Iran vs Poland and UN General Assembly’s plans on Syria
John Robles Interviews Rick Rozoff
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Iran is boosting its rocket plan aimed at Poland, while UN’s calling for a pluralistic multi-party political system plan for Syria. Last Friday’s General Assembly’s resolution was drafted by Saudi Arabia and then co-sponsored by Bahrain and Qatar. VoR asked Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list, to comment on these issues. Part II.
Can you tell us how Iran’s new space center boosts its rocket plan, especially launching ballistic missiles over Poland?
Try to imagine how Iran first of all would have the capability of launching basically intercontinental ballistic missiles over Poland, presumably over the Arctic Circle to hit the United States. I mean that’s an impossibility, fallacious from the very beginning. When the Obama administration scaled that back somehow by suggesting that Standard Missile-3 interceptors, which have a shorter range, could be used to intercept Iranian missiles, then it begs the question, where?
At what point do you intercept the Iranian missiles? The trajectory and the range of the Standard Missile-3s could potentially intercept them some place south of Poland, but where – Ukraine, the Caucasus? They don’t carry a charge, they’re kinetic, hit-to-kill missiles, as they’re called. So presumably no real damage is done in the fallout over the intended country. I don’t know that Ukraine or Armenia or whomever would be affected by this would be consulted before this happening. But one thing that gives the lie to the entire argument, the deployment of any sort of interceptor missiles in Poland is aimed against Iran, is the fact that in May of 2010 the U.S. moved a Patriot, short-range, interceptor missile battery into the city of Morag in Poland, which is, I believe, only about 40 miles or 35 miles from the Russian territory of Kaliningrad.
And these are short range missiles?
Right, which can only be in place against presumed Russian missiles coming in. They haven’t the range to do anything in regard to Iran. There’s talk about how Poland wanted an assurance from the United States that if they put the longer-range missiles in they have protection, but protection clearly not from Iran, or they wouldn’t put short-range Patriot interceptors near the Russian border. The inescapable conclusion is that the Patriots are there as at least a symbolic signal to Russia.
What’s your take on the United Nations General Assembly vote from last week’s Friday? You wrote a very interesting article about it for your website.
Yes, it is a second vote of that nature in the General Assembly this year. There was earlier one in February and then it was repeated last Friday. It is comparable to what the United States did in January of 1980 when the Carter administration went to the General Assembly to secure – of course, General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, the Security Council would have to authorize anything substantive, like an chapter 7 military intervention, for example. But what the Carter administration did in January of 1980 was to go to the General Assembly and get an overwhelming vote condemning the initial Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, which had occurred only a couple weeks earlier, towards the end of December in 1979.
But it wasn’t so important in terms of rallying or marshalling support within the world community for any action. It was more a propaganda victory for the United States, which then could portray the Soviet Union as being an aggressor in Afghanistan and justify its own covert involvement in supporting the Afghan Mujahedin, with everything that’s entailed, everything that’s happened to Afghanistan in the interim.
So, what happened in February and what happened again last Friday are clearly out of the same playbook, if you will, with what happened in the 1980s. What the United States and its NATO allies have done is introduce a resolution that appears on the surface to be somewhat balanced but is weighted heavily against the government in Damascus and calls for amongst other things the introduction of a, roughly paraphrasing it, a pluralistic multi-party political system within Syria. And Syria, though dominated by the Ba’ath party, actually does have a multi-party system in the parliament.
The resolution, and I think your listeners have to know this, the resolution was drafted by Saudi Arabia and then co-sponsored by Bahrain and Qatar. So, you have hereditary monarchies, the least democratic nations in the world, drafting a resolution being pushed by the United States and its Western allies, its NATO allies, calling for political transformation in Syria along the lines of what I indicated with the paraphrase, but no sense of irony evidently in the world to realize that of all countries in the world that have been chosen to draft that resolution it’s Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, and Qatar and, I think, Egypt at one point co-sponsored it. But these are the worst possible examples, and again reveals the abject, the arrant hypocrisy of the West to be talking about a democratic transformation and a transition, governmental transition, in Syria and at the same time hiding behind the likes of Saudi Arabia to effect that.
Teaming up with the Al-Qaeda, to bring that about?
Nobody is denying the fact that there are jihadi, Wahhabi, Salafist, al-Qaeda elements operating in Syria as part of the so-called Free Syrian Army, and the United States seems to be willing, as it did last year in Libya under very similar circumstances, to not only tolerate but to assist that process.
But going back to the vote, there were 133 countries voting in favor, only 12 voting against and 31 abstaining. The abstentions are from countries that are hesitant to generally support the United States in its more aggressive moves around the world but, in all honesty, to have taken a principled position those 31 countries by rights should have voted against it. They include nations ranging from Ecuador to Vietnam to Suriname, and other nations that have more or less independent foreign policy orientations.
But what is frightening is that both in the February vote and again last Friday there were only 12 nations out of 193 in the General Assembly that voted against the resolution: Russia, China and Syria, but only nine other nations have stood with them. Those nine nations as we talked about before in your program are nations that are already targeted for a Syrian- or Libyan-style regime change program themselves, nations like Zimbabwe, Belarus, Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Venezuela and others.
Or simply by standing up to the United States and its faithful ally Saudi Arabia have declared themselves targets for Syrian-style subversion, insurrection, regime change. It’s a very sad moment in the world where the U.S. and its allies have managed to corral that high a percentage of General Assembly members, nations in the world in fact, to support what was clearly a one-sided resolution aimed against the government of Syria, and in the words of the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, he said something to the effect that the resolution acted as though there was no armed opposition in the country, attaching no blame to the opposition for any of the violence.
He came down on government officials, these are insurgents trying to take over the government and trying to engage in a violent overthrow of the official government of the country and the resolution just placed all the blame on the government.
That’s exactly what it did. And in regard again to the sponsors, these great models of Euro-Atlantic or Transatlantic democracy like Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Bahrain, the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations referred to them quite justly, quite accurately, as despotic oligarchies, which is precisely what they are. Yet nobody in the West appears to be embarrassed to have allowed these three countries to sponsor, and Saudi Arabia to draft, a resolution calling for what they have the audacity to refer to as democracy.