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No need for NATO

No need for NATO

by Bob Fitrakis
May 28, 2012

This Memorial Day, our nation should honor our war dead by either withdrawing from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) or, better yet, completely dismantling the obsolete Cold War defense pact. NATO exists today not to defend against aggressive authoritarian Communism, but to steal resources from weaker non-European countries by military force. Its two most recent military actions made the May 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago a gathering of war criminals.

NATO was established in April 1949 at the height of the Cold War and the creation of the so-called "Iron Curtain" dividing Eastern and Western Europe. In 1955, the Soviet bloc countered with its own military organization, the Warsaw Pact. The current 28 NATO member nations account for an estimated 70% of the world's defense spending.

East and West Germany reunified in October 1990. The Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991 along with the Warsaw Pact. NATO achieved its goal as a defensive pact of defending Western Europe from the Soviet bloc.

But now, it stalks the Earth like a vampire, existing only to hijack resources from non-Western nations. NATO's trajectory since the collapse of the Soviet Union has been toward a new Western imperialism.

First there was the intervention into the Yugoslavian civil war in the 1990s. The Yugoslavian campaign included a 78-day bombardment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Over 500 civilians died.

NATO shifted its activities away from Europe when it invoked Article V of its charter for the first time in its history. Article V states that an attack on any one member of NATO can be considered an attack on the entire alliance. After invoking Article V, NATO became an offensive military organization under the domination of the United States following the events of 9/11. NATO's support for the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan was arguable legal.

Still, NATO's greatest sin, and one that makes it an organization of war criminals, stems from its involvement in the illegal U.S. and British attack on Iraq in 2003. NATO formed the NATO Training Mission -- Iraq to help train Iraqi security forces in conjunction with the U.S. and the coalition of the willing. NATO claimed to be responding to the request of the Iraqi interim government, a puppet government installed after the illegal U.S. invasion.

NATO's more than 7-year training mission in Iraq underscores the need for the defensive alliance to disband. In 2011, NATO intervened illegally in the Libyan civil war. NATO planes flew over 950 airstrikes against pro-Gadaffi forces. Without NATO's violent and vicious attack on the Gadaffi regime, the Libyan government would have remained in power.

The Memorial Day New York Times front page article reflects the absurd nature of recent U.S. wars. The Times described a "spirited debate" on "counterinsurgency and its costs," meaning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Col. Gian P. Gentile, the Director of West Point's military history program, told the Times that the United States had gained "not much" in these wars, and that they were "certainly not worth the effort." It is our addiction to the military industrial complex and the ritualistic glorification of the slaughter through flags and flowers on Memorial Day that causes many Americans to be less thoughtful then those teaching at the United States military academy.

In both Iraq and Libya, NATO's job is to assist the U.S. in jacking the oil of Third World people. NATO, like any vampire, needs a stake put through its heart.

ENDS

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