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mercredi, 12 octobre 2016

The Legacy of United States Interventionism


The Legacy of United States Interventionism

The following in an edited version of a paper I presented two weeks ago in a debate on the topic “When should the US use force abroad and what lessons should we learn from America’s use of force in Iraq and how should those lessons inform decisions on future military missions abroad?”

There are really two questions here – when is the use of force justified in the context of the key word “abroad” and what have Americans learned regarding overseas interventions from the Iraq experience. As a foreign policy adviser for Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012, I lean in a non-interventionist direction, but that is at least somewhat due to that fact that recent interventions have not worked very well and have in fact increased the number of enemies rather than reduce them while also killing nearly 7,500 American soldiers and more than a million inhabitants of the countries Washington has become entangled with. One might also reasonably argue based on post 9/11 developments that destabilizing or attacking other countries consistently makes bad situations worse and has a tendency to allow problems to metastasize. This is sometimes referred to as blowback.

interventionlatam.jpgNevertheless, anti-intervention does not necessarily mean anti-war when war becomes the only option to protect vital interests, but armed conflict cannot be entered into lightly. There is in fact a simple answer to when to use force: it is to defend the United States itself against a clearly defined threat to the country or to a genuine vital interest. Indeed, unless a vital interest is threatened the US has no right to intervene anywhere. And how to use force is also simple: it is up to Congress to declare war as required by the Constitution. But the Constitution of the United States did not envision major deployments of American soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen overseas, nor did it consider the existence of more than 1,000 military bases worldwide. Indeed, the US has not faced a domestic armed threat since Pancho Villa raided New Mexico in 1916, so it is necessary to consider war-making in a contemporary context.

Those who see America’s future wars as taking place “abroad” are to be sure recognizing the geographical isolation of the United States but they are also essentially promoting the principle that the country should best be defended preemptively and at a distance. Any argument for forward-defense should be based on “Just War” doctrine and must include an imminent threat. It would not include the currently fashionable humanitarian interventions, democracy promotion by force of arms, or wars of choice.

To cite the example of Iraq, if Saddam Hussein had indeed had gliders capable of flying across the Atlantic Ocean with chemical or biological weapons and had the intent to use them then attacking him would have been fully justified with or without UN permission. But lacking capability and intent to actually threaten the United States, avoiding overseas military engagement is invariably the most ethical and realistic option. Unleashing violence on a foreign government and its captive civilian population inevitably produces unforeseen consequences that result in haphazard mission creep long after the initial targets of the attack have been destroyed.

Even when a military initiative is considered inevitable it should conform to the so-called Colin Powell doctrine: it should be an unambiguously vital interest, it should be the last available option, it should have a clear and achievable objective with risks and costs clearly explained, consequences of the action must be understood and it should have a timetable and exit strategy. The American people must understand and support the mission and ideally foreign support should also be in place. It has been alleged that Powell also subsequently added the Pottery Barn rule – “once you break something, you own it.” This has been interpreted to mean that regime change has consequences. The successful invader becomes the new government and has to figure out what to do with the millions of people that now have to be fed, housed and taken care of.

The lessons learned from Iraq are several and they reflect failure to satisfy some key elements of the Powell doctrine. Active monitoring and discussions over Iraq’s weapons were ongoing when the decision to go to war was made by Washington so the war was not a last option. There was in fact no vital interest at stake, though that might not have been clear to everyone at the time. The objective to bring about regime change was both clear and easily achievable but there was not much consideration of what would happen on the day after or of consequences both for the region and the Iraqi people. There was no timetable and no exit strategy and the mission morphed into nation building, not a fit task for anyone’s military and also an endeavor which was already in considerable trouble in Afghanistan.


All of the complications involving Iraq were exacerbated by a failure in intelligence from start to finish. The US intelligence community exists in theory to supply policy makers with objective information regarding what is going on in the world that might threaten either the United States or its interests. Information is its sole product because the intelligence agencies traditionally are not involved in policy for very good reasons – information untainted by political considerations, even if it is ignored, must be provided to permit the best possible decision making.

To be sure the line between intelligence and policy has been crossed more than once in the past seventy years and information has often been politicized as in the Soviet estimate, which made Moscow appear to be both more threatening and capable than it actually was. But the lead up to the Iraq war took intelligence tampering to a whole new level. Sir Richard Dearlove, head of Britain’s MI-6, and a key player in the Anglo-American effort to make a case against Saddam, said subsequently that the intelligence has been “sexed-up” to make it more convincing regarding Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. The so-called Downing Street memo confirmed that the “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” rather than vice versa and Dearlove specifically claimed that questionable evidence was being described as solid in making assessments.

In Washington meanwhile, George Tenet and his CIA staff were frequent visitors at the White House and fully on board to the fallacious propositions that Saddam had connections with al-Qaeda and that weapons of mass destruction were in the Iraqi arsenal together with systems to deliver them on target. Sources like Curveball in Germany were simultaneously being discounted by the operations officers closest to the cases even as senior managers at the Agency were heedlessly using the information he provided as proof of Saddam’s ill intent. In late 2002 CIA working level analysts were highly skeptical of the case for war being made but those concerns somehow vanished by the time the analysis reached the building’s seventh floor, which was closely collaborating with the White House. There was also considerable broader intelligence community dissent, particularly over the aluminum tubes, which never made its way into final briefing papers. This rush to war culminated in Tenet’s UN appearance to give credibility to Colin Powell’s speech indicting the Saddam regime. Powell subsequently described the intelligence he had been given as “deliberately misleading.”

Elsewhere in the system fabricated information about Iraq seeking yellowcake uranium from Niger was cherry picked and stove-piped through the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans and on to the White House, supplemented by false intelligence provided by Iraqi exile and known fabricator Ahmed Chalabi, who eventually turned out to be an Iranian agent. All of this arrived on the desks of policymakers in the White House and almost certainly had an impact on the decision to go to war. While it is by no means clear that war could have been prevented if the intelligence product had been better, a second opinion certainly might have caused some of the supporters of intervention to hesitate.


As it is critically important to get the intelligence right so the decision making will be shaped around reality rather than overblown expectations, the firewall between intelligence and policy has to be maintained at all costs. That firewall was broken in the lead up to Iraq and Iraq demonstrated that bad intelligence produces bad results just as it did some years later in regard to Libya. And the problem persists in that assessments made at the working level and on the ground regarding Afghanistan have been for years pessimistic even as the intelligence community continues to support White House efforts at nation building.

Military interventions are a poor policy choice for both moral and practical reasons, but it would appear that they constitute a regrettable option that the United States will most likely continue to exercise given the expressed foreign policies of both major parties. War as a preferred instrument for resolving international disputes is a symptom of a government which outwardly appears to have all the tools to respond competently but which in reality is dysfunctional. The breakdown of the intelligence product during Iraq was, unfortunately, not a one off. Ultimately, the CIA and DNI work for the president and they will do what the chief executive wants. That is the reality and it is the situation that prevails currently with largely unrestrained executive authority. Looking to Iraq to fix things is a futile exercise. We should instead be looking at the kind of nation that we want to be and trying to establish a new normal without maintaining a continuous state of war either abroad or here at home.

Reprinted with permission from Unz Review.

samedi, 25 avril 2015

Les sanctions unilatérales violent les accords internationaux

Les sanctions unilatérales violent les accords internationaux

Interview du professeur Alfred de Zayas, spécialiste du droit international, Genève*

Ex: http://www.horizons-et-debats.ch

Alfred-de-Zayas.jpgA la fin de sa session printanière, le président du Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations Unies a nommé un rapporteur spécial pour mener des investigations au sujet des violations des droits de l’homme lors de mesures coercitives unilatérales (par exemple des sanctions économiques). Cette nomination fut précédée de longues années de débats concernant la mise en cause du droit international par de telles sanctions. (cf. «Horizons et débats» no 6/7 du 9 mars 2015)
Le spécialiste du droit international Alfred de Zayas explique dans l’interview ci-dessous à quel point des sanctions unilatérales portent atteinte au droit international.

Horizons et débats: Dans votre rapport adressé au Conseil des droits de l’homme que vous avez déposé personnellement le 10 septembre 2014, vous mentionnez les mesures coercitives unilatérales, comme par exemple les sanctions économiques, comme étant non-pacifiques et pas en accord avec les objectifs et les principes des Nations Unies. Que vouliez-vous dire par là?

Alfred de Zayas: Non seulement les mesures coercitives unilatérales, mais souvent aussi les mesures multilatérales, violent autant la lettre que l’esprit de la Charte des Nations Unies, notamment le Préambule et les articles 1 et 2. L’organisation repose sur le principe de l’égalité souveraine de tous ses membres. Les sanctions unilatérales et les embargos violent de nombreux accords internationaux et «les principes généraux de droit reconnus par les nations civilisées» (Statuts de la Cour internationale de justice, art. 38).

De quels principes de droit s’agit-il là?

Ce sont notamment le principe de la souveraineté étatique, le principe de non-ingérence dans les affaires intérieures d’autres Etats, la liberté de commerce internationale et, entre autres, la liberté de navigation. En outre, elles violent des principes de droit international, pacta sunt servanda, car les sanctions et les embargos empêchent l’exécution de traités de droit international en vigueur. L’application extraterritoriale de lois nationales représente une nouvelle forme de colonialisme qui revient à l’usurpation de compétences, presque une sorte d’annexion d’autres juridictions par le biais de moyens d’extension de la juridiction nationale.

Y a-t-il aussi des résolutions de l’ONU violées par les mesures coercitives unilatérales?

Plusieurs résolutions de l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU sont violées, entre autres la Résolution 2625 (du 24 octobre 1970) concernant les relations amicales et la coopération entre les Etats, dont le préambule stipule que les Etats ont l’obligation «de s’abstenir d’intervenir dans les affaires de tout autre Etat». C’est «une condition essentielle à remplir pour que les nations vivent en paix les unes avec les autres». En outre, ils ont le devoir «de s’abstenir, dans leurs relations internationales, d’user de contrainte d’ordre militaire, politique, économique ou autre, dirigée contre l’indépendance politique ou l’intégrité territoriale de tout Etat.»
Et l’Assemblée générale de préciser: «Aucun Etat ni groupe d’Etats n’a le droit d’intervenir, directement ou indirectement, pour quelque raison que ce soit, dans les affaires intérieures ou extérieures d’un autre Etat. En conséquence, non seulement l’intervention armée, mais aussi toute autre forme d’ingérence ou toute menace, dirigées contre la personnalité d’un Etat ou contre ses éléments politiques, économiques et culturels, sont contraires au droit international. Aucun Etat ne peut appliquer ni encourager l’usage de mesures économiques, politiques ou de toute autre nature pour contraindre un autre Etat à subordonner l’exercice de ses droits souverains et pour obtenir de lui des avantages de quelque ordre que ce soit.»

Que faut-il entendre par mesures de toute autre nature?

Par exemple un «blocus des ports ou des côtes d’un Etat par les forces armées d’un autre Etat» représente une agression contre le droit international (Assemblée générale, Résolution 3314, article 3?c).

Y a-t-il des prises de position de la communauté internationale à ce sujet?

Les mesures coercitives unilatérales sont régulièrement désignées par la plupart des Etats comme étant contraires au droit international, comme par exemple dans les 23 résolutions de l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU concernant l’embargo contre Cuba (cf. résolution 69/5 du 28 octobre 2014). A l’occasion de l’adoption de cette résolution – 188 Etats étaient en faveur, deux se sont opposés (USA et Israël) et 3 se sont abstenus – plusieurs Etats ont désigné l’embargo explicitement d’«illégal».

C’est une majorité écrasante …

Lors des débats devant l’Assemblée générale, les représentants du continent sud-américain ont tous soutenu Cuba. Au nom de la Communauté d’Etats latino-américains et caraïbes (CELAC), qui comprend les 33 pays des deux Amériques sauf les Etats-Unis et le Canada, l’ambassadeur du Costa Rica auprès de l’ONU, Juan Carlos Mendoza, a dénoncé l’effet ex-territorial des lois de blocus américaines dont sont concernés également des Etats tiers. «Les mesures unilatérales prises dans le contexte du blocus portent atteinte à de nombreuses entreprises qui, en accord avec le droit international, y compris les règles établies par l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC), ont des relations commerciales avec Cuba.» Les représentants du Mouvement des Etats non-alignés ont également précisé que les sanctions contre Cuba étaient «illégales».

Les Etats-Unis sont-ils l’acteur principal en matière de sanctions?

Selon les informations du Trésor américain, les Etats Unis entretiennent actuellement 26 «Sanctions Programs» (www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs).
L’application ex-territoriale de lois nationales, tel par exemple le Helms-Burton Act du 12 mars 1996, violent également les droits de nombreux d’Etats tiers et ont souvent été condamnées par la communauté des Etats comme violant le droit international.

Selon vos explications, il est évident que les sanctions unilatérales portent massivement atteinte au droit international.

Oui, la question de leur illégalité est claire. Le problème reste de savoir comment le droit international peut être appliqué de façon effective. Jusqu’à présent, il n’y a pas de possibilité pour l’ONU de forcer l’un des cinq membres permanents du Conseil de sécurité à se comporter en conformité avec le droit international. Ils ont une impunité de fait.
On pourrait toutefois lancer une procédure de réclamation d’un Etat auprès du Comité des droits de l’homme de l’ONU, selon l’article 41 du Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques, ce qui forcerait l’ONU à prendre la chose en main, au moins pour discuter la situation et trancher, même si rien ne change. Une condamnation a quand même une certaine valeur morale.

Quelles normes relatives aux droits de l’homme peuvent être violées par des sanctions?

Le droit à la vie (article 6 du Pacte international relatif aux droits civils et politiques). Les sanctions contre l’Irak, l’Iran, Cuba, le Soudan, le Venezuela, le Zimbabwe, etc. ont aggravé la situation de l’approvisionnement dans ces pays. Des gens sont morts par manque de nourriture, d’eau potable, de soins médicaux et de médicaments. Par ailleurs, l’exercice des droits économiques et sociaux, protégé par le Pacte international relatif aux droits économiques, sociaux et culturels, se voit ainsi bafoué. Les sanctions peuvent également être en violation des Conventions de Genève et d’autres traités de droit international humanitaire.

Dans ce cas, les nouvelles sanctions contre la Russie sont également problématiques?

Une décision juridique éclairante sur cette question serait souhaitable comme, par exemple, un avis de la Cour internationale de justice conformément à l’art. 96 de la Charte des Nations Unies. Cela serait utile pour l’analyse plus détaillée des divers aspects des sanctions et de leurs implications pour les droits de l’homme.

Si les sanctions sont illégales, qu’est-ce que cela signifie pour les Etats qui les soutiennent?

Il en naît le devoir de se racheter, en particulier lorsque les droits de l’homme sont violés; quand, par exemple, les sanctions mènent à une famine, à l’utilisation de la force, à une immigration de masse ou au nettoyage ethnique. Selon le principe erga omnes (concernant tous les Etats), les Etats n’ont pas le droit de reconnaître les violations du droit par d’autres Etats ou d’y apporter un quelconque soutien, par exemple financier. Mais comme je l’ai dit ci-dessus, le droit international n’est pas automatiquement mis en application. Pour cela, nous avons besoin de la volonté politique de la communauté internationale. Mais hélas, la solidarité internationale n’est pas coutume et la plupart des medias jouent le jeu des puissants.

Quand peut-on dire que des sanctions sont «légales»? Cette notion ne se cristallise-t-elle pas toujours dans une zone grise?

Bien qu’il existe de nombreuses «zones grises» dans le droit international, la situation est un peu plus claire ici. Conformément à l’article 41 de la Charte des Nations Unies, le Conseil de sécurité peut imposer des sanctions économiques, mais seulement après s’être assuré, sous l’égide de l’article 39 de la Charte, que la paix a été compromise. Celles-ci ont été utilisées avec succès par exemple dans la lutte contre le colonialisme, le racisme et l’apartheid en Rhodésie/Zimbabwe et en Afrique du Sud.
Un embargo sur les armes pourrait être absolument légal si le but final est de promouvoir la paix et de permettre une solution diplomatique à un conflit. Un embargo sur les armes devrait être imposé à toutes les parties d’un conflit, et la communauté internationale doit s’engager activement pour un cessez-le-feu et des négociations de bonne foi. Mais la plupart des sanctions ne sont pas efficaces ou s’avèrent même contre-productives. Les sanctions par le Conseil de sécurité des Nations Unies peuvent dégrader considérablement non seulement la situation des droits de l’homme dans un Etat, mais aussi faciliter ou y mener à la corruption et à la criminalité.

Qu’est ce qu’on peut dire en conclusion jusqu’à présent?

Tout régime de sanctions – unilatéral ou multilatéral – doit être soumis aux contrôles réguliers et sa conformité avec le droit international doit être jugé par un système légal compétent. En outre, il ne suffit pas que les sanctions soient juridiquement légales; elles doivent également poursuivre un but concis, légitime, servir la paix et respecter le principe de proportionnalité. Les régimes de sanctions doivent être vérifiés régulièrement – et s’ils violent les droits humains et n’apportent aucun effet positif, ils doivent être supprimés. Dans un monde globalisé, les sanctions ne peuvent être imposées en raison d’intérêts géopolitiques ou économiques, et si elles blessent les droits des personnes et des Etats, c’est alors qu’émerge pour l’émetteur le devoir de compensation adéquate envers les victimes de ces sanctions.

Quels sont les derniers développements sur cette question à l’ONU?

En mai 2014, le Conseil des droits de l’homme a organisé une conférence sur les sanctions unilatérales et multilatérales, à laquelle j’ai participé activement. Denis Halliday, ancien coordinateur humanitaire en Irak, y a dénoncé les sanctions insensées contre l’Irak de 1991 à 2003, ayant coûté la vie à plus d’un million de personnes. Le rapport de cet atelier a été discuté lors de la 27e session du Conseil des droits de l’homme en septembre 2014. Par la suite, le Comité consultatif du Conseil des droits de l’homme de l’ONU a été invité à réaliser une étude et à préparer des recommandations, qui viennent maintenant d’être présentées au Conseil dans sa 28e session. Le 28 mars, en outre, Idriss Jazairy (ancien Ambassadeur de l’Algérie auprès des Nations Unies) a été nommé Rapporteur spécial sur les conséquences négatives des mesures coercitives unilatérales par rapport aux droits de l’homme.

Sinon, que peut-on faire contre de telles sanctions?

Les médias doivent également participer. Dans la plupart des cas, les populations ne savent pas quels crimes sont commis en leur nom, quelles mesures nos Etats prennent, causant alors des conséquences terribles pour les populations d’autres pays. Il est aussi de notre responsabilité, en tant que citoyens, de protester là-contre: «Pas en notre nom!» Le 19 mars 2015 a eu lieu une réunion scientifique à Londres, où j’ai participé avec plusieurs professeurs d’Oxford, de Londres, de Paris, etc. Le consensus était que les régimes de sanctions soulèvent davantage de problèmes qu’ils ne peuvent en résoudre et que le dialogue et la médiation de l’ONU sont meilleurs que des mesures punitives affectant principalement les populations civiles et causant beaucoup de souffrances.

Monsieur le Professeur, merci beaucoup de cette interview.    

(Interview réalisée par Thomas Kaiser)

*    La conversation correspond à l’opinion personnelle
du professeur de Zayas et n’a pas été officiellement tenue en sa qualité de Rapporteur spécial.
Cf. www.alfreddezayas.com et

vendredi, 27 février 2015

Kagan + Nuland: Liberal Interventionists


Kagan + Nuland: Liberal Interventionists


Ex: http://www.lewrockwell.com

Why is Victoria Nuland reliably confrontational and antagonistic toward Russia? Why does she push power, force, and military might to the forefront in Ukraine? Why does she risk war with Russia? Why does she even care about Russia’s relations with Ukraine enough to inject the U.S. government into their affairs and conflicts?

Her philosophy is the same as her husband’s, Robert Kagan. One article calls them “THE ULTIMATE AMERICAN POWER COUPLE“. It says “Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan fell in love ‘talking about democracy and the role of America in the world’ on one of their first dates. It’s a shared passion that hasn’t faded over time.” Presumably that inner quote is from one or both of them.

For a brief profile of Robert Kagan’s ideas, shared by Victoria Nuland, see here. That article contains some criticism of their positions coming from the academic side. It is enough to know that Kagan supports Hillary Clinton in foreign policy and that she appointed Nuland to see that in foreign policy Americans at the moment have no major party presidential choice except more of the same.

Kagan and Nuland advocate U.S. activism and intervention throughout the world. Kagan has always endorsed more and more and more U.S. commitments worldwide. In September, 2003, he endorsed “a ‘generational commitment’ to bringing political and economic reform to the long-neglected Middle East–a commitment not unlike that which we made to rebuild Europe after the Second World War.” (The phrase “generational commitment’ is Condoleezza Rice’s.) The article’s title is “Do what it takes in Iraq”, which is never enough to suit Kagan. This is one of his excuses for why the policies of war and might that he advocates have failed. The U.S. doesn’t try hard enough to suit him. The U.S. tried very, very hard in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, however. It still did not produce what Kagan and Kristol glowingly wanted in any of these countries and in Libya: “American ideals and American interests converge in such a project, that a more democratic Middle East will both improve the lives of long-suffering peoples and enhance America’s national security.” The very opposite has resulted!

The projection of American power and might into these lands has not produced what Kagan and Kristol forecasted would be the result.

The ideas and policies of Kagan and Nuland are influential in Washington and on Obama. They are always the most hawkish. In a Sept. 5, 2014 essay, Kagan wrote “The most hawkish members of Congress don’t think it safe to argue for a ground attack on the Islamic State or for a NATO troop presence in Ukraine.”

hqdefault.jpgKagan wants both an American ground attack on IS, which would mean attacks in three or more countries, and NATO in Ukraine. Nuland has constantly made provocative statements about Russia and she supports every move by Washington deeper and deeper into Ukraine’s politics and military campaigns. If Poroshenko is removed from office by another coup, Nuland will be there to influence and control the new leaders. She will anoint and bless them, even if they are neo-nazis.

The same article contains Kagan’s distorted interpretation of history. Kagan stands for the liberal values that came out of the Enlightenment and characterize the Western states. But he also believes that these states are pansies who need to be muscular in defense of these values. “Muscular” means interventionist and ever-willing to insert force and arms in foreign lands; not in classic self-defense but on a pro-active, preemptive basis. In other words, to maintain liberal values and promote liberalism worldwide, the liberal states have to behave illiberally. They have to attack other countries that they deem threatening. They have to be provocative toward any country that doesn’t meet their standards of liberality.

Kagan prefers the title “liberal interventionist” (Nuland presumably is the same.) This policy position is self-contradictory. A liberal position allows for self-defense, but it does not allow for remaking the world and attacking other countries. It is not necessarily the case that when the U.S. government provokes and confronts, or even invades, other nations that have different political setups, this benefits Americans.

Kagan’s idea is that there are military solutions to what he assumes are American problems in Syria and Ukraine. He bemoans “‘There is no military solution’ is the constant refrain of Western statesmen regarding conflicts from Syria to Ukraine…”, implying that there are such solutions. But are these lands actually problems for Americans in the first place? It’s hardly obvious that they are. They become problems only when the U.S. government follows the Kagan-Nuland philosophy of liberal interventionism and inserts itself into these conflicted lands. Kagan wants military solutions for problems that he has helped to create by his constant support and promotion of interventions.

Kagan’s justification of pro-active and preemptive military interventions and military solutions goes back to his interpretation of 20th century history, in particular, the role of Germany and Japan versus the western powers. He sees appeasement as a basic component of World War II. And he argues that Germany and Japan had grievances and resentments that could not be assuaged by concessions or accommodations from the West. He transfers this argument to the present and sees new enemies and threats in Russia, China and the Middle East.

Kagan’s ideas about Japan are oversimplified. The history of Japanese-American relations has to go back to armed U.S. naval expeditions in 1846, 1848 and 1852. It has to go back to friction over the Open Door Policy and U.S. immigration policy. China became an important bone of contention. Appeasement is hardly a consideration in any of this. Just the opposite. It is American resistance to Japan’s policies in China that is a nexus of frictions.

To engage in appeasement is to make a concession over what one owns or has a legitimate interest or obligation in. What concessions or legitimate interests did the U.S. sacrifice in order to avoid war with Japan and Germany? The U.S. did not have a treaty obligation to Czechoslovakia. The U.S. didn’t sign the Munich Agreement. The U.S. didn’t undertake to enforce Wilson’s idea of self-determination of nations when they came under threat from larger powers. It cannot be said that the U.S. appeased Germany. Furthermore, the U.S. participation in World War I, which would have been approved of by the Kagan-Nuland philosophy, had results that led to World War II. It cannot be argued that the U.S. appeased Germany in and before World War I.

With respect to the U.S. and NATO, it cannot be argued today that Ukraine is another Sudetenland or Czechoslovakia. The U.S. has no treaties with Ukraine to protect the territorial integrity of Ukraine or prevent it from breaking apart in a civil war. If it did have such a treaty, as it does with a good many other countries, it would only be asking for trouble.

Kagan’s understanding of the 19th century and appeasement is subject to serious questions. And when one considers how different the situations are today with respect to those states or countries that he seeks to replace Germany and Japan with, such as Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Islamic State, Russia and China, the Kagan-Nuland philosophy of American force projection is far more simply needless provocation and war-making than the non-appeasement that Kagan and Nuland envision it to be. Furthermore, the military intrusions of the U.S. can hardly be said to have appeased anyone; and they have done nothing to promote those liberal interventionist aims that Kagan and Nuland fell in love over.

lundi, 04 avril 2011

Dal Kosovo alla Libia: il lato oscuro dell'interventismo "umanitario"

Dal Kosovo alla Libia: il lato oscuro dell’interventismo “umanitario”

di Stefano Vernole

Fonte: eurasia [scheda fonte]


balka1.gifGiunto simbolicamente a Belgrado il 23 marzo (giorno antecedente all’anniversario dell’inizio dei bombardamenti sulla Federazione Jugoslava nel 1999), il capo del governo di Mosca, Vladimir Putin, avrebbe dichiarato che tra l’attuale crisi libica e quella kosovara di 12 anni fa esisterebbero diverse differenze.


Sicuramente, però, vi sono anche parecchie analogie.

Preparazione mediatica all’aggressione militare: come allora, l’intervento degli aerei della coalizione occidentale è stato preceduto da una lunga campagna dell’opinione pubblica, volta a demonizzare l’avversario. Nel 1999 fu il falso massacro di Racak a fornire il pretesto per l’umiliante ultimatum di Rambouillet, oggi sono state le false fosse comuni di Tripoli (1) e gli inesistenti raid aerei (2) sui manifestanti a permettere di scaldare i motori degli aerei dell’aviazione atlantica. Anche le parole d’ordine della propaganda occidentale sono sempre le stesse: “un dittatore che uccide il suo popolo” (allora Milosevic che vinse tutte le elezioni, oggi Gheddafi che sostituì nel 1969 un regime autocratico introducendo la democrazia diretta), gli “scudi umani” a protezione dei siti da bombardare (in realtà migliaia di volontari pronti a sacrificarsi, a Belgrado a difesa dei ponti sul Danubio, a Tripoli delle città libiche), “gli insorti lottano per la libertà e la democrazia” (in realtà l’UCK era un gruppo ideologicamente marxista-leninista e le tribù ribelli della Cirenaica sventolano le bandiere monarchiche), qualche accenno alla “pulizia etnica” e ai “mercenari” (che nemmeno vale la pena commentare), “Milosevic disposto ad arrendersi dopo 3 giorni di bombardamenti” (furono alla fine 78) e “Gheddafi scappato in Venezuela o in Bielorussia” (forse sarebbe piaciuto a Washington per attaccare Chavez e Lukashenko …), preparazione “culturale” alle rivolte (apertura di un centro statunitense finanziato da Soros a Pristina e discorso di Obama al Cairo).

Sostegno esterno agli insorti e andamento del conflitto: in Kosovo l’UCK venne addestrato, armato e finanziato da BND, SAS, CIA e servizi segreti albanesi, in Libia gli insorti di Bengasi da SAS, CIA, servizi segreti francesi, egiziani e sauditi. In un primo momento l’esercito di liberazione albanese del Kosovo conquistò oltre metà della provincia serba e assunse il controllo di tutte le strade principali, per essere travolto alla prima azione seria intrapresa dalla polizia militare di Belgrado. Lo stesso può dirsi per le tribù della Cirenaica che, dopo un fantomatico successo iniziale, stavano per scappare in Egitto e perdere anche la loro roccaforte. In entrambi i casi, questi gruppi ribelli sono stati utilizzati per creare un clima bellico idoneo per l’intervento esterno, vengono fatti massacrare perché non assumano troppa influenza e verranno poi scaricati quando le potenze occidentali avranno raggiunto i loro obiettivi (nel 1999 la NATO addirittura bombardò la caserma di Koshare, unico successo militare dell’UCK).

Divisione del paese: impossibilitata a vincere davvero il conflitto vista la scarsa attitudine delle sue truppe a condurre un intervento di terra, la NATO si accontentò nel 1999 di occupare soltanto il Kosovo (ricco di minerali e in posizione strategica per la sorveglianza dei corridoi energetici), per poi destabilizzare la Serbia e far cadere Milosevic in un secondo tempo. L’obiettivo principale in Libia è impiantare i soldati dell’Alleanza Atlantica in Cirenaica e nel Fezzan (ricchi di petrolio e in ottima posizione per il controllo dell’Egitto), quali basi iniziali di una futura eliminazione di Gheddafi in Tripolitania (3). La balcanizzazione del mondo continua.

Demonizzazione dell’avversario: agli Stati Uniti, si sa, piace l’impostazione leaderistica della politica e identificano sempre un paese con la sua guida: ieri Milosevic (in realtà un grigio burocrate socialista), oggi Gheddafi (abbastanza attempato, se non altro perché si trova a capo della Libia dal 1969). Questa identificazione totale del potere con un solo uomo, oltre a voler ricordare i paralleli con i grandi avversari storici degli anglosassoni (Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin), permette agli USA di recitare la parte dei “liberatori dall’oppressione” o “dalla dittatura” (sarebbe sufficiente confrontare i parametri economici e sociali della Serbia di Milosevic con l’attuale o della Libia di Gheddafi con il resto del continente africano per capire i “vantaggi” della “liberazione”). In ogni caso le pressioni e l’armamentario ideologico-propagandistico sono identici: sequestro di fantomatici conti all’estero o di improbabili “tesori”, incriminazione al Tribunale dell’Aja (quello che ha ammesso di aver distrutto le prove dei crimini compiuti contro i serbi in Kosovo), pressioni per l’esilio dei “dittatori”. Anche il tranello per attirarli nella trappola è stato pressoché lo stesso: nel 1995 Milosevic fu acclamato a Dayton quale “uomo della pace” (e infatti oggi le clausole approvate per mettere fine alla guerra di Bosnia vengono messe in discussione dalle pressioni atlantiste), Gheddafi dopo le minacce subite da Bush jr. e le riparazioni economiche pagate per l’attentato di Lockerbie (il presunto colpevole è stato rilasciato dagli inglesi per “una grave malattia” nonostante di salute stia benissimo, pur di evitare un processo di appello che avrebbe inchiodato i suoi accusatori britannici a mostrare prove in realtà inesistenti) venne riciclato come alleato nella “guerra al terrorismo”. L’apertura all’Occidente, evidentemente, non paga.

Interessi in gioco: sono abbastanza simili e riguardano il percorso degli oleodotti nel caso kosovaro, i diritti di sfruttamento del petrolio in quello libico (e questi, almeno oggi, sono stati ammessi perfino dalla nostra classe dirigente). Nel caso kosovaro ci furono anche quelli della droga e del traffico di migranti/prostituzione, probabile che anche in Libia avvenga qualcosa del genere. Posizionamento strategico della NATO: base militare USA di Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo (quale porta d’ingresso alle aree strategiche del pianeta, Vicino e Medio Oriente, Caucaso), destabilizzazione dell’influenza russa e turca nel Mediterraneo per la Libia (4), rilancio mediatico del ruolo dell’Alleanza Atlantica quale gendarme globale.

Danni all’Italia e mediazione russa: evidenti all’epoca dell’aggressione alla Serbia (affare Telekom Srbja, investimenti commerciali, inquinamento ambientale del Mar Adriatico, conseguenze dell’utilizzo dell’uranio impoverito sui propri militari, violazione della Costituzione, invasione della droga e della mafia kosovara), addirittura clamorosi con la partecipazione ai bombardamenti sulla Libia (perdita di cospicui contratti petroliferi, accordi energetici, perdita di credibilità internazionale dopo la concessione delle basi militari per un attacco militare e violazione del trattato di amicizia italo-libico, aumento dei migranti e probabilmente del traffico di droga) (5). Nel 1999, la Russia che aveva però posto il veto all’intervento nel Consiglio di Sicurezza dell’ONU, favorì con Chernomyrdin la fine delle ostilità; è probabile che ora molti, Berlusconi per primo, si augurino una mediazione russa per trovare una via d’uscita vantaggiosa per tutti.

Non sappiamo, infatti, quanto durerà ancora questa coalizione improvvisata di governi che ormai non hanno più nemmeno la decenza di vergognarsi delle proprie bugie, ma, soprattutto, dopo quanto esportato in Kosovo (dove i gestori del potere organizzavano i traffici di organi umani (6)), Iraq (con nefandezze come l’embargo sul latte ai bambini e le torture di Abu Ghraib) e Afghanistan (dove si confondono trafficanti di droga e necrofili) (7), attendiamo “fiduciosi” di scorgere i frutti del loro “intervento umanitario” in Libia.


* Stefano Vernole, redattore di “Eurasia”, è autore di “La questione serba e la crisi del Kosovo”, Ed. Noctua, Molfetta, 2008.



  1. Paolo Pazzini su “Il Giornale”: “Vengo da Tripoli e vi dico che i giornali raccontano un sacco di menzogne”, 26 febbraio 2011, www.ilgiornale.it
  2. “I militari russi: nessun attacco aereo in Libia”, 2 marzo 2011, http://www.eurasia-rivista.org/8536/i-militari-russi-nessun-attacco-aereo-in-libia
  3. LIBIA:STRATEGA, NO FLY ZONE COME BOSNIA RISCHIA DI FALLIRE PERICOLO E’ STALLO, PAESE DIVISO PREVALGONO IDENTITA’ REGIONALI (ANSA) – ROMA, 21 MAR ”Stanno tentando di far cadere Gheddafi come avvenne con Milosevic negli Anni Novanta” ma ”questa volta potremmo fallire”. E’ quanto afferma Robert Kaplan, stratega militare del Center for New American Security, intervistato da La Stampa. ”In Libia vogliono imporre una no fly zone come la Nato fece nel 1994 sui cieli della Bosnia e anche nel 1999 sul Kosovo – afferma Kaplan – conducendo una campagna aerea di 99 giorni. Ma quelle due operazioni militari non portarono alla caduta di Milosevic, perche’ una no fly zone non e’ in grado di innescare cambiamenti di regime”. In Libia, secondo l’esperto, si sta tentando di indebolire Gheddafi allo stesso modo, ”fino al punto da portare qualcuno del suo campo a prendere l’iniziativa per eliminarlo o allontanarlo dal potere”. Ma la Libia ”non e’ la Serbia”. ”La Libia, in realta’, come stato non esiste – prosegue – perche’ a prevalere sono piuttosto le identita’ regionali in Tripolitania, Cirenaica e Fezzan”. ”Se una no fly zone riesce a salvare Bengasi – afferma Kaplan – e indebolisce Gheddafi in Cirenaica, non significa che cio’ avverra’ anche in Tripolitania”. Il rischio per la coalizione e’ arrivare ad una situazione di stallo: ”la Cirenaica in mano ai ribelli, la Tripolitania a Gheddafi e il Fezzan senza governo”. (ANSA).
  4. http://www.eurasia-rivista.org/8828/libia-che-alternative-aveva-litalia
  5. http://www.eurasia-rivista.org/8778/litalia-ha-gia-perso-la-sua-guerra-di-libia
  6. http://www.eurasia-rivista.org/7839/kosovo-il-rapporto-marty-e-stato-censurato-da-israele