Letter submitted to The DePaulia, newspaper of DePaul University in Chicago:
This survey course on NATO ignores the Alliance’s salient characteristic: That it is not only the world’s sole military bloc, one which from 1999-2012 waged unprovoked wars in three continents (Southeastern Europe, South Asia and North Africa), but the largest multinational war machine in history.
The observation that the NATO “website noted that according to the original treaty, an attack on one NATO country is an attack on everyone” is a reference to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, the basis for 150,000 troops from 50 nations serving under the military bloc’s command in Afghanistan – the largest invasion force in that nation’s history – and the largest number of troop-contributing countries in any war ever, certainly in one nation. The Afghan campaign is also the longest war in the history of the U.S.
In addition, Article 5 is the basis of NATO continuing its comprehensive naval surveillance and interdiction operation, Active Endeavor, throughout the Mediterranean Sea from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Suez Canal, currently in its eleventh year and with no indication of ending.
If at the time of its founding in 1949 NATO’s chief purpose was to “combat the Soviet Union,” then please explain how it is that eight years after the fragmentation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the bloc began a ten-year expansion that saw it increase membership by 75 percent, from 16 to 28 members in 2009.
Or what justification it employed to build military partnerships with another 40 nations throughout Europe, the South Caucasus, Central Asia, East Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa.
NATO is a historically unparalleled threat to world peace, not least because of its centrality in realizing the Ronald Reagan administration’s plan for a potential first-strike global missile shield.
It needs to be abolished, not discussed as though it were a beneficent and innocuous security agreement.
Chicago NATO summit: The whole world will be watching
Submitted to the Chicago Tribune:
It was refreshing, encouraging and surprising alike to see Andy Thayer of the Coalition Against NATO/G-8 War & Poverty Agenda given the opportunity to address the issue of why Chicagoans, and their supporters throughout the world, will protest the May 20-21 summit of the world’s only military bloc, one which has launched unprovoked attacks against small and all but defenseless nations in Europe, Asia and Africa since its only previous conclave in the U.S. in 1999.
In 1968 protesters outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago chanted “The whole world is watching” against the backdrop of the escalation of the war in Vietnam. Forty-four years later the city, the nation and the world will watch as anti-NATO activists demand an end to the incessant wars that have plagued the entire post-Cold War period and to the military alliance whose members, severally and collectively, have conducted those wars in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa.
The longest of them, that in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is in its twelfth calendar year, is the lengthiest armed conflict in American history, and is the first ground war and the first one outside Europe waged under the banner of the now 28-member North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
NATO member states and partners that have not supplied ground troops for combat operations since the Second World War and in one case for two centuries – Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Finland – now have soldiers killing and dying in South Asia under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.
Last year NATO’s Partnership for Peace adjunct Sweden supplied military aircraft for the Alliance’s seven-month bombing onslaught against Libya, at the time the only North African nation not a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue military partnership, and currently every European nation (not counting micro-states Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican) are NATO members or Partnership for Peace cohorts except – for the moment – tiny (and divided) Cyprus. Neither Napoleon Bonaparte nor Adolf Hitler succeeded in so placing the entire continent under a single military organization, one moreover controlled from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Every European country except for Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Serbia, Malta and Cyprus has been pressured into supplying troops for NATO’s Afghan war.
NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative partners Qatar and the United Arab Emirates provided warplanes for last year’s attack against Libya and the United Arab Emirates is one of 50 Troop Contributing Nations for NATO’s Afghan war, as is the Mediterranean Dialogue’s Jordan.
Leaders of over 70 nations will converge on Chicago on May 20 for the summit of history’s largest and most dangerous military bloc.
It is a moment the world must seize to demand an end to war and militarism.
RussiaToday on Apr 5, 2012
Two decades ago saw the start of Europe’s bloodiest military conflict since the Second World War. The Bosnian War and the break-up of the former Yugoslavia reignited ethnic conflicts between Muslims and Serbs. Over four years, around 100-thousand people were killed, and more than 4 million displaced. The war eventually saw NATO’s first-ever peace mission in its history – setting a template for incursions into foreign troublespots. Anti-NATO activist Rick Rozoff believes the Alliance’s current interventions make it hard for nations to resolve their conflict themselves.
- Rick Rozoff: U.S.-NATO Missile System: Russia’s Nuclear Forces In Danger? (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Rick Rozoff: NATO vs The 1st Amendment + Qur’an burning by US led troops in Afghanistan monstrous blasphemy (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Rick Rozoff: Time for Russia and the world to draw a line with U.S. and NATO (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Rick Rozoff: Syria Crisis: UN Hijacked By U.S. And NATO (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)