Web Review

No to NATO

In Washington in 1999, when Yugoslavia was being bombed back to a pre-industrial age, we were all being lead to believe that NATO was the appropriate vehicle to deliver humanitarian intervention. It however came to my notice, for some reason, that every time NATO attempted this task the sky always darkened with B52s and bombs fell on the intended recipients of our benevolence before the aid trucks and ambulances arrived. At this point I’ll reach for that useful aphorism by William Blum http://thinkexist.com/quotes/william_blum that describes a terrorist as someone who has a bomb but doesn’t have an air force.

Handily at this point in time NATO was having a 50th birthday party. It could not believe its good luck. In 1989 the removal of the Berlin Wall had left the generals at NATO headquarters staring at their battlefield strategy table and the sharper of them quickly noticed that someone had stolen their ba’. The half of their game board where the enemy was supposed to be was bare and had no military assets pointing at their half. Now, in 1999, they had something to celebrate. They had survived in their jobs for ten years when it had looked like P45 time and had moulded the “war on terrorism” into a useful policy that would see them through to retirement and may even provide their successors with an Orwellian threat of war without end.

Not only this, private corporations were funding the opulent weekend in Washington, a dozen of them paying $250,000 each to sit on the NATO Summit host committee. Many of these same firms had just been lobbing for the enlargement to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland where there would be fat pickings for military hardware. After all isn’t that what NATO was for – making the world safe place for American capitalism to prosper and provide jobs for compliant politicians to see out their retirement in comfort? At what opportunity cost I ask?

The above facts will not I fear be heard from Angus Robertson at the SNP Conference but let me give him a quote for his contribution which will raise the hair on back of the heads of those who hear it. It comes from President Eisenhower, NATO’s first Supreme Allied Commander, Europe.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.”

I call on the SNP – just say no to NATO.