By Dr Tafataona Mahoso

FOR the US and its NATO allies to be able to mount the blanket and one-sided condemnations of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to which the rest of the world is being subjected, they have had to suppress or delete 200 years of history, including the recent NATO invasions of Libya and Afghanistan together with the US-UK invasion and destruction of Iraq mounted in 2003.  

One typical example of the suppression and deletion of recent US-NATO history appeared on page 10 of the local publication NewsDay on March 22 2022.  

It was titled, ‘Our strength in unity: Putin chose war, we stand with Ukraine’.  

The writer was Thomas R. Hastings, the chargé d’ Affaires at the US Embassy in Harare.

In order for any observer with some knowledge of history to accept the current NATO-sponsored narrative on Russia and Ukraine, he or she would have to imagine somehow that there were no schoolchildren, no hospital wards with patients and no elderly men and women when NATO forces or US forces invaded former Yugoslavia in 1999, or Libya in 2011, Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. 

Such a feat of selective conscience and imagination has not been possible since the days of apartheid. 

At least the apartheid regime of South Africa then did not claim to represent ‘international best practices’ in human rights and democracy the way NATO powers and their media claim to be doing so in the current war.

And yet in real history, the US has its Monroe Doctrine pronounced by its past President James Monroe in his seventh message to Congress on December 2 1823. 

Ex-American President James Monroe in 1817.

Originally, this doctrine was a warning to the imperial powers of Europe to respect the exclusive interests of the US as a hemispheric power over North and South America and surrounding islands and oceans; and to avoid interfering in the affairs of any country in that same hemisphere or risk war with the US.

Further, in the late 19th Century, US President Theodore Roosevelt reinterpreted the same doctrine to include the right of the US itself to use any means, including military force, to intervene in the internal affairs of any country in the entire Western Hemisphere.

Ex-US President Theodore Roosevelt.

Still later, as part of the Cold War and as a feature of US anticommunist hysteria, the same doctrine was used to keep all communist influence out of the hemisphere or to help suppress Latin American and Caribbean movements or  governments accused of harbouring or promoting communist ideas.

I was in the US in the 1980s when the Reagan administration sponsored a war of destabilisation against Nicaragua, accusing the Sandinista Government of that country of bringing socialism to Nicaragua and to the hemisphere.

Former US President Ronald Reagan.

I was in the US when the same Reagan administration sent Marines to invade the little island nation of Grenada and overthrow its President Maurice Bishop and his government.

In March 2000, I went to Belgrade in the aftermath of the NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia. 

The airforces of 19 NATO nations, including the US, had combined their superior airpower to bomb mostly the Serbian territory of former Yugoslavia.

International efforts to indict former US President Bill Clinton, his NATO counterparts and the generals for war crimes were brushed aside by the very same Western institutions and media who are now calling for the indictment of Russian President Vladmir Putin and the Russian commanders conducting the war against Ukraine.

Former US President Bill Clinton.

In fact, in the year 2000 as I was preparing to go to Belgrade to attend an international conference for writers and intellectuals seeking to understand implications of NATO’s new policy of expansion and aggression adopted in 1999, when the then Chairman of the US Foreign Relations Committee, the late Senator Jesse Helms told the world that his country would impose sanctions and other punitive measures on any country, any institution or individual agitating for the indictment of NATO leaders or commanders for war crimes committed in the blanket bombing of Serbia in 1999. 

Senator Helms addressed the UN Security Council on January 20 2000 to drive home the US threat of sanctions on all those trying to apply international law to cases of US-NATO aggression and war crimes.

In many respects, what we see in Ukraine today was foreseen and could have been avoided back in 1999-2000:  That was and still is the dangerous encirclement of Russia by NATO.

Consider the following observations made by intellectuals and social scientists at The International Conference on Justice and War: the NATO Humanitarian War and the New World Order, October 25 1999, which met to consider the case of Yugoslavia and NATO.

Dr Jan Oberg of Transnational Foundation for Future and Peace Research said:

“I sometimes use the term international community. But…it doesn’t exist.  

The international community is about 10-to-15 individuals who have taken it upon themselves to say that they represent the rest of the world and everybody is basically behind them in what they do in this international community.

It’s people like Madeleine Halfbright (Albright), Robin Crook (Cook) and several others.” 

We are looking at a similar situation in Ivory Coast and Libya today.  

The position of the international community is the position of France elevated to include NATO.

Diana Johnstone, a journalist, also made this insightful remark about the UN at the Belgrade conference in 2000:

“One of the great fatalities in this (NATO war on Yugoslavia) is the UN… because of the member states either doing too little or adopting a deliberate policy to undermine it.  

The UN has lost (to NATO) in Western Slavonia, Eastern Slavonia, Krajina, Bosnia, Macedonia, and it will lose in its mission in Kosovo, and that might be the end of the UN as peace-keeper.

So, I think the UN in the future will stand for ‘United NATOS’… The KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) of course became power-holders by playing the (NATO) game they did.  

And finally the West could see a reason to have a war, because that (externally-induced confusion and conflict) made it possible for them to get in militarily.”

Twelve years later a similar scenario was implemented in Libya. 

The Russian war on Ukraine is a tragic blow-back from more than 20 years of the intensifying NATO encirclement of Russia which many could see coming as early as 1999.  

Noting such hard facts does not require the historian or journalist to take sides in the conflict.  

The facts are there.

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