No to NATO, No to Bases, No to Wars in Distant Places

As I head over to Ireland for a conference on closing U.S. and NATO military bases around the world — and at which some of us will make plans for protesting NATO in Washington on April 4, 2019 — the presidents of France and Germany are talking up the need for a European military that can fight the United States, Russia, and/or China. There are three responses to this development, two of which will get us all killed more quickly than the other.

One is this. Down with the stupid, ungrateful, miserable, old-fashioned Europeans! Make them fund NATO for their own good, whether they like it or not. This is a U.S. world, NATO is its tool, and others must be made to submit and to say thank you. This response unites all variety of liberal-conservative imperialists, thoughtless accepters of corporate opinion, people who like NATO because they’ve been told Trump doesn’t, and Trump himself, who of course once blurted out the obvious (that NATO is obsolete) until the generals informed him of what his job is, since which point Trump has been the biggest NATO-booster in at least half a century.

A second response it this. Hurray for a European military! This will break up U.S. hegemony. We’ll have a multipolar world, a balance of powers, independence from the Pentagon’s imperial throne. Perhaps even peace and disarmament will follow, who knows, who cares! Dance in the streets, people, the empire is collapsing! This response unites so-called peace activists who oppose U.S. war-making (and only U.S. war making) with weapons manufacturers and all variety of war and “reconstruction” profiteers. For centuries now, armaments and empires have led to wars, not peace. While the United States spends half the world’s military spending, other NATO members spend another quarter. China spends a tiny fraction of what the U.S. and other NATO members spend, and Russia spends a tiny fraction of what China spends, and has been reducing that each year, while Saudi Arabia and other weapons customers of the NATO nations ramp up.

The notion that NATO faces some external threat has become so ridiculous that the big hope for the weapons companies has to lie in two places (well, three until the Mueller investigation — or at least the Putin-stole-the-election core of it — fizzles out). The first is getting NATO to fight itself. Split NATO into Europe versus America. Get Europe to double its weapons spending to keep pace. That’ll make a few people very, very rich. Ask a U.S. weapons CEO for his or her view, I dare you. The second is getting these new rivals to sell even more weapons to poor countries and to wage even more wars against those weapons in those poor countries. There’s an old saying: When two demented, drunken, senile dinosaurs fight, it’s the ants and flowers that suffer. Rich nations haven’t actually fought each other since the Nuremberg trials. But they heavily arm and heavily bomb much of the rest of the world, the “violent” regions of which produce hardly any weaponry (and virtually all of that in Israel). If militarism is Westerners’ idea of progress, if their vision for decades to come — decades guaranteed to see environmental collapse and refugee crises — is a reorganization of barbarism, the result will make Donald Trump look good.

A third response is this. The problem is war, not U.S. war, but war. The U.S. is the biggest weapons dealer and the biggest warmonger, so it is the biggest piece of the problem. But the problem is war. And we don’t have decades left to dick around with medieval balances of power. The earth’s climate is already doomed. Militarism is both the biggest cause of climate collapse and the only industry given a waiver in major environmental agreements. Of course, Europe should stand up to the United States and to Trump’s demand to buy more weapons and fund a bigger NATO, but not by buying even more weapons and funding a different sort of NATO! As someone who has lived in Europe and loves both Europe and the United States, I have to say I’ll be extremely disappointed if Europe cannot manage to reply to fascist U.S. buffoonery with a civilized approach. Tiny fractions of what the United States and NATO members spend on wars could provide real aid to the entire world, including to these governments’ own people. A European Nonviolent Peaceforce, a European Climate Protection Agency, a European Disarmament Project, a European Aid Mission, a European Global Marshall Plan — if you want to unite Europe in opposition to Trumpian jackassery, try one of these, not a bigger jackass. Hell, try the rule of law. The chief prosecutor back at Nuremberg claimed the standards should apply to the United States as well.

If you favor peace, the above should be obvious. I shouldn’t have needed to say any of it. But peace is often a facade covering other motivations, hiding them even from ourselves. It shouldn’t be. We should have a peace movement that backs violence no more than a campaign for virginity backs sex. We’ve had 100 years now since the war to end all wars, 100 years of endless wars to end all peace. What we need is a peace to end all wars. And we need Europe to be a part of that. Arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine, human experimentation in CIA prisons, fascist propaganda about poor Honduran refugees: these are symptoms of the larger problem, the problem people claimed to be shocked by when the “civilized” Germans started putting human beings into ovens: the problem is putting massive violence between one part of humanity and another. Don’t do it, Europe! Don’t follow a fool! Don’t confuse Hollywood with reality! Don’t escalate humanity’s self-destruction! Help us turn down a different path!

If you want to ape Trump, do it like this. Treat NATO the way Trump treats disarmament agreements: withdraw from it and do the opposite!

 

4 Replies to “No to NATO, No to Bases, No to Wars in Distant Places”

  1. Thanks David for drawing attention to a most important issue in Europe, far exceeding the Brexit in importance – the rumbustious unwanted bear NATO. No intellectual in his proper senses would ever want to dispute its irrelevance any more. NATO should have been disbanded soon after Cold War end. It was kept alive by old-fashioned EU Generals, European monarchies and primarily by the U.S. following old-Nixon’s unilateral world power dominance doctrine with nuclear button solely under U.S. control to bully and subjugate its EU vassals economically & politically to keep the revenue of America’s and Europe’s Super-Rich billionaires grow exponentially. Having succeeded in this enslavement the U.S. will in future push forward for more EU Nato members to invest, so that U.S. still can dominate the Europeans at European expense and their blood. ‘Super-Ego’ French National Macron has discerned this and together with a financially strong Germany in the person of Angela will now want their own Army under their own control, but an Army lot cheaper and purchasing EU weapon material creating more jobs in Europe. In other words Merkel & Macron were nicely telling Bully-Master U.S. to get out of Europe.

    Macron and Merkel are absolutely right on U.S. motives. America is unreliable esp. under the Trump administration. Historical proof is not lacking. When Reagan & Gorbachev met in Reykjavík ( Oct.11- 12 1986), both after intense discussions agreed to get rid of all nuclear weapons and Reagan was prepared to sign it. But the Evil Clique of Edward Teller supported by Henry Kissinger and George Schultz (US Foreign Minister) killed it because the U.S. wanted ‘Star Wars’ to continue with U.S. alone given the privilege to place nukes in Space, but not Russia, a condition unacceptable for Russia. Even today Russia has not placed one in Space to this commenter’s knowledge. This historic peace deceitfulness on the part of the U.S. is sufficient reminder of the moral poverty of the U.S. in defence and peace matters.

    A European Army should be a defensive European Security Army without nukes. It will be a much cheaper one. To achieve that, a foremost first step is to talk to Russian and negotiate a Pan-European No-War Peace Treaty with Russia, so that you don’t have to fear any Russian nuclear attack, even if there is one forced on Russia by the U.S. bilaterally. This way Europe can survive. EU should have a conventionally strong Army, Navy and Air Force to block infringement on its territory. Thus Europe can survive without NATO & without Uncle Sam. Would that not be a meaningful deal bringing peace to Europe and not war through U.S. Why did Henry Kissinger once utter: “U.S. has no friends, only interests” ? Europe should slip away from this evil grip of enlightened U.S. interests. Till today after Cold War end Europe got nothing tangible from this protector. Only roll-out cash for American weapons in billions by U.S. created virtual fear of a Russian invasion, political dictates and insecurity via NATO binding, Info-theft via SWIFT, NSA stolen strategic commercial and technological info for U.S. industries under the guise of anti-terror search etc. etc. It is time to terminate this and look to new innovative paths to peace and prosperity sans U.S. & U.K. Macron and Merkel have rung the bell and it is for other EU members to follow suit.

    Two impediments one can foresee.
    a) The U.S., esp. the Big C (Capital) league through their European Banking network system will try to sabotage such an independent course. But a strong-willed Europe with a Franco-German leadership can steer-clear of such intervention, no matter how subtle and strong the U.S. machinations are.
    b) Given the European history, will all join together i n this new joint European future initiative without any local bickering erupting into an intra-European war again needing an outside interference once more! ?

    George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent, now retiree in Vienna, Austria.
    Vienna, 15/ 11/ 2018 17: 12 hrs CET

  2. Thanks David for drawing attention to a most important issue in Europe, far exceeding the Brexit – the rumbustious unwanted bear NATO. No intellectual in his proper senses would ever want to dispute its relevance anymore. NATO should have been disbanded soon after Cold War end. It was kept alive by old-fashioned EU Generals, European monarchies and primarily by the U.S. following old-Nixon’s unilateral world power dominance with nuclear button solely under U.S. control to bully and subjugate its EU vassals economically & politically to keep the revenue of America’s and Europe’s Super-Rich billionaires grow exponentially. Having succeeded in this enslavement the U.S. will in future push forward for more EU Nato members to invest, so that U.S. still can dominate the Europeans at their expense and blood. ‘Super-Ego’ French National Macron has discerned this and together with a financially strong Germany in the person of Angela will now want their own Army under their own control, but an Army lot cheaper and purchasing EU weapon material creating more jobs in Europe. In other words Merkel & Macron were nicely asking Bully-Master Rogue U.S. to get out of Europe.
    Macron and Merkel are absolutely right on U.S. motives. America is unreliable esp. under the Trump administration. Historical proof is not lacking. When Reagan & Gorbachev met in Reykjavík ( Oct.11- 12 1986), both after intense discussions agreed to get rid of all nuclear weapons and Reagan was prepared to sign it. But the Evil Clique of Edward Teller supported by Henry Kissinger and George Schultz (US Foreign Minister) killed it because the U.S. wanted ‘Star Wars’ to continue with U.S. alone given the privilege to place nukes in Space, but not Russia, a condition unacceptable for Russia. Even today Russia has not placed one in Space to this commenter’s knowledge. This historic peace deceitfulness on the part of the U.S. is sufficient reminder of the moral poverty of the U.S. in defence and peace matters.
    A European Army should be a defensive European Security Army without nukes. It will be a much cheaper one. To achieve that, a foremost first step is to talk to Russian and negotiate a Pan-European No-War Peace Treaty with Russia, so that you don’t have to fear any Russian nuclear attack, even if there is one forced on Russia by the U.S. bilaterally. This way Europe can survive. EU should have a conventionally strong Army, Navy and Airforce to block infringement on its territory. This way Europe can survive without NATO & without Uncle Sam. Wouldn’t that a meaningful deal bringing peace to Europe and not war through U.S. Why didn’t Henry Kissing once utter: “U.S. has no friends, only interests”. Europe should slip away from this evil grip of enlightened U.S. interests. Till today after Cold War end Europe got nothing tangible from this protector. Only roll-out cash for American weapons in billions by U.S. created virtual fear of a Russian invasion, political dictates and insecurity via NATO binding, Info-theft via SWIFT, NSA stolen strategic commercial and technological info for U.S. industries under the guise of anti-terror search etc. etc. It is time to terminate this and look to new innovative paths to peace and prosperity sans U.S. & U.K. Macron and Merkel have rung the bell and it is for other EU members to follow suit.
    One can foresee two impediments to this:
    a) The U.S., esp. the Big C (Capital) league through their European Banking network connex system will try to sabotage such an independent course. But a strong with a Franco-German leadership can steer-clear of such intervention, no matter how subtle and strong they are.
    b) Given the facts of European history down the centuries will Europe muster the talent to control small nationalistic bickering not to flare out into a war that ultimately might require again outside non-European interference? !
    One can remain hopeful that a new mature Europe with modern technology of communication and iron will for peace would work the magic.
    George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent, now retiree in Vienna, Austria.
    Vienna, 15/ 11/ 2018 17: 35 hrs CET

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