by Rae Street
The Morning Star, UK based daily paper, published the article today, 10th June
Recently, in reporting on the diversion of the Belorussian aircraft, an ITV commentator said of NATO, ‘seen as the world’s policeman’. So let us unpick that phrase. Firstly, ‘the world’s’ and therefore global. From the time at the end of the Cold War when NATO began to expand its membership to include the former Soviet states up to the Russian border to in more recent years making agreements with countries around the Pacific and even venturing into Latin America, NATO has been expanding. And any shred of the concept of the North Atlantic area has been lost. But it isn’t really global in the sense it doesn’t include Russia or China. Those two countries are now ‘enemies’. And one might as well translate ‘global’ as US, as it has always dominated NATO’s policies.
Then there is the word, ‘policeman’. There are in the world some vicious police forces working on behalf of oppressive governments, but I don’t know of one which is nuclear armed, with a policy of using those weapons first. NATO is a military alliance not a police force, armed with nuclear weapons, including the so-called UK (in reality, the USA’s) nuclear armed Trident submarines which are ‘integrated’ into NATO. In the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty, which the UK signed, nuclear armed states were committed to reducing their nuclear arsenal, in ‘good faith’. In defiance of the treaty and international law, Boris Johnson has stated that his government would raise the cap on the warheads on the missiles on the Trident submarines, to increase from 180 to 260. In effect re-arming not disarming and thus it is with NATO.
You don’t need to be an apologist for the regimes in Russia or China to see how provocative NATO’s actions are. As recently as 1st June, the French Mouvement de la Paix, reported seeing four US B-52 bombers flying over Paris escorted by two French Dassault Rafale aircraft, as part of a NATO show of force. Defender 21 is one of the largest NATO led military exercises in Europe in decades across 30 training areas. In response Russia deployed troops to its western border. Also, this year there is which will see a reinforcement of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in Portugal, Romania, Steadfast Defender 21 Bulgaria and Hungary. Stopp NATO, from Norway, warns of increased tensions in the high north and nuclear threats in the Arctic. Coming to the UK in September will be Dynamic Marine 21 which will test NATO’s Response Force Maritime component and Joint Warrior 21, preparing participants to operate as a joint task force. And these are only a few of the military exercises taking place this year.
But Stop NATO 2021 is saying there is no place for NATO in the world of peace and social justice we want to build and invites us all to discuss the alternatives in a counter summit. There will be a series of virtual meetings starting on Sunday 13th June 2.0-5.30 UK, with Global NATO – the Threat of War, in Part I, with Kate Hudson from CND UK and Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition, speaking and Ludo De Brabander from Belgiium and Cloe Meulenwaeter from Barcelona. In Part II there will be Corazon Valdez from the Nuclear Free Philippines Coalition, Ann Wright from the USA/Hawaii, Veterans for Peace, Juliet Daza, Venezuela,Colombia, Juventad Rebelds, Reiner Braun, IPB Germany on Russia and Alain Rouy from Mouvement de la Paix on NATO in Africa. There will be protest actions in Brussels itself on 13th June. Then on Monday 14th June, UK time 12.0 to 1.30 there will be a Session on the Dissolution of NATO- for solidarity, sustainability and disarmament, with speakers Sean Conner USA, Kate Hudson UK CND, Tamara Lorincz from Canada Women for Peace and Quique Sanchez from Barcelona. On Monday 14h June 4.0-60pm UK time there will be session of ‘Protest greetings against NATO’, with 29 speakers having 2 minutes each from across the world.
And there will be a twitter storm with hashtags like #NotoNATO~NATODangerToPeace.
Do join in protest if you can. In solidarity Rae Street