Globalization of NATO and its Catastrophic Failure in Libya

By Ludwig Watzal

The books “The Globalization of NATO” and “Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya” deal with the expansion of a military alliance that was supposed to be solely defensive in character and confined to Europe. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc countries, Nato turned global and embarked on an expansionist and aggressive worldwide strategy in order to redraw the political map of the world. Taking the last 20 years into account, one can call the Nato alliance the greatest threat to world peace.

Established in April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as Nato, was meant to protect its members from an attack by the Soviet Union. The cold war was in full swing. With Germany’s accession to Nato on May 9, 1955, the Warsaw Pact was founded in return on May 14, 1955. The defensive character of Nato ended with the breakdown of the Soviet Union and the so-called Eastern bloc.

Since this historic date, Nato lost its raison d’être. In the absence of a bogeyman, the Peoples Republic of China was used as a temporary surrogate until 9/11 happened. Since then, political Islam replaced Chinese Communism as an enemy image of Nato, and the U. S.-led alliance started to expand globally via the pretext of the “war on terror”. Until the Islamic “threat” is defeated, Iran, China, and Russia are put on the back burner. Phrased in the geopolitical language of the U. S. Empire and its willing allies: postponed is not cancelled.

That the three countries are future targets of Nato is also one of the Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya’s hypothesis. He quotes from the document “Towards a Grand Strategy for an Uncertain World: Renewing Transatlantic Partnership” that was written by five retired high ranking former Generals who proposed not only “the use of nuclear weapons against rival states and blocs”, but have also mandated themselves “to go to war anywhere in the world”. (p. 341) This war screenplay was transformed by a commission headed by the ineffable former U. S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in a more political suitable language that called for the securing of any sources, which the U. S. and Nato consider vital “world energy hubs”. The same person thought that the death of 500 000 Iraqi children in the cause of US sanctions was “worth it”. (“We think the price is worth it.”)

Denis J. Halliday, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, writes in his foreword that the U. S.-driven Nato alliance represents a danger to world harmony and peace. “Tragically the leaders of the Nato countries do love war and the arms profit from warfare.” (p. 12) Therefore, “Nato must be abolished.” (p. 15) What Nazemroaya outlines in 16 chapters shows the real intention of Nato: hegemony over the entire globe. The neo-cons and their Zionist allies call it “creative destruction” that aims at the blight of the countries of the Middle East. As their ultimate goal, the strategy targets the encirclement of Russia and China. The author wants to raise awareness of the imperialist nature of the international conflicts and he shows the whole picture that seems at first sight as “fragmented”.

In chapter “Nato and Africa” Nazemroaya demonstrates how the US-led alliance started to get a hold of Northern Africa and the African waters by propagating Al-Qaeda franchises in Africa and how the US and its Nato allies must intervene and fight it. However, the process started in the Mediterranean Sea. Nato’s Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) made the first inroads into North Africa after it was established as early as 1994. (p. 209) In 2007, the United States African Command (AFRICOM) was established. According to the author, nobody talks about the cooperation of the U. S. Empire with Al-Qaeda groups in Libya and Syria and the effort by the U. S. and the Western bloc to push China, Russia, Brazil, India and other countries out of Africa. The battle for resources is in full swing. That’s what the “Scramble over Africa” is all about.

The main objective of the different Nato missions in Africa is to “understand how to really and instigate African societies to destabilize the continent’s countries and ouster their governments and leaders, should they prove unreceptive to U. S. and EU interests”. (p. 210) it’s no coincidence that the Sahel zone has been chosen, in which the alleged Al-Qaeda operates. Why should the above mentioned countries cooperate with France, Great Britain, and the USA in the case of Syria against a legitimate government, whereas they have been deceived by them in the case of Libya? These countries feel betrayed. And Nato has demonstrated that it cannot be trusted as peacekeepers by the United Nations. The so-called humanitarian interventions or R2P, as it’s called now, should never be entrusted to Nato forces.

Not only will the U. S. Empire push back every foreign influence in Africa, but the pentagon also plays an important role “in the encirclement of the Eurasian Heartland and Russia, Iran, and China”. (p. 268) All three countries see the Nato alliance as a threat to their security. The march of NATO and its expansionism eastward began with the smashing of former Yugoslavia. By this war, Nato has reinvented itself using a new tool to legitimize its aggression: humanitarian intervention. Additionally, the war in Yugoslavia allowed for the logistics to be prepared for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. (pp. 67-113)

In his last chapter, “Global Militarization”, the author presents the question whether we are at the doors of a third world war. The U. S.-led Nato alliance has already caused havoc and political chaos across the Middle East.  More of the same can be expected in Syria and Iran. According to Nazemroaya, “a global anti-establishment counter-alliance has formed against the U. S. and Nato”, which consist of China, Russia, and Iran. (p. 342) Against these countries, plus North Korea, Syria and Iraq, America’s nuclear weapons are targeted at, writes the author. “The US, UK, France, and Nato – under Washington’s orders – all have refused to commit to a policy of ‘no first use’ for nuclear weapons unlike non-Nato nuclear powers.” (p. 345) This nuclear deterrence policy of the U. S. is stated in the “Nuclear Posture Review” of 2010 and reiterated in the just published report on “Nuclear Employment Strategy of the U. S.” Politically speaking, the U. S. is committed to nuclear first-strike warfare against the above mentioned countries.

Nazemroaya also shows the hypocrisy of the West in matters of nuclear weapons. Not Iran is violating the NPT treaty but the U. S. and its allies France and Great Britain. After the end of the Cold War, Nato’s nuclear strike posture has become more aggressive. “The U.S. and Nato have already deemed the NPT to be null and avoid in the scenario of a world war”. (p. 347) It seems as if the NPT is nothing more than a convenient tool to hold sway over non-nuclear states and to perpetuate the nuclear monopoly of a not so “exclusive” nuclear club anymore. What is the U.S. going to do if someone wants to stop it on its way to world domination?

The book gives deep insight into the dangers, which Nato represents for world peace. A fascinating but at the same time also a disturbing book because it shows who the real enemies of peace are: the U. S. and its Nato allies. Definitely a must read.

In his book “Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya”, Horace Campbell argues that Nato is “the instrument through which the capitalist class of North America and Europe seeks to impose its political will on the rest of the world, however warped by the increasingly outmoded neoliberal form of capitalism”.  Within the peace and justice movement, the author argued that although Muammar al-Gaddafi should be opposed, “it was equally necessary to oppose the NATO intervention” (p. 10). For the author, Nicolas Sarkozy was the champion of the “uprisings” but at the end it has not paid off politically for him. Although colonialism has formally ended some decades ago, France is still considered the gendarme of Europe in Africa. It is against the reality of the NATO intervention in Libya, like Nicolas Sarkozy’s statement shows: “We will fight to save the euro.” (p. 29) In September 2012, the media reported that “Gaddafi was killed by a French secret serviceman on orders of Nicolas Sarkozy”. (p. 11) Was this the thanks for the 50 million U.S. Dollars to Sarkozy’s election campaign in 2007?

Horace Campbell holds a joint Professorship in the Department of African American Studies and Department of Political Science at Syracuse University. He is also a Special Invited Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He has been involved in the peace and justice movements for decades. He is the author of many books; inter alia, Barack Obama and 21st Century Politics: A Revolutionary Moment in the USA.

In his book he argues that the NATO intervention has served to speed up awareness in Africa that the African Union must be strengthened to be able to meet the political, diplomatic, and military requirements to resist external military missions such as that of NATO in Libya. Gaddafi had to go because he was more a champion of African than Arab unity. Therefore, the Arab League took revenge and called for Gaddafi’s overthrow. In the case of Syria, the Arab League shows the same vile attitude and collaborates with the Western colonial powers against the interest of their own peoples. The coup against Gaddafi was aimed at the”destruction of the ideas of African unity” (p. 32) and African freedom. Gaddafi had supported the speedy creation of the African Central Bank and the building of an African Monetary Union.

When the uprising started, young Western-minded intellectuals hijacked the protest in Libya. Some of them had been closely associated with Gaddafi’s oldest son Saif al-Islam. These reformers had internalized neoliberal economic thinking and wanted Libya to become like Kuwait or the Gulf States – basically client states of Western capital. They were the opponents of the defenders of “Libyan resources nationalism”. These nationalists promoted policies designed to increase Libyan government control over and share of revenue from hydrocarbon resources. (p.256) The increasing presence of Russia, Brazil, and China in Libya challenged the old world order from the view of Western multinationals.

Besides the destruction of African unity and freedom, the other main objective was to get, especially, the Chinese out of Libya. (p. 188) The U. S-led Nato wanted to deny China’s free access to long-term oil imports from Africa and the Middle East. As Appendix 4 shows, China was by far the largest investor in the country. (p.289) Militarily, AFRICOM was created to contain China and contribute the “Global war on terror” to Africa.

In his afterword, Ali Mazrui, Director and Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities at Binghamton University in New York, mentions that the war on Libya was the second aggression by the north against the south. The first was the attack against Egypt by France, Great Britain, and Israel in 1956. Mazrui mentions the numerous killings of black persons in Libya. Most of them were ordinary civilians rather than “mercenaries” fighting for Gaddafi. “These racist incidents and the reaction of the mainstream Western media brings to the fore the issues of race in international relations.” (p. 268) Mazrui quotes the notorious Samuel P. Huntington who was at “his best” when he discussed how the West masquerades as “the world community,” and uses the United Nations to give universalist credentials to Western interests. “The very phrase “ world community” has become the euphemistic collective noun (replacing ‘Free World’) to give global legitimacy to actions reflecting the interests of the United States and other Western powers”, writes Huntington. In Mazrui’s words, the United Nations has become the collective fig-leaf for rapacious Western actions.

The war of aggression against Libya was anything but a success. Thousands of civilians were killed, the infrastructure destroyed, and the country fell into the hands of extremist militias and terrorist groups. Just a few months ago, the U. S. ambassador and some American diplomats were killed in Bengasi. The book also shows that the important decisions are made at Wall Street, at Goldman Sachs, the FED, and perhaps in the ECB. The politicians need to perform. They are the puppets of the international financial complex and the transnational capitalist class and have to use the tool of “humanitarian intervention” or (R2P) to advance the neo-liberal economic model. Campbell’s lucid analysis shows that the overthrow of “dictator” Gaddafi had nothing to do with humanitarianism; instead it was an ice-cold power play of politicians on behalf of the global financial elite. The book is highly recommended.

(Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The Globalisation of NATO, Clarity Press, Atlanta 2012, 411 pp., $ 24.95. )

(Horace Campbell, Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya, Monthly Review Press, New York 2013, 320 pp., $ 16.95.)

– Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany. He contributed this article to Visit his blog: ‘Between the lines.’

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