NATO Flounders in the Middle East – Brian Cloughley – Strategic Culture

Never reluctant to poke its nose into regions where it has no commitments or relevance, the Nato military alliance is stumbling round in Iraq, the crucible of Middle Eastern disruption. Following the U.S. drone-strike killing of Iranian General Soleimani and the deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, Nato’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, came out predictably with expressions of support for the assassinations.

Nobody in the West (and probably precious few elsewhere, other than Iran, if numbers could be independently ascertained) could in any way be supportive of Soleimani and the barbarous forays he directed that resulted in the deaths of so many innocent people. He deserved to be brought to justice — which does not mean that it was morally defensible or legally permissible to kill him.

And please take a moment to think about the driver of the car he was in, who was also blasted to bits. What possible justification could there have been for killing him? It couldn’t be claimed by even Pompeo or Trump that he had been planning to attack America or Americans. This pawn on the board of revenge was killed by a missile fired by a U.S. attack drone. And he will pass out of memory as quickly as the flash of the explosion that blew him apart. But in terms of morality and international law he is just as important as any general, and responsibility for his death lies firmly at the door of the White House.

The obvious course of action in the case of Soleimani would have been to institute proceedings for an alleged international criminal to be brought to the attention of the International Court of Justice (ICC), but we can forget that, because the United States “is not a party to the ICC’s Rome Statute and has consistently voiced its unequivocal objections to any attempts to assert ICC jurisdiction over U.S. personnel.” The fact that the ICC “investigates and, where warranted, tries individuals charged with the gravest crimes of concern to the international community: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression” is objectionable to the Washington Establishment because it is possible that U.S. citizens could be investigated.

But Stoltenberg, a supposed internationalist, ignores the ICC (which is recognised by only 14 of Nato’s 29 members), and all that he could come up with after the killings was the absurd adjuration that “Iran must refrain from further violence and provocations.”

The violence was a U.S. drone strike. The provocation was a U.S. drone strike. And the fact that Iranian and Iraqi citizens were butchered in Iraq by a drone-fired missile on the orders of a Nato member country appears to mean nothing to the head of that alliance.

Stoltenberg probably doesn’t remember that, as pointed out by a perceptive analyst, “NATO is the only organization in modern history that has had significant involvement in the arrest of people indicted by an international criminal tribunal; NATO was instrumental in assisting with arrests for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia” which in the 1990s was a major development. Unfortunately, Nato has moved further and further away from international conventions and legal requirements — as abundantly demonstrated by its catastrophic war against Libya in 2011 — and has been drawn ever closer to the go-it-alone interventionist style of its most powerful member state.

And now President Trump is calling the shots around the world, which includes demanding that Nato become more deeply involved in the festering quagmire of destruction and despair that the U.S. has created in the Middle East.

Following a telephone call between Trump and Stoltenberg on January 8, Nato issued a statement that “The President asked the Secretary General for NATO to become more involved in the Middle East. They agreed that NATO could contribute more to regional stability and the fight against international terrorism. They also agreed to stay in close contact on the issue. NATO plays a key role in the fight against international terrorism, including through training missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and as a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.”

Source: NATO Flounders in the Middle East — Strategic Culture

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"Populism" best describes the approach to SARTRE's perspective on Politics. Realities, suggest that American Values can be restored with an appreciation of "Pragmatic Anarchism." Reforms will require an Existential approach. "Ideas Move the World," and SARTRE'S intent is to stir the conscience of those who desire to bring back a common sense, moral and traditional value culture for America.

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