By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog
In 1851, France had the misfortune to fall victim to a coup by the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles-Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, who styled himself Napoleon III. Karl Marx had been an enthusiastic supporter of the French 1848 uprising – one among those which had taken place throughout Europe – and viewed the coup as the work of a buffoon who happened to put together an odd coalition of social classes– businesspeople, aristocratic landlords, and a rabble of barely employed street peddlers and other workers with no consciousness of their own class interests. With his wicked wit, Marx saw Napoleon III as a dramatic come-down for France from the European-wide empire of Napoleon I. Marx wrote the famous words:
“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He (Hegel) forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”
In addition to the self-perpetuating, bloated monstrosity of NATO there should be added the various spook agencies, CIA, MI5, MI6 MOSSAD, BND, 5-EYES, and the rest whose mission is generally unstated and, for many, clouded in secrecy but nonetheless visible enough to those with eyes to see. Their permanent existence as a state within a state and their purported goals concerning ‘national security’ are not necessarily made clear, and, in fact, they might often be the very opposite of what they claim. Also included in the list of non-state actors are the NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) which in fact is not an NGO since it receives funding from the US government which makes it a GO. Along with this is the Human Rights Watch (HRW) as well as Soros’s Open Society Foundation, and these are just some of the lavishly underwritten think tanks and secretly funded organizations which have proliferated into the rich soil that sustains them. (Please see Ray McGovern on MICCIMATT) – Military Industrial Congressional Intelligence Media Academic Think Tanks, in this respect. (1) Just how large these sprawling bureaucracies are and how far their influence reaches is almost impossible to ascertain. It could I suppose be compared to a late stage carcinoma on the body politic which is actually killing the host. Given the enormous dimensions of this geo-political super-blob I will restrict myself to a few but telling examples of its activities and their outcomes.
The Trial Run: NATO And The Destruction Of Yugoslavia
In the early 1990s NATO had been taking a particular interest in the events in the independent sovereign state of Yugoslavia. Between June 1991 and April 1992, four republics declared independence, and, egged on by Germany, the local NATO enforcer, Slovenia, and Croatia were the most important. Only Serbia and Montenegro remained federated but the status of ethnic Serbs outside Serbia and Montenegro, and that of ethnic Croats outside Croatia, remained unsolved. This was the beginning of the deconstruction of Yugoslavia – part of a longer-term dismantling which would ultimately also include reducing the USSR/Russia to vassal status or failing that, of outright occupation. This contrived disintegration of Yugoslavia ultimately laid the early basis for the complete fragmentation of the Yugoslav state. The secessionist crisis which had started in 1991 ultimately laid the basis for overt NATO intervention in the Kosovo war in 1999, all of which is well-documented.
In 1999 NATO openly entered the conflict and began a massive blitz against the rump state of Serbia, a country with no aerial defence capability, and which was subjected to a merciless bombardment of the country with thousands of cruise missiles and bombs in what would become the largest military assault in Europe since the Second World War. NATO’s campaign of air and missile strikes against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which consisted of Serbia and Montenegro, lasted 78 days, ending on June 10, 1999. During the campaign, dubbed ‘Operation Noble Anvil’ by NATO, alliance warplanes carried out some 2,300 sorties against 995 facilities, firing nearly 420,000 missiles, bombs and other projectiles with a total mass of about 22,000 metric tonnes. Belgrade was a chief target and the bombs also fell on especial targets such as the Chinese Embassy and the City’s important radio/tv station where a number of Serbian journalists were at work. An accident. Maybe. Apologies? Of course not, these were ‘good bombs’ after all.
This set down the marker for future NATO regime changes. Yugoslavia was followed by both the enlargement of NATO and the conduct of US-NATO wars and military interventions in the Middle East starting with Iraq, along with the fabled Weapons of Mass Destruction. The conduct of US-NATO wars and military interventions in the Middle East which had spread into Iraq, was also to spread to Libya, Syria, Yemen and Iran.
And all of these interventions followed a similar pattern.
The NATO war machine operated by lining up the above states for ‘regime change’. This represented something of a change from the usual pattern as NATO had always regarded itself as being a defensive barrier to Soviet/Russian ‘aggression’. But the Yugoslav operation signalled a 180-degree change of policy. This caused some misgivings within the alliance as the United States had pushed NATO to become an offensive rather than a purely defensive security organization.
‘’The alliance now also pursues military missions in the areas such as the Balkans, Afghanistan, the Middle-East, and North Africa. All of those theatres lie outside, – in some cases far outside – NATO’s original territorial concern. Such military missions are also vastly different from NATO’s original purpose: i.e., the defence of Western Europe from possible aggression by the (then) Soviet Union.’’ (2)
What was of crucial importance to these wars of choice, however, was the role played by the MSM. It was the demonization of Heads of State in the targeted countries – in turn Milosevic, Saddam and Gaddafi found themselves caste as pantomime villains in a rogues gallery of ne’er-do-wells who were subjected and groomed by the MSM for these roles. Granted Saddam and Gaddafi were not Martin Luther King or Gandhi, but they were however the legitimate Heads of State of their own nations. It could be argued that Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy also had blood on their hands, but for some reason, best known to the western MSM and to the political class, this didn’t count.
But Milosevic was a more difficult nut to crack. Not that the NATO defamation brigade didn’t try. The anti-Milosevic crescendo was key element in the myth structure which held that Milosevic incited the Serbs to violence, setting loose the genie of Serb nationalism from the bottle that had contained it under Tito. But neither these remarks by Milosevic nor his June 28, 1989, speech on the six-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo had anything like the characteristics imputed to them. Instead Milosevic used both speeches to appeal to multi-ethnic tolerance, accompanied by a warning against the threat posed to Yugoslavia by nationalism—“hanging like a sword over their heads all the time”
The MSM-concocted crescendo surrounding Milosevic was reaching hysterical heights. In a commentary in 2000, Tim Judah wrote that Milosevic was responsible for wars in “Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo (Wow! Not bad, that’s some going! – FL) four wars since 1991 and [that] the result of these terrible conflicts, which began with the slogan ‘All Serbs in One State,’ is the cruellest irony.” Sometime journalist, sometime spokesperson for the ICTY at The Hague, Florence Hartmann of Le Monde, and The New York Times’s Marlise Simons wrote about the “incendiary nationalism” of the man who “rose and then clung to power by resurrecting old nationalist grudges and inciting dreams of a Greater Serbia … the prime engineer of wars that pitted his fellow Serbs against the Slovenes, the Croats, the Bosnians, the Albanians of Kosovo and ultimately the combined forces of the entire NATO, wrote that “Long before the war began, Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia and, following his example, Franjo Tudjman in Croatia, had turned their backs on the Yugoslav ideal of an ethnically mixed federal State and set about carving out their own ethnically homogeneous States.’’ Such were the accusations. But then something strange happened:
It was reported on Wednesday 28 February 2007 00.08 GMT that Slobodan Milosevic, who it is alleged had died of a heart attack in 2006, was posthumously exonerated on Monday when the international court of justice ruled that Serbia was not responsible for the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica. The former president of Serbia had always argued that neither Yugoslavia nor Serbia had command of the Bosnian Serb army, and this has now been upheld by the world court in The Hague. By implication, Serbia cannot be held responsible for any other war crimes attributed to the Bosnian Serbs.
The allegations against Milosevic over Bosnia and Croatia were cooked up in 2001, two years after an earlier indictment had been issued against him by the separate International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the height of NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia in 1999. Notwithstanding the atrocities on all sides in Kosovo, NATO claims that Serbia was pursuing genocide turned out to be war propaganda, so the ICTY prosecutor decided to bolster a weak case by trying to “get” Milosevic for Bosnia as well. It took two years and 300 witnesses, but the prosecution never managed to produce conclusive evidence against its star defendant, and its central case was conclusively blown out of the water. (3)
All very convincing and indeed incontrovertible to most rational and neutral observers, but water off a duck’s back for the western MSM, who either simply ignored the findings or found new pastures to cultivate. After the Yugoslavian denouement, the western MSM found itself at a loose end. They had to find something negative to write about Russia, since this was their apparent raison d’etre. This consisted of an ongoing barrage of propaganda including 9/11, Iraq and the WMDs, the recruitment, training, and funding of a US foreign legion of Jihadists pursuing war against Syria, Yemen, Iran and Libya, some still live and ongoing (see below).
Politics as Theatre – Graham Greene 1904-1991 Our Man In Havana And The Quiet American.
The above were fictional stories of a transparently bungled MI6 stunt in Cuba and similar CIA cack-handed intrigue in Indo-China. Both shed some light on these James Bond wannabees: what and who they are, how the operate, and just how successful their little plots turn out. Talking of MI6 for example the fact that a group of famous British writers, Graham Greene, Arthur Ransome, Somerset Maugham, Compton Mackenzie and Malcolm Muggeridge, and the philosopher A.J. “Freddie” Ayer, all worked for MI6, Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. They are among the many exotic characters who agreed to spy for Britain, mainly during wartime, and who appear in a first authorised history of MI6. Generally these were spies during the war against Germany, so they could be forgiven for their adopting this ‘profession’ (sic). More to the point, however, was that the CIA/MI6 was staffed by complete fools, as is instanced in two of Greene’s novels, to wit: Our Man In Havana, which was frankly hilarious, compared to the more disturbing tale, The Quiet American.
Our Man in Havana is a black semi-comedy, set in Havana during the Fulgencio Batista regime. James Wormold, a British vacuum cleaner retailer, is approached by MI6 operative, Hawthorne, who tries to recruit him for the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Wormold’s wife had left him and now, he lives with his beautiful 16-year-old daughter, Milly, who is devoutly Catholic, but also materialistic and manipulative. Since Wormold does not make enough money to pay for Milly’s extravagances, he accepts the offer of a side job in espionage. Because he has no information to send to London, Wormold fabricates his reports using information found in newspapers and invents a fictitious network of agents. Some of the names in his network are those of real people (most of whom he has never met), but some are made up. Wormold tells only his friend and World War I veteran, Doctor Hasselbacher, about his spy work, hiding the truth from Milly.
At one point, he decides to make his reports “exciting” by sending to London sketches of what he describes as a ‘secret military installation’ in the mountains, actually vacuum cleaner parts scaled to a large size. In London, nobody except Hawthorne, the only one to know that Wormold sells vacuum cleaners, doubts this report. However, Hawthorne keeps quiet for fear of losing his job. In the light of the new developments, London sends Wormold a secretary, Beatrice Severn, and a radio assistant codenamed “C” with much spy paraphernalia. Wormwold is eventually uncovered as being a complete imposter. To avoid embarrassment and silence him from speaking to the press, MI6 offers Wormold a teaching post at headquarters and recommends him for the Order of the British Empire. (Episode closed. Not quite. Of course it was fiction, but does the Steele Dossier or, Russiagate ring a bell?)
Similarly, in another of Greene’s novels set in the first US involvement in the Indo-China War, The Quiet American, the British journalist Thomas Fowler is befriended by an American Aid worker, Alden Pyle, who it is understood works for a US aid agency. Actually he is not what he seems and was working for the CIA all along, this was eventually teased out by Fowler, with a romantic background which also involved a triangular relationship between Fowler-Pyle and Fowler’s Vietnamese mistress. Pyle was ultimately uncovered and assassinated by a Vietcong agent.
So much for the fiction.
MI6 – Libya – A Fools’ Playground For Wannabee James Bond Devotees.
In a more serious vein, however, where an actual example of MI6 buffoonery came to light occurred with the Jihadist bomb outrage, carried out by the Jihadist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG – see below) in Manchester UK in 2017. Most detail was not published in the MSM except by the superb investigative journalism of Patrick Cockburn writing in The Independent. Cockburn’s report is worth quoting here in full.
‘’The culpability of the British government and its intelligence agencies which enabled suicide bomber LIFG Salman Abedi to blow himself up at a pop concert in Manchester is being masked one year later by the mood of grief and mourning over the death and injury of so many people.
It is heartrending to hear injured children and the relatives of the dead say they do not hate anybody as a result of their terrible experiences and, if they feel anger at all, it is only directed towards the bomber himself. Victims repeatedly say that they did not want the slaughter at the Manchester Arena to be used to create divisions in their city.
The downside of this praiseworthy attitude is that it unintentionally lets off the hook those British authorities whose flawed policies and mistaken actions really did pave the way towards this atrocity. Appeals against divisiveness and emphasis on the courage of survivors have muted attacks on the government, enabling it to accuse those who criticise it of mitigating the sole guilt of Abedi.
This attitude is highly convenient for former Prime Minister David Cameron who decided in 2011 on military intervention against Muammar Gaddafi. His purported aim was humanitarian concern for the people of Benghazi, but – as a devastatingly critical report by the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs said last year – this swiftly turned into “an opportunistic policy of regime change”.
This NATO intervention succeeded and by the end of the year Gaddafi was dead. Real power in Libya passed to Islamist militias, including those with which the Abedi family were already associated. Pictures show Salman’s brothers posing with guns in their hands. Libya was plunged into an endless civil war and Benghazi, whose people including British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy were so keen to save, is today a sea of ruins. Inevitably, ISIS took advantage of the anarchy in Libya to spread its murderous influence.
This is the Libyan reality, which was created by Cameron and Sarkozy, with sceptical support from Barack Obama, the then US president, who famously referred to the Libyan debacle as a “shit show”.
Libya became a place where the Abedi family, returning from their long exile in Manchester, were able to put their militant Islamist beliefs into practice. They absorbed the toxic variant of Islam espoused by the Al-Qaeda clones, taking advantage of their military experience honed in the Iraq war, such as how to construct a bomb studded with pieces of metal designed to tear holes in human flesh. The bomb materials were easily available in countries like Britain.
Salman Abedi was responsible for what he did, but he could not have killed 22 people and maimed another 139 others, half of them children, if the British government had not acted as it did in Libya in 2011. And its responsibility goes well beyond its disastrous policy of joining the Libyan civil war, overthrowing Gaddafi, and replacing him with warring tribes and militias.
Manchester had since the 1990s become a centre for a small but dangerous group of exiled Libyans belonging to anti-Gaddafi groups, such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, originally formed by Libyans fighting the communists in Afghanistan. After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, strict measures were taken by MI5 and the police against Libyans thought likely to sympathise with al-Qaeda in Iraq and, later, ISIS. They were subject to counter-terrorism control orders monitoring and restricting their movements and often had their passports confiscated.
But no sooner had Britain joined the war against Gaddafi than these suspected terrorists became useful allies. Their control-orders were lifted, their passports returned, and they were told that the British government had no problem with them going to Libya to fight against Gaddafi. In place of past restrictions, they were allowed to pass to and fro at British airports. Some militants are reported as saying that when they had problems with counter-terrorism police when flying to Libya, the MI5 officers with whom they were in touch were willing to vouch for them and ease their way to the battlefront in Libya, where MI6 was cooperating with Qatar and UAE as financiers of the armed opposition.
This opportunistic alliance between the British security services and Libyan Salafi-jihadis may explain why Salman Abedi, though by now high up on the list of potential terrorists, was able to fly back to Manchester from Libya unimpeded a few days before he blew himself up
There should be far more public and media outrage about the British government’s role in the destruction of Libya, especially its tolerance of dangerous Islamists living in Britain to pursue its foreign policy ends. The damaging facts about what happened are now well established thanks to parliamentary scrutiny and journalistic investigation.
The official justification for British military intervention in Libya is that it was to prevent the massacre of civilians in Benghazi by Gaddafi’s advancing forces. The reason for expecting this would happen was a sanguinary speech by Gaddafi which might mean that he intended to kill them all. David Cameron, along with Liam Fox as defence minister at the time and William Hague as foreign secretary, have wisely stuck with this explanation and, as a defence of their actions, they are probably right to do so. But a report by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee says that the belief that Gaddafi would “massacre the civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence”. It points out that he had retaken other towns from the rebels and not attacked the civilian population.
These facts notwithstanding the British still followed the French lead in military intervention and Sarkozy similarly justified his policy as being in defence of the people of Benghazi. We are a little better informed about the real French motives thanks to a report, revealed through the Freedom of Information Act, made in early 2011 by Sidney Blumenthal, an unofficial advisor to Hillary Clinton, the then US secretary of state, after a meeting he had had with French intelligence officials about Sarkozy’s motives for intervention.
The officials told Blumenthal that Sarkozy’s plans were driven by five main causes, the first being “a desire to gain a greater share of Libyan oil production” and the next being to increase French influence in North Africa. His other aims were to improve his own political standing in France, enable the French military to reassert their position in the world, and prevent Gaddafi supplanting France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa.
The intelligence officials make no mention of any concern on the part of Sarkozy for the safety of the Libyan people. Conceivably the British Foreign Policy Team of David Cameron, William Hague, and Liam Fox, had much purer and more altruistic motives than their French counterparts. But it is more likely that the aim was always regime change in the national interest of those foreign powers who brought it about.
It is easy enough to convict Cameron and Sarkozy of hypocrisy, but a more telling accusation is that they betrayed the very national interests that they were seeking to advance. They destroyed Libya as a country, reduced its six million people to misery and played into the hands of men like Salman Abedi.’’ (4)
The whole squalid episode qualified as another MI5/6, CIA, and the French DGSE, operation carried out under the NATO umbrella and gave us the ‘shit show’ as enunciated by Obama. Of course the whole tawdry affair bore the customary NATO imprimatur: An EU-US-NATO led operation. Hardly an R2P operation, more like an R2B (Responsibility to Bomb). Its sticky fingers were as usual all over the joint campaign. It should be understood that NATO is an organization which exists to solve the problems it first created.
NATO – Who’s Next For Membership And/or Regime Change?
In any sane world the above would read as being a purely rhetorical question. Unfortunately, however, we do not live in a sane world. We live in Washington’s post-Westphalian world of an out-of-control Leviathan that has remained seemingly indifferent with Turkey’s seizure of Northern Cyprus, Israel’s acquisition of the West Bank and the Golan Heights. Worst of all has been Saudi Arabia’s atrocity-ridden war of aggression and extermination against Yemen – a policy in which the latter Obama and Trump administrations actively assisted and was carried out with NATO weapons, trainers, and the sustained bombing of civilian targets. (Guernica anyone!?) ‘’In this post-Westphalian world the United States and its allies have violated all those principles contained in the UN prescriptions whenever it seemed expedient to do so. It seems exceedingly difficult to square a rules-based international system with ongoing violations which have taken place in Indo-China and Yugoslavia and Iraq, even if this is carried out under a flag of convenience.’’ (5)
Respecting the Westphalian premise of spheres of influence would require a necessarily reduced application of the US’s military prerogatives; prerogatives which it has continued to exercise since 1945 in order to achieve its foreign policy objectives. It is taken as normal that the US may intervene at any time and place on the planet as it suits. The Monroe Doctrine has apparently become globalized.
But the emerging Eurasian bloc have a rather different perspective on affairs. They maintain an (irritating to western eyes) adherence to the Westphalian principles (1648). From their standpoint this should form a universal basis for peaceful coexistence. The Westphalian principles can be briefly delineated as follows:
- States existed within their own recognised borders.
- Each States sovereignty was recognised by the others.
- Principles of non-interference were agreed.
- Religious differences between states were tolerated.
- States might be monarchies or republics.
- Permanent State interests or raison d’etat was the organizing principle of international relations.
- War was not eliminated, yet it was mitigated by diplomacy and balance-of-power politics
- The object of a balance-of-power was to prevent one state from becoming so powerful that it could conquer others and destroy world order.
This was a very different philosophy and global project from the one that NATO, the US neo-cons, MSM, deep-state and spook bureaucracies have in mind. But how to reconcile the irreconcilable? There must be a meeting of minds for diplomacy to set out such matters and set workable limits on the goals of contending parties. But, in Hamlet’s words, ‘Ay, there’s the rub’. At the present time there are no signals from the US war party who are attempting to delegitimize the entire concept of spheres of influence, and, as such, is a non-starter for even reasonably cordial relationships between East and West. However,
‘’What is worse is the apparent US attitude that Russia is not entitled to even a minimum-security zone adjacent to its homeland. Pushing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, after already admitting the Baltic republics, reduces any Russian security buffer to a nullity. Conducting NATO military exercises within mere miles (and at least in one case barely hundreds of yards) of the Russian border highlights such menacing arrogance. A fundamental change in Washington’s approach is essential.’’(6)
Agreed, but it takes two to tango. And it would appear that the US is not going to take to the dance floor any time soon. Instead, for example, the following brainless responses to any minimal peace proposals emanating from the Eurasian bloc are revealing. After the Yugoslavian denouement, the western MSM found itself at a loose end. They had to find something negative to write about Russia. However, instead of reciprocated and reasoned diplomacy on the part of the West and its various agencies we got the following. A piece of journalistic fluff.
The Navalny Episode.
The whole farcical Navalny episode should be an object lesson in just how totally incompetent and amateurish whole western security agencies appear to be. The CIA-MI6-BND mob seems to be on the loose! In a ridiculously burlesque performance the whole fabric of western society was supposed to be apparently undermined by the devious Vlad the compulsive poisoner who strikes yet again. Cue the predictable MSM cacophony from the usual suspects subjecting us to the ‘two-minutes-hate’’ routine. Russia did it! Russia did it! Putin personally took charge of it. NATO should stand together and forestall the challenges of Russian dirty tricks. Blah, blah blah.
The wholly foreseeable reaction of the western establishment, politicians and MSM, was to have an expected mass apoplectic seizure. Something must be done! Yes, and we know precisely what that something is. It is clear as daylight that this stunt is intended to scuttle the Nordstream-2 deal between Germany and the Russian Federation, a deal which was almost finalised and is still awaiting implementation.
The story (fantasy) goes something like this. Suddenly a political nobody – Navalny – was allegedly poisoned by Putin (but of course) using the deadly one tiny drop of Novichok – which reputedly wipes out a whole city. Only as with the Skripals it didn’t work, well, ahem, we’ll just pass on that.
The whole parody – worthy of a Monty Python sketch – has been orchestrated by the western spook agencies governments and MSM whose sole object is to engineer the cancellation of Nordstream-2 which, if it happens, will mean that the Americans will be able to export their very expensive LNG, sending their little armada across the Atlantic. More fool the Germans if they agree to this directive. But this abject surrender was entirely predictable and in keeping with the squirming deference of the euro-vassals to the US’s NATO allies, Germany being one.
Norway being another. One only has to listen to a complete dolt like Jens Stoltenberg – member of the Norwegian Labour party and ex-Prime Minster now Secretary-General of NATO – to realise how monumental the problem is when the said Mr Stoltenberg talks quite enthusiastically about the future entry of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO.
This is the fire which the ‘West’ is now playing with. The NATO idiocracy is now calling the shots and such a move of incorporating Ukraine and Georgia into NATO would be a virtual declaration of war against Russia. Russia’s response might well be a message from Elvis.
‘’If you’re looking for trouble, you’ve come to the right place.’’
(1) McGovern and Bureaucracy – passim.
(2) This observation is usually attributed to Richard Sakwa, author of Frontline Ukraine and Russia Against The World. But I think that it might have been influenced by J.A.Schumpeter who once remarked that in Ancient Egypt ‘‘a class of professional soldiers formed during the war against the Hyskos persisted even when those wars were over – along with those warlike instincts and interests’’. But Schumpeter capped this part of the narrative with a pithy summary of his viewpoint: ‘’Created by wars that required it, the military machine now created the wars it required.’’ J.A.Schumpeter Critical Exposition Chapter 2, p.63. Major Conservative and Libertarian Thinkers – John Medearis. Also Ted Galen Carpenter – NATO – The Dangerous Dinosaur – passim.
Sure sounds like NATO to me (FL)
(3) John Laughland – Travesty: The Trial of Slobodan Milosevic and the corruption of International Justice
(4) Patrick Cockburn – The Independent – passim
(5) Ted Galen Carpenter – NATO: The Dangerous Dinosaur – page.9
(6) Ted Galen Carpenter – Ibid, page.144