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Issue #1654      September 3, 2014

NATO playing with fire

Presidents, prime ministers and top brass mustering in Newport for the NATO summit (see previous article “Get NATO out of our city”) can be expected to warn of dire threats to world peace.

A protest in Newport against NATO prior to the summit.

From Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to Vladimir Putin in Moscow, they will identify malign forces bent on violence and war.

They are somewhat less likely to point the finger of blame at themselves. Yet the reality is obvious to anyone not duped by the relentless misinformation pumped out by Western politicians and a relentlessly jingoist mass media.

It is NATO which poses the greatest danger to peace.

NATO whose 28 members account for over 70 percent of global military spending. NATO whose leading states have a track record of starting unprovoked wars – against Yugoslavia in 1999, against Afghanistan in 2001, against Iraq in 2003, against Libya in 2011.

In some cases the United States and its allies bombed their enemies into submission and left, in others they maintained vast occupying armies for years.

But their victims have one thing in common. NATO’s “interventions” leave a legacy of failed states, endless internecine warfare and grinding poverty in addition to the tens of thousands they kill directly. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, founded in 1949, claims to be a mutual defence pact.

But only once has Article 5 – the clause committing members to come to the aid of a fellow member under attack – been invoked before its luckless soldiers are sent abroad to kill and be killed.

Even on that occasion – after the terror attack on New York that brought down the World Trade Centre towers – NATO’s action was far from defensive.

The brutal war on Afghanistan which followed, and which is still not concluded 13 years on, did nothing to bring the terrorists responsible for the September 11 attacks to justice.

The crises NATO leaders will flag up in Wales are crises of their own making. The “war on terror,” which has seen the US make liberal use of kidnap, torture and assassination by drone, has only swelled the ranks of Islamist extremism.

The Islamic State fanatics (formerly known as ISIS or ISIL) spreading murder and mayhem in Iraq and Syria are the product of the sectarian bloodshed unleashed by the US invasion of the former and backing for “regime change” in the latter.

Armchair generals in the mainstream media say that if the US had invaded Syria, or “properly” supported “moderate” opposition to Assad, Islamic State would never have got as far as it has.

This is rubbish. The Islamic State has flourished in Iraq as a result of the violent dislocation caused by the US invasion. Arms ploughed to “moderates” in Syria, mostly by decidedly non-moderate US allies such as the fundamentalist dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, were never lacking – this is why the civil war drags on – and have ended up in Islamic State hands.

In any case it was the “moderate” Free Syrian Army that handed US journalist James Foley to Islamic State, which later murdered him. Some moderates.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s reiteration that the alliance would welcome membership for war-torn Ukraine emphasises its reckless drive to war. NATO welcomed the news when gun-toting fascists overthrew the elected Ukrainian government in February.

It has not lifted a finger in response to the massacres of trade unionists and socialists carried out on Kiev’s behalf by Nazi thugs. Rather than advise its new ally to negotiate with regions unwilling to acknowledge the coup d’etat, it has encouraged it to launch an all-out war against eastern Ukraine.

In Newport, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will go cap in hand to ask for more help from the world’s top warmongers.

Only pressure from the millions in the US, Britain, France and other countries who are sick of the endless fighting will stop him getting it.

Morning Star

Next article – Israel’s “unjustifiable” actions

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