NATO’s illegal Wars of Terror

The arrest of Ratko Mladić in Sebia and his swift despatch to The Hague has been trumpeted by the members of NATO as a triumph for justice and a chance of closure for the victims of the devastating civil war following the break up of Yugoslavia.

A woman walks past graffiti of captured Bosnian Serb fugitive General Ratko Mladic in Belgrade

However, it may well be sending some uncomfortable shivers down the spines of the generals and political leaders of this aggressive, expansionist alliance.

NATO is acting as a law unto itself; as an extended arm of US military imperial ambition, since the break-up of the Soviet Union it has been the shield behind which the North American government pushes deep into territories it regards as malleable and ripe for conquest or extended disorder.

Since the NATO attacks on Yugoslavia in 1999 (which is still regarded as illegal by many), NATO has been involved in constant war. The result of that war was the dismemberment of the last non-aligned multi-ethnic state in Eastern Europe with the economic potential to pursue a successful future as a social-democratic Republic.

However, the USA – still with the Cold War agenda of pushing right up to the borders of Russia –  and Britain, with it’s slavish poodle stance to US foreign policy, as well as some sort of pathetic ambition to re-install the old decrepit and corrupt monarchies, teamed up to make sure that the whole place fell apart in spectacular fashion.

The main benefactor of all that death and destruction was – surprise, surprise – the USA, who turned a large part of the pseudo-state of Kosovo into a forward operating base in the East – Camp Bondsteel, a monstrosity  with a six-mile perimeter fence. A good description of its scale and the reasons it was constructed can be found here;

In June 1999, in the immediate aftermath of the bombing of Yugoslavia, US forces seized 1,000 acres of farmland in southeast Kosovo at Uresevic, near the Macedonian border, and began the construction of a camp. . .  Camp Bondsteel, the biggest “from scratch” foreign US military base since the Vietnam War  (…) It is located close to vital oil pipelines and energy corridors presently under construction, such as the US sponsored Trans-Balkan oil pipeline. As a result defence contractors—in particular Halliburton Oil subsidiary Brown & Root Services—are making a fortune

Since then, the ‘alliance’ – which should really be termed the AXIS, since that is what it most resembles, has been waging war across the globe, assuming the moral perogative to decide who deserves to live and die, and which regimes should fall and which should survive.

Whilst Libya struggles to stay in one piece, and even static border posts are being wiped out by UK Apache attack helicopters; the murderous regime in Bahrain – which is  persecuting doctors involved in helping wounded demonstrators – has announced it’s business as usual for the idle playboy sport of Formula 1.

Then as Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa was meeting Colonel Gadaffi in his bombed-out compound in Tripoli last week, the prospect of any deal brokered by the African Union seemed remoter than ever.

NATO – and, we are told, the insurgents in Benghazi –  rejected any peace deal which does not include the instant resignation of Gadaffi and the surrender of the Libyan Government. This is how far the NATO Command has moved from the ‘protection of civilian life’; it is now clearly and blatantly demanding regime change.

It will be interesting to see how many legislators in the organisation’s Parliaments notice this blatant disregard of the UN mandate, or bother to question the legality of this continuing bombardment of population centres and infastructure.

I reccommend Dispatch From TripoliNATO’s Feast of Blood by CYNTHIA McKINNEY (from Tripoli for Counterpunch.)

While serving on the House International Relations Committee from 1993 to 2003, it became clear to me that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was an anachronism. Founded in 1945 at the end of World War II, NATO was founded by the United States in response to the Soviet Union’s survival as a Communist state. NATO was the U.S. insurance policy that capitalist ownership and domination of European, Asian, and African economies would continue. This also would ensure the survival of the then-extant global apartheid.

As the drones still keep up the death-toll of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan (a sovereign country  which the USA has never declared war on), it is becoming more difficult to believe that this sort of aggressive illegal warfare will not be paid for further down the line.

Of course, the working populations in the NATO Axis are paying for the million – pound attacks, with their taxes now going to the corporate war machine rather than schools for their kids and hospitals for the sick and elderly; and the price is certainly being paid by the villagers and townsfolk who are decimated, murdered or permanently crippled by these attacks.

The US Government plans to double its drone fleet in just nine years – this in a country that can’t be bothered to provide general healthcare and where the middle-class unemployed are evicted to live with their families in cars and eat at soup kitchens . . .

An article in Wired magazine discusses the legality of these attacks;

Loyola Law School professor David Glazier, a former Navy surface warfare officer, said the pilots operating the drones from afar could — in theory — be hauled into court in the countries where the attacks occur. That’s because the CIA’s drone pilots aren’t combatants in a legal sense. “It is my opinion, as well as that of most other law-of-war scholars I know, that those who participate in hostilities without the combatant’s privilege do not violate the law of war by doing so, they simply gain no immunity from domestic laws,” he said. “Under this view CIA drone pilots are liable to prosecution under the law of any jurisdiction where attacks occur for any injuries, deaths or property damage they cause,” Glazier continued. “But under the legal theories adopted by our government in prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, these CIA officers as well as any higher-level government officials who have authorized or directed their attacks are committing war crimes.”

Another article deals with the ‘targetting’ of supposed ‘Taliban  residences’ which seemingly is often done by paid informers, who obviously have their own agendas. Civilian ‘collateral deaths’ seem to be a price the USA is happily prepared to risk – after all, they are neither white, nor American;

In April, 19 year-old Habibur Rehman made a videotaped “confession” of planting such devices, just before he was executed by the Taliban as an American spy. “I was given $122 to drop chips wrapped in cigarette paper at Al Qaeda and Taliban houses,” he said. If I was successful, I was told, I would be given thousands of dollars.”But Rehman says he didn’t just tag jihadists with the devices. “The money was good so I started throwing the chips all over. I knew people were dying because of what I was doing, but I needed the money,” he added. Which raises the possibility that the unmanned aircraft — America’s key weapons in its covert war on Pakistan’s jihadists and insurgents — may have been lead to the wrong targets.

Of course, whilst the US war machine keeps rolling along, supported by a bankrupt economy and the evermore depleted Western European nations, it is unlikely that we will see a procession of wizened Americans shuffling into the dock .

However, the balance of power in the world is changing faster than most people in the USA or even Europe fully comprehend, and it might just be that we watch the once arrogant and self-justifying warmongers of the NATO alliance standing shackled in the dock to answer charges of murder, mayhem and waging aggressive war far sooner than seems possible at the moment.

POST SCRIPT; Gaddafi’s daughter has taken the first step in treating these acts of remotely controlled warfare as crimes perpetrated in the countries where the political control is exercised.

The daughter of Muammar Gaddafi has filed lawsuits against NATO alleging war crimes in the air strikes that are said to have killed her relatives.

The lawsuits have been filed in Paris and Brussels naming France’s role in the attacks and Belgium as the base of the NATO alliance. The charges lodged by Aisha al-Gaddafi are based on the killings of the Libyan leader’s youngest son and three grandchildren; all three children were under the age of 12. One of the children was Aisha al-Gaddafi’s four-month-old daughter, Mastoura.

The suits do not name a specific defendant, but the complaints call upon the authorities to ‘find, identify and punish the perpetrators and the accomplices involved in the April 30 airstrike by the alliance’. Her attorneys state that NATO’s decision to target a civilian home constitutes a war crime.

More here . . .

 

 

Leave a Reply