We are continuing to publish on our site the fragments from the book AMERICA’S PLANS FOR WORLD HEGEMONY, by Romanian author Calistrat M. Atudorei which was published in English version very recently by printing house ”ePublishers” in Bucharest.
Chapter 8/1. NATO Expansion
Events in Progress
The Russian Federation’s initiatives to collaborate with the United States and the countries of Europe in the field of Security went in line with promises made by Western leaders at the end of the Cold War. Still, these cooperative tendencies didn’t have any positive outcome. Russia’s official initiatives were coldly watched by the United States and their Western partners. Between 1995 and 1999, Russia began protesting against US and NATO politics in the Balkans, where Yugoslavia was divided by Western coalition intervention. In 1999, it became obvious that East-West collaboration plans failed when the United States determined NATO to integrate as new members Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Russia again issued official protests.
Then, in 2004, another series of former socialist countries was integrated into NATO: Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. Also in 2004, with the victory of pro-Western Ukraine’s “Orange Revolution,” relations between the United States and the Russian Federation began to deteriorate drastically. Ukraine and Georgia, former republics of the USSR, formally received an invitation to NATO membership at the summit on 23 April 2008 in Bucharest. On that occasion, the North Atlantic leaders declared quite ambiguously that “NATO welcomes the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of Ukraine and Georgia for NATO membership. We now agree that these countries will become NATO members.”1 Note that the phrase “we agree that they will become” is unlikely to be a negligence, especially on such an internationally sensitive subject. The wording does not necessarily represent an agreement for an option, but rather the announcement for a goal that is set.
It should be ascertained that the official version of the Western leaders is that integration of new members into NATO was and is only the result of aspiration for membership of the peoples concerned. But if we note that all integrated countries were then subordinated to US interests and any attempt to cooperate with the Russian Federation was rejected, then we understand that NATO’s expansion has a clear political orientation, eastward expansion of US domination.
In June 2008, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev reiterated, however, in Berlin the proposal for a new European Security Treaty. The treaty was to embrace, under international law, “the entire Euro-Atlantic space, from Vancouver to Vladivostok,”2 i.e. a very wide area that would cover the whole of Europe (including non-EU countries), North American countries and Russian Federation. Again, the Russian Federation’s initiative was not fruitful. On the contrary, NATO kept expanding. In 2009, two other states were taken over in the North Atlantic Alliance: Croatia and Albania.
In 2014, the Russian-American relations became really tense, amid the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine. In December 2014, as reported by New York Times, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to “advance a military and strategic Western rapprochement, thus taking new steps towards joining NATO.” The US newspaper also reports that Russian officials strongly protested to it. Russian Foreign Affairs minister Sergei Lavrov described the decision of the Ukrainian Parliament as “counterproductive” adding that “it only pushes to confrontation and creates the illusion that adopting such laws it would be possible to resolve a deep internal crisis in Ukraine.” On the whole, Lavrov’s view was that in Ukraine it is actualy taking place “a coup”3. In this context, the Russian Federation reacted by the (nonviolent) annexation of Crimea, aspect on which I will return. Since that event, the Russian Federation was considered by the United States and its West-European allies as having clear imperialist and aggressive tendencies, and the existence of NATO was once again justified by defending Europe and the rest of the world from “Russian danger.”
It is noteworthy that as NATO expanded further eastward after the end of the Cold War, the European Union similarly expanded (with a strong US support) to the countries that belonged to the socialist bloc. Thus, the first enlargement of the EU to the East took place in 2004, when Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined. Three years later, in 2007, Bulgaria and Romania were also integrated. In 2013, the number of EU Member States reached 28, after Croatia’s accession. Montenegro was included in NATO since 2017. There are also estimates of a good chance that Bosnia, Macedonia and Montenegro join the EU in the coming years. At the present level of 2019, they negotiate Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova’s integration into NATO and the European Union, with the main motivation for protection against the “threat from the Russian Federation.”
One can therefore record a very obvious expansionist wave of Western powers towards the Russian Federation. Here is in what manner NATO’s expansion to the East was motivated by American leaders.
The first wave of expansion was explained by US president Bill Clinton by the fact that the United States sought consolidation of democratic gains in Central Europe. Thus, according to the National Security Strategy published in February 1995 by the White House, at the initiative of President Bill Clinton, “a process leading to gradual expansion of NATO (…) was approved and initiated to provide security relations that will strengthen foundations for democratic gains that began in 1989 in Europe.”4
These statements were complemented by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who stated in a speech in April 1997 that as far as NATO enlargement in Eastern Europe is concerned, “the challenge we face today is to finish the post-war construction project… and expand the area where American interests and values will flourish.”5 Here is a transparent assertion showing that the White House wanted to prepare suitable ground to implement American influence. Similarly, Richard Holbrooke—the US ambassador in Germany in 1993–1994 — considered that “America is a European power,”6 which is increasingly important on the continent.
The rhetoric of the most famous American analysts of that period followed the same line of reasoning. Strobe Talbott, for example, a professor at Yale and Brookings Universities, justified the enlargement of NATO to Eastern Europe, stating in 1995 that “With the end of the Cold War, it became possible to build a more and more united Europe through shared commitment to societies and open markets.” More specifically, Talbott referred to the fact that expansion of NATO borders would contribute to “strengthening the national consensus on democratic reforms and transition to market economy.”7
But it also exists a completely different kind of interpretation. For example, in line with the analyst Noam Chomsky, expressed in his paper Hopes and Perspectives,8 NATO’s new program gradually replaced the objective of containement of Soviet power (the official reason for which the alliance was established9) with two other strategic objectives:
- Maintaining an infrastructure for resource exploitation which is crucial for the Western energy system;
- Exercise the so-called “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) through which, under US control, the alliance unilaterally arrogated the right to intervene militarily (through humanitarian interventions) anywhere in the world.
Another quite different view in comparison with the official Western line of diplomatic and media coverage is the one of George Kennan, former US ambassador to Moscow (1944–1946) and former head of the US State Department (1947–1948). In an account published in 1998 by New York Times,Kennan very seriously criticized the new US policy since the fall of the USSR, which sought to extend NATO closer to the borders of New Russia:
I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening
anybody else. (…) I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying
to attack Western Europe. Don’t people understand? Our differences in the Cold War were
with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people
who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime.10
Obviously, George Kennan called the “greatest Revolution in History” the fact that in 1991 the USSR
leaders announced the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party. Let’s see now a little more detailed how some of the NATO enlargement stages in Eastern Europe took place.
NATO Intervention in Yugoslavia
The war in Yugoslavia occurred in several phases between 1991 and 1999, but in order to better understand the course of events, it is useful to consider some preliminary elements. In the 1980s, Yugoslavia was seen internationally as a buffer between the East and the West because, despite having a communist regime, it displayed an attitude of independence from the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet power, and at the same time it had a very open politics towards Western powers. As a result, its strategic position in the region was intensely disputed by both the US and the USSR.
In March 1984, the United States adopted National Security Decision 133 on United States Policy towards Yugoslavia. It was decided that Yugoslavia should be “supported to overcome financial difficulties” and to be “oriented towards a market economy structure.”11 Even though today these decisions could be considered banal, in 1984 they were particularly incisive policies to break the rigid order inside the “Iron Curtain.” America’s interest, however, was not as selfless as it seemed. Former officer Louis Sell, who worked for nearly 20 years in the US State Department, shows in his work Slobodan Milošević and the Destruction of Yugoslavia12 that the “saving loans” offered by the IMF and the World Bank through US mediation enslaved the country even more in debt. Moreover, it led to ceding in favor of these foreign institutions the control regarding the country’s economy and many political decisions. In accordance with a World Bank report13, in the late 1980s more than 600,000 industrial workers (out of a total of 23 million in 1991) were fired. Other hundreds of thousands did not receive their salaries — which were derisory anyway — for months. As a consequence, the economic and political crisis generated ethnic tensions.
In 1989, Slobodan Milošević was elected president of Serbia, the largest of the six republics that formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Milošević’s influence on the masses was particularly mobilizing. In a speech to one million compatriots, Milošević talked about solidarity and national values of the united Yugoslavia, but also about the ever-increasing threat of losing the sovereignty of the country: “Our people will accept to live in poverty, but they will not accept to live without freedom!” Milošević was well aware of the blackmail and pressure faced by Yugoslavia and alluded to the “secret meetings and negotiations” that were conducted, as well as the “confusing accounts” given on the diplomatic stage. However, he encouraged his fellow citizens before aggression that was already imminent: “We will win regardless of the obstacles raised by enemies inside and outside the country! We tell them we’re not afraid at all!”14
Since June 1991, amid the dissolution of the USSR and the collapse of communism in the East European bloc, the republics of the federation began to proclaim their autonomy. The first were Croatia and Slovenia, followed by Macedonia in September 1991. In March 1992 Muslim leaders in Bosnia-Herzegovina unilaterally declared the independence of the republic, stirring dissatisfaction of a large part of the Federation population, especially Bosnian Serbs, who wanted to maintain the territorial integrity of Yugoslavia. The separation was nevertheless admitted by Western Powers on April 6, 1992, which meant the breakup of Yugoslavia. After several months of war, helped by Yugoslav Federal Army troops, the Bosnian Serbs succeeded in a series of victories and regained control of much of the Bosnian land. Western officials firmly accused the Serbs of “ethnic cleansing” under Yugoslavia’s leadership of President Slobodan Milošević. Milošević was characterized by large US publications—such as TIME magazine or The New York Times—as “the Butcher of the Balkans.”15
It is now a recognized fact that ethnic tensions in Yugoslavia were in fact speculated and directed by Western secret services. Here is an example: in 1995, large Serb minorities were expelled from the territory of Croatia with the support of the CIA, the MI6 and the Pentagon. The information was revealed in 2008 by The Guardian, which gave some details of the Operation Storm. It was a 72-hour quick action, painstakingly planned, which led Croatian forces to victory. The Guardian showed that “the United States was closely involved” one of the key components of the mission being that “the CIA used spy planes to expose Serbian plans.” The Serbs who did not want to flee were killed, their villages burned and their properties looted. The crimes of that forced exodus were judged by the Hague tribunal. The Court found that “The cumulative effect led to a widespread movement of an estimated number of 150,000–200,000 Serbs.”16
It is significant that, in line with Miro Tudjman, head of the Croatian secret service in the 1990s, the United States provided encryption equipment for each army brigade in Croatia. Tudjman declared the CIA spent “at least $10 million” on Croatian listening stations to intercept telephone calls in Bosnia and Serbia, and that “all our electronic devices were online in real time with the Washington National Security Agency.”17
In 1998, the conflict between the armed forces of Yugoslavia and the Albanian rebels in Kosovo, a province in Serbia, broke out. This was to become a major disaster because of NATO’s decisive intervention. There was, in particular, a specific event that revolted international public opinion, being heavily publicized. On January 15, 1999, US diplomat William Walker, the head of the Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM18), announced to the world that an “atrocity” was discovered in Racak that is “almost a crime against humanity”: 40 corpses that were grounded in a common pit and had severe traces of mutilation. Without waiting for any investigation to be made, the US diplomat postulated that in the Racak massacre Serbian police would have killed Albanian civilians.
Shortly thereafter, US president Bill Clinton stated in a Presidential News Conference on March 18, 1999 that in the situation in Yugoslavia “only President Milošević stands in the way of peace” through the crimes he commands and the refusal of any dialogue that could resolve tensions. As a result, Clinton announced that he discussed with his counselors and several members of the Congress and got ready for military intervention. To justify this decision, he urged:
We should remember what happened in the village of Racak back in January, innocent men, women and children taken from their homes to a gully, forced to kneel in the dirt, sprayed with gunfire—not because of anything they had done, but because of who they were.19
In a subsequent speech, Clinton said Milošević’s actions resembled those of Hitler’s during the Holocaust: “the two are similar; both cruel, premeditated systematic oppression fueled by religious and ethnic hatred.”20
Then, as President Clinton already announced, on March 24, 1999 US-led NATO coalition triggered a large military operation force in Yugoslavia, under the so called responsibility to protect. In order to unfold this operation, the US administration and NATO leaders did not take into account that there was no UN approval, considering that the gravity of the situation required urgent action. The public was informed by the media that NATO’s humanitarian intervention is motivated by the “pure benefit of the people in the area, an act of altruism”21 and that it is an “absolutely correct” action because it is on the “very high threshold of humanitarian interventions”22 to save people from the crimes of the Serbian government.
In the political and media bustle preparing for the US-led NATO attack, too few noticed a series of revelations that some investigative journalists highlighted about the so-called Racak massacre. Thus, French journalists Christophe Châtelot and Renaud Girard each published an article in which they argued that the version broadcast mainly by the US media had serious credibility problems and that most probably the so-called “massacre” was in fact a setup. Girard’s article was published by Le Figaro on January 20, 1999, entitled Black clouds over a massacre,23 and Châtelot’s article was published in Le Monde on January 21, 1999 under the title Were the dead of Racak really massacred in cold blood?24 As set out in the investigations of the two journalists, the bodies were not of civilians but of former Albanian rebels from the UCK troops, and the bodies were brought to that valley from various places. However cynical it may seem, the former UCK corpses were dressed in civilian clothes, and William Walker, the head of the KVM mission, was one of the coordinators of the action.
Numerous other details that reveal the staging were published, for example, by journalists Reed Irvine and Cliff Kincaid in the article More doubts about the so-called Racak massacre25 or by Louis Magnin in The Serbian “Massacre” from Racak had never occurred.26 In his article, Magnin quotes the German daily Berliner Zeitung that reported on March 13, 1999, that several governments, including Germany and Italy, asked the OSCE to remove William Walker from office in the light of information received from supervisory authorities of OSCE Committee in Kosovo. That information revealed that the dead of Racak “were not—as claimed by Walker—victims of a Serb massacre of civilians but KLA fighters killed in battle.”27 For clarification, the indicative “KLA” refers to The Kosovo Liberation Army, which was an ethnic-Albanian separatist militia. Additional details came in May 2000, when the British newspaper Sunday Times revealed in the article The CIA helped the guerrilla army in Kosovo that Walker’s US observer team worked secretly in the CIA and aimed to push NATO into the Yugoslav War. According to British journalists “European diplomats working in the OSCE claim to have been betrayed by a US policy that made airstrikes become inevitable.”28 Even Dr. Helena Ranta, head of the Finnish medical team who carried out the autopsy of the Racak corpses in 1999, admitted in 2008 that, through pressures from William Walker and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, “she was forced to confirm the official version,”29 although the autopsy report could not determine whether the victims were civilians, if they were from Racak and where they were killed. The detailed description of the entire set-up is presented in the chapter The lie in Racak in Milorad Drecun’s book, The Second Battle for Kosovo.
(To be continued)