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The West’s coercive tools

Zafar Bangash

Among the vast arsenal of weapons the West uses, two institutions are paramount: the UN and Nato. If the former is used for diplomatic cover, the latter is used as a blunt instrument to achieve the West’s aggressive agenda.

“The world is not a fair place so get used to it,” is how Bill Gates, the world’s richest man, advised university graduates as they were about to embark on their careers. What Gates meant was that people don’t get what they deserve in life; they have to fight for it in the dog-eat-dog world of capitalism. Gates was referring to salaries and perks in life. These are obsessions for most Americans.

In the world at large, the West indulges in more egregious crimes. The wars raging in different parts of the world — mostly the Muslim world — are the direct result of Western aggression. A series of justifications, almost all spurious, are advanced — protecting civilians, fighting terror, etc. — primarily to keep their ignorant populations satisfied that their governments are doing God’s work.

Two instruments in particular are used to advance the West’s agenda of aggression: the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Both were created in the aftermath of the bloodletting that occurred during the Second World War. If the UN is used to provide diplomatic cover to what is essentially naked Western aggression, NATO acts as the blunt instrument to carry it out.

While theoretically, the UN is meant to prevent wars and maintain peace, it has done nothing of the sort. It has a dismal record in both areas, yet many “Third-World” rulers naively repose too much trust in a body that is merely a tool of the West, especially the US. It is also structured in such a way as to ensure that all important decision-making is in the hands of the “Permanent Five” of the Security Council: the US, Britain, France, Russia, and China. With the exception of China, the others were victors of the Second World War and, therefore, consider themselves eminently qualified to decide what is good for the rest of the world. The 70-plus year history of the UN shows that the Security Council has been used as a tool to advance the West’s agenda.

If the UN provides diplomatic and political cover for Western policies, NATO is brazenly militaristic. It came into existence on April 4, 1949 through what is referred to as the Washington Treaty. Its 28 members are made up of a myriad of countries with divergent outlooks (Turkey and Greece, for instance). It was established to confront the erstwhile Soviet Union in what was called the Cold War era. With the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Cold War ended, but far from being dismantled, NATO continued to expand taking in many breakaway republics of the former Soviet Union. While its name suggests it is concerned about the security of countries on the Atlantic Coast, this has not prevented it from venturing into places like landlocked Afghanistan! The Afghans are still trying to figure out which coast of the Atlantic Ocean their country is located on. NATO forces have been used in other places as well: Iraq (1991 and 2003 to the present), Syria (2011 to the present), and Ukraine (2014).

Warmongering is an essential part of the West’s policy. They cause death and destruction, but wars are extremely profitable and since Western rulers are beholden to the moneyed classes, they have to pursue policies that their paymasters demand. Where reason for no war exists, Western regimes and their spy agencies instigate uprisings to create a pretext for intervention. The mayhem underway in Syria is the direct result of Western, primarily US, manipulation of internal developments in the country since 2005. Libya was bombed, Muammar Qaddafi was overthrown and then lynched through direct US-NATO military intervention. The UN Security Council was first used to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. NATO-member countries then used UNSC resolution 1973 to go on a bombing spree destroying the country. Libya lies in shambles with warlords rampaging throughout the country but there is hardly a whisper in the Western corporate media about the death and destruction that the people face on a daily basis.

In recent months, Russia has started to flex its military muscle in order to protect its interests. While it is no match for the military might of NATO, the fact that the US and its allies no longer have the field all to themselves is a good sign. In the Security Council, Russia and China together blocked the imposition of a no fly zone over Syria thereby saving it from a Libya-like fate.

Both the UN and NATO have become obsolete, the first because it has failed to live up to whatever it was supposed to achieve, and the second because it is an instrument of Western militarism and aggression. If NATO is not dismantled, then there is a need for a rival military alliance to confront its aggression. Since the end of the Second World War, NATO has caused the death of tens of millions of people. That alone should be reason enough for its burial. The world would be a far safer place without it.

Zafar Bangash is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT).

Article from

Crescent International Vol. 45, No. 12

Jumada' al-Ula' 04, 14382017-02-01

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