It is therefore essential in the weeks and months
ahead, that citizens' movements in the US and around the world
act consistently to confront their respective governments and
reverse and dismantle this military agenda. (For details, see
Michel Chossudovsky, Post Cold War Shivers, October 2006).
The Centre for Research on Globalisation
(CRG) is an independent research and media group of writers,
scholars and activists. It is a registered non profit organization
in the province of Quebec, Canada. Michel Chossudovsky
is a Canadian economist. He is a professor of economics at the
University of Ottawa.Chossudovsky has taught as visiting professor
at academic institutions in Western Europe, Latin America and
Southeast Asia, has acted as economic adviser to governments of
developing countries and has worked as a consultant for international
organizations including the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), the African Development Bank, the United Nations African
Institute for Economic Development and Planning (AIEDEP), the
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Labour
Organization (ILO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United
Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
(ECLAC). In 1999, Chossudovsky joined the Transnational Foundation
for Peace and Future Research as an adviser.
America is preparing for war. British and US Special Forces "trained
in the arts of kidnapping and assassination" are already
operating inside Afghanistan. More than one million US troops
are on standby. US military bases around the World are on high
alert: "the Japan-based USS Kitty Hawk battle group and the
7th Fleet are ready to join" in the largest display of military
might since the Vietnam war.
The Bush Administration is planning on launching this military
operation without delay, prior to the development of a cohesive
anti-war movement in the US and around the World.
Already, US military personnel of the 82nd Airborne and 101st
Air Assault Divisions have arrived in Pakistan. They will be collaborating
with the Pakistani military and the Inter-Services Intelligence
agency which over the years --under CIA guidance-- has channeled
support to the Islamic jihad including Osama bin Laden and the
Taliban government in Kabul.
The pretext to wage war as a means of combating international
terrorism is totally fabricated. In a cruel irony, the legitimacy
of the Bush administration in embarking on this military adventure
rests entirely on Osama bin Laden's presumed role in the terrorist
attacks of September 11.
At this critical juncture in US history, does President Bush
have a firm grasp of the broad implications of his decisions?
According to Time Magazine (15 November 1999):
...on too many issues, especially those dealing with the wider
world of global affairs, Bush often sounds as if he's reading
from cue cards. When he ventures into international issues, his
unfamiliarity is palpable and not even his unshakable self-confidence
keeps him from avoiding mistakes.
A president with minimal understanding of key international and
strategic issues can easily be manipulated by the military-intelligence
Apart from reading carefully prepared speeches, is George W.
Bush as President and Commander in Chief capable of formulating
"responsible" foreign policy decisions? In this regard,
does the President wield real political power or is he an instrument?
In other words, who decides in Washington? On the eve of a major
military adventure, this question is of utmost significance because
ultimately the US military machine will respond when the president
"pushes the button".
The knowledge of the President on Pakistan and Afghanistan --i.e.
the two countries which constitute the theatre of America's war--
is dismal to say the least. Prior to becoming President, George
W. Bush thought the Taliban was a rock group.
In a 1999 TV interview with Andy Hiller on NBC (WHDH in Boston),
when asked who was the president of Pakistan, George W. Bush had
"the name of General Pervaiz Musharraf on the tip of his
tongue, but then allowed his enthusiasm to make him appear to
condone the military coup that ousted the elected prime minister,
Nawaz Sharif." (Daily Telegraph, 6 November 1999). Below
is an excerpt of this interview:
Bush: "The new Pakistani General, he's just been
elected - not elected, this guy took over office. It appears this
guy is going to bring stability to the country and I think that's
good news for the sub- continent."
Hiller: "And you can name him?"
Bush: "General. I can name the general."
Hiller: "And it's . . ?
Hiller: "And the Prime Minister of India?"
Bush: "The new Prime Minister of India is - (pause)
To which George W. Bush retorted with a question to Andy Hiller:
Bush: "Can you name the Foreign Minister of Mexico?"
Hiller: "No sir, but I would say to that, I'm not
running for President
Iran's "Power of
The display of Iran's military
capabilities is intended to deter US war plans
by Michel Chossudovsky
On November 2, Iran tested three new types of land-to-sea and
sea-to-sea missiles in the context of its "Great Prophet
II" military exercises carried out on land in the desert
(See images below), in the Persian Gulf waters, the Sea of Oman
and 14 of Iran's provinces.
Western and Israeli military analysts were taken by surprise.
According to Debka, the Israeli intelligence publication (5 November),
several features of Iran's military capabilities were unknown
to the Pentagon:
"The spectacular swarm of sophisticated missiles fired in
Iran's surprise military exercise stuns military planners in the
US, Israel and Europe".
Iran's tests of surface missiles on November 2 were marked by
precise planning in a carefully staged operation. According to
a senior American missile expert (quoted by Debka), "the
Iranians demonstrated up-to-date missile-launching technology
which the West had not known them to possess."
"They also displayed unfamiliar warheads. But their most
startling feat was the successful first test-fire of the long-range
Shehab-3 with its cluster of tens of small bomblets, ...
The entire range bore the imprint of new purchases from China.
This Shehab-3, whose 2,000-km range brings Israel, the Middle
East and Europe within reach - may be more than a match for any
anti-missile missile system in American, Israeli or European arsenals
- depending critically on the point of its fragmentation. Some
of its features are still an enigma in the West. If the Shehab-3's
cluster separates close to target, the Israel-US Arrow has a chance
to intercept it, but the Americans and Israelis have no defense
against the multiple warhead if it separates at a distance."
(Debka, November 5, 2006)
Iranian state television showed dozens of missiles being launched
both from warships in the Persian Gulf as well as from land based
locations in the desert.
According to Uzi Rubin, former head of Israel's anti-ballistic
missile program, "the intensity of the military exercise
was unprecedented... It was meant to make an impression -- and
it made an impression." (www.cnsnews.com
3 November 2006)
"It was a 'technical and operational achievement' said Rubin,
pointing to the fact that the Iranians were able to launch so
many missiles." (Ibid)
The display has reached its objective. The Head of Iran's Revolutionary
Guards, General Yahya Rahim Safavi, confirmed that the missile
test was conducted "to show our deterrent and defensive power
to trans-regional enemies, and we hope they will understand the
"It was a clear reference to the U.S., Britain and France,
who were among six nations that participated in U.S.-led maneuvers
in the Gulf earlier this week. Those exercises focused on surveillance,
however.Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a radio interview
that she believed that the Iranians "are trying to demonstrate
that they are tough." (Ibid)
The exercises, while creating a political stir in the US and
Israel, do not seem to have thwarted the US-Israeli resolve to
wage a preemptive war on Iran. In the words of Israel' foreign
"It is time for the international community to act decisively
and through the vehicle of the Security Council to send a clear
message that if they (Iran) continue on their current path, they
will incur the wrath of the community of nations," Regev
said by telephone on Friday.
Post Cold War Deterrence
Since August, Iran has been involved in major war games.
These military exercises are part of a new post-cold war deterrence
on the part of the Tehran government.
The objective is to neutralize US threats regarding Tehran's
alleged nuclear weapons program.
The display of Iranian military capabilities is intended to deter
US and coalition war plans, which are currently in an advanced
state of readiness. The latter is marked by a massive build-up
of US and coalition war vessels in the Persian Gulf, the Arabian
Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. (See Nazemroaya,
Oct 2006, Chossudovsky,
"Deterrence" and "containment" can also be
used against the US. In a recent statement by Iran's Foreign Ministry,
the objective of the war games were described as follows:
"Our maneuvers are not meant to pose a threat to any country.
They are, rather, aimed at reinvigorating Iran's power of deterrence"
Will these developments deter the Bush administration from embarking
upon the next stage of its Middle East military adventure?
Will US and Israeli military planners exercise restraint?
One would hope that "Post Cold War deterrence" directed
against the US might contribute to temporarily thwarting Washington's
On the other hand, we should understand that both sides on an
active war footing.
The situation in the Persian Gulf is extremely tense. The massive
deployment of US and coalition naval power within a short distance
from the Iranian coastline constitutes an act of provocation.
This deployment marked by ongoing US war games could trigger an
incident which could potentially lead to war.
It is therefore essential in the weeks and months ahead, that
citizens' movements in the US and around the world act consistently
to confront their respective governments and reverse and dismantle
this military agenda. (For details, see Michel Chossudovsky, Post
Cold War Shivers, October 2006).
and Peace" behind Closed Doors: NATO's Riga Security Conference
"And what an immense mass of evil must result, and indeed
does result, from allowing men to assume the right of anticipating
what may happen." Leo Tolstoy
On the 28th of November, heads of State and heads of government
from the 26 States together with Ministers of Defense and senior
military brass of the "enlarged" Atlantic Alliance (NATO)
will be meeting in Riga, Latvia.
The venue is being held in a former Soviet Republic, regrouping
for the first time all 26 members of the enlarged NATO, including
countries previously in the geopolitical orbit of the Soviet Union:
Poland, Roumania, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia, the Czech
republic. (Complete List) The Venue directly challenges Moscow's
influence in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It signifies to
Moscow that NATO enlargement is proceeding on Russia's doorstep.
Although Israel will not be represented at the Summit, NATO has
developed in the last two years a close working relationship with
Tel Aviv, which in practical terms provides Israel with a "de
facto associate membership" within the Atlantic Alliance.
The NATO Riga Summit will launch NATO's Rome based training program
for its Mediterranean partner countries and members of the Istanbul
Cooperation Initiative (ICI). The latter includes a number of
Arab countries as well as Israel.(see map below)
From a US standpoint, this meeting will be used to build a European
consensus on America's "long war". The purpose of the
meeting is to rally support (e.g. in European political circles
and in the military-industrial complex) for the US led military
adventure in the Middle East and Central Asia, which is intimately
related, from a strategic standpoint, to the battle for oil and
oil pipeline corridors.
The US-NATO military build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern
Mediterranean as well as Washington's "New Middle East"
will be on the agenda.
In parallel with the Summit, a major Security Conference ("The
Riga Conference") starting on November 27, will bring together
politicians, top military brass, corporate CEOs, defense and foreign
policy analysts, "top feeder" media pundits, policy
advisers and New World Order academics. (See list of participants
below). In many regards, this parallel activity organized by the
George Marshall Fund's Transatlantic Center is more important
from a strategic standpoint than the official Summit venue. Headed
by Ronald D. Asmus, a former deputy assistant secretary of state
in the Clinton administration, the Transatlantic Center's task
on behalf of NATO is to foster "transatlantic dialogue"
between Europe and America as well as actively seek European "cooperation
in the broader Middle East and Black Sea regions".
The Conference is intent upon building a consensus within Europe,
regarding America's military agenda in the broader Middle East.
The European military-industrial complex will be represented
by key figures from the Franco-German aerospace conglomerate EADS,
Italy's Finemecanica. Lockheed Martin's European President Scott
Martin, among others will also be attending. Several members of
the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the US Senate, will be
in Riga for the conference together with representatives from
major foundations including Soros, Carnegie, Konrad Adenauer and
Among the participants are several key figures, who are known
to play a behind a scenes role in international affairs, including
Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security adviser and the
author of The Grand Chessboard, former Mayor of New York Rudolph
Giuliani, Uzi Arad, formerly Mossad Director of Intelligence and
foreign policy adviser to (former) Prime Minister Netanyahu, Marc
Grossman, now with the Cohen Group, who was Under Secretary of
State in GWB's first term in office (2001-2005), Karl-Theodor
zu Guttenberg of the German Bundestag's Foreign Affairs Committee,
adviser to Chancellor Angela Merkel and a staunch supporter of
Israel, Bruce P. Jackson, who heads the US Committee on NATO and
sits on the Board of Directors of the Project for the New American
Century (PNAC), the Washington based think tank which formulated
the Neocons' "long war" doctrine.
Among the major themes of the Riga Conference are NATO's role
in the Middle East, the broader issue of "Energy Security"
as well as the "enlargement" of NATO to eventually include
the Ukraine and Georgia. Both of these former Soviet republics
on Russia's doorstep are increasingly within the US-NATO geopolitical
orbit. They are part of GUUAM, a 1999 military cooperation agreement
with NATO. They play a strategic role in the structure of oil
pipeline and transport corridors out of the Caspian sea basin.
Held in Latvia on Russia's immediate border, the venue is a slap
in the face not only to Russia's Vladimir Putin but also to Belarus
President Aleksandr Lukashenko. Key figures of the Belarus political
opposition are also part of the gathering.
Participants from the NATO's Mediterranean partners in the Istanbul
Cooperation Initiative (ICI) (including Morocco, Egypt, Jordan,
Tunisia and Israel) are also on the list of invitees.
In addition to the formal sessions, which will be covered by
the media, the Conference is to hold several behind closed doors
Owl sessions focusing on three related strategic issues.
Night Owl Session 1:Energy Security: What Role for NATO and EU?
Night Owl Session 2: Ukraine and Georgia: Credible Candidates
for NATO Membership?
Night Owl Session 3: Does NATO have a Role in the Middle East?
One would also expect that in addition to the announced behind
closed doors sessions, a number of other behind the scenes meetings
and consultations will be held, which have a direct bearing on
the US-UK-NATO-Israel military agenda in the Middle East and Central
Full List of Participants The Riga Conference as of 26 November2006(word)
The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) is an independent
research and media group of writers, scholars and activists. It
is a registered non profit organization in the province of Quebec,