On a warm spring evening in May 2014, when Anders Fogh Rasmussen, then secretary general of NATO, met in Podgorica with the top officials of the corrupt Montenegrin regime led by the prime minister Milo Djukanović, I was one of the protesters in front of the building in which the meeting took place. In one hand, I remember holding the sign that said „No to War, No to NATO“ and in the other, a flag of the Movement for Neutrality of Montenegro (MNMNE), a civic social justice organization where I am the chairman of the board.
Later that evening I issued a public statement, reported by the Montenegrin media, in which I accused Rasmussen of a direct meddling in the electoral process, because his visit came just a few days before the decisive mayoral election in Podgorica. Djukanović’s clique was on the brink of losing the election after two decades of uninterrupted rule and it was clear that Rasmussen’s visit would be used as the proof that Djukanović still had a strong backing among the „Western allies.“
The things eventually played out just as I had predicted. Djukanović’s candidate won the election thanks in part to Rasmussen’s support. In his role as NATO secretary general, Rasmussen thus played a significant role in keeping the corrupt and authoritarian, but geopolitically loyal elite in power for years to come. His actions openly exposed the deceptive nature of NATO’s claims that it stands for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
Rasmussen’s Political Profile
In fact, moral duplicity and geopolitical bias have been Rasmussen’s modus operandi from the very beginning of his political career. Ever since his time as the prime minister of Denmark (2001-2009), Rasmussen acted as the staunch supporter of the U.S. neoconservatives’ efforts to impose the hegemonic Pax Americana on the world. He saw the expansion of NATO into East-Central Europe, including the ex-Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia, and the extension of the U.S. imperial reach into the Middle East and Central Asia as political imperatives.
Rasmussen was also one of the most vocal supporters of the Iraq war and Danish soldiers went into Iraq almost immediately after the U.S. invasion. And when a Danish intelligence officer Frank S. Grevil leaked to the press the intelligence reports showing that Rasmussen knowingly exaggerated the threat of Saddam Hussein’s WMDs (which turned out to be non-existent), he was fired and jailed for four months, even though what he did was a act of whistle-blowing in defense of the public right to know about the misdeeds and abuse of power by public officials. In contrast, Rasmussen denied that he received the reports, or that he knew anything about them, and was able to stay in power successfully for another five years.
Even as recently as 2015, the Danish government blocked attempts by the opposition to have a thorough investigation into Rasmussen’s decision-making process that led to the decision to go to war against Iraq. As some observers pointed out, the former British prime minister Tony Blair, another advocate of the Iraq war, was not so lucky and the Chilcot Commission’s report condemned his actions in no uncertain terms. And yet, even this report led to hardly any significant political or legal repercussions for Blair. Did anyone really expect that the corrupt British political elite and intelligence community would turn on one of its own?
The 12th NATO Secretary General
Rasmussen even got rewarded for being the poster boy for the political immorality and cynicism of the global Pax Americana promoters by being selected for the position of NATO secretary general in August 2009. During his entire five-year tenure (until October 2014), Rasmussen worked around the clock to push NATO military and intelligence apparatus further East and legitimize its bloody interventions in the Middle East and North Africa. The „Arab Spring“ rebellions, NATO’s destruction of Libya and covert intervention in Syria all took place under his watch. He was one of the main architects of the strategy of NATO’s imperial expansionism, which I think should be referred to by its true name – the 21st century colonialism.
In addition, no secretary general before him was driven by such a deep-seated negativity towards anything Russian. He openly supported the Ukrainian coup in February 2014 and condemned Russia for the firm reaction to what was an unmistakable attack on its vital national interests, something that no state in the world would tolerate, not even the tiniest one, let alone a nuclear power. Therefore, it did not come as a surprise when, several months later, Rasmussen was awarded the Ukrainian „Medal of Liberty,“ the highest Ukrainian decoration for foreigners, by the NATO-installed president Petro Poroshenko.
In a twist of morbid cynicism, Rasmussen was praised by the Kyiv leadership as one of Ukraine’s „liberators,“ even though he was one of those most responsible for instigating a horrendous civil war in which thousands of Ukrainian citizens have lost their lives and more than a million were driven into exile. While this may sound like a scenario of the Ministry of Propaganda from George Orwell’s dystopian novel „1984,“ it is even worse than that because it is not fiction, but real life.
The „Rasmussen Global“ Consultancy Firm
After his mandate as the NATO head ended, Rasmussen opened a geopolitical consultancy company called Rasmussen Global. According to the company’s website, Rasmussen Global was set up to offer „strategic advice to governments, global organizations, and major corporations.“ As I have shown in an earlier article, Rasmussen boasted on his Facebook page that he expected to have „many customers.“ While it is not clear how many he has had so far, his most significant „customer“ appeared just a few months ago, when, in May 2016, Petro Poroshenko appointed him to the position of a special presidential adviser.
Rasmussen was hired to do what he was best at: to do as much damage as possible to the EU-Russian relations. For instance, in an interview in February 2016, even before he got the job, Rasmussen strongly condemned the construction of another Nord Stream gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany.
Every time Russia is concerned, Rasmussen has quickly abandoned his doctrinal insistence on market freedom and free trade. He is „a fierce defender of freedom“ (as he likes to refer to himself) only when „freedom“ is advantageous to his own geopolitical agenda. In all other cases, no freedom is to be allowed and even the legitimate public right to know can be punished by jail time as in the case of a whistleblower Frank S. Grevil mentioned earlier.
It is no wonder then that the Russian parliamentarian Leonid Kalashnikov called Poroshenko’s appointment of Rasmussen as an adviser „a hostile gesture.“ Once again, Rasmussen’s well-documented Russophobia acquired the „official“ cover. Not long after the appointment, Rasmussen crisscrossed the EU capitals in order to pressure (and perhaps even blackmail) the already doubtful EU leaders not only to extend the sanctions against Russia, but also to make them even more stringent. At the same time, he argued that Ukraine had already taken great strides on the road to democracy and respect for the rule of law. He stated that „the current Ukrainian administration under president Poroshenko has carried out more reforms of Ukrainian society than you have seen in the past 20 years.“ In other words, the EU should consider Poroshenko an angel and Putin a devil.
Rasmussen is far from being alone in publicly pushing this narrative. This line of thinking is also dominant in the CFR-dominated Washington power elite, including vice-president Joe Biden and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. That does not bode well for the future of the world.
Rasmussen As A CFR-Sponsored Theorist of the 21st Century Colonialism
It is precisely the CFR circles that have recently brought Rasmussen to the U.S. to promote his new book The Will to Lead: America’s Indispensable Role in the Global Fight for Freedom, an apologia for the U.S. world dominance.
The thesis of the book boils down to the claim that the U.S. must [notice the imperative!] be the world’s policeman, and not only that. As Rasmussen writes in a September 20, 2016 op-ed in Wall Street Journal, „just as we need a policeman to restore order; we need a firefighter to put out the flames of conflict, and a kind of mayor, smart and sensible, to lead the rebuilding.“ So, in addition to being a global policeman, the U.S. should also assume the roles of a global firefighter and a global mayor.
There is no mistaking it: this is a call for the U.S. to colonize the entire world. It is a geopolitical narrative for the 21st century colonialism. Rasmussen’s narrative fully reflects the megalomania of the U.S. neo-conservatives in its worst authoritarian manifestations as exemplified, for instance, in the Project for a New American Century. It is ominous that after the Project has been discredited by a decade and a half of failed wars and covert operations, Rasmussen is again recycling it for the U.S. audiences. Bringing that ‘intellectual zombie’ back to life can only mean further suffering and pain not only for the world’s most vulnerable populations, but also for the U.S. citizens, especially those from the middle and working classes.
Rasmussen and his CFR sponsors are far from being oblivious to the inflammatory character of his statements. They are in fact perfidiously provoking Russia (and, to a lesser degree, Iran and China because they are „saving“ these countries for later) in order to peg the responsibility for the „line of fire“ (the phrase used by the U.S. secretary of state John Kerry) in East-Central Europe and Central Asia on the recent Russian activities. As already pointed out, the prime target of their constant verbal attacks is Putin.
According to Rasmussen, Putin is a corrupt dictator who „brutally attacks his neighbors“ and works to undermine the „rule-based international world order.“ The fact that NATO itself undermined the U.N. Charter and the U.S. Constitution, and hence the „rule-based international order“ so dear to Rasmussen, by its military attack on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, when Putin was still a relative unknown in the Russian political circles, is conveniently swept under the rug. It does not fit the narrative that NATO is a moral force for peace, democracy, and human rights.
In the worldview of those who advocate U.S. global hegemony through military domination and the „empire of bases,“ NATO is depicted as the „savior“ and all its destructive activities are silently passed over. In the mid-to-long term, these activities are ideologically justified, minimized, or even filtered out completely in „scientific“ research articles and history books by the geopolitically sympathetic, but corrupt academics.
In this respect, it is particularly revealing to note what Rasmussen writes about Libya, the relatively prosperous state brutally wiped off the map by NATO bombs and turned into a safe haven for head-chopping extremists. Referring to Libya, Rasmussen suddenly become strictly factual. He says that „in North Africa, Libya has collapsed and become a breeding ground for terrorists.“ He provides absolutely no analysis as to why and how this happened. He makes it seem like a natural catastrophe. Out of the blue, the state collapsed and terrorists just moved in.
Most of Rasmussen’s arguments are as infantile as this one and yet, on October 3, 2016, he was invited to present his book at Harvard University. The championing of the U.S. hegemonic agenda, while, at the same time, seriously eroding the space for its critics, shows the near complete capture of the premier institutions of the U.S. higher education by the military-industrial-intelligence complex. Disrespect for other world’s cultures and traditions and the overall „dumbing down“ of the American society are the obvious consequences.
From the perspective of the U.S. global hegemonists, even a perfectly rational suggestion by Putin is made to sound like a war crime. Rasmussen tells of a meeting with Putin in 2009 when the latter said to him: „After the Cold War, we dissolved the Warsaw Pact. Similarly, you should dissolve NATO. That is a relic of the Cold War.“ Rasmussen almost fell off his chair when he heard this because, for him, NATO is the „holy of holies“ that nobody is supposed to come near and criticize, let alone call for its dissolution. And yet, what he and others from his ideological camp consider the „holy of holies“ is none other than the dark god of death that every day brings the world closer to a nuclear apocalypse.
Originally published by Newsbud on October 28, 2016.