Who Really Runs the World? Part 6
The United Nations and NATO
Whilst the UN may not seem a very effective organisation these days, this may be because it is in the process of re-inventing itself. Under the headline “Getting into bed with big business” journalist George Monbiot writing in the Guardian 31/8/00, concluded that the UN is turning itself into an enforcement agency for the global economy, helping western companies to penetrate new markets, whilst avoiding regulations which would be the only effective means of holding them to account. “By making peace with power, the UN is declaring war on the powerless…” It also the body responsible for imposing and maintaining the most appalling economic sanctions on the people of Iraq for the last 11 years. Sanctions, that at the last count, had cost the lives of more than half a million Iraqi children.
The UN Centre on Trans-national Corporations (TNCs), which tried to help weak nations protect themselves from predatory companies, was dissolved in 1993 – its place taken by the Business Council for Sustainable Development put together at the much hyped Earth Summit at Rio in 1992. Its chief recommendation is that companies regulate themselves. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is now saying that he wants to see more opportunities for companies, rather than governments or the UN, to set global standards. It was announced in June 1997 that corporations would be given a formal role in UN decision making.
The UN Conference on Trade and Development now works with the International Chamber of Commerce, which is dominated by TNCs. In 1999, Annan launched the Business Humanitarian Forum, chaired jointly by the UN Commissioner on Refugees and the Chairman of Unocal, a US company which once operated in Burma helping to build a gas pipeline, during the construction of which Burmese government soldiers tortured and killed local people. Annan explained to BHF’s corporate members, such as Rio Tinto Zinc and Nestle, that the business community is fast becoming one of the UN’s most important allies. In March 1999 it was revealed that the UN Development Programme was receiving gifts from a variety of big corporations, in return for which they receive privileged access to UNDP offices.
The UN Millennium Summit in September 2000 didn’t receive much media coverage. However, amongst its proposals were plans for a much enhanced UN military role – the present role of peace keepers made up of the soldiers of member states is no longer seen as adequate – the UN must have its own staff and troop training facilities to provide a permanent UN standing army along with an intelligence capability. Above all, it was contended, the UN should be able to crack down with full military might wherever a national government fails to treat its people in conformity with UN criteria on “human rights” and “social justice”. Its role was no longer to be just peace keeping, but “humanitarian intervention” and “peace enforcement”. Tony Blair and Robin Cook were the prime movers behind these plans that appear to be very much in accord with their Fabian philosophy. 
To get a good idea as to how this may work in practice and what the grounds might be for intervention let’s look at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ( NATO), and particularly its intervention in Kosovo in 1999. Just as the UN is seeking to provide itself with an enhanced military role, so too is NATO. As more states join NATO, it is possible that its military roles could eventually be merged with the UN. NATO was originally a defensive pact between the US and several European nations, created as a bastion against possible Soviet aggression – it would act if only a member state was attacked – it would not initiate an attack itself. But all that changed in 1999, when NATO declared that it had the right to intervene wherever it regards a state as not respecting human rights.
Let’s be very clear about one thing – western governments and corporate business interests have no objection to states with repressive totalitarian regimes, provided they play the global game, allowing TNCs to invest in and exploit their resources – and provided these regimes take out loans from the big commercial banks, the World Bank or the IMF etc. – for example Indonesia, the Phillipines and numerous tin pot dictatorships in sub Saharan Africa. Indeed western governments will help bring dictators and human rights abusers to power and support them, as the US did with General Pinochet in Chile and Suharto in Indonesia.
However if they do not play the game, instead seeking to be independent for the benefit of their own people, then, if they happen to have a dubious human rights record towards minorities, it will be seized upon to provide the excuse for armed intervention. Such states are now termed rogue states, and the old federal republic of Yugoslavia became a perfect example. It was a socialist country with state and co-operative ownership of business interests. It was unwilling to allow foreign companies to invest in or take over its industries and was not interested in joining the European Union or NATO. Economic collapse occurred in the late 80’s when international bankers called in Yugoslavia’s loans, which had the effect of rekindling old ethnic tensions as people began to squabble over increasingly scarce jobs and resources, and the ethnic groups blamed each other for the resulting economic collapse. (Against this backdrop, Milosevic was elected to power by a Serb majority.) Subsequent events produced favourable results for western finance and industry. The newly created states of Bosnia, Croatia etc. are all now open to “foreign investment”, but Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo still made up Yugoslavia. 
Within Kosovo lies the massive Trepca mining complex capable of producing up to £3 million worth of vital industrial minerals per day. It is one of the most concentrated mineral rich areas in the world and is a rich picking for TNCs. The Kosovo Liberation Army is in fact a terrorist organisation rather like the IRA and was actually supported covertly by the German secret service. The alleged mass atrocities by Milosevic against Albanians in Kosovo have never been established, although these were the excuse for armed intervention. Nearer the truth is perhaps, that the federal Yugoslav authorities used heavy-handed tactics at times to deal with terrorists and guerrillas whose aim was (and still is) to create a greater Albania. The Rambouillet Accords ultimately put before Milosevic by NATO were a modern form of “gunboat diplomacy”, because they included demands that no leader of a sovereign nation could possibly accept – namely that NATO personnel have unrestricted access, to not just Kosovo, but the whole of Yugoslavia. Milosevic naturally refused to accept this, and NATO responded with the mass bombing of Serbia and Kosovo that followed.
The International Crisis Group is a high level think tank supported by financier and regular Bilderberg attendee George Soros. In November 1999 it sought to provide policy guidance to governments involved in the NATO led reshaping of the Balkans, and issued a paper advising the take-over of the Trepca complex as soon as possible. On 14. August 2000, NATO forces swooped down on the Zvecan smelter to seize the last remaining piece of the Trepca mining complex owned by the Yugoslav government. The excuse for this action was health reasons. It was claimed the plant produced dangerous atmospheric lead pollution and that it would remain closed until repairs could be made to reduce emissions. In an ironic disregard for health concerns, protesting workers were dispersed with tear gas and rubber bullets… 
In conjunction with the UN and NATO, the term “the international community” has become very popular. This loose and misleading term has no definition, but in reality it is the global power brokers - the movers and shakers who will deal ruthlessly with those who do not tow the line, as Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and others have found to their cost.
1 The Spotlight 18/9/00 “UN Millennium Summit Promotes Global Army”
2 For more details on the reality behind the break up of Yugoslavia see “Balkans Crisis – National Independence or Global War Policy?” a booklet produced by the Campaign Against Euro-Federalism, 57 Green Lane, Merseyside L45 8JQ. Also “The Spoils of War in Yugoslavia – Who profits?” a pamphlet produced by the British Association for Monetary Reform 27 Imberhorne Lane, Felbridge, West Sussex, RH19 1QX. email@example.com
3 The Spotlight 2/10/00 “Balkans War Booty Goes to Plutocratic Elite”
Last updated 29/06/2004