A New Niche for the Moribund Non-Aligned Movement
by Thomas H. Naylor: The
World Is Coming Unglued at the Seams, But Maybe That’s Not All Bad
of the fifty year old Non-Aligned Movement, Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad may be in a unique position to inject new life into
the moribund 120-member organization by positioning it to confront
the American Empire and its principal apologists – Israel, England,
Canada, Japan, South Korea, and NATO.
The NAM was
organized in 1961 by the leaders of Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia,
and Yugoslavia as an independent voice for so-called Third World
nations between the Western and Eastern blocs in the Cold War. The
organization has never been very effective, but even less so since
the Cold War ended in 1991.
of the NAM represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations’s members
and contain 55 percent of the world population. Most of the members
are small, poor countries located in Asia, Africa, or Latin America
or on a handful of islands scattered around the world. Five of them
are meganations. India has a population of 1.2 billion, but Bangladesh,
Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan each have populations of over 100
the fact that five of the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement
are clearly meganations, I believe President Ahmadinejad should
cast his lot squarely on the side of the small nations of the world
confronting the immoral, corrupt, decaying, dying, failing American
It’s high time
the small nations of the world stand up to the meganations and say,
"Enough is enough. We refuse to continue condoning your plundering
the planet in pursuit of natural resources, treasure, and markets
to quench your insatiable appetite for consumer goods and your lust
for political, economic, and military power." The NAM could
play a major role in facilitating this process. Without exception
the governments of the megastates are too big, too centralized,
too undemocratic, too unjust, too powerful, too intrusive, and too
unresponsive to the needs of individuals and small communities.
Iran has been
given a bum rap by the United States for nearly seventy years. It
has been considered persona non grata in America since Iranian revolutionaries
seized the U.S. Embassy on November 4, 1979. Few Americans recall
that in 1953 when the Eisenhower administration disapproved of Iranian
Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, the CIA removed him from office,
had him placed under house arrest, and installed Shah Mohammad Reza
Pahlavi as head of state. Most Americans have also forgotten that
Ronald Reagan collaborated with Saddam Hussein to destroy Iran.
All the while Reagan had arranged for the Israelis to sell weapons
to the Iranians to finance the Contras in Nicaragua whose aim was
to overthrow the duly elected Sandinista government. Such financial
aid had been specifically banned by the U.S. Congress. Is there
any reason why the Iranian government should be particularly fond
of the United States?
By virtue of
its population size, 75 million, its importance to the Muslim world,
and the fact that it has the world’s second-largest proven reserves
of conventional crude oil after Saudi Arabia, and the second-largest
natural gas reserves after Russia, Iran is well positioned to demand
and receive a place at the table alongside the United States, China,
and Russia. To achieve this goal Iran needs a new paradigm. But
the NAM could provide Iran with such a paradigm, namely by becoming
the voice of the small nations of the world.
I believe Secretary-General
Ahmadinejad should convene a special meeting of the Non-Aligned
Movement in 2013 to consider ten important issues:
1. The highly
Islamaphobic war on terror being waged by the United States in collaboration
with its three closest allies, Israel, England, and Canada, as well
acts of terrorism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing against its Palestinian
neighbors, all with the unconditional support of the United States.
3. The hypocrisy
of Israel being treated as though it were the only nation in the
Middle East entitled to possess nuclear weapons.
4. The U.S.-Israeli
cabal’s strategy to hegemonize the Middle East.
5. A White
House culture defined by smart power and death – F-35 fighter jets,
unmanned killer drones, Navy Seals, Delta Force death squads, and
a kill list; and a President who has granted himself the authority
to order the assassination of anyone, anywhere, anytime, with no
questions asked, no trial, and no due process – just pure law of
6. The demonization
by Washington of the political leaders of Cuba, Iran, North Korea,
7. The immoral,
illegal, undeclared wars in which the American Empire is engaged
in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and (via Israel) Palestine,
not to mention the clandestine wars being carried out by the CIA
and paid mercenaries on behalf of the Empire.
8. The threat
of war with Iran by the United States and Israel enhanced by deliberate
acts of provocation.
9. The half
century long Cuban embargo.
10. The moral,
intellectual, political, and spiritual bankruptcy of international
megainstitutions such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization,
the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
In no sense
am I suggesting that Iran represents some kind of panacea which
can save the world from chaos and destruction. Iran’s human rights
abuses are no secret. It is a big country, and not unlike most other
large countries, its behavior is not always exemplary.
The small nations
of the world need a forum where their views can be heard, processed
and acted upon. The United Nations is no such forum. The U.N. Security
Council, where its so-called permanent members still hold veto power,
is an anachronism of the past based on yesterday’s realities rather
than today’s truths.
So long as
we continue to live in a meganation world, perhaps there is a need
for some, if not all, of the meganations to meet occasionally outside
of the United Nations. I believe a case can be made that such a
Global Council might include the U.S., China, Russia,
India, Brazil, and Iran. The Global Council would have no coercive
or military powers whatsoever. It would simply provide an occasional
platform for open discussion and a place where the views of smaller,
poorer nations might possibly be presented by Iran on behalf of
the NAM. The Global Council could be viewed as an initial step towards
phasing out the obsolete, ineffective U.N. and ultimately replacing
it with a more participatory, more democratic organization representing
the interests of all of the nations of the world rather than just
those of a handful of nations.
Iran is well
positioned to play an important role as the principal advocate of
the small nations of the world. As such, it deserves a seat at the
table of global public opinion. The sooner Washington and Tel Aviv
figure this out, the better off we will be.
November 8, 2012
Naylor is founder of the Second
Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke
University. He is the author Secession:
How Vermont and All the Other States Can Save Themselves from the
Vermont Manifesto: The Second Vermont Republic and co-author
of Ajjluenza, Downsizing
the USA, and The
Search for Meaning.
© 2012 Thomas