia-Pacific, NATO developed the Tailored Cooperation Packages which took in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea. This led to these nations cooperating in the Afghan war, extending NATO’s reach through Central Asia to the Pacific Rim…NATO advocates have called for a formal expanded security mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region which could expand to include more “democratic” states…NATO as an instrument of US global policy will play a significant role for years to come as Washington eyes the Asia-Pacific.
Will NATO become a key factor in the US pivot to the Asia-Pacific? Some leading circles in the US and in Europe see it as part of a system to contain a rising China.
The Obama “pivot” policy, now called “rebalancing,” aims to step up security cooperation with “democratic” Asia-Pacific states. Though some cooperative relations with China have been developed, an edgy tone appeared in Washington’s more forward regional diplomacy, along with visibly stepped up regional military activities and deployments.
The globalization of NATO is integral to the Obama administration’s Asia-Pacific policy, and reflects continuity with several decades of US policy.
Though many believe NATO is an anachronism whose mission ended with the end of the Cold War, powerful transatlantic circles keep it going and search for new missions and news areas of operation outside the North Atlantic. International terrorism and the rise of China, for example, serve as justifications.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen does not hesitate to preach the globalization of NATO. In his remarks to the recent annual Munich Security Conference, Rasmussen emphasized this process, and praised the work of former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright for assisting NATO’s globalization.
How has NATO evolved historically? NATO began in 1949 as a Cold War mechanism aimed at the Soviet Union. At the end of the Cold War, in 1991, intense debate began in the US over the future of NATO.
Critics said that its time was over and that the US should wind down participation. After all, it is a large financial burden on the US. Europe had fully recovered from World War II and was in fact an economic and diplomatic competitor of the US.
Europe enjoyed a free ride for its security over the years because it spent relatively little on defense and NATO than did the US. US taxpayers picked up the tab, and still do.
Debate focused on the NATO mission. The dominant transatlantic elite pushed for “out of area” missions outside the geographic North Atlantic region. Afghanistan is an example of such mission creep reflecting NATO concern with Central Asia.
To expand areas of operations, NATO created new mechanisms such as the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue, and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.
In 1992, NATO developed ties with Japan and also newly emerged Central Asian nations. The Central Asian nations participated in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, later renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Additionally, Central Asian nations began to participate in the NATO Group of Defense Ministers.
With respect to the Asia-Pacific, NATO developed the Tailored Cooperation Packages which took in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea. This led to these nations cooperating in the Afghan war, extending NATO’s reach through Central Asia to the Pacific Rim.
What about today? NATO advocates have called for a formal expanded security mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region which could expand to include more “democratic” states.
There are several ideas for increasing security mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific. For example, some would like to turn ASEAN more toward security issues and then toward relations with NATO. Others believe the new Trans-Pacific Partnership could evolve into a military partner of NATO.
Some observers see Washington’s strategy as one of phased encirclement of China so as to “manage” the Eurasian and Asia-Pacific security environment, especially the rise of China.
Some Western strategists go so far as to argue that to make such a strategic concept more effective in the long run, it is necessary to nudge Moscow away from too close ties to Beijing. They believe that cutting against Moscow’s Eurasian option aids the long range containment of a rising China.
While strategic concepts and mechanisms are evolving, NATO as an instrument of US global policy will play a significant role for years to come as Washington eyes the Asia-Pacific.
*The author is an educator and former senior professional staff member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Voice of Russia
February 26, 2013
Countries will start to shoot down US drones – exclusive interview with Rick Rozoff
The world is just starting to take notice of the expansion of US drone usage worldwide. US drones are becoming increasingly larger, deadlier and greater in number (now at approximately 8,000) and pose a threat to world peace. In addition, for the US’s AFRICOM and NATO, Mali is important due to its strategic location near uranium reserves, hence the recent military operations in the country, which are characterized as another “energy grab” by Voice of Russia regular contributor Rick Rozoff.
This is John Robles. I am speaking with Mr. Rick Rozoff, the owner, manager and editor of the Stop NATO website and mailing list.
This is part 2 of an interview in progress.
Robles: There were reports that Iran captured a US drone last year and they reverse-engineered it and are now producing massive quantities of their own drones. Would you like to comment on that?
Rozoff: It would serve Washington right if they did, I mean it truthfully would. The US has pioneered international drone warfare; this is something that has developed over the last decade, actually over the last 12 years. It is a new form of warfare, it is global in scope, it is deadly, as we know.
My personal estimates are the amount of people killed by the drone missile attacks, Hellfire missiles fired by drones in no fewer than six countries at this point, John – in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen – is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000. By some accounts, including Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper a couple of years ago, they estimated the 96 percent of those killed in Pakistan were civilians and had no connection with al-Qaeda.
So, the fact that the US is covering the globe, including our own country I fear, with surveillance drones, but also with lethal drones capable of firing missiles is something the world should counteract, and if one of their drones gets taken down and is duplicated by another country, I don’t see how the US could complain, except for copyright violations.
Robles: How are they going to react if one day Iran decides to assassinate somebody in the United States with the drone?
Rozoff: That’s an unlikely possibility. Unfortunately, there is only one nation that has done that, at least on any scale. I don’t know what Israel has done in that respect with Heron drones but I believe that the US is really alone.
And we have to keep in mind, incidentally, that in the year where the so-called Global War on Terror was inaugurated, or launched, in 2001, the Pentagon had 200 drones in its arsenal. These are almost entirely surveillance drones.
As of last year the estimate is the Pentagon had 8,000 drones, which is a 40-fold increase.
These are increasingly larger, capable of carrying more, and larger, and more lethal weaponry, we are talking for example about the Predator drone, the most common one, now being superseded by the Raptor and perhaps even more sophisticated and deadly versions of unmanned aerial vehicles in the future.
So, this is something the world is finally, if a bit belatedly, taking note of, is that once again one country and one country only reserves to itself the right to launch aerial assassinations around the globe without having to account to its own laws, its own Congress, much less to the international community.
Robles: So, you don’t think it is possible that in the coming years other countries will start countering US drone strikes with their own?
Rozoff: I think they will shoot them down. I mean as has happened in Afghanistan. It was brought down by the Iranians evidently according to the account you related.
There will be anti-drone measures taken by other countries. I don’t know of any other country that evinces an interest targeting people for murder around the world.
Robles: Sure, they could start targeting the people who are running the drone programs as being a threat to their citizens.
Rozoff: I would hate to speculate on that score and I would probably end up in penitentiary somewhere if I did. Sorry.
Robles: Let’s not do that.
Rozoff: We do have to see that the US is substantively engaged in supporting the French military operation, indeed the French war in Mali, that US aircraft are refueling French war planes, Rafales and Mirages, for air attacks inside the country, US cargo planes are transporting…the US Air Force is running an operation in France to transport troops and materiel, including weapons, inside Mali for the campaign.
And we have to recall that the US military has been involved in Mali itself for several years now. An incident perhaps four or five, perhaps even more, years ago occurred where a US military transport plane was shot at, and caught fire, that is, gunfire from the ground by Tuareg rebels in the north where the US was aiding and abetting the government of Mali against the rebels in the north, engaged in a counterinsurgency war.
So, that is something not new to the United States and it is part of what is called the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative, which is a misnomer. It grew out of the Pan Sahel Initiative of the US State Department supposedly to combat Islamic terrorism in the Sahel region, that is, the area south of the Sahara Desert that runs all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Horn of Africa; that is a very strategically vital part of the world. And US Africa Command, AFRICOM, has run any number of special forces war games, military exercises in Mali, but in the general region under the code name of Operation Flintlock, so the US has been involved pretty substantially in that.
The same US air units that are supporting the French in Mali currently are those who supported AFRICOM and NATO’s war against Libya two years ago. You know, operating out of Britain in the first place.
So, what we see is a further expansion of military operations inside Africa, which have included in recent years NATO air-lifting Burundian and Rwandan troops into Somalia for the ongoing fighting there, the US assisting that, including with air strikes and drone missile attacks.
So, what you are seeing is kind of a war front extending around the same latitude that Sahel is at, but all the way from West Africa and Mali to East Africa and Somalia, and in between increasingly in areas like the western part of Sudan, Darfur, the Central African Republic.
The US and its NATO allies, and its NATO allies are, we have to recall, all the major colonial powers that had formally divided up and ruled the African continent – Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, later on Germany and Italy, also Turkey during the Ottoman period – and this is a force that is not going back to supposedly restore order or pacify Africa again. I am sure the Africans on the ground, if not their governments, are nervous, they recollect what happened the last time these guys were there.
Robles: Now, Rick, back to Mali there for a minute: a few minutes ago you mentioned something about NATO being a guarantor of energy supplies. Right?
Rozoff: Uh huh.
Robles: I read an article by somebody, I can’t exactly remember where it was, they said the whole purpose for the French assistance of the Malian government was to ensure the delivery of Uranium to France from Niger. Do you know anything about that?
Rozoff: It is an extremely good point. The estimates I’ve read is that 80 percent of energy produced in France is from nuclear power plants. They are dependent, of course, on uranium to run those plants, and Mali and neighboring Niger are sources for a good deal of that uranium, and the fighting that’s been going on for a number of years in the north of Mali with the Tuareg rebels – in large part the Tuaregs wanted not only autonomy and a certain degree of participation in the central government in Bamako, but also wanted some say into what happened with the proceeds of the uranium mines in the north of the country where they reside. So, in large part I think we can see this, as being another energy resource grab.
You were listening to the interview with Rick Rozoff, the owner, manager and editor of the Stop NATO website and mailing list.
End of Part 2. Please visit our site in the near future for the third and final part of this interview.
Missile Defense Agency
February 25, 2013
Arrow-3 Interceptor Successfully Conducts First Flight Test
The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) completed a successful flight test of the Arrow-3 interceptor missile today.
This is the first flyout test of the Arrow-3 interceptor and was conducted at an Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea.
At 00:52:31 EST, the Arrow-3 interceptor successfully launched and flew an exo-atmospheric trajectory through space, according to the test plan.
The Arrow-3 interceptor was designed to provide another layer of defense against ballistic missiles, to add interception opportunities to Israel’s Arrow Weapon System…
The successful test is a major milestone in the development of the Arrow-3 Weapon System and provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities…
IMOD and MDA officials conducted the flight test. The main contractor for the integration and the development of the Arrow Weapon System is MLM of the Israel Aerospace Industries in conjunction with Boeing.
From Ends and Means (1937)
The first of the political causes of war is war itself. Many wars have been fought, among other reasons, for the sake of seizing some strategically valuable piece of territory, or in order to secure a ‘natural’ frontier – that is to say, a frontier which is easy to defend and from which it is easy to launch attacks upon one’s neighbors. Purely military advantages are almost as highly prized by the rulers of nations as economic advantages. The possession of an army, navy and air force is in itself a reason for going to war. ‘We must use our forces now,’ so runs the militarist’s argument, ‘in order that we may be in a position to use them to better effect next time.’
The part played by armaments in causing war may properly be considered under this heading. All statesmen insist that the armaments of their own country are solely for purposes of defence. At the same time, all statesmen insist that the existence of armaments in a foreign country constitutes a reason for the creation of new armaments at home. Every nation is perpetually taking more and more elaborate defensive measures against the more and more elaborate defensive measures of other nations. The armament race would go on ad infinitum if it did not inevitably and invariably lead to war. Armaments lead to war for two reasons. The first is psychological. The existence of armaments in one country creates fear, suspicion, resentment and hatred in neighboring countries. In such an atmosphere any dispute easily becomes envenomed to the point of being made a casus belli. The second is technical in character. Armaments become obsolete, and to-day the rate of obsolescence is rapid and accelerating. At the present rate of technological progress an aeroplane is likely to be out of date within a couple of years, or less. This means that, for any given country, there is likely to be an optimum moment of preparedness, a moment when its equipment is definitely superior to that of other nations. Within a very short period of time this superiority will disappear and the nation will be faced with the task of scrapping its now obsolescent equipment and building new equipment equal to, or if possible better than, the new equipment of its neighbours. The financial strain of such a process is one which only the richest countries can stand for long…
The fact that armaments are to a great extent manufactured by private firms and that these private firms have a financial interest in selling weapons of war to their own and foreign governments is also a contributory cause of war.
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
February 25, 2013
First rotation of U.S. Air Force personnel, aircraft arrives in Poland
By 2nd Lt. Katrina Cheesman
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
This increased cooperation between the two nations will strengthen international interoperability for NATO allies through regular combined training exercises.
The Av-Det in Poland makes it possible for Poland to host other Allied Air Force elements and to serve as a regional hub for air training and multi-national exercises. The Av-Det also facilitates and enables combined U.S. and Poland training and exercises to increase air support to NATO.
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany: The first rotation of aircraft to the Poland Aviation Detachment (Av-Det), Detachment 1, arrived at Powidz Air Base, Poland, on Feb. 22. For this first rotation, a number of U.S. Air Force 37th Airlift Squadron C-130J Hercules and personnel from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will train with the Polish Air Force at Powidz Air Base from Feb. 22 to March 9.
While types of U.S. aircraft will vary, up to 200 uniformed military personnel and civilian contractors rotate on a quarterly basis. Sixty-six U.S. Air Force personnel from Ramstein Air Base will interact and train with the Polish Airmen. This increased cooperation between the two nations will strengthen international interoperability for NATO allies through regular combined training exercises.
The Av-Det was activated in November 2012 and marked the first enduring presence of U.S. military members on Polish soil. The Av-Det in Poland makes it possible for Poland to host other Allied Air Force elements and to serve as a regional hub for air training and multi-national exercises. The Av-Det also facilitates and enables combined U.S. and Poland training and exercises to increase air support to NATO.
“We’re going to see for the first time the fruits of our labor,” Major Matthew Spears, Detachment 1 Commander, said on the occasion of the first aircraft and personnel rotation. “Having the 37th Airlift Squadron deploy, execute, and redeploy successfully will bring a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to the members of the Av-Det.”
Although U.S. Air Force aircraft have trained previously in Poland, this first rotation differs from other occasions. “The Av-Det focuses on opportunities to engage with [the Polish Air Force] on all fronts,” said Spears. “The Av-Det seeks to increase interoperability, not just with our aircrews but across the entire spectrum of both air forces’ capabilities.”
Trend News Agency
February 25, 2013
Turkish police disperse pro-Syria demo in Hatay
Clashes have broken out between Turkish police and supporters of the Syrian government in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay, Press TV reports.
Police on Saturday used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse the demonstrators who were calling for an end to Ankara’s interference in the internal affairs of Syria.
The demonstrators also protested against the presence of US forces in Turkey.
Over the past few months, Turkey has also been witnessing demonstrations against the deployment of NATO’s Patriot missiles and the presence of foreign troops in the country.
Germany, the Netherlands, and the United States have each deployed two missile batteries along Turkey’s border with Syria.
The missile systems became operational about a month ago. Ankara says the deployment is necessary to counter ‘threats’ from Syria. However, Damascus has called the move ‘provocative.’
On February 15, the Syrian government sent a letter to the United Nations, censuring Turkey’s ‘destructive’ role in the turmoil that Syria has been experiencing for nearly two years.
February 25, 2013
Lebedev: NATO asks Ukraine to increase peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, Liberia
Ukraine is considering the issue of increasing its peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan and Liberia
Chernihiv region: Ukraine is considering the issue of increasing its peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan and Liberia, Defense Minister Pavlo Lebedev has said.
“We have been asked to consider the possibility of increasing the number of our peacekeeping forces, including in Afghanistan and Africa, as well as in other hot spots,” the minister said at a briefing at the Desna military training center in Chernihiv region on Saturday.
Analyzing the results of his visit to Brussels for a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, Lebedev noted that relevant proposals were passed to the president of Ukraine, who would consider them and make a decision.
Indo-Asian News Service
February 23, 2013
NATO may keep up to 12,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014
Brussels: NATO is considering maintaining a residual force of 8,000-12,000 troops in Afghanistan after the end of 2014, the Afghan defence minister said here Friday.
The details of the plan are still under discussion, Bismullah Khan Mohammadi told reporters after a NATO defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels.
Pentagon chief Leon Panetta declined to discuss numbers, but stressed that any residual force would include troops from other NATO members as well as from the US.
His comments came after German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that Washington planned to keep up to 12,000 US troops in Afghanistan after the scheduled end of NATO combat operations.
“The reports that the US told allies that we are considering 8,000 to 12,000 US troops after 2014 are not correct,” Panetta’s spokesman, George Little, said.
“A range of 8,000 to 12,000 troops was discussed as the possible size of the overall NATO mission, not the US contribution,” he said. The post-2014 residual force is supposed to concentrate on training and advising the Afghan military.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan now stands at around 100,000 personnel, down from a peak of 140,000. Washington plans to reduce the US contingent by 50 percent over the course of this year, to 34,000 troops.
Voice of Russia
February 24, 2013
The West is adept at demonizing whoever they want to go after – exclusive interview with Dr. Edward Herman
Renowned author Dr. Edward Herman spoke with the Voice of Russia’s John Robles regarding the facts surrounding the Srebrenica massacre. In part 2 of the full interview, Dr. Herman speaks about how the West, the CIA and NATO manipulate the media to demonize whoever they want to attack and how friends become evil enemies at the drop of a hat. His opinion of the War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia is something you have to listen to or read for yourself. Enjoy.
Robles: Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Dr. Edward Herman. He is a Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. And he is also the author of several books, namely “The manufacturing consent”, he wrote that with the Noam Chomsky, and “The Srebrenica massacre: evidence, context and politics”.
You said the West or the US wanted a reason to get Serbia. What exactly were those reasons?
Herman: After the fall of the Soviet Union the West – the US and its allies – no longer wanted to support an independent Yugoslavia. It was a social democratic state, it was relatively independent and they didn’t want it to continue and would prefer to have it broken into pieces which they could control. So, they encouraged Slovenia and the Bosnian Muslims and the Croatians to leave Yugoslavia. And the only ones who wanted to keep Yugoslavia together were the Serbs. So, the Serbs did try to keep them together but there was mutual fighting and there were efforts to settle the whole business and let them exit more or less peacefully, but the West sabotaged those agreements.
This is a famous set of episodes: There was an attempt for the Lisbon agreement in 1992 to sort of solve some of the problems with a peaceful resolution and the Bosnian Muslims were encouraged by the United States to reject that agreement. So, they fought one another mutually, trying to establish land control and this caused a tremendous amount of killings. The Srebrenica massacre was part of this mutual ethnic cleansing and struggle for land control. But behind it all was the fact that the West supported the dismantling of Yugoslavia. And the Serbs were their enemy because the Serbs opposed this dismantling. So, the Serbs were the victims of all the West’s activity.
Most important, possibly, apart from the sabotaging of this peace agreement, was the setup of the Yugoslavia Tribunal. And the Tribunal was and remains a complete instrument of NATO and the United States and it went almost entirely after Serbs, and it actually helped to sabotage peace. It was really a judicial arm of NATO with the Serbs as victims. And so, eventually they went after Milosevic. All these efforts of the Tribunal were to dismantle Yugoslavia and a proper political life. If you could criminalize all the Serb leaders, you could prove that Serbia was the bad guy and that NATO and its deeds, including the bombing war against Kosovo, that NATO would look like it was engaging humanitarian intervention with this judicial backup of the Yugoslav Tribunal which was a fraud, which was a travesty.
There is a wonderful book by John Laughland entitled “Travesty”. It is a study of the Yugoslav Tribunal and its devastating. Actually another good book is by Michael Mandel called “How America Gets Away with murder” which also has a very good discussion of the Tribunal and International Criminal Court, and the extent to which they are effectively arms of the West, they are not judicial institutions at all, really public relations arms of the West.
Robles: After WW II there was an agreement not to reorganize Europe. And I’ve read some materials saying that Yugoslavia was the first experiment for the U.S. in their game of geopolitical chess to reestablish or redefine the borders of Europe. Do you think that was successful and where do you think that has led us today?
Herman: I think it was a very successful operation from the standpoint of the United States and NATO because this independent social democratic entity was destroyed by the West and it left a series of states that are dependent, allied states to the West. Serbia, which was once an independent group is now a groveling, kind of pathetic failed state, they failed. By the bombing and by the long blockade or sanctions against Serbia, it is now groveling before the West trying to get into the European Union. It was dismantled and taken apart.
Robles: There are some people in Serbia who are as you say groveling for the West. But there is a large percentage of Serbians who know the reality of what happened and really hate the West because they know that their country was destroyed.
Herman: I agree with you completely. I’m talking about the people who run this, those in power. It is true that there is a very significant minority, or maybe it is even a majority…
Robles: I think it is a majority, but you just said the key word there – those in power. Right.
Herman: You know, I think that vast number of Serbs are resentful of what has been done to them. But the West has arranged that the power structure has been picked so that friends of the West retain political power and they do the groveling.
Robles: And there is so much of a media blackout of anything that counters that evil Serb stereotype that they promoted in the West.
Herman: Absolutely, yes. The standard procedure of the United States and the NATO powers is to demonize whoever they are going to go after. So, Milosevic was made into a devil and the Serbs were made into an evil population. And of course the Bosnian Muslims love that and latched onto it and they’re still using it to achieve some of their ends. Countries find it extremely difficult to throw off the burden of demonization and hatred by the West. After the first Vietnam, we allegedly lost that war, but we damaged Vietnam horribly, we actually succeeded in maintaining an 18-year boycott of this victim to whom we ought to have been paying huge reparations. We actually should be paying gigantic reparations to Serbia for the illegal bombing war. But the West does this demonization and the demon charge hangs on.
So, in each successful target you find this demonization process at work and the hypocrisy involved here is absolutely mindboggling because sometimes you have us changing our mind in midstream as with Saddam Hussein, when he warring against Iran in the 1980s, he was a friend if the United States and they actually provided him with weapons of mass destruction. And then he became worse than Hitler. But the media doesn’t stress this and avoid it; they ignore the fact that he was our ally and then the next day he is a demon.
Robles: Same thing with Muammar Gaddafi. I mean he became a friend, again, what you were saying. Disarm! Disarm! Oay, he disarmed. The same with Hussein, he disarmed.
Herman: I don’t think we ever really loved Gaddafi or Assad but we did get along with them at least for a while. But Gaddafi was always a handy villain we could turn to, like in the Lockerbie case, that was really an amazing business, after Pan Am 103 was shot down.
Robles: Sure! Do you think he was behind that? Do you believe that?
Herman: No, no, absolutely not! Right off the bat, the shootdown of Pan Am 103 followed six months after the U.S. shooting down an Iranian airliner, killing 290 people. And six months after that was the Pan Am 103. Everybody knew and in fact the CIA claimed for two years that Iran and Syria had been behind that bombing. But the geopolitics changed and suddenly we had to deal with Saddam Hussein, we needed Iran and Syria to be our temporary friends and Gaddafi was brought into the picture. The convenient villain. I’ve studied that Lockerbie case and he had nothing whatsoever to do with the shooting down of Pan Am 103.
But it is like the Srebrenica massacre. The capability of the West and the media and the CIA to manipulate facts and demonize and to have an effective case against whomever we have demonized – it is amazing how the West does this.
That was the end of part 2. You can find part three on our website at english.ruvr.ru
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
February 23, 2013
NATO Defence Ministers visit Patriot deployment
The German, Dutch and Turkish defence ministers paid a joint visit to NATO Patriot batteries in Turkey on Saturday 23 February, in a signal of Alliance solidarity.
The Turkish defence minister Ismet Yilmaz thanked Allies for their support. ”We are very pleased at how quickly NATO responded to our request to reinforce our air defences. I personally want to thank my fellow Ministers from Germany and the Netherlands for their important contribution,” Mr Yilmaz said.
The three defence ministers visited both the Dutch and German Patriot sites at Adana and Kahramanmaras during their two-day stay, and received an operational briefing from the Dutch and German Patriot commanders. They also met with local Turkish officials and officers.
…The Dutch defence minister Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert said the joint visit demonstrated the Alliance’s resolve and solidarity. ”The strong solidarity that exists in NATO is very evident here today. The Netherlands are ready and pleased to serve and help our fellow Ally Turkey,” Ms Hennis-Plasschaert said.
The ministers travelled to Turkey immediately after attending a defence ministerial in Brussels at NATO headquarters on Friday. The visit comes after the last of the deployed batteries became operational under NATO command and control on 15 February. Germany, the Netherlands and the United States provide two batteries each to augment Turkey’s air defences. The systems are deployed in Kahramanmaras, Adana, and Gaziantep.
Voice of Russia
February 24, 2013
Turkey Patriots will cost the country $8.5mln a year
The Turkish media have quoted the Defence Ministry as saying that hosting the six Patriot anti-aircraft missile batteries sent to southeastern Turkey by NATO will cost the country $8.5mln a year.
Two of the batteries are from the US, two, from Germany, and two, from the Netherlands. They are supposed to protect Turkey against an air attack from across the country’s border with Syria.
In a series of incidents last autumn, artillery shells fired from Syrian territory killed 5 people in a village in southeastern Turkey.
Voice of Russia, RIA
Voice of Russia
February 23, 2013
The USSR brought peace, the USA brought war – interview with Dr. Gulzad
Dr. Zalmay Gulzad spoke to the Voice of Russia’s John Robles about the history of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and about how the USSR assisted the Afghan people and built almost everything there is in the country. Dr. Gulzad details how the U.S. turned their own “freedom fighters” into the very “terrorists” that they are now fighting and he says the U.S. wants to stay in Afghanistan for a very long time due to its strategic geopolitical location.
Hello. This is John Robles, I’m talking with Dr. Zalmay Gulzad. He is a professor at Harold Washington College in Chicago, in the political science department.
Robles: Hello Sir. How are you this evening?
Gulzad: Very good, thank you very much.
Robles: First question I’d like to ask you. Now, you were born in Afghanistan and live in the U.S., you work in the U.S. How do you feel about the invasion of Afghanistan by the United States of America?
Gulzad: Let me start with this: I was a young member of the PDPA (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan). I supported the Afghan revolution. Unfortunately at that time I was in the United States, but I did support the revolution in Afghanistan and I supported the Soviet Union’s support for the Afghan revolution.
There was one Soviet Union journalist, Vladimir Pozner, during the Soviet time; he and I did a review, “Question and Answer for American people”. I was a student, I was getting my PhD and he came to Madison, Wisconsin. I know Vladimir Pozner very well and we met.
So, my point is that it is an aggression. These are the people who the United States supported, they are the criminals, they’re bandits, the so-called “freedom fighters,” because they were fighting the Soviets and communism and all this.
And today the same people are attacking the United States and they call them terrorists. Why didn’t they call them terrorists in the 1980s?
Robles: I’ve been trying to get that point across to a lot of people and people are missing that for some reason.
Gulzad: 15,000 Soviet troops were killed in the fight against these bandits, but the United States always went with the short victories, went with the criminals. The criminals that they trained: Bin Laden and the Arab terrorists, and the Pakistanis, and all these Taliban and Mujahidin, and they turned against them (U.S.).
Unfortunately, this land of democracy that I live in is a joke because nobody is asking their leader: Why did you make that mistake? “I used to call them freedom fighters, today they are terrorists.” How come it changed in one day?
Robles: Do you have any details yourself about how the Taliban got their start, how al-Qaeda got their start, how Osama Bin Laden got his start fighting the Soviet Army in Afghanistan?
Gulzad: After the 1978 Afghan revolution, the Soviet Union recognized us and most progressive countries in the world recognized that revolution.
Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States. He started it, with Zbigniew Brzezinski. Yhey started it to arm, to find the people to oppose the Afghan state because they considered, they thought, that this is the soft underbelly of the Soviet Union.
They thought that from Afghanistan they were going to infiltrate into the Muslim Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
So what they did…Now, they couldn’t find too many Afghans, very few Afghans opposed it, because the Communist government gave them land and everything else, so they couldn’t find too many Afghans.
So, what they did is they went to Anwar Sadat and to the Arab reactionary regimes, they found unemployed Arabs, unemployed Pakistanis. (The Pakistani regime was a dictatorship, not only military, but it was a religious Zia-ul-Haq regime in Pakistan.)
What they did, they brought all these criminals to Pakistan, which is bordering with Afghanistan for almost 1,000 miles. So what they did, the CIA started training them and sending them to kill the Afghans, destroy the Afghan revolution.
So, then naturally, naturally, it is a very natural thing, the Soviet Union had to…because there was a friendship treaty with Afghanistan.
The Soviet Union and Afghanistan signed the friendship treaty in September 1978.
So according to that treaty the Afghan government was able to ask the Soviet Union, in case they were in trouble, to ask for the Soviet Union to help and the Soviet Union provided that help.
So, the point is that the United States taught these criminals, dropped them there to fight not only the Afghan Communists, but then they thought they will make it the Soviet Union but now…And that is how all that process started through Pakistan. Pakistan was a reactionary regime of the military.
So, Afghanistan became a sandwich between two, Shia and Sunni, Muslim fundamentalists.
Robles: Can you give us a few more details? Can you compare what the United States is doing now and what the Soviet Union was doing when they were in there, in Afghanistan? Because now some people are trying to say: “Oh, well!! The Soviet Union “INVADED” Afghanistan…The Soviet Union…
Gulzad: I fight it every day. I fought it even at that time when Ronald Reagan was in power. Vladimir Pozner will be a witness on that.
We had a Progressive Afghan Student Organization and I was the head of it.
My point is that you cannot compare the Soviet Union because Afghanistan People’s Democratic Party had the same ideology as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
So, the idea was that Afghanistan’s PDPA was giving land – Afghanistan was a very poor country, an almost feudal society – so we were giving land to the poor. What person is going to rise against you if you give them a piece of land? If you teach their daughter and son?
They (the U.S.S.R.) built schools, they built everything that is in Afghanistan today, I am telling you as an Afghan. Every road, highway, dam, factory, airport that you can see, the infrastructure of Afghanistan was made by the USSR.
Robles: Few people know that.
Gulzad: Including Bagram where today the American imperialists are sitting there. It is the Soviet Union that built everything.
Thousands of Afghan students, including my brother, became educated in the Soviet Union. I mean “what the hell?” people are going to…It was not the people!
Do you know that there was a recent interview on BBC and on CNN. They went to Kandahar and to Ghazni, two cities in Afghanistan. They were asking people…An Afghan farmer he spit on the American journalist!
He said: “The Soviet Union brought a lot of things to this country, peace, but you brought war.”
Certainly! And they showed it on TV, I saw it on BBC and Aljazeera.
Robles: So, what is the real situation in Afghanistan right now, after almost 13 years of U.S. occupation?
Gulzad: My point is this: that if you want to stop this war, you should go to Pakistan. Pakistan is a very poor country. Pakistan is controlling the Taliban, al-Qaeda, everybody.
If the United States wants to stop this war, then the United States could squeeze Pakistan economically and in many ways. Pakistan is a joke.
So, my point is that the United States wants to prolong this war because they want to stay in Afghanistan.
The United States has total control economically and militarily over Pakistan.
End of part 1
You were listening to an interview with Dr. Zalmay Gulzad – a professor at Harold Washington College in Chicago. You can find part 2 on our website at english.ruvr.ru.
From The Paris Front (1934)
- Ah, this frantic desire to continue the war! Who would believe it! Remember that the Temps recently uttered the cynical warning : “The price of War Bonds is falling.” There you have it all. And one may imagine how many people are grinding their teeth in despair – the sub-contractors of munition factories, the business men, all those who see the golden springs drying up…And also, I repeat, all those whom the war suits – the wife freed from the burden of a husband…And, finally, that mad instinct for conflict, violence, and revenge, which is part of human nature.
In our village are some Belgians who, you would imagine would want to get back home, after four years, as soon as possible, hoping to find their houses safe and sound. Far from it! The men want their country to be recovered by force of arms, even if it is devastated in the process!…
And yet how horrible is that unparalleled butchery, which the regular officer regards as a mere opportunity for professional advancement, for brilliant exploits, for mentions in dispatches, while the average civilian regards it as a guarantee of a “more advantageous” peace. And if all these negotiations are a mere piece of window-dressing arranged between Wilson and the Central Powers, what a hideous consummation to all this long insanity, these massacres that might have been avoided by a mere signature!…
No. The strife goes on. Every day they fling fresh fuel on the fire of hate.
- The vile campaign against peace is still active. The Civil League has brought out a poster: “The Trap.” No discussions, no compromise, peace without conditions, absolute victory. Not one word about the deaths we might avoid. Those are the most repulsive people, who sit comfortably in an armchair while they goad young men to slaughter merely to satisfy their own passions or interests.
Pamphlets breathing hatred have been distributed in the munitions factories. “People of France, your hatred is not as burning and passionate as it ought to be…Germany is a nation devoted to the Devil…You will have to lick the bloodstained Prussian jackboot…”
-Alas! Nobody will admit that it is not decisions on the field of battle which are settling this war. The Germans are still in possession of our territories. Their retreat – at present stabilised – has left free only a strip of the occupied territory. And yet they adopt the tone of a beaten foe. Really, the course of events is being decided and controlled by their economic conditions, their hardships, their suffering, and the blockade. But people insist on disguising these facts under the semblance of purely military defeat.
- The newspapers are still making enormous efforts to construe this breakdown in a purely military sense. The military correspondent of the Oeuvre displays subtle ingenuity in proving that Turkey was defeated by force of arms. It was just the same, he declares, with Bulgaria. They are writing history in advance. So much the worse for the truth. And also for posterity. For this glorification of slaughter is the beginning of future armaments. To declare that all these nations now appealing for mercy were dying of hunger and hardship would be to rob the war of its crimson halo.
Voice of Russia
February 21, 2013
Hundreds of civilians take part in Kunduz protest rally
Hundreds of civilians took part in a protest rally in the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan on Thursday.
Demonstrators chanted anti-NATO and anti-American rally, demanding the death of those involved in killing four civilians during Wednesday night’s raid by the ISAF and Afghan special forces.
Earlier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai banned foreign troops from staging night operations and shelling residential areas.
Voice of Russia, RIA
Pajhwok Afghan News
February 22, 2013
Foreign soldier killed in IED attack
KABUL: An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service member was killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan on Friday, the alliance said.
The death was announced in a brief statement from the NATO-led force that neither gave the victim’s nationality nor the exact location of the roadside bombing – a weapon of choice for the Taliban insurgents.
So far during the current year, ISAF has lost eight soldiers, including three Americans and as many Britons, in Afghanistan. In 2012, 402 international troops were killed in the country, with the US bearing the brunt of the fatalities.
Also on Friday, top defence representatives from 50 nations began an important session in Belgium on the future of their mission in Afghanistan.
Ministers from NATO member states and countries contributing troops to ISAF are discussing the current situation in Afghanistan.
Romain Rolland: Not enough that nations are destroyed, they are bidden to glorify Death, to march towards it with songs
From Clerambault (1920)
Translated bt Katherine Miller
When the stronger of his two souls had once asserted itself, the duality of his nature led him to yield to it entirely. A more normal man would have tried to unite them, or combine them, or find some kind of compromise to satisfy the demands of the one and the prudence of the other; but with Clerambault it was everything or nothing. Whether he liked it or not, once he had chosen his road, he followed it straight before him; and the same causes that had made him accept absolutely the views of those around him, drove him to cast off every consideration now that he had begun to see the falsehoods which had deceived him. If he had been less misted, he would not have unmasked them.
Thus the brave-man-in-spite-of-himself set off like Oedipus for the fight with the Sphinx, Country, who awaited him at the crossroads.
Bertin’s attack drew the attention of several politicians to Clerambault; they belonged to the extreme Left, and found it difficult to conciliate the opposition to the Government — their reason for existence — with the Sacred Union formed against the enemies’ invasion.
They republished the first two articles in a socialist paper which was then balancing itself between contradictions; opposing the war, and at the same time voting for credits. You could see in its pages eloquent statements of internationalism side by side with the appeals of ministers who were preaching a nationalist policy. In this seesaw Clerambault’s lightly lyrical pages, where the attack on the idea of Country was made with caution, and the criticism covered up by devotion, would have been taken as a harmless platonic protestation. Unfortunately, the teeth of censure had fastened themselves upon some phrases, with the tenacity of ants; they might have escaped notice in the general distraction of thought, if it had not been for this.
In the article addressed “To Her whom We have Loved,” the word country appears the first time coupled with an invocation to love. The critics kept this, but cut it out when it occurred further on dissociated from such flattering expressions. The word, awkwardly concealed under this extinguisher, shone all the more brightly in the mind of the reader—but this they were too dull to perceive, and great importance was thus given to writings which had not much in themselves. It must be added that all minds were then in a passive state, in which the slightest word of liberal humanitarianism took on an extraordinary importance, particularly if signed by a well-known name.
The “Pardon Asked of the Dead,” was more effective than the other ever could be; its sadness touched the mass of simple hearts, to whom the war was agony. The authorities had been indifferent up to now, but at the first hint of this they tried to put a stop to it. They had sense enough to know that rigorous measures against Clerambault would be a mistake, but they could put pressure on the paper through influence behind the scenes. An opposition to the writer showed itself on the staff of the paper. Naturally they did not blame the internationalism of his views; they merely stigmatised it as bourgeois sentimentality.
Clerambault furnished them with fresh arguments by a new article, where his aversion to war seemed incidentally to condemn revolution as well. Poets are proverbially bad politicians.
It was a reply to “The Appeal to the Dead,” that Barrès, like an owl perched on a cypress in a graveyard, had wailed forth.
TO THE LIVING
Death rules the world. You that are living, rise and shake off the yoke! It is not enough that the nations are destroyed. They are bidden to glorify Death, to march towards it with songs; they are expected to admire their own sacrifice…to call it the “most glorious, the most enviable fate”…but how untrue this is! Life is the great, the holy thing, and love of life is the first of virtues. The men of today have it no longer; this war has shown that, and even worse. It has proved that during the last fifteen years, many have hoped for these horrible upheavals — you cannot deny it! No man loves life who has no better use for it than to throw it into the jaws of Death. Life is a burden to many — to you rich of the middle-class, reactionary conservatives, whose moral dyspepsia takes away your appetite, everything tastes flat and bitter. Everything bores you. It is a heavy burden also to you proletarians, poor, unhappy, discouraged by your hard lot. In the dull obscurity of your lives, hopeless of any change for the better, — Oh, Ye of little faith! — your only chance of escape seems to be through an act of violence which lifts you out of the mire for one moment at least, even if it be the last. Anarchists and revolutionists who have preserved something of the primitive animal energy rely on these qualities to liberate themselves in this way; they are the strong. But the mass of the people are too weary to take the initiative, and that is why they eagerly welcome the sharp blade of war which pierces through to the core of the nations. They give themselves up to it, darkly, voluptuously. It is the only moment of their dim lives when they can feel the breath of the infinite within them, — and this moment is their annihilation…
Is this a way to make the best of life?…Which we can only maintain, it would seem, by renouncing it; and for the sake of what carnivorous gods?…Country, Revolution…who grind millions of men in their bloody jaws.
What glory can be found in death and destruction? It is Life that we need, and you do not know it, for you are not worthy. You have never felt the blessing of the living hour, the joy that circulates in the light. Half-dead souls, you would have us all die with you, and when we stretch out our hands to save you, our sick brothers, you seek to drag us down with you into the pit.
I do not lay the blame on you, poor unfortunates, but on your masters, our leaders of the hour, our intellectual and political heads, masters of gold, iron, blood, and thought!…You who rule the nations, who move armies; you who have formed this generation by your newspapers, your books, your schools and your churches, and who have made docile sheep of the free souls of men!…All this enslaving education, whether lay or Christian, though it dwells with an unhealthy joy on military glory and its beatitude, still shows its utter hollowness, for both Church and State bait their hook with Death…
Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, politicians, and priests, artists, authors, dancers of death; inwardly you are all full of decay and dead men’s bones. Truly you are the sons of them that slew Christ, and like them you lay on men’s shoulders burdens grievous to be borne, which you yourselves would not touch with the end of your fingers. Crucifiers are you like them, and those who come among you to help the suffering peoples, bringing blessed peace in their hands, you imprison and insult them, and as the Scripture says, persecute them from city to city until all the righteous blood shed upon the earth shall fall upon your heads.
You work only to provide food for Death; your countries are made to subdue the future to the past, and bind the living to the putrifying corpses of the dead. You condemn the new life to perpetuate the empty rites of the tomb…. Let us rise! The resurrection, the Easter of the living, is at hand!
Sons of men, it is not true that you are, the slaves of the dead and are chained by them like serfs to the earth. Let the dead past bury its dead, and itself with them; you are children of the living, and live in your turn. Souls who are bound to the countries of the past, shake off the neurasthenic torpor, wracked by outbursts of frenzy, which weighs you down. Shake it off, my brothers, you who are young and strong; be masters of the present and the past, fathers and sons of your works. Set yourselves free! Each one of you is Man; — not flesh that rots in the tomb, but the blazing fire of life which purifies corruption and renews long-dead corpses, the flame ever new and young which circles the earth with its burning arms. Be free! Conquerors of the Bastille, you have not yet opened the dungeon within you, the falsely called Fatality. It was built as a prison-house for you centuries ago, by slaves or tyrants. They were all convicts of the same stamp, who were afraid that you would discover that you were free. Religions, races, countries, materialistic science, the heavy shadows of the past, are between you and the sun; but go forward! Liberty is there, behind those ramparts and towers, built of prejudices, dead laws, and consecrated falsehoods. They are guarded by the interests of some, the opinion of the drilled masses, and your own doubting spirit. Dare to will; and behind the crumbling walls of this spurious Destiny, you will once more behold the sun and the illimitable horizon.
Insensible to the revolutionary heat of this appeal, the staff of the newspaper only fastened its attention on the few lines where Clerambault seemed to lump all violences together, those of the “left” along with those of the “right.” What did this poet mean by giving lessons to the socialists in a party paper? In the name of what theory? He was not even a socialist. He was nothing but a Tolstoyian anarchist; let him go back to his exercises in style, and his middle-class where he belonged. Some larger-minded spirits remonstrated in vain, that, with or without any label, liberal ideas ought to be welcomed, and that those of Clerambault, however ignorant he might be of the party doctrines, were more truly socialistic than those of members of the party who joined in the work of national slaughter. These views were over-ruled; Clerambault’s article was returned to him, after spending some weeks in the bottom of a drawer, on the pretext that there were so many current items that they took up all the space, and that the paper had too much copy already.
Clerambault took his article to a small review, which was more attracted by his name than by his ideas. The upshot was that the review was called down, and suspended by police order the day after the article appeared, though it had been whitewashed through and through.
Clerambault, however, persisted. The most rebellious people in the world are those who are forced to rebellion after a lifetime of submission. I remember once to have seen a big sheep so worried by a dog that he finally threw himself upon him. The dog was overcome by this unexpected reversal of the laws of nature and ran away, howling with surprise and terror. The Dog-State is too sure of its own fangs to feel afraid of a few mutinous sheep; but the lamb Clerambault no longer calculated the danger; he simply put his head down and butted. Generous and weak natures are prone to pass without transition from one extreme to another; so from an intensely gregarious feeling Clerambault had jumped at one bound to the extreme of individual isolation. Because he knew it so well, he could see nothing around him but the plague of obedience, that social suggestion of which the effects are everywhere manifest. The passive heroism of the armies excited to frenzy, like millions of ants absorbed in the general mass, the servility of Assemblies, despising the head of their Government, but sustaining him by their votes, even at the risk of an explosion brought about by one “bolter,” the sulky but well-drilled submission of even the liberal Parties, sacrificing their very reason for existence to the absurd fetish of abstract unity. This abdication, this passion, represented the true enemy in Clerambault’s eyes. And it was his task, he thought, to break down its great suggestive power by awakening doubt, the spirit that eats away all chains.
Mediterranean Sea To Indian Ocean: NATO Says Libyan War, “Arab Spring” Confirm Need For Article 5 Operation
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Maritime Command Northwood
February 22, 2013
NATO Maritime Command Takes Over Anti-Terror Mission
Operation Active Endeavour began on 26 October 2001. Its mission was to conduct naval operations in the eastern Mediterranean, to actively demonstrate NATO’s resolve and solidarity. Operation Active Endeavour was one of the measures resulting from NATO’s decision to implement Article 5 of the Washington Treaty…During the last 12 years, the mission has expanded to include the whole of the Mediterranean and to include boarding operations.
“The events of 2011 and the Arab Spring remind us of the continuing relevance and value of this NATO Article 5 mission.”
Today, Allied Maritime Command in Northwood, NATO’s single maritime HQ, assumed command of NATO’s defence against terrorism mission Operation Active Endeavour (OAE).
Along with Operation Ocean Shield, NATOs’ counter piracy mission, this now brings together both of NATO’s current maritime operations under one command.
[Operation Ocean Shield's] mission is to conduct maritime operations in the assigned area of operations to demonstrate NATO’s resolve…Until today it has been commanded from the Maritime Command in Naples, Italy; however, with the closure of the Naples HQ, the responsibility now transfers to Northwood.
…Operation Active Endeavour began on 26 October 2001. Its mission was to conduct naval operations in the eastern Mediterranean, to actively demonstrate NATO’s resolve and solidarity. Operation Active Endeavour was one of the measures resulting from NATO’s decision to implement Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, expanding the options available…
During the last 12 years, the mission has expanded to include the whole of the Mediterranean and to include boarding operations. The surveillance part of the Operation utilises ship, aircraft and submarine assets as well as an information sharing network that involves also a number of non-NATO nations…
NATO Heads of State and Government agreed at a Summit meeting in Lisbon in 2010 to reforms of the NATO Military Command Structure and the agencies that provide essential capabilities and services to NATO armed forces. The aim was to provide a leaner and more agile command structure, streamlined headquarters and agencies and rationalized pooling of resources for common projects. The closure of the Naples HQ is one part of this streamlining process.
Vice Admiral Peter Hudson, Commander Allied Maritime Command said: “12 years on, OPERATION ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR continues to provide the maritime presence which contributes to stability and reassurance across the Mediterranean – as a key component of NATO’s collective security efforts. The events of 2011 and the Arab Spring remind us of the continuing relevance and value of this NATO Article 5 mission.”
Estonian Public Broadcasting
February 22, 2013
Large NATO Exercise to Take Place in Baltics in Fall
This fall, the Baltic region will host NATO’s biggest collective defense exercise of the last ten years.
The maneuvers, named ‘Steadfast Jazz,’ will take place in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Estonia will participate with one infantry company as well as staff officers and civilian officials, the Ministry of Defense said in a press release on Thursday.
“The aim of the training exercise is to defend Estonia in a situation where we have been attacked and Article Five of the NATO treaty has been activated. This will give us a chance to practice collective defense and will help NATO prepare for all possible attacks in every NATO region,” said Minister of Defense Urmas Reinsalu.
The maneuvers were announced at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels. The ministers agreed to more training activities in the coming years and a more extensive exercise in 2015.
The goal of further training exercises is to keep up the momentum of military cooperation in the post-Afghanistan era, the ministry said.
Voice of Russia
February 22, 2013
‘A ‘humanitarian war’ is an oxymoron’ – exclusive interview with Kathy Kelly
One hundred billion dollars has been spent on Afghan reconstruction by the United States, yet nothing has improved for the Afghan people. Two billion dollars a week has been spent for over a decade to fight 55 Al-Qaeda operatives. The US continues to slaughter civilians on a regular basis, yet Hamid Karzai has done nothing. Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama says he will “… get the heart of Al-Qaeda”, yet few people in Afghanistan know anything about Al-Qaeda, and yes, the U.S. did torture people in Afghanistan. After close to a dozen extended trips to Afghanistan, 3 time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Kathy Kelly, the co-cordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence spoke to the VOR’s John Robles about all of the above and more, painting a horrendously grim picture of the U.S. “success” in Afghanistan.
Robles: You’ve been to Afghanistan almost a dozen times, right? How has life changed for the common Afghan people?
Kelly: One of the main changes I think is that the corruption has gone viral. You know, the SIGAR (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) report, the special investigative report on Afghan reconstruction was issued and it said that the amount of money the United States has spent on development aid now approaches $100 billion.
But $100 billion has not gone into repairing the infrastructure or enabling healthcare delivery, or improving education, not by a long shot which just brings about a tremendous weariness, because people can’t get their basic needs met and the economy isn’t functioning properly at all.
Many people lay blame for that on the United States for not having had any shred of wisdom about how to help form an entrepreneurial class that could give people a stake in their economy. And of course $2 billion was spent every single week on maintaining the United States military, while starvation, disease and unemployment were on the rise.
Robles: How has the US managed, or how have they attempted to sell their occupation of Afghanistan to the Afghan people?
Kelly: The United States Government has become adept at selling their wars, marketing their wars to the US public as “humanitarian wars”. Now, that’s an oxymoron. How could there be a humanitarian war? But they try to make it sound as if the US has been protecting and looking after women and children, protecting them from the Taliban, looking after their needs.
And both of those statements just simply don’t pan out when you look at statistics and when you talk with everyday ordinary people.
One out of every eleven Afghan women dies in childbirth – that’s a torturous way to die. One out of five children doesn’t make it beyond their fifth birthday. In places like Bamyan, a relatively peaceful province, the only hours when you can get any electricity at all are between 1 and 3 in the morning.
Afghanistan is a country that has an alarming rate of acute malnutrition according to the United Nations, particularly in the south, and they say one million children suffer from acute malnutrition.
There are 400 new refugees every day driven into the Afghan cities by the war. And you can see sprawling camps where people in the snow during this harsh cold are living in lean-to’s and poorly constructed tents. So, the idea that somehow the United States is engaged in something humanitarian is just outlandish.
Robles: Ok, I understand that and I understand all of the propaganda in the West, but what kind of propaganda do they feed the “Afghan people” to get them to somehow accept the occupation?
Kelly: One of the most fearsome intelligence secret police agencies in the world is the NDS, the National Directorate of Security. And we should also note that the latest UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan) report said that over half of the Afghan people in jail were tortured. So, no one wants to be identified as someone who in any way is subverting the Government’s aims.
And President Hamid Karzai will try to appease and mollify the public after, say ten civilians are killed, which just happened the night of Obama’s State of the Union Address. A United States aerial attack killed ten people, there were four little girls and a little boy and five women, and one man and they were all civilians. And this sort of thing happens again and again and again, and then President Hamid Karzai will say: “Well, I won’t tolerate this and the United States has to stop this and this is unacceptable.”
And it just seems as though he issues these statements to try to appease public anger. You know, sometimes people are burning effigies of US leaders. But he hasn’t been able to stop the United States from engaging in the despicable night raids and in drone bombardments.
People are very afraid to speak up and with a good reason, because the Afghan secret police could do them grievous-grievous harm.
Robles: Who is doing all that torturing, in your opinion?
Kelly: Sometimes the United States will put people in prison and then turn them over to the Afghan authorities. And if the United States hadn’t imprisoned them in the first place, and sometimes they are held without charge for months, then they wouldn’t have been vulnerable to being tortured by the Afghan authorities.
In the Bagram prison and in secret sites within the Bagram prison there have been complaints about the United States engaging in torture. I think in more recent years the United States has been turning over more and more of its prison authorities and facilities to the Afghan people.
Robles: I’d like to ask you a hypothetical: what if, for example; China invaded the United States and they started killing people left and right, and anyone who fought against them was thrown into a prison for being a criminal, I mean: How would Americans feel?
Kelly: I think if the shoe were on the other foot and the Golden Rule were invoked, people all across this country would understand why it is that people start to join fighting forces.
There is a very interesting quote from a staff sergeant who is fictitiously named by an embedded reporter, in an article in The American Prospect John Frey embedded himself with a group doing night raids.
And after a week of these night raids, which are just horrendous invasions of other people’s homes… He said they tornadoed through houses, they broke people’s dishes and deliberately destroyed their furniture, shot the dog that was sleeping, hog-tied the householders. They didn’t do things that you could accuse as being war crimes but they create a huge antagonism.
At the end of that week the staff sergeant said: “You could say we just did a week long recruiting drive for the Taliban.” And then he continued, “ …and you know what; we had fun doing it! I like recruiting for the Taliban, you could call it job security for us.” And that’s the end of the quote…
Robles: In Obama’s State of the Union address, he quite proudly said they: “… would get the heart of Al Qaeda”. He said that with great pride, to a standing ovation. I wanted to ask you; how many Al-Qaeda “operatives or fighters or terrorists” are operating in Afghanistan? And are the Afghan people, or the Taliban: is that the heart of Al Qaeda in your opinion?
Kelly: When Leon Panetta was asked that question in December of 2011, I was shocked by his answer, you know (How many Al Qaeda operatives are there in Afghanistan?) He said: “Oh, about 55”.
Kelly: 55. $2 billion a week the United States is spending to maintain a full military presence and there might be as many as 55 Al Qaeda figures in the country?
I don’t think that that’s the reason why the United States’ war has been perpetuated in Afghanistan. I think that Al Qaeda has been used and that there are many different kinds of Taliban fighters, that some of them wouldn’t have even heard of the aims of Al Qaeda, and what’s more, I think, that the US insisting that the solution to every problem has to be a military solution; using threat and force, is in a sense endorsing the same aims as the Al Qaeda figures.
End of Part 1
You were listening to an interview with Kathy Kelly – the co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
February 21, 2013
NATO and Australia reinforce partnership with new cooperation programme
NATO and Australia reinforced their partnership and set out their priorities for future cooperation by signing an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme (IPCP) on Thursday 21 February. This further enhances NATO’s partnership with countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
“NATO and Australia are already strong partners. With this agreement, our partnership will become even stronger,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after he signed the IPCP with Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith.
The signature follows and complements the Joint Political Declaration between NATO and Australia which was signed by the Secretary General and Prime Minister Julia Gillard on 14 June 2012 in Canberra.
The Declaration, which was the first of its kind NATO signed with a partner nation, underlined the interest shared by NATO and Australia in forging a closer strategic partnership…
The IPCP takes that commitment forward and sets out in detail more areas for future cooperation.
Australia is one of the largest non-NATO contributors to the ISAF operation in Afghanistan. It has also committed to the follow-on mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces once ISAF is completed at the end of 2014 and has joined the process of planning that mission.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
February 21, 2013
NATO Defence Ministers agree to expand exercises and multinational cooperation
NATO Defence Ministers agreed [on] concrete goals for more ambitious training and exercises to maintain the lessons of interoperability at their meeting in Brussels on 21 February.
“Over the last decade, in Afghanistan, Kosovo and other operations, our servicemen and -women have learned to work together more closely than ever before. The challenge we will face over the coming decade is to preserve and pass on those skills, as our biggest operation comes closer to completion,” Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
“We will answer that challenge with what we call the Connected Forces Initiative: expanding our education and training, and enhancing our exercises,” he added.
As part of the initiative, ministers agreed that the Alliance should hold a major live exercise in 2015, and draw up a comprehensive programme of training and exercises for the period 2015-2020.
They also agreed that the NATO Response Force (NRF) will be at the core of the initiative. The NRF is the Alliance’s rapid-reaction corps, which is prepared and validated through an annual cycle of training and exercises.
“We will build on its exercises, to make sure each new group of forces is up to the task. And we will build on those exercises – for example, by including the battalion which the United States government has pledged to rotate through Europe for precisely this purpose, and by building in more contributions from other Allies and partners,” the Secretary General said.
“This will make the NATO Response Force a cooperation school, as well as a quick-reaction tool. An immediate resource, but also an investment in the future,” he said.
Ministers also discussed ways to make the Alliance’s defence planning and spending more efficient, more transparent and more responsive.
“That is largely a national responsibility. But NATO can help, by coordinating between nations”, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said.
Ministers also agreed that the Alliance should do more with NATO common funding to support Alliance’s priorities.
From French Youth (1913)
Translated by Catherine D. Groth
They expressed the general opinion of their time. As the eighty-year-old Michel Bréal, the great philologist, said, “Those who approve of war are those who never have seen it.”
This generation was followed by one which, no matter how it looked upon war in the abstract, feared a war with Germany. This feeling found expression in a most humiliating way at the time of the Dreyfus affair. Again and again officers of importance remarked that if such and such an imaginary secret (Emperor William’s annotations on the Dreyfus papers, for instance, and other absurdities of the same sort) were divulged, war would ensue and French soldiers would be “led to slaughter.”
After Agadir this feeling disappeared and a more martial spirit took its place. It spread like wildfire throughout the French nation. Statesmen, obviously professing the desire to “maintain peace,” knew they could count on a strong current of public opinion if their pacifist efforts proved fruitless.
In 1912, however, the foreigner visiting France found that the finest of the younger men and the most important functionaries appreciated Germany, and were familiar with German conditions. They had a decided aversion for war and sincere doubts as to its advantages.
In 1913 all this was changed. The men one had looked upon as the most determined pacifists, men who had expressed themselves unreservedly about France’s military preparation and who had worked for peace; authors, whose training was half German; young functionaries in the ministries whose environment was known to be broadminded and liberty loving — one and all had changed. They spoke of war, considered it unavoidable and even looked upon it as a purifying force. War would renew France within her boundaries and increase her prestige without. As war was felt to be inevitable, it could only be awaited with calm.
Yet it is strange to read a recently published book by a young Frenchman, Ernest Psichari: L’appel des Armes — The Call of Arms. War and the military career have probably never been praised as highly as by this author, whose environment, birth and education would seem to have pitted him against them. Ernest Psichari is Renan’s grandson. His grandfather, the greatest French writer of his day, was a sort of mediator between France and Germany during the war of 1870 (letters exchanged with David Strauss), and while a great patriot he was a decided pacifist. At the time of the Dreyfus affair the young author’s mother, Renan’s only daughter, protested more passionately than any other Frenchwoman against the glorification of the army and its traditions, under the cover of which General Piquart (an intimate friend of the family) had been vilely attacked. Ernest Psichari had almost a vice-father in the childless Louis Havet, who was, perhaps, the most radical of all French men of science. If ever a young man was not brought up to admire war it was Ernest Psichari.
And now comes this book, every page radiating respect for the army and its traditions. Its subject is the soldier’s vocation. It is portrayed as the highest and the most beautiful of all, and the book, in fact, is nothing but a sort of hymn to war, against Germany.
David Ackles (1970)
Voice of Russia
February 21, 2013
US drones killed 4,700 people worldwide
“Sometimes you hit innocent people and I hate that.”
A US senator has estimated the total number of drone attack fatalities at 4,700 people, including civilians. As many have been murdered in America’s continuing secret bombing raids the world over.
This is the third time an American lawmaker speaks on the death toll of the US drone war.
“We have killed 4,700,” U.S. Republican senator Lindsey Graham acknowledged at a meeting in Easley in South Carolina on Wednesday.
“Sometimes you hit innocent people and I hate that,” he said, commenting on the use of drones by the United States.
The figure named by Sen. Graham matches the high end of a tally by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, who said the number killed in hundreds of drone strikes was between 3,072 and 4,756.
Those are the first estimates of the drone related loss of life openly cited by a U.S. official.
Washington has been using remote controlled unmanned aircraft in overseas operations since 2004.
Voice of Russia, Interfax
February 20, 2013
Are temperatures dropping to a new Cold War?
By Zhao Jinglun
If NATO further expands to Georgia and Ukraine, crossing the Kremlin’s “Red Line,” hostility would be further heightened. The missile-defense installations are supposedly aimed at Iran, but do pose a direct threat to Russia in the event of a nuclear first strike.
Former president Bill Clinton started his illegal air war over Kosovo ostensibly to save Kosovo Albanians from being massacred by the Serbs. The real purpose, however, has been rumored to be Moscow’s deprivation of its last European ally, Serbia.
Moscow has steadfastly opposed Western efforts to block Iran’s nuclear program as those efforts could be designed to support a regime change that would pave the way for Western penetration into Central Asia.
Russia has just published its new foreign policy concept in which President Vladimir Putin indicates that the most important aspect of Moscow’s foreign strategy is to strengthen its ties with China. The two countries hold the same principle on core issues in international politics and that can constitute a basic element in maintaining regional and global stability. Russia will engage in full spectrum foreign policy cooperation with China when dealing with new challenges or menaces, as well as in solving regional and global problems.
This may not exactly be what the Obama administration wants to hear. It has succeeded in stirring up conflict between China and Japan; but has been unable to sow any dissension between China and Russia. Its efforts to “reset” the relations with the Kremlin ended in slight disappointment.
Indeed, U.S.-Russia relations are now seemingly at their nadir. The publication of Moscow’s new foreign policy concept was delayed as Putin wanted to emphasize the principle of non-intervention in Russia’s internal affairs. He especially resents the humiliating Magnitsky Act, which was overwhelmingly passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Barack Obama. Moscow retaliated by banning the American adoption of Russian orphans.
Stephen F. Cohen, Russian expert and professor emeritus at NYU and Princeton, is even talking about a potential new Cold War. As one Chinese saying goes, “It takes more than one cold day for the river to freeze three-feet-deep.” Cohen points to four components of U.S. policy resented by Moscow:
* NATO expansion to Russia’s borders which now includes European missile-defense installations. This poses the most serious threat to Russian security. If NATO further expands to Georgia and Ukraine, crossing the Kremlin’s “Red Line,” hostility would be further heightened. The missile-defense installations are supposedly aimed at Iran, but do pose a direct threat to Russia in the event of a nuclear first strike. Moscow has demanded participation in the European system, failing that, a written guarantee that it will never be directed against Russia. It was rebuffed on both counts.
* “Selective cooperation,” or the obtaining of concessions from the Kremlin without any meaningful White House reciprocity. Putin has never forgotten his vital role in the 2001 U.S. war in Afghanistan and was later rewarded by George W. Bush’s further NATO expansion and tearing up of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
* “Democracy promotion” in Russia’s domestic politics, viewed by Russian leaders as an intolerable interference with their internal affairs. The National Endowment for Democracy openly funded Russian NGOs.
* Last but not least, high-level Moscow circles have repeatedly complained that “the Americans do not care about our national security.”
It is unlikely that Washington will make any meaningful concessions on these four issues. So the chill in relations will probably continue.
In fact, the clash of strategic interests has a long history. Former president Bill Clinton started his illegal air war over Kosovo ostensibly to save Kosovo Albanians from being massacred by the Serbs. The real purpose, however, has been rumored to be Moscow’s deprivation of its last European ally, Serbia.
Moscow has steadfastly opposed Western efforts to block Iran’s nuclear program as those efforts could be designed to support a regime change that would pave the way for Western penetration into Central Asia.
Russia has also blocked Western efforts to intervene in Syria, its ally in the Middle East, where it has a naval base at Tartus.
The Kremlin also pursues a hard line refusing to return the Northern Territories (four islands), which Moscow calls the Southern Kurils, to Japan. It is not just a conflict with Japan. It is also a response to the United States’ pivot towards Asia and the (Asia) Pacific region – Russia also considers itself a Pacific power. The latest incident occurred on February 12, the day President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address.
The U.S. military reported that two Russian “Bear” (TU-95) strategic bombers, capable of carrying nuclear cruise missiles, visited the U.S. strategic island Guam (Moscow denied this). U.S. Air Force F-15 jets were scrambled from Andersen Air Force Base to intercept the intruders. Nevertheless, both sides “stayed professional.”
U.S. military officials hold that ever since Putin reclaimed the Russian presidency, the number of such flights in the vicinity of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska has increased, but encounters with U.S. aircrafts have generally remained “very professional.”
Neither side is looking for a fight; but they’re not on the best of terms either.
The author is a columnist with China.org.cn.
Anatole France’s speech at the Nobel Banquet at Grand Hôtel, Stockholm
December 10, 1921
I have cherished the prospect of visiting in the evening of my life your beautiful country which has brought forth brave men and beautiful women. With gratitude I receive the prize that crowns my literary career. I consider it an incomparable honour to have received this Prize established by a man of noble sentiment and awarded to me by judges so just and competent. Invited by you as a member of the French Academy to give advice on the Nobel Prize in Literature, I have several times had the pleasure of directing your choice. It happened in the case of Maeterlinck, who combines a brilliant style with thought of great independence; it also happened in the case of Romain Rolland, in whom you have acknowledged a lover of justice and peace and who has been able to defy unpopularity in order to remain a good man.
Perhaps I am overstepping the limits of my competence, if I now talk about the Peace Prize of the Norwegian Storting. If I do it, nonetheless, it is to praise the choice that the Storting has made. I may perhaps be permitted to say that in my view you have honoured in Branting a statesman impassioned for justice. Would that the destinies of peoples could be guided by such men! The most horrible of wars has been followed by a peace treaty that is not a treaty of peace but a continuation of war. Unless common sense finally finds its place in the council chambers of ministers, Europe will perish. If one cannot with good reason hope for the triumph of union and harmony, among the countries of Europe, I wish at least to believe, gentlemen, that under the influence of brave, just, and loyal men like you the good will sometimes prevail.
In the official record, the following event is reported: After Anatole France had received his Prize from the hands of the King, there occurred an incident which left a strong impression on all present. When the venerable had gone up to the rostrum again, he turned to Professor Walther Nernst, Prize winner in Chemistry, and exchanged a long and cordial handshake with him. The Frenchman, the “last classic,” and the German, the great scientist and representative of intellectual sobriety, the citizens of two countries which had for a long time been enemies, were united in a handshake – a profoundly symbolic gesture. The audience applauded, feeling that the two nations, which for years had fought against one another, had just met in reconciliation.
February 20, 2013
UAE should enter missile defence training, says Nato official
An official from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s Missile Firing Installation (Namfi), who was attending Idex yesterday, said that increasing the capabilities of Arabian Gulf states, such as the UAE, was “highly suggested”.
Brigadier General Ippokratis Daskalakis, commander of missile firing station on Crete, said: “The UAE would gain better training according to the latest Nato standards – and they will be able to face the sophisticated threats of our current environment.
“Namfi is the ideal place to gain experience to deal with the threats facing countries today.
Nafmi offered its services to the UAE at Idex two years ago, stating a similar goal, and continue to campaign for the country’s involvement.
Br Gen Daskalakis added: “We have the experience and the right mentality to work with countries from the Arabic Peninsula.
“Everything we offer can be tailored to our clients; we have the experience to prepare and to produce sophisticated scenarios to train the units to confront any kind of threat, from aircraft attacks to ballistic missiles.”
Belgium, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands all actively use the Greek island for their training but the facility is open to non-Nato members.
The UAE, although not a member of Nato, became actively involved in joint operations during the Arab Spring uprising in Libya, sending a number of fighter jets to the region.
Namfi has been one of Nato’s most significant training centres since its opening in 1964 and it allows for live fire testing across a sea area 166km long and 90km wide.
Countries that use the facility, or indeed private companies, bring their own hardware and equipment to the range to test and train against unmanned drones.
Namfi offers testing of surface-to-air, air-to-air and a range of experimental systems.
The offer to the UAE remains on the table but, as yet, there is no indication of the country’s intent to use the base.
Dr Theodore Karasik, director of research and consultancy at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, doubts that taking up the offer would have a significant impact on defences already in place in the UAE, which has historically acquired most of its systems from companies in the United States.
He said: “Nato is putting this offer on the table and, depending on politics and circumstances, maybe there will be an opportunity, but it doesn’t seem likely today.
Speaking at the Middle East Missile and Air Defence Symposium in Abu Dhabi last year, the GCC secretary general, Dr Abdel Latif Al Zayani, said a missile defence system had to be implemented – but this would only be possible if the states work closely together.
The UAE spent more than Dh12billion in 2008 for US short-range Patriot missile systems. Further defensive capabilities of the country include Terminal High Altitude Area Defence missiles.
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
February 16, 2013
REAL THAW 13 sets aim for interoperability
By Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
MONTE REAL, Portugal: Aircraft and military professionals from the U.S., Portugal, Netherlands, the U.K. and NATO are continuing to develop their ability to work together during REAL THAW 13, Feb. 11-22.
REAL THAW is the Portuguese military’s premiere annual exercise that integrates the Portuguese Army, Navy and Air Force for joint operations and scenarios. The exercise also includes forces from partner nations.
The 81st Fighter Squadron, out of Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, is one of the U.S. representatives in Portugal. Their airframe, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, is the only close air support aircraft participating this year, and the Portuguese military is taking full advantage of its capabilities.
“The A-10 is a special asset that we don’t have the everyday opportunity to work with,” said Portuguese air force Lt. Col. Carlos Lourenco, the director of REAL THAW.
The Portuguese air force flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon as their primary fighter aircraft, but do not have a close air support aircraft like the A-10. Having the ability to conduct operations like search and rescue with the 81st is beneficial for training.
This is especially important for the helicopter squadrons, and working together increases both parties’ understanding of operating in a joint environment, said Lourenco.
The exercise helps keep pilots from the 81st combat-ready, because of the different skill sets that they can train on here. Some of the scenarios they’ve supported so far are combat search and rescue, close air support and convoy escort. The upcoming week will also integrate the Portuguese navy, and the 81st will provide maritime air support, said the colonel.
“We are very rarely going to go anywhere that we’ll deploy and not have to work with other forces. We’re always going to integrate, whether they be air forces, ground forces, or maritime,” said Eichelberger. “The last place that you want to figure out how to work together is on the battlefield. That’s why coming to these exercises are so important.”
Although the 81st is inactivating later this year, it gives both the U.S. and Portuguese forces a chance to learn in a joint environment and draw on each others’ strengths to provide a solid response if contingencies arise.
“Everyone has different experience levels, so we all can learn from each other,” said Lourenco of the training. “The A-10 brings new approaches and lessons we can apply to our own experience.”
From Ends and Means (1937)
The malleability of human nature is such that there is no reason why, if we so desire and set to work in the right way, we should not rid ourselves of war as we have freed ourselves from the weary necessity of committing a crime passionnel every time a wife, mistress or female relative gets herself seduced. War is not a law of nature, nor even of human nature. It exists because men wish it to exist; and we know, as a matter of historical fact, that the intensity of that wish has varied from absolute zero to a frenzied maximum. The wish for war in the contemporary world is widespread and of high intensity. But our wills are to some extent free; we can wish otherwise than we actually do. It is enormously difficult for us to change our wishes in this matter; but the enormously difficult is not the impossible.
War exists because people wish it to exist. They wish it to exist for a variety of reasons.
(i) Many people like war because they find their peace-time occupations either positively humiliating and frustrating, or just negatively boring. In their studies on suicide Durkheim and, most recently, Halbswachs have shown that the suicide rate among non-combatants tends to fall during war-time to about two-thirds of its normal figure. This decline must be put down to the following causes: to the simplification of life during war-time (it is in complex and highly developed societies that the suicide rate is the highest); to the intensification of nationalist sentiment to a point where most individuals are living in a state of chronic enthusiasm; to the fact that life during war-time takes on significance and purposefulness, so that even the most intrinsically boring job is ennobled as ‘war-work'; to the artificial prosperity induced, at any rate for a time, by the expansion of war industries; to the increased sexual freedom which is always claimed by societies, all or some of whose members live under the menace of sudden death. Add to this the fact that life in war-time is (or at least was in previous wars) extremely interesting, at least during the first years of the war. Rumour runs riot, and the papers are crammed every morning with the most thrilling news.
Up to the end of the last war non-combatants, except in countries actually subject to invasion, were not in great physical danger. In any future war it is clear that they will be exposed to risks almost, if not quite, as great as those faced by the fighting men. This will certainly tend to diminish the enthusiasm of non-combatants for war.
February 19, 2013
German Cabinet approves troop deployment to Mali
Members of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet have approved plans to send several hundred German soldiers to Mali. The Cabinet set a higher number than will initially be deployed in case the war escalates.
Up to 330 troops are slated to aid the UN-mandated mission in Mali, according to initial reports released after the Tuesday morning meeting in Berlin. The German Cabinet approved two separate mandates, one of which is to provide a maximum of 180 soldiers for an EU-led training mission for Malian forces. The second foresees sending up to 150 troops for logistical support.
According to the green-lighted plans, 40 soldiers will initially be deployed to assist in the training of Malian troops. The German armed forces are to send an additional 40 specialists to a field hospital.
The second draft mandate aims to strengthen logistical support, which Germany has been providing since the beginning of the French-African led mission in January. In addition to its planes already transporting troops from neighboring countries to Mali, it is to send three Transall aircrafts.
The German Cabinet also pledged to send an Airbus for aerial refueling of French fighter jets.
Tuesday’s decision by Germany’s Cabinet followed closely after the EU foreign ministers had agreed to begin deploying a military training mission to the West African nation, a plan which had been in development since the beginning of the UN-mandated mission in January.
The European Union Training Mission in Mali (EUTM), which currently has a mandate of 15 months and an upward limit of 500 soldiers, expects to commence its reform of the Malian army within the coming months.
By mid-March, the number of EU soldiers in Bamako is expected to reach nearly 150, double the amount of troops currently stationed in the Malian capital. An estimated 200 European military advisors are to begin training four Malian battalions of 640 men each by the start of the following month.
In January, France launched a military intervention…
kms/ccp (AFP, dpa)
Xinhua News Agency
February 19, 2013
Germany approves troops deployment in Mali
BERLIN: The German government approved on Tuesday the deployment of up to 330 soldiers in Mali for an EU-led training mission and logistical support for France’s mission in the West African country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet met on Tuesday morning, approving two separate mandates including sending a maximum of 180 soldiers for the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) and sending up to 150 troops to strengthen logistical support for the French and African troops…in Mali.
According to local media reports, the deployment would make Germany the second-biggest contributor to the EUTM mission behind France.
The deployment plans now needs the approval of the German parliament, which will deliberate over the proposals before the end of the week.
France has been carrying out a military intervention within the mandate of a U.N. resolution since January in Mali to respond to the West African country’s request for military assistance to counter its rebel groups’ offensive.
Missile Defense Agency
February 13, 2013
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Intercepts Target Using Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrators (STSS-D) Data
Today’s event, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-20 (FTM-20), was a demonstration of the ability of space-based assets to provide mid-course fire control quality data to an Aegis BMD ship, extending the battlespace, providing the ability for longer range intercepts and defense of larger areas.
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy sailors aboard the USS LAKE ERIE (CG 70) successfully conducted a flight test of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, resulting in the intercept of a medium-range ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean by a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA guided missile.
At 11:10 p.m. HST (4:10 a.m. EST) a unitary medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, on Kauai, Hawaii. The target flew northwest towards a broad ocean area of the Pacific Ocean.
The in-orbit Space Tracking and Surveillance System-Demonstrators (STSS-D) detected and tracked the target, and forwarded track data to the USS LAKE ERIE. The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD weapon system, used Launch on Remote doctrine to engage the target.
The ship developed a fire control solution from the STSS-D track and launched the SM-3 Block IA guided missile approximately five minutes after target launch. The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space and released its kinetic warhead. The kinetic warhead acquired the target reentry vehicle, diverted into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the target.
Initial indications are that all components performed as designed. Program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
Today’s event, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-20 (FTM-20), was a demonstration of the ability of space-based assets to provide mid-course fire control quality data to an Aegis BMD ship, extending the battlespace, providing the ability for longer range intercepts and defense of larger areas.
FTM-20 is the 24th successful intercept in 30 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002. Across all Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, this is the 58th successful hit-to-kill intercept in 73 flight tests since 2001.
Aegis BMD is the sea-based component of the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. The Aegis BMD engagement capability defeats short- to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase ballistic missile threats with the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), as well as short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase with the SM-2 Block IV missile. The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.
From The Paris Front (1934)
- They ought to say: “Dead on the Field of Horror.”
- A soldier has been imprisoned for having declared in the trenches that people who are making money out of the war want it to go on.
- Extravagant eulogy is being showered on a Flying officer who brought down sixty aeroplanes, including seven in a single day. The newspapers are frantic in their praises: “A hero…a superman…immeasurable glory…sublime…homage on our bended knees…” I certainly cannot praise the mental attitude which can employ such phrases to glorify a man who has committed sixty murders.
- Refugees are trudging back from the Marne along the road, keeping pace with the cattle they are leading. Interminable and pitiful processions – waggons and herds – a return to the epoch of tribal barbarism, to the nomadic era. The only touch of anachronism was the presence of bicycles.
- There are some soldiers with square helmets wandering about in Paris. They belong to the Czechoslovak Army. A recent issue of the Official Gazette has laid down regulations by which courts martial will judge these soldiers “in the name of the Czechoslovak nation.” So authority’s first concern is how it shall put them to death…that is their birth certificate.
- People refuse to see the utter difference between the present war and all former wars. When the Germans take 45,000 prisoners (a number which formerly would have been enough to decide a whole war), they are only capturing one per cent of their enemies, since the Allies have about 4,5000,000 troops on the front.
- One of the vices which the war has swollen to prodigious size is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is universal – in communiques, in speeches, in articles, even in conversation. It constitutes the official enthronement of Untruth. The Truth is the chief victim of the war.
- Two divisions of “picked troops” were stationed in the Department of the Loire – where they were harshly suppressing strikers – when the German attack of 27th May broke out on the Aisne.
- A manufacturer of munitions who produces aeroplanes, poison gases, motor-launches, and every kind of war material, expressed the following view: if he can be given an assurance that in twenty years of war we could wipe out that nest of vipers – those thirty million Prussians whose only livelihood is war [sic] – he would sign a peace treaty with both hands. How noble is this anxiety for posterity!
- There are some dramatic critics who have appointed themselves military critics for the time being; and why not, since the present war is without precedent in the experience of the whole world? But they will explain the battles to you (after the event) with all the panoply of traditional military terms, such as “column,” “hingeing,” “deploying” and “out-flanking.” Oh, what a monstrous farce it would be but for all the deaths.
- In a further letter, Lord Lansdowne observes: “This war has cost too many human lives. Can we not open negotiations?” Churchill, Minister of Munitions, has replied: “We have thrown into the furnace the flower of the human race. And are we, after that, to undertake amicable negotiations? No!” Thus we must still sacrifice the present generation to the future! And yet the future is hidden from us by such an impenetrable veil! The confusion of thought seems more hateful and stupid every day I live.
- Yesterday I was told that the Americans had captured, lost, and then recaptured Pagny-sur-Moselle. It is estimated that in the engagement at Saint-Mihiel they flung a hundred thousand troops into the line and lost half of them.
- I have been thinking of the anarchist outrages which were so violent between 1980 and 1900. How trivial they seem beside the present massacre, in which twelve million men have already fallen. That ridiculous ideal of destroying the world, in order to build it up again, is half way toward realisation.
Xinhua News Agency
February 18, 2013
NATO defense ministers to meet on Afghanistan on Friday
KABUL: The defense ministers of the NATO and other troop contributing nations will later this week discuss the situation in Afghanistan, said a NATO spokesman here on Monday.
“On Thursday and Friday this week, 21 and 22 February, NATO and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) Defense Ministers meet at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium,” spokesman Dominic Medley told a press briefing.
This is the normal and regularly scheduled meeting of the ministers, he said, adding “Afghanistan will be on the agenda on Friday,”
Afghan Defense Minister Bismullah Khan Mohammadi will address the 50 ISAF defense ministers, he said.
The new ISAF Commander General Joeph Dunford and NATO Senior Civilian Representative will also provide updates at the meeting, he added.
“It is expected that ministers will hear briefings on the latest situation in Afghanistan, on transition, on redeployment, on sustaining the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and on plans for the new NATO mission after 2014 to train, advise and assist,” he noted.
Currently 100,000-strong foreign troops with nearly 66,000 of them Americans are being deployed in Afghanistan.
John Dos Passos
From 1919 (1932)
came as an inhabitant of this earth
without the pleasure of choosing his dwelling or his career.
He was a hunchback, grandson of a congregational minister, born in 1886 in Bloomfield, New Jersey; there he attended grammarschool and highschool.
At the age of seventeen he went to work as a secretary to a Morristown businessman.
He worked his way through Columbia working in a pianola record factory in Newark, working as proofreader, pianotuner, accompanist in a vocal studio in Carnegie Hall.
At Columbia he studied with John Dewey,
got a traveling fellowship that took him to England Paris Rome Berlin Copenhagen,
wrote a book on the Gary schools.
In Europe he heard music, a great deal of Wagner and Scriabine
and bought himself a black cape.
This little sparrowlike man,
tiny twisted bit of flesh in a black cape,
always in pain and ailing,
put a pebble in his sling
and hit Goliath square in the forehead with it.
War, he wrote, is the health of the state.
Half musician, half educational theorist (weak health and being poor and twisted in body and on bad terms with his people hadn’t spoiled the world for Randolph Bourne; he was a happy man, loved die Meistersinger and playing Bach with his long hands that stretched so easily over the keys and pretty girls and good food and evenings of talk. When he was dying of pneumonia a friend brought him an eggnog; Look at the yellow, its beautiful, he kept saying as his life ebbed into delirium and fever. He was a happy man.) Bourne seized with feverish intensity on the ideas then going around at Columbia he picked rosy glasses out of the turgid jumble of John Dewey’s teaching through which he saw clear and sharp
the shining capitol of reformed democracy,
Wilson’s New Freedom;
but he was too good a mathematician; he had to work the equations out;
with the result
that in the crazy spring of 1917 he began to get unpopular where his bread was buttered at the New Republic;
for New Freedom read Conscription, for Democracy, Win the War, for Reform, Safeguard the Morgan Loans
for Progress Civilization Education Service,
Buy a Liberty Bond,
Strafe the Hun,
Jail the Objectors.
He resigned from the New Republic; only The Seven Arts had the nerve to publish his articles against the war. The backers of the Seven Arts took their money elsewhere; friends didn’t like to be seen with Bourne, his father wrote him begging him not to disgrace the family name. The rainbowtinted future of reformed democracy went pop like a pricked soapbubble.
The liberals scurried to Washington;
some of his friends pled with him to climb up on Schoolmaster Wilson’s sharabang; the war was great fought from the swivel chairs of Mr. Creel’s bureau in Washington.
He was cartooned, shadowed by the espionage service and the counter-espionage service; taking a walk with two girl friends at Wood’s Hole he was arrested, a trunk full of manuscript and letters stolen from him in Connecticut. (Force to the utmost, thundered Schoolmaster Wilson)
He didn’t live to see the big circus of the Peace of Versailles or the purplish normalcy of the Ohio Gang. Six weeks after the armistice he died planning an essay on the foundations of future radicalism in America.
If any man has a ghost
Bourne has a ghost,
a tiny twisted unscared ghost in a black cloak
hopping along the grimy old brick and brownstone streets still left in downtown New York,
crying out in a shrill soundless giggle;
War is the health of the state.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
February 16, 2013
All NATO Patriot batteries in Turkey operational
The final of six Patriot missile batteries deployed to Turkey was declared operational under NATO command and control on Friday, 15 February 2013.
The battery, provided by the United States, is located outside the city of Gaziantep.
Germany, the Netherlands and the United States provide two batteries each to augment Turkey’s air defences. The systems are deployed in Kahramanmaras, Adana, and Gaziantep. The first battery came online on 26 January.
In response to Turkey’s request, NATO Foreign Ministers decided on 4 December 2012 that NATO would “augment Turkey’s air defence capabilities…along the Alliance’s border.”
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
February 15, 2013
2 million pounds of cargo delivered
By 1st Lt. Sara Harper
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
ISTRES, France: The U.S. Air Force reached a major milestone Feb. 12 when the service hit the 2 million pounds of cargo transported mark during airlift operations from Istres, France to Bamako, Mali and other partner nations in support of French military operations in Northern Africa.
At the request of the French government, airlift operations began on Jan. 21 and the Air Force has flown 43 missions under the control of U.S. Africa Command…
Delivering 2 million pounds of cargo in just 23 days is quite an achievement.
“This operation has been extremely rewarding, supporting our French partner’s efforts…,” said Lt. Col. Shawn Underwood, 621st Contingency Response Element commander. “Working through the challenges of unfamiliar equipment and different languages made crossing the 2 million pound threshold that much more satisfying, but we know there is more work to do.”
After weeks of continuous airlift operations, French and U.S. military personnel have been working closely together every day to prepare and load cargo and personnel into C-17s.
“We have been enabling the movement of French forces in support of their operations. There have been some difficulties because of the different equipment, certificates and procedures,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Felix, an aerial transporter assigned to the 818th Global Mobility Squadron. “We are working through these and getting the job done.”
C-17 Globemasters from the 62nd Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and the 436th Airlift Wing, Dover Air Force Base, Del., staging from Istres, have also transported 830 French military personnel to Mali.
Twilight of Idols (1917)
If you have willed the situation, however, or accepted it as inevitable, it is fatuous to protest against the gay debauch of hatred and fear and swagger that must mount and mount, until the heady and virulent poison of war shall have created its own anti-toxin of ruin and disillusionment.
I should prefer some philosophy of War as the grim and terrible cleanser to this optimism-haunted mood that continues unweariedly to suggest that all can yet be made to work for good in a mad and half-destroyed world. I wonder if James, in the face of such disaster, would not have abandoned his “moral equivalent of war” for an “immoral equivalent” which, in swift and periodic saturnalia, would have acted as vaccination against the sure pestilence of war.
[The nation] fretted for three years and then let war, not education, be chosen, at the almost unanimous behest of our intellectual class, from motives alien to our cultural needs, and for political ends alien to the happiness of the individual. But nations, of course, are not rational entities, and they act within their most irrational rights when they accept war as the most important thing the nation can do in the face of metaphysical menaces of imperial prestige.
[A]s we skate toward the bankruptcy of war-billions, there will be resources available for educational enterprise that does not contribute directly to the war-technique. Neither is any passion for growth, for creative mastery, going to flourish among the host of militaristic values and new tastes for power that are springing up like poisonous mushrooms on every hand.
If the war is too strong for you to prevent, how is it going to be weak enough for you to control and mould to your liberal purposes?
[W]ith the other prophets of instrumentalism who accompany Dewey into the war, democracy remains an unanalyzed term, useful as a call to battle, but not an intellectual tool, turning up fresh sod for the changing future. Is it the political democracy of a plutocratic America that we are fighting for…?
This burrowing into war-technique hides the void where a democratic philosophy should be…Similarly the blaze of patriotism on the part of the radicals serves the purpose of concealing the feebleness of their intellectual light.
It is now becoming plain that unless you start with the vividest kind of poetic vision, your instrumentalism is likely to land you just where it has landed this younger intelligentsia which is so happily and busily engaged in the national enterprise of war. You must have your vision and you must have your technique.
Where are the seeds of American promise? Man cannot live by politics alone, and it is small cheer that our best intellects are caught in the political current and see only the hope that America will find her soul in the remaking of the world. If William James were alive would he be accepting the war-situation so easily and complacently? Would he be chiding the over-stimulated intelligence of peace-loving idealists, and excommunicating from the ranks of liberal progress the pitiful remnant of those who struggle “above the battle”? I like to think that his gallant spirit would have called for a war to be gallantly played, with insistent care for democratic values at home, and unequivocal alliance with democratic elements abroad for a peace that should promise more than a mere union of benevolent imperialisms. I think of James now because the recent articles of John Dewey’s on the war suggest a slackening in his thought for our guidance and stir, and the inadequacy of his pragmatism as a philosophy of life in this emergency. Whether James would have given us just that note of spiritual adventure which would make the national enterprise seem creative for an American future, – this we can never know. But surely that philosophy of Dewey’s which we had been following so uncritically for so long, breaks down almost noisily when it is used to grind out interpretation for the present crisis. These articles on “Conscience and Compulsion,” “The Future of Pacifism,” “What America Will Fight For,” “Conscription of Thought,” which The New Republic has been printing, seem to me to be a little off-color. A philosopher who senses so little the sinister forces of war, who is so much more concerned over the excesses of the pacifists than over the excesses of military policy, who can feel only amusement at the idea that any one should try to conscript thought, who assumes that the war technique can be used without trailing along with it the mob-fanaticisms, the injustices and hatreds, that are organically bound up with it, is speaking to another element of the younger intelligentsia than that to which I belong. Evidently the attitudes which war calls out are fiercer and more incalculable than Professor Dewey is accustomed to take into his hopeful and intelligent imagination, and the pragmatist mind, in trying to adjust itself to them, gives the air of grappling, like the pioneer who challenges the arid plains, with a power too big for it. It is not an arena of creative intelligence our country’s mind is now, but of mob psychology. The soldiers who tried to lynch Max Eastman showed that current patriotism is not a product of the will to remake the world. The luxuriant releases of explosive hatred for which peace apparently gives far too little scope cannot be wooed by sweet reasonableness, nor can they be the raw material for the creation of rare liberal political structures. All that can be done is to try to keep your country out of situations where such expressive releases occur. If you have willed the situation, however, or accepted it as inevitable, it is fatuous to protest against the gay debauch of hatred and fear and swagger that must mount and mount, until the heady and virulent poison of war shall have created its own anti-toxin of ruin and disillusionment. To talk as if war were anything else than such a poison is to show that your philosophy has never been confronted with the pathless and the inexorable, and that only dimly feeling the change, it goes ahead acting as if it had not got out of its depth. Only a lack of practice with a world of human nature so raw-nerved, irrational, uncreative, as an America at war was bound to show itself to be, can account for the singular unsatisfactoriness of these later utterances of Dewey. He did have one moment of hesitation just before the war began, when the war and its external purposes and unifying power seemed the small thing beside that internal adventure which should find our American promise. But that perspective has now disappeared, and one finds Dewey now untainted by skepticism as to our being about a business to which all our idealism should rally. That failure to get guaranties that this country’s efforts would obligate the Allies to a democratic world-order Dewey blames on the defection of the pacifists, and then somehow manages to get himself into a “we” who “romantically,” as he says, forewent this crucial link of our strategy. Does this easy identification of himself with undemocratically-controlled foreign policy mean that a country is democratic when it accepts what its government does, or that war has a narcotic effect on the pragmatic mind? For Dewey somehow retains his sense of being in the controlling class, and ignores those anxious questions of democrats who have been his disciples but are now resenters of the war.
What I come to is a sense of suddenly being left in the lurch, of suddenly finding that a philosophy upon which I had relied to carry us through no longer works. I find the contrast between the idea that creative intelligence has free functioning in wartime, and the facts of the inexorable situation, too glaring. The contrast between what liberals ought to be doing and saying if democratic values are to be conserved, and what the real forces are imposing upon them, strikes too sternly on my intellectual senses. I should prefer some philosophy of War as the grim and terrible cleanser to this optimism-haunted mood that continues unweariedly to suggest that all can yet be made to work for good in a mad and half-destroyed world. I wonder if James, in the face of such disaster, would not have abandoned his “moral equivalent of war” for an “immoral equivalent” which, in swift and periodic saturnalia, would have acted as vaccination against the sure pestilence of war.
Dewey’s philosophy is inspiring enough for a society at peace, prosperous and with a fund of progressive good-will. It is a philosophy of hope, of clear-sighted comprehension of materials and means. Where institutions are at all malleable, it is the only clue for improvement. It is scientific method applied to “uplift.” But this careful adaptation of means to desired ends, this experimental working out of control over brute forces and dead matter in the interests of communal life, depends on a store of rationality, and is effective only where there is strong desire for progress. It is precisely the school, the institution to which Dewey’s philosophy was first applied, that is of all our institutions the most malleable. And it is the will to educate that has seemed, in these days, among all our social attitudes the most rationally motivated. It was education, and almost education alone, that seemed susceptible to the steady pressure of an “instrumental” philosophy. Intelligence really seemed about to come into conscious control of an institution, and that one the most potent in molding the attitudes needed for a civilized society and the aptitudes needed for the happiness of the individual.
For both our revolutionary conceptions of what education means, and for the intellectual strategy of its approach, this country is immeasurably indebted to the influence of Professor Dewey’s philosophy. With these ideas sincerely felt, a rational nation would have chosen education as its national enterprise. Into this it would have thrown its energy though the heavens fell and the earth rocked around it. But the nation did not use its isolation from the conflict to educate itself. It fretted for three years and then let war, not education, be chosen, at the almost unanimous behest of our intellectual class, from motives alien to our cultural needs, and for political ends alien to the happiness of the individual. But nations, of course, are not rational entities, and they act within their most irrational rights when they accept war as the most important thing the nation can do in the face of metaphysical menaces of imperial prestige. What concerns us here is the relative ease with which the pragmatist intellectuals, with Professor Dewey at the head, have moved out their philosophy, bag and baggage, from education to war. So abrupt a change in the direction of the national enterprise, one would have expected to cause more emotion, to demand more apologetics. His optimism may have told Professor Dewey that war would not materially demoralize our growth would, perhaps, after all, be but an incident in the nation’s life, but it is not easy to see how, as we skate toward the bankruptcy of war-billions, there will be resources available for educational enterprise that does not contribute directly to the war-technique. Neither is any passion for growth, for creative mastery, going to flourish among the host of militaristic values and new tastes for power that are springing up like poisonous mushrooms on every hand.
How could the pragmatist mind accept war without more violent protest, without a greater wrench? Either Professor Dewey and his friends find that the forces were too strong for them, that the war had to be, and it was better to take it up intelligently than to drift blindly in; or else they really expected a gallant war, conducted with jealous regard for democratic values at home and a captivating vision of international democracy as the end of all the toil and pain. If their motive was the first, they would seem to have reduced the scope of possible control of events to the vanishing point. If the war is too strong for you to prevent, how is it going to be weak enough for you to control and mould to your liberal purposes? And if their motive was to shape the war firmly for good, they seem to have seriously miscalculated the fierce urgencies of it. Are they to be content, as the materialization of their hopes, with a doubtful League of Nations and the suppression of the I. W. W.? Yet the numbing power of the war-situation seems to have kept them from realizing what has happened to their philosophy. The betrayal of their first hopes has certainly not discouraged them. But neither has it roused them to a more energetic expression of the forces through which they intend to realize them. I search Professor Dewey’s articles in vain for clues as to the specific working-out of our democratic desires, either nationally or internationally, either in the present or in the reconstruction after the war. No program is suggested, nor is there feeling for present vague popular movements and revolts. Rather are the latter chided, for their own vagueness and impracticalities. Similarly, with the other prophets of instrumentalism who accompany Dewey into the war, democracy remains an unanalyzed term, useful as a call to battle, but not an intellectual tool, turning up fresh sod for the changing future. Is it the political democracy of a plutocratic America that we are fighting for, or is it the social democracy of the new Russia? Which do our rulers really fear more, the menace of Imperial Germany, or the liberating influence of a socialist Russia? In the application of their philosophy to politics, our pragmatists are sliding over this crucial question of ends. Dewey says our ends must be intelligently international rather than chauvinistic. But this gets us little distance along our way.
In this difficult time the light that has been in liberals and radicals has become darkness. If radicals spend their time holding conventions to attest their loyalty and stamp out the “enemies within,” they do not spend it in breaking intellectual paths, or giving us shining ideas to which we can attach our faith and conscience. The spiritual apathy from which the more naive of us suffer, and which the others are so busy fighting, arises largely from sheer default of a clear vision that would melt it away. Let the motley crew of ex-socialists, and labor radicals, and liberals, and pragmatist philosophers, who have united for the prosecution of the war, present a coherent and convincing democratic programme, and they will no longer be confronted with the skepticism of the conscientious and the impossibilist. But when the emphasis is on technical organization, rather than organization of ideas, on strategy rather than desires, one begins to suspect that no programme is presented because they have none to present. This burrowing into war-technique hides the void where a democratic philosophy should be. Our intellectuals consort with war-boards in order to keep their minds off the question what the slow masses of the people are really desiring, or toward what the best hope of the country really drives. Similarly the blaze of patriotism on the part of the radicals serves the purpose of concealing the feebleness of their intellectual light.
Is the answer that clear formulation of democratic ends must be postponed until victory in the war is attained? But to make this answer is to surrender the entire case. For the support of the war by radicals, realists, pragmatists, is due – or so they say – to the fact that the war is not only saving the cause of democracy, but is immensely accelerating its progress. Well, what are those gains? How are they to be conserved? What do they lead to? How can we further them? Into what large idea of society do they group? To ignore these questions, and think only of the war-technique and its accompanying devotions, is to undermine the foundations of these people’s own faith.
A policy of “win the war first” must be, for the radical, a policy of intellectual suicide. Their support of the war throws upon them the responsibility of showing inch by inch the democratic gains, and of laying out a charter of specific hopes. Otherwise they confess that they are impotent and that the war is submerging their expectations, or that they are not genuinely imaginative and offer little promise for future leadership.
It may seem unfair to group Professor Dewey with Mr. Spargo and Mr. Gompers, Mr. A. M. Simons, and the Vigilantes. I do so only because in their acceptance of the war, they are all living out that popular American “instrumental” philosophy which Professor Dewey has formulated in such convincing and fascinating terms. On an infinitely more intelligent plane, he is yet one with them in his confidence that the war is motivated by democratic ends and is being made to serve them. A high mood of confidence and self-righteousness moves them all, a keen sense of control over events that makes them eligible to discipleship under Professor Dewey’s philosophy. They are all hostile to impossibilism, to apathy, to any attitude that is not a cheerful and brisk setting to work to use the emergency to consolidate the gains of democracy. Not, Is it being used? but, Let us make a flutter about using it! This unanimity of mood puts the resenter of war out of the arena. But he can still seek to explain why this philosophy which has no place for the inexorable should have adjusted itself so easily to the inexorable of war, and why, although a philosophy of the creative intelligence in using means toward ends, it should show itself so singularly impoverished in its present supply of democratic values.
What is the matter with the philosophy? One has a sense of having come to a sudden, short stop at the end of an intellectual era. In the crisis, this philosophy of intelligent control just does not measure up to our needs. What is the root of this inadequacy that is felt so keenly by our restless minds? Van Wyck Brooks has pointed out searchingly the lack of poetic vision in our pragmatist “awakeners.” Is there something in these realistic attitudes that works actually against poetic vision, against concern for the quality of life as above machinery of life? Apparently there is. The war has revealed a younger intelligentsia, trained up in the pragmatic dispensation, immensely ready for the executive ordering of events, pitifully unprepared for the intellectual interpretation or the idealistic focussing of ends. The young men in Belgium, the officers’ training corps, the young men being sucked into the councils at Washington and into war-organization everywhere, have among them a definite element, upon whom Dewey, as veteran philosopher, might well bestow a papal blessing. They have absorbed the secret of scientific method as applied to political administration. They are liberal, enlightened, aware. They are touched with creative intelligence toward the solution of political and industrial problems. They are a wholly new force in American life, the product of the swing in the colleges from a training that emphasized classical studies to one that emphasized political and economic values. Practically all this element, one would say, is lined up in service of the war-technique. There seems to have been a peculiar congeniality between the war and these men. It is as if the war and they had been waiting for each other. One wonders what scope they would have had for their intelligence without it. Probably most of them would have gone into industry and devoted themselves to sane reorganization schemes. What is significant is that it is the technical side of the war that appeals to them, not the interpretative or political side. The formulation of values and ideals, the production of articulate and suggestive thinking, had not, in their education, kept pace, to any extent whatever, with their technical aptitude. The result is that the field of intellectual formulation is very poorly manned by this younger intelligentsia. While they organize the war, formulation of opinion is left largely in the hands of professional patriots, sensational editors, archaic radicals. The intellectual work of this younger intelligentsia is done by the sedition-hunting Vigilantes, and by the saving remnant of older liberals. It is true, Dewey calls for a more attentive formulation of war purposes and ideas, but he calls largely to deaf ears. His disciples have learned all too literally the instrumental attitude toward life, and, being immensely intelligent and energetic, they are making themselves efficient instruments of the war-technique, accepting with little question the ends as announced from above. That those ends are largely negative does not concern them, because they have never learned not to subordinate idea to technique. Their education has not given them a coherent system of large ideas, or a feeling for democratic goals. They have, in short, no clear philosophy of life except that of intelligent service, the admirable adaptation of means to ends. They are vague as to what kind of a society they want, or what kind of society America needs, but they are equipped with all the administrative attitudes and talents necessary to attain it.
To those of us who have taken Dewey’s philosophy almost as our American religion, it never occurred that values could be subordinated to technique. We were instrumentalists, but we had our private utopias so clearly before our minds that the means fell always into its place as contributory. And Dewey, of course, always meant his philosophy, when taken as a philosophy of life, to start with values. But there was always that unhappy ambiguity in his doctrine as to just how values were created, and it became easier and easier to assume that just any growth was justified and almost any activity valuable so long as it achieved ends. The American, in living out this philosophy, has habitually confused results with product, and been content with getting somewhere without asking too closely whether it was the desirable place to get. It is now becoming plain that unless you start with the vividest kind of poetic vision, your instrumentalism is likely to land you just where it has landed this younger intelligentsia which is so happily and busily engaged in the national enterprise of war. You must have your vision and you must have your technique. The practical effect of Dewey’s philosophy has evidently been to develop the sense of the latter at the expense of the former. Though he himself would develop them together, even in him there seems to be a flagging of values, under the influence of war. The New Republic honorably clamors for the Allies to subordinate military strategy to political ends, technique to democratic values. But war always undermines values. It is the outstanding lesson of the whole war that statesmen cannot be trusted to get this perspective right, that their only motto is, first to win and then grab what they can. The struggle against this statesmanlike animus must be a losing one as long as we have not very clear and very determined and very revolutionary democratic ideas and programmes to challenge them with. The trouble with our situation is not only that values have been generally ignored in favor of technique, but that those who have struggled to keep values foremost, have been too bloodless and too near-sighted in their vision. The defect of any philosophy of “adaptation” or “adjustment,” even when it means adjustment to changing, living experience, is that there is no provision for thought or experience getting beyond itself. If your ideal is to be adjustment to your situation, in radiant cooperation with reality, then your success is likely to be just that and no more. You never transcend anything. You grow, but your spirit never jumps out of your skin to go on wild adventures. If your policy as a publicist reformer is to take what you can get, you are likely to find that you get something less than you should be willing to take. Italy in the settlement is said to be demanding one hundred in order to get twenty, and this Machiavellian principle might well be adopted by the radical. Vision must constantly outshoot technique, opportunist efforts usually achieve less even than what seemed obviously possible. An impossibilist elan that appeals to desire will often carry further. A philosophy of adjustment will not even make for adjustment. If you try merely to “meet” situations as they come, you will not even meet them. Instead you will only pile up behind you deficits and arrears that will some day bankrupt you.
We are in the war because an American government practiced a philosophy of adjustment, and an instrumentalism for minor ends, instead of creating new values and setting at once a large standard to which the nations might repair. An intellectual attitude of mere adjustment, of mere use of the creative intelligence to make your progress, must end in caution, regression, and a virtual failure to effect even that change which you so clear-sightedly and desirously see. This is the root of our dissatisfaction with much of the current political and social realism that is preached to us. It has everything good and wise except the obstreperous vision that would drive and draw all men into it.
The working-out of this American philosophy in our intellectual life then has meant an exaggerated emphasis on the mechanics of life at the expense of the quality of living. We suffer from a real shortage of spiritual values. A philosophy that worked when we were trying to get that material foundation for American life in which more impassioned living could flourish no longer works when we are faced with inexorable disaster and the hysterias or the mob. The note of complacency which we detect in the current expressions of this philosophy has a bad taste. The congruous note for the situation would seem to be, on the contrary, that of robust desperation, – a desperation that shall rage and struggle until new values come out of the travail, and we see some glimmering of our democratic way. In the creation of these new values, we may expect the old philosophy, the old radicalism, to be helpless. It has found a perfectly definite level, and there is no reason to think that it will not remain there. Its flowering appears in the technical organization of the war by an earnest group of young liberals, who direct their course by an opportunist programme of State-socialism at home and a league of benevolently-imperialistic nations abroad. At their best they can give us a government by prudent, enlightened college men instead of by politicians. At their best, they can abolish war by making everybody a partner in the booty of exploitation. That is all, and it is technically admirable. Only there is nothing in the outlook that touches in any way the happiness of the individual, the vivifying of the personality, the comprehension of social forces, the flair of art, – in other words, the quality of life. Our intellectuals have failed us as value-creators, even as value-emphasizers. The allure of the martial in war has passed only to be succeeded by the allure of the technical. The allure of fresh and true ideas, of free speculation, of artistic vigor, of cultural styles, of intelligence suffused by feeling, and feeling given fiber and outline by intelligence, has not come, and can hardly come, we see now, while our reigning philosophy is an instrumental one.
Whence can come this allure? Only from those who are thorough malcontents. Irritation at things as they are, disgust at the continual frustrations and aridities of American life, deep dissatisfaction with self and with the groups that give themselves forth as hopeful, – out of such moods there might be hammered new values. The malcontents would be men and women who could not stomach the war, or the reactionary idealism that has followed in its train. They are quite through with the professional critics and classicists who have let cultural values die through their own personal ineptitude. Yet these malcontents have no intention of being cultural vandals, only to slay. They are not barbarians, but seek the vital and the sincere everywhere. All they want is a new orientation of the spirit that shall be modern, an orientation to accompany that technical orientation which is fast coming, and which the war accelerates. They will be harsh and often bad-tempered, and they will feel that the break-up of things is no time for mellowness. They will have a taste for spiritual adventure, and for sinister imaginative excursions. It will not be Puritanism so much as complacency that they will fight. A tang, a bitterness, an intellectual fibre, a verve, they will look for in literature, and their most virulent enemies will be those unaccountable radicals who are still morally servile, and are now trying to suppress all free speculation in the interests of nationalism. Something more mocking, more irreverent, they will constantly want. They will take institutions very lightly, indeed will never fail to be surprised at the seriousness with which good radicals take the stated offices and systems. Their own contempt will be scarcely veiled, and they will be glad if they can tease, provoke, irritate thought on any subject. These malcontents will be more or less of the American tribe of talent who used either to go immediately to Europe, or starved submissively at home. But these people will neither go to Europe, nor starve submissively. They are too much entangled emotionally in the possibilities of American life to leave it, and they have no desire whatever to starve. So they are likely to go ahead beating their heads at the wall until they are either bloody or light appears. They will give offense to their elders who cannot see what all the concern is about, and they will hurt the more middle-aged sense of adventure upon which the better integrated minds of the younger generation will have compromised. Optimism is often compensatory, and the optimistic mood in American thought may mean merely that American life is too terrible to face. A more skeptical, malicious, desperate, ironical mood may actually be the sign of more vivid and more stirring life fermenting in America today. It may be a sign of hope. That thirst for more of the intellectual “war and laughter” that we find Nietzsche calling us to may bring us satisfactions that optimism-haunted philosophies could never bring. Malcontentedness may be the beginning of promise. That is why I evoked the spirit of William James, with its gay passion for ideas, and its freedom of speculation, when I felt the slightly pedestrian gait into which the war had brought pragmatism. It is the creative desire more than the creative intelligence that we shall need if we are ever to fly.