Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO News: August 29, 2011

29 August 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Chicago: Conference Plans Mass Demonstrations Against NATO, G8 Summits
  • Meeting With Top Commander: NATO Trains Iraqi Navy
  • NATO Attack On Syria To Result In Quagmire: Iranian Foreign Minister
  • Washington Post: ‘Syrians Demand’ NATO Intervention
  • Canadian Military: Boost U.S.-Led Surveillance Against Russia, China
  • Welcome To Colonialism 2.0
  • U.S.-Based NATO Command Implements New Strategic Concept Measures

Chicago: Conference Plans Mass Demonstrations Against NATO, G8 Summits


Chicago Tribune
August 28, 2011

Local activists gear up for G8, NATO summits planned for city
By Andy Grimm

Activists are planning massive demonstrations to coincide with the G8 and NATO summits in Chicago scheduled for spring 2012, with crowds of protesters likely to reach ‘tens of thousands,’ organizers said.

More than 160 members representing about 50 groups from across the U.S. and Canada gathered Sunday at the Chicago-Kent College of Law to discuss strategy and start planning two large-scale protests and a march that during the week-long joint summit, which is set for mid-May.

The G8 and similar economic forums have for more than a decade drawn thousands of demonstrators. With the world economy in turmoil and NATO leaders set to discuss Afghanistan war policy, the joint summit should draw protesters on behalf of a wide array of causes, activists said.

Chicago could see crowds of protesters similar to the 35,000 or so activists who descended on St. Paul, Minn., during the 2008 Republican National Convention, said Joe Lombardo, co-coordinator for the New York-based United National Anti-War Committee.

‘With the war (and) the global economy as they are, and the (U.S. presidential) election in full swing next spring, I think it will have the potential to be bigger than the protests in Minnesota,’ said Lombardo, a retired New York state government worker who has participated in demonstrations since the 1960s. ‘Those issues are not going to go away (by May) and Chicago is a larger city than some of the other places they’ve had these summits recently.’

Chicago activist Joe Iosbaker, who helped organize the RNC protests in 2008 and whose home was raided by FBI agents last October, said he applied for permits to hold demonstrations in Daley Plaza and Federal Plaza downtown the day the White House announced the city would host the summits.

So far, he has not heard anything about the status of the permits from the county about using Daley Plaza or the agency that controls Federal Plaza. City officials also have said organizers will not be able to apply for a permit for a planned march through the city until the first of the year, Iosbaker said.

‘They told me they would get back to me in two weeks to let me know at least that we were in the process of getting the permit,’ Iosbaker said. ‘That was nine weeks ago.’

Local activist Andy Thayer said demonstrations will be peaceful, despite a recent statement by police Superintendent Garry McCarthy that the department is preparing for ‘mass arrests’ of protestors during the summit.

The remarks were especially galling given Chicago’s mixed history of dealing with large demonstrations, Thayer said. Police in 2003 arrested about 900 people who marched to protest the start of the Iraq war, with some protesters held for up to 36 hours. The arrests prompted a class-action lawsuit, Thayer said.

‘Statements like that from McCarthy have a chilling effect,’ he said. ‘The city has a history of attacks on civil rights.’

Iosbaker noted that events like the G8 and World Trade Organization summits have seen some violence in their host cities. Iosbaker attributed the clashes to aggressive police, and said his group is planning to do nothing to disrupt the city or the conferences.

‘What we want is a safe, permitted, legal protest,’ Iosbaker said. ‘Something that parents feel safe bringing their babies in strollers to, and we want our voice to be heard.’


Meeting With Top Commander: NATO Trains Iraqi Navy


North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
August 26, 2011

Iraqi Navy Commander meets NATO Training Mission–Iraq Deputy Commander
Ali Hussein Al-Rubaye

BAGHDAD: NATO Training Mission-Iraq Deputy Commander, Maj. Gen. Giovanni Armentani, and NTM-I advisor to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence, Col. Caimmi, met with the Iraqi Navy Commander, Rear Adm. Ali Hussein Al-Rubaye at the Iraqi Ministry of Defence for the first time Thursday.

The group discussed possible ways ahead with cooperation and assistance for the Navy training and education system.

During the meeting, the admiral said he was interested in courses on specific naval subjects that NTM-I could provide. Maj. Gen. Armentani said he would seriously consider the request and added that NTM-I is ready to offer advising and mentoring in the fields of training, maintenance and doctrine.

The Navy commander also expressed an interest in out-of-country initiatives conducted by NATO Nations and asked for a calendar of these activities in order to organize Navy participation. Armentani said NTM-I is also evaluating the possibility of supporting English language courses. General Armentani finally expressed his wish to visit the Iraqi naval base in Umm Qasr and the Arabian Gulf Maritime Academy in Basrah.

The NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I) was established in 2004 at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1546.

The aim of NTM-I is to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions so that Iraq can build an effective and self-sustainable capability that address the needs of the nation.

NTM-I…is a distinct training mission, under the political control of NATO’s North Atlantic Council. Its operational emphasis is on training and mentoring. The activities of the mission are coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the US-led Deputy Commanding General Advising and Training (DCG (A&T)) who is also dual-hatted as the Commander of NTM-I. NATO has an enduring commitment to Iraq.

NTM-I advises and supports the Defence University for Military Studies, National Defence College, War College, and the Defence Language Institute with the other institutions in Baghdad. Other cooperation projects for NATO in Iraq are out-of-country training courses for Iraqi nationals at NATO schools as well as the Iraqi Police (Iraqi Federal Police and Oil Police) training led by Italian Carabinieri.

Currently, NTM-I is a small tactical force of NATO/PfP personnel, representing 14 member nations (as at August 2011).


NATO Attack On Syria To Result In Quagmire: Iranian Foreign Minister


Tehran Times
August 28, 2011

Syria would be a quagmire for NATO, Iran says

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said that NATO will get bogged down in a quagmire if it launches a military campaign against Syria.

Salehi made the remarks during an interview with IRNA published on Sunday in reference to the threats of military action against Damascus if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not step down.

‘If, God forbid, such a thing happens, NATO will be drawn into a quagmire, which it will never be able to extricate itself from,’ Salehi stated.

‘Syria is in the forefront of resistance in the Middle East, and NATO cannot threaten this country with attack,’ he added.

Salehi also said, ‘The threats being issued by the United States and the West will have no effect on the resolve of the Syrian people.’

‘Regional nations have certainly woken up, and the awareness of nations will prevent the West from doing anything through launching a military campaign,’ he stated.

Salehi also described the West’s military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan as ‘ineffective’, saying, ‘If the West continues this path, it will not reach a favorable result.’


Washington Post: ‘Syrians Demand’ NATO Intervention


Washington Post
August 28, 2011

Calls in Syria for weapons, NATO intervention
By Liz Sly


BEIRUT — The success of Libya’s rebels…is prompting calls within the Syrian opposition for armed rebellion and NATO intervention…

Protesters in recent days have carried banners calling for a no-fly zone over Syria akin to the one that facilitated the Libyan revolt. ‘We want any [intervention] that stops the killing, whether Arab or foreign,’ said one banner held by protesters in…Homs.

Activists who have recently visited Homs say protesters there also have begun carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles…Videos have appeared on Facebook pages teaching activists how to make molotov cocktails.


Canadian Military: Boost U.S.-Led Surveillance Against Russia, China


Postmedia News
August 27, 2011

Military calls for boost in ocean surveillance
By David Pugliese

Canada’s military wants the Harper government to take part in rebuilding a Cold War ocean surveillance system, arguing that the country’s waters, including the approaches to the Arctic, are vulnerable to Chinese and Russian submarines.

The current system, overseen by the U.S., involves specialized vessels and underwater sensors scattered around the globe to detect submarine movements.

But with the end of the Cold War in the 1990s and the collapse of the former Soviet Union, that sensor technology, including systems called arrays, were not modernized. They now need to be upgraded or replaced. In some cases Canada shut down its facilities for monitoring underwater activities.

‘The oldest portions of the global infrastructure were terminated without replacement – Argentia, Nfld and Shelburne, N.S. fixed arrays – creating gaps covering the Arctic approaches and major portions of the Eastern Atlantic,’ reads a briefing note sent by defence chief Gen. Walter Natynczyk to Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

That September 2010 document was obtained under the Access to Information Act.

The military wants to become more involved in the U.S.-led underwater surveillance system, arguing that it would be too expensive to put its own sensors into the ocean.

The warning about Chinese submarines echoes similar concerns contained in a report issued Wednesday by the Pentagon. It pointed out that China’s military capabilities are growing and that could threaten stability in the Asia-Pacific region.


Welcome To Colonialism 2.0


OpEd News
August 28, 2011

Welcome to Colonialism 2.0
By Rakesh Krishnan Simha

The assault on Libya by a coalition of mostly Western nations begs the question: Is colonialism making some sort of a comeback? While their economies are collapsing in slow motion, it is hard to picture Western countries prospecting for real estate across the globe, as they did 300 years ago. But as unreal as it seems, it is happening.

Few will shed tears for Gaddafi because it was his impetuosity that cost Libya its freedom; of more concern is the fact that after 40 years the country’s considerable oil wealth has reverted to Western control. Iraqi oil too is flowing west. Iran could very well be the next target of American and British warplanes.

Ironically, it is when the West is weak that the emergent nations of Asia and Africa have reason to worry. Colonialism 2.0 isn’t just a catchphrase; it is simple economics: the wealthy will always need to be vigilant against the desperate.

In the 18th and 19th centuries when the world was being colonized by the likes of Spain, Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal and the Dutch, India and China were the two richest countries in the world, together accounting for over 50 per cent of world GDP. And yet the two giant Asian nations ended up under colonial jackboots.

If you think colonization happened when the East was decadent and the West was rising or that India and China neglected their militaries and ignored the foreign threats lurking at their shores, you couldn’t be more wrong. Both countries had very powerful armies and naval flotillas led by able commanders.

Military edge

In the early 1700?s, India’s legendary Admiral of the Fleet, Kanhoji Angre, routed the British, Dutch and Portuguese navies on the high seas. For 33 years until his death in 1729, the Indian remained undefeated. The British were so pissed they called him a pirate.

Indian ships of that time were so advanced in design and durability that the British inducted them into their fleet. In the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Horatio Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory was an Indian built vessel.

According to the Indian Navy’s website, ‘This so agitated British shipbuilders on the River Thames that they protested against the use of Indian built ships to carry trade from England. Consequently, active measures were adopted to cripple the Indian shipbuilding industries.’

The southern Indian kingdom of Mysore was the first in modern history to use rockets in war, and they used it with deadly effect against the British in the Battle of Guntur in 1780. The literally shell-shocked British army fled from the battlefield. A few unexploded rockets were later shipped to the Royal Arsenal in London, where William Congreve, the British weapons expert, reverse engineered them to launch modern rocketry in Europe.

Most Indian rulers also possessed keen geopolitical awareness. For instance, they did not allow European merchants to keep garrisons or conduct inland trade. When Thomas Roe, the British monarch’s emissary, landed in western India in 1616, he was made to wait a year before the Indian emperor granted him an audience. Three years later, Roe despite many entreaties and considerable bowing before the grandees at Delhi, returned without a trade treaty because the emperor saw no point in trading with a country that had not one product or commodity to offer India.

Thin end of the wedge

However, one slip-up by a weak emperor let in the hordes. A hundred years after Roe’s exit, an English embassy had a stroke of luck when one of its members, William Hamilton, a physician of questionable medical skills, managed to relieve the figurehead emperor of severe pain in his groin. The emperor gratefully signed a decree giving the British inland trading rights, customs duty exemptions, and the right to keep a garrison. The rest as they say is history.

According to professor Rajesh Kochhar, emeritus scientist at the Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Chandigarh, ‘These exemptions gave the English traders commercial advantages not only over other European companies but also over Indian traders. More importantly, the various official orders granting trade concessions gave the British a cause to defend, with military strength if needed.’ Does that sound familiar?

Return of the East

Today, the east is rising once again. Economists are stunned by the unprecedented flow of manufacturing, finance and wealth to the east. Magid Igbaria, former professor of management information systems at Tel Aviv University, wrote in The Virtual Workplace: ‘For all but the last 500 years of human history, the world’s wealth measured in human capital and in goods was concentrated in Asia. During the past five centuries, the world’s wealth has been concentrated in the West. This era is coming to an end. Today, the great concentrations of human capital, financial power, manufacturing power, and informated power are once again accumulating in the East.’

Indeed, in 30 years India is predicted to overtake the US, even though it is only one-fourteenth the size of the US economy now. That is an incredible rate of wealth accretion.

The question is will the US and Europe simply watch the world go past? On the contrary, there is a concerted effort by a US-led coalition to stop this trend. Here are a few ways the West is trying to stay on top:

Base instincts: Today the US-led coalition has over 750 military bases across the globe. Despite the huge costs, this extension of military power is essential to their hegemony. A slew of European nationalities has followed the American military in its misadventures around the world. No empire in history has attempted such sweeping control. In Pliny’s days the Roman, Indian and Chinese empires co-existed in their spheres of influence and never attempted to destabilise each other. The good old days.

Divide and rule: The Americans are playing up India as a major ‘regional’ power allied with the West. This is not only insulting to the Indians (why should India only be a regional power?), it also scares the hell out of the Chinese. The communists in Beijing, therefore, come out with kneejerk statements calling for India’s breakup, which in turn makes the Indians consider China a natural enemy. Amazingly, in the past 2500 years, China and India never had even a skirmish, until the British arrived on the scene and planted the seeds of border problems.

Climate bogey: After polluting the environment for more than a century, the West now wants India and China to reduce emissions. It’s a thinly disguised attempt to slow these rapidly growing economies. India’s Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has done an about turn and now his views seem to align with Western interests, which led to key Indian negotiators quitting in disgust. Newsweek, the Pentagon mouthpiece masquerading as journalism, was sufficiently pleased with Ramesh to label him the ‘global rock star of climate change’.

Dollar gambit: Wouldn’t you feel almighty if you obtained a license to print US dollars off your home printer? While the rest of the world has to earn a living the hard way, the Americans just print dollars to pay their bills. Need a few hundred billion dollars to pay for the war in Iraq? Want to buy Venezuelan oil? Russian titanium? No problem. The US mint cranks the lever and billions of dollars start rolling off the presses. In fact, in recent years even that pretense has been given the heave-ho – now trillions of dollars are generated electronically in the accounts of the US Federal Reserves. It’s as simple as that.

There is another way the dollar trade works against the interests of non-Western countries. Countries like China and Russia invest their earnings in US treasury bonds; these dollars are used by the Americans to maintain their global military supremacy, build increasingly modern weapons, and reward their allies with cash, weapons, and security umbrellas.

WTO: Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called it ‘archaic, undemocratic and inflexible’ and dominated by a small group of developed countries which indulge in protectionism. One of its aims is to pry open the agricultural markets of Asia, including India. Incidentally, India has the highest number of farmer suicides in the world.

Nixing nuclear tech: The 11th commandment: Thou shall not acquire nuclear technology. Indian and Japanese nuclear scientists perfected the fast breeder reactor (which generates more nuclear fuel than it uses) so they never have to look outside for hard-to-get uranium). However, most likely under US pressure, both nations have quietly shelved their technologies.

Space crunch: America’s space ambitions are currently grounded because of deep cuts. India has the world’s largest number (177) of satellites in space. NASA is aware of it; it is looking at joint ventures with the Indian Space Research Organisation which has reliable rockets and something like 20,000 engineers and scientists. Few are aware that during the 1990s, India requested the Russians for a role in the International Space Station, but the Americans said no. Now NASA wants a free ride on Indian rockets, and India’s feckless politicians are happy to oblige.

According to former Panama ruler General Manuel Noriega, who now languishes in an American prison despite doing decades of dirty work for the CIA, ‘if there is someone willing to buy a country, there is someone willing to sell it.’ Worryingly for emerging nations, there are plenty of collaborators like Noriega in their amidst willing to sacrifice national interests for a few million dollars in a Swiss bank account and green cards for their families.

In the first era of colonialism, the then dominant Eastern nations opened up their economies and territories to comparatively backward Western nations over a span of several decades, finally ending up as their colonies. Under the guise of globalization and ‘free’ trade, Colonialism 2.0 could happen in much the same way.


U.S.-Based NATO Command Implements New Strategic Concept Measures


North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
August 24, 2011

ACT designs measurements of NATO performance
Written by Ken Ruml, JALLC intern Wednesday

Allied Command Transformation (ACT) recently completed a report proposing a simple set of defence measurements to foster political will to improve defence capabilities that will form the basis of discussions by Defence Ministers during the October 2011 Ministerial Meeting.

In response to a tasking from the NATO Secretary General, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, General Stephane Abrial tasked the Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC) in February 2011 to provide the NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning with a proposed set of metrics that would reflect the need expressed in NATO’s Political Guidance. The guidance was derived from the new NATO Strategic Concept agreed by heads of state in Lisbon to measure actual output to NATO from Nations’ defence capabilities.

The aim of the measurements is to identify principal capability shortfalls and to foster resolve among Allies at the political level to rectify them. A secondary aim is to encourage further discussion within NATO on Alliance defence capabilities.

The new measures complement the existing usability initiative, which measures deployability and sustainability of NATO land and air forces and sets targets for Allies to reach into those areas…

NATO International Staff in charge of Defence Policy and Planning based at NATO Headquarters, together with national defence counsellors, will staff the JALLC report and forward a final proposed list of metrics to defence ministers for approval at their October 2011 meeting. Ideally, the measurements will then form an integral part of the NATO defence planning process.

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