Daniele Ganser and illegal wars
In Autumn of 2016 a new book was published by a Swiss historian and peace researcher Ph.D. Daniele Ganser. The publication of the book Illegale Kriege. Wie die NATO-Länder die UNO sabotieren. Eine Chronik von Kuba bis Syrien (Illegal Wars – How NATO-Countries Undermine UN. A Chronicle from Cuba to Syria) was accompanied by a series of lectures in German-speaking countries (held in big halls in cinemas and at the universities) and in Paris, which show Ganser as a highly talented speaker and engaged peace promoter. Ganser (born 1972) has a rare specialty and is famous for his research on Secret NATO-Armies, terrorist attacks on 9/11, false flag operations, assassinations and coups, hidden wars wars after 1945, geostrategy, or problems of ressources and energy. Ganser studied on the famous Technical University ETH in Zurich (where once Enstein studied) and is founder of an Institute for Peace and Energy Research (SIPER). At present he teaches at the universities in St. Gallen and Basel.
In his last book Illegal Wars – How NATO-Countries Undermine UN. A Chronicle from Cuba to Syria, which was published in the famous publishing company Orell Füssli in Zurich, he examines the problem of illegal – in the light of international law – wars of NATO over the course of the last 70 years. Ganser, who speaks English, French and Italian, has been researching over the years many sources, among them declassified documents of NATO, UN and USA. He begins his study with a chapter about United Nations and indicates, in what circumstances it was founded: immediatly after the terrible World War II, the Holocaust and its main purpose was to avoid similar international conflicts in future, to promote freedom, understanding and cooperation. Currently United Nations Organization has 193 Member states. The Article 2 of the UN Charter states among others, that:
The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
The Organization shall ensure that states which are not Members of the United Nations act in accordance with these Principles so far as may be necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security.
According to the international law only the defensive war on once’s own territory is justified and permitted and in some exceptional cases military interventions are possible with UN mandate. So any conflict or war without UN mandate must be declared as illegal. Ganser claims, that in the last 70 years these fundamental rules were many times broken by the NATO-countries and the mainstream media spread official versions of the governments.
In the next chapter of Illegal Wars he describes the international conditions and establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949 and its objectives. According to the founding treaty NATO is a defensive pact and its main mission is peacekeeping, security and stability in the world and to its key values belong consensus-decision making, dialogue and consultations. A similar function to fulfill has also the organization A Partnership for Peace. Ganser presents further the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which was founded in 1998. Its purpose is to investigate and examine criminal acts against peace, human rights abuse or genocide. According to the Swiss historian NATO does not fulfill its tasks and over the years it has transmuted in an aggressive pact, which attacts innocent countries – mostly without an UN mandate, ignoring international law. Also A Parthership for Peace is disappointing: it has slowly transformed into – as Ganser says – „Partnership for War“ and because of this Switherland and Austria should leave this organisation. And Germany should leave the NATO (in July 2016 there was a debate in German Bundestag about leaving the NATO). He questions also the expansion of the NATO to the East of Europe and reminds the fact that years ago Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to the German Reunification, disintegration of the Warsaw Pact and withdrawal of the Sowjet troops from other countries under one condition: non-expansion of the NATO to the east (p. 251). This promise was broken and Eastern European countries joined at first A Partnership for Peace, then the NATO. Formally the chief commander of the NATO is usually an European politician, but a real power belongs to American generals.
Ph.D. Daniele Ganser pays much attention to the topic of „oligarchial Empire“ USA and defines criteria for an empire: the biggest military budget in the world (the collective military expenditure of all other countries is smaller than the USA-budget), American military bases and installations in over 134 countries, military dominance in cosmos and over the seas, dollar as the leading currency in the world (financial hegemony). Ganser claims that after 2001 USA have become an aggressive empire, where financial oligarchies and military, gas and oil corporations have real power and misuse the democracy. The so called „War on terror“, overthrowing of dictators and building the democracy in different countries is in fact a war for access to natural ressources, especially gas and oil, and a global dominance (p. 329).
The main part of the book Illegal Wars presents a detailed and well documented analysis of thirteen wars and interventions of NATO without a UN mandate. Ganser describes among others the conflict in Guatemala (1954), the war in Egypt (Suez Crisis 1956), the war in Vietnam, in Nicaragua (1981), the controvercial intervention in Kosovo (1999), and finally the recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and the drone war in Yemen in 2009. Ganser demonstrates on several examples that these wars occurred as a result of illegal orchestrated provocations, coups (regime changes) or so called false flag operations. For example the United States entered the war in Vietnam after The Gulf of Tonkin incident, which years after turned out to be an American provocation. In the Gulf War (Invasion in Kuwait) in 1990 the US intervened after the so-called Kuwaiti baby incubators lie (the false testimony before an American Kongress was made by a young daughter of a Kuwaiti ambassador and not a nurse) and accusation of Saddam Hussain to murder innocent infants. To provoke a war in Serbia in 1999 even an American PR agency Ruder Finn was engaged, which deliberately spread in the media negative images of Serbs. As a justification for the attacks by the USA and Britain in Iraq in 2003 served a baseless accusation of possessing illegal weapons ABC, which proved to be untrue. Although the suspicions were not confirmed, S. Hussain was arrested and despite international protests sentenced to death. In the case of the attack on Libya in the spring of 2011 a single slanderous lie was used as a pretext for military intervention. The lie came from a family which was in conflict with M. Gaddafi and was not confirmed by any other sources, moreover, the United Nations issued in the case of Libya only the flight ban (no-fly-zone). There was no UN mandate for the war in Iraq or Serbia. Similarly the war in Vietnam in 1964, which costed the lives of three Millions of Vietnameses and suffering of many American soldiers, was illegal. After years the attack on Afghanistan on 7.10.2001, which was a direct response to the US terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, seems illogical and incomprehensible. The attack was carried out without a thorough examination of reasons and finding the guilty terrorists, especially that among the 19 terrorists on WTT fourteen came from Saudi Arabia. The war in Afghanistan has brought approximately 300 thousand victims, in Iraq about one million, in Syria – 400 000, and Libya plunged into chaos.
In August 2016 Barack Obama authorized again the bombing of Libya, which the mainstream media mentioned only marginally. Unclear seem also the causes of the drone wars waged in recent years, among others in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. According to Daniele Ganser the coup in Ukraine in February 2014 was organized by US special forces (chapter 15). The mainstream media keep silent about the fact that the Ukraine in the years 2010-14 was neutral (the population of Ukraine had for many years a rather sceptical attitude towards the European Union and NATO), and under the guidance of the President Viktor Yanukovych was going to get closer economically to Russia. This line of policy did not correspond to the policy concept of the European Union and the United States, which – as Daniele Ganser claims – supported the regime change in Ukraine, inspired the repeal of the Ukrainian neutrality in the summer of 2014 and led to signing of Association Agreement with the EU. The ongoing conflict in Syria also raises serious questions and doubts: legitimately elected president B. Assad, very popular in Syria, asked officially Russia for the military support. According to Ganser the real cause of the war is supposedly a gas pipeline, planned by USA partly on a territory of Syria. President Assad has a different economic vision and prefers cooperation with Iran and Russia. The wars in Libya and Syria caused a huge wave of immigration to Europe, which presently destabilizes this continent.
Ganser points out, that according to the international law such politicians like Bill Clinton (responsible for the the war in Kosovo), George W. Bush (Afghanistan, Iraq), B. Obama (Libya, Syria – the Arab Spring, drone wars) and Tony Blair (Iraq) are – because of provoking and leading illegal wars – war criminals and should be prosecuted and judged before the International Court in the Hague (chapter 4). Too often inconvenient politicians gain the opinion of a dictator, like it was in the case of Victor Orban, W. Putin, Assad, Hussain or Gaddafi. According to the Swiss contemporary historian NATO is not a pact for security and stability, but is even a threat to the world peace.
Ganser reminds in his book Illegal Wars about the special duties and responsibilities of scientists before society and the obligation to study and investigate the facts and speak the truth. An expert, paid by a corporation or a bank, is often no more an objective, independent scientist but becomes a lobbyist. In his opinion the mainstream media do not fulfill their basic duty to impartially and fairly inform the public, and therefore he encourages his readers to individually seek for information and verify the facts in many sources. The reading of Ganser’s book demonstrates on one hand huge gaps in the information served by the mainstream media, on the other hand it leads to surprising and sad conclusions that the rich Western countries – instead of supporting and helping – attack, exploit and rob poor countries in Asia and Africa, which have nothing but oil, gas and some other natural resources. Fair international trade could be for these countries a real chance to overcome illiteracy and poverty. The strongly criticised Libya has become under the governance of Gaddafi the richest country in Africa, it reduced to a large extent illiteracy, backwardness and poverty, had a good system of social help. Before war Syria had a good standard of living and was a peaceful, good-evolving country. Nigeria, which has one of the richest oil fields in Africa, is still poor, managed by native corporations cooperating with Western companies. Unfortunately NATO military „humanitarian“ interventions have brought chaos and desaster to many countries (p. 328), increased poverty and instability (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria), and the former quasi-dictators Hussain or Gaddafi – as it seems – were able to better govern their nations than externally imposed politicians and a Western model of democracy. Western „protection“ over the years of Afghanistan or Iraq turns out to be military occupation of these countries.
Surprising and irrational is also the approach of the mainstream media and politicians towards the current international tensions and conflicts – they seem rather to nourish hostile attitudes against some countries (Russia, Syria), than suggest seeking for solving the problems peacefully through negotiations and dialogue. Peace negotiations and disarmament should be untertaken immediatly, as it was the case in the 80s, to avoid further unnecessary wars and innocent victims. Ganser’s book about illegal wars is important especially now – in the times of increasing international tensions and dangers – as a clear warning against the next war and an appeal for PEACE. Peace and avoiding wars are the highest priorities in the world and cannot be achieved by increasing military potential and aggressive accusations. The latest bombing in Afghanistan („mother of all bombs“) in April 2017 and the new danger of war with North Corea demonstrate the absolute ineffectiveness of such policy.
Ganser‘s Illegal wars is accompanied by footnotes, chronicle of illegal wars after 1945, the index, and finally a list of suggested literature for those interested in the discussed issues. The publication is well researched, brilliantly written in an accessible and interesting way, which certainly contributes to its success – within a few weeks three editions of the book were published.
Daniele Ganser: Illegale Kriege: Wie die NATO-Länder die UNO sabotieren. Eine Chronik von Kuba bis Syrien. Zürich: Orell Füssli 2016, 375 p. (Illegal Wars – How NATO-Countries Undermine UN. A Chronicle from Cuba to Syria by Daniele Ganser, Zurich 2016).
 Some of his lectures and interviews (also in English and French) are accessible on YouTube.
 The German minister for foreign affairs Hans-Dietrich Genscher reassured the Russians during his visit to Moscow on Feb. 10, 1990, that the expansion of NATO to the East will not take place. In: Marie Katharina Wagner (2014) Das große Rätsel um Genschers angebliches Versprechen, http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/ost-erweiterung-der-nato-was-versprach-genscher-12902411.html (accessed on: April 17th 2017).
 The ex-president of USA Jimmy Carter (Peace Nobel Prize 2002) stated, that the American political system is an „oligarchy with an unlimited political bribary”. In: President Jimmy Carter: The United States is an Oligarchy, 28.07.2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDsPWmioSHg (accessed on: April 17th 2017). See also the book by William W. Engdahl (2008) Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order (Polish title Absolutna dominacja).
 In 2012 Oliver Stone made a documentary series The Untold History of the United States (also known as Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States).
 Ex-chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schröder admitted in one interview for German television phoenix, that the intervention in Kosovo was illegitim and illegal, without UN mandate. He said: „I broke human rights. (…) We sent our Tornados to Serbia and together with NATO we bombed a sovereign country”. See ZEIT-Matinee mit Gerhard Schröder vom 09.03.2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKQ0ykFQav4 (47-49 min.), (accessed on: April 15th 2017).
 The Report of the Iraq Inquiry was published by Sir John Chilcot on 6th of July 2016. It clearly states, that the peaceful means to solve the problems in Iraq were not exhausted and the military intervention – at this point – was not necessary.
 See Gansers lecture (2012) Professor Daniele Ganser (Switzerland) – 10 Years After 9/11 The Official Account Does Not Add Up, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fUT7XgLiTY (accessed on: April 17th 2017).
 The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (known as 9/11 Commission), was founded on Nov. 27, 2002, more than a year after the events under the pressure of the families of the victims. The 9/11 Commission Report (July 2004) does not mention the collapse of WTT7.
 See Anna Druszcz (2009) NATO-Ukraina: NIET!, http://www.psz.pl/127-unia-europejska/anna-druszcz-nato-ukraina-niet (accessed on: April 17th 2017).
 Gaddafi’s famous UNO-speech shows him as an idealist and peace activist: he demanded compensations for Africa for centuries of colonisation and examination by UNO of many coups, regime changes and illegal interventions in the world after 1945. See Muammar Gaddafi Speech To United Nations. September 23, 2009 (Full) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKMyY2V0J0Y (accessed on: April 19th 2017).
Ilustracja: Antti T. Nissinen