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Time to Rethink NATO


#1

Time to Rethink NATO

Medea Benjamin, Alice Slater
Donald Trump angered the D.C. establishment when he said that NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, may be obsolete and the U.S. should reassess its spending on the alliance. Hillary Clinton has used Trump’s comments as another example that he is a dangerous, loose cannon.


#2

NATO is obsolete! Its nothing more than a social club. But I think Russia should invite Canada and Mexico into its military social club.- just for shits and giggles. They could even sail their boats around together out in the ocean, maybe even set off some fireworks.


#4

NATO is simply a tool of Western Imperialism. It the Miltary arm of the World Empire centred in Washington DC with the ultimate goal of extending the power of the 1 percent and its Corporations to all corners of this Earth and to insert it into all aspects of our lives.

So self assured are these tools of Empire , they have even proposed entire Government departments be dedicated to countering "Russian Propoganda" and to further indoctrinate the masses into accepting Corporatism and Empire as " the best thing"


#6

Warmonger in chief sets the bar on mass murder and uses all the tools he can. He is the great example for all those who would do others harm. Right now he is in Poland on behalf of NATO planning murder and mayhem. Remove him and his bastard daughter Clinton. These are the people that need gun restrictions and need to be on no fly lists.


#7

Given the 2 billion dollar headquarters that NATO just recently opened in Brussels, the time for rethinking has likely passed us by.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that NATO may well be the greatest threat to human existence, both in the short and long term. It essentially is a rogue mercenary force . I don't think even a US president, administration or congress could hold it to account at this point --assuming it was ever so desired. It's quite telling (and frightening) that the German Foreign Minister feels the need to publicly beseech NATO to tone it down.


#8

Why not just kill those who don't want to live in PEACE? /s


#9

"Donald Trump angered the D.C. establishment when he said that NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, may be obsolete and the U.S. should reassess its spending on the alliance. Hillary Clinton has used Trump’s comments as another example that he is a dangerous, loose cannon. But Trump has brought up an issue worth exploring"

Thank you. That warmonger Hillary would want to spend megabucks on NATO is understandable, but I haven't heard Bernie's opinion.


#11

I'm a big fan of Medea Benjamin and CODEPINK, but there was some poor fact checking in one small part of this otherwise excellent piece. The authors write:

Then George W. Bush turned around and put the missiles back in Turkey in 1991, and they were only removed this year after huge objections from Russia.
Meanwhile, in 1991 the U.S. government withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty we had signed with the Soviets in 1972 and put new missile bases in Poland and Romania.

First of all, George W. Bush was not in power in 1991, but his father, George HW Bush. HW however, is not associated to my knowledge in any special way with U.S. imperial nuclear deployments in Turkey. In 2009, Alexandra Bell and Benjamin Loehrke published "The status of U.S. nuclear weapons in Turkey" in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, observing that "[f]or more than 40 years, Turkey has been a quiet custodian of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons." If correct, that would mean that either Johnson or Nixon had redeployed nuclear weapons to Turkey soon after Kennedy withdrew them.

Secondly, the U.S. government did not withdraw from the ABM Treaty in 1991 — it's a relatively recent development, and this one did occur under the régime of Bush the Lesser, who revoked the treaty in June 2002, with destabilizing consequences that we are only just beginning to understand as the USA prepares for hot, for-profit war in the heartlands of eastern and western Eurasia.

I stand in solidarity with CODEPINK for the transfiguration of the anachronistic, has-been hyperpower that has never built even a single kilometer of high-speed rail track anywhere in the world, but can only destroy and kill at ever greater profit to its post-Constitutional corporate vultures. What a laughing-stock! What an existential danger to the entire world! What an utter horror!


#12

I forgot to mention that the authors' claim that nuclear missiles deployed in Turkey "were only removed this year after huge objections from Russia" may be true, but it directly contradicts what is said about the matter earlier in the second paragraph of the piece:

"the United States [has parked] nuclear weapons in five NATO countries (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Turkey), where they remain to this day."

I'm inclined to think that the latter is correct, but in any case, these claims are mutually exclusive.


#13

Sorry, I must apologize. I have confused nuclear weapons in general and nuclear missiles in particular here, I'm afraid. There is no contradiction in what was written concerning this point.

But the present danger of escalation to thermonuclear war by accident has never been greater in my lifetime -- and I was born in 1951, while Stalin was still alive and ICBMs didn't even exist yet. Whether it's a frontline commander in Pakistan or a Yankee cowboy in the Baltic Sea (just off the coast of the USA, a long overdue reckoning is coming. Man is not capable of surviving nuclear weapons unless he loses the ability to make them.

Easier said than done, you might think.

Not at all, watch what happens as the century unfolds, I reply. (Should any survive the century).


#14

How many others think that the Nobel Peace Prize given to him about 7 years ago was very premature and unjustified?


#15

I remark that Libertarians make the same statement, "Time to Rethink NATO", but use different arguments than CodePink does. Such as *) There isn't a national security interest in binding ourselves to the defense of those countries. *) We are spending money and putting up soldiers that those nations should be doing in their own defense. *) More.
-- I would add that Americans as a people have lived in an empire, and enjoyed the prerogatives of empire for so long, such as ordering other nations around, that we really ought to get a slap in the face and a reality check.
(-- Noting that our cherished values of 'human rights', often seen called upon here, are not well respected in many other parts of the world. A Dutch homosexual had a better grasp of reality when he remarked on Muslim gay-haters taking over his nation "Ah well, it was good while it lasted.")


#16

Like many pacifists, Medea gravely underestimates the dangers posed by Russian expansionism under Putin. Those Eastern European countries like Estonia or Rumania drawn into NATO and/or the EU enjoy a level of human rights and free choice impossible in Russia and its quasi-satellites like Belarus and Moldova. If NATO crumbles and Russian influence penetrates the rest of Europe, you can expect a corresponding increase in power by rightwing friends of Putin such as Marine LePen in France and NIgel Farage in Britian. Just as European communist parties served as fronts for Russian aims under Stalin, so too do a host of xenophobic hate groups serve the same purpose for Putin.

NATO is as necessary now as it was right after WW II, and without it the grim days of the 1930s are almost certain to return.


#17

"Trump's main goal is World Peace through fair trades, honesty, respecting: borders, traditions, values, and beliefs."

OMG!! You drank the Kool-Aid!!!! Trump's main goal is self-promotion and self-enrichment. He's a racist, xenophobic, sexist creep, and he must be ignored and consigned to the dust bin of iniquity!


#18

I really don't care how compromised he is personality wise, his take on a peaceful world is much more important to all of us. Mme. Clinton would turn us all into radioactive ashes!


#19

Certainly unjustified. I think it may be more accurate to call it preemptive than premature though.


#20

I think perhaps you are underestimating the dangers posed by NATO expansion and how such is understandably viewed by Putin and Russia. The West has broken it's word on this. At the same time, I see no compelling reason to fear Putin expansion. What does he have to gain? What would be the reason? There is no ideological influence to spread, as there was in the past.

Paranoia toward Russia in the Baltics, Central and Eastern Europe is understandable, but paranoia is often not based on what's real. There's no reason we should allow ourselves to get caught up in it.

You raise a good comparative point about Belarus, etc. Look, however, at what happened to the democratically elected, Russia-friendly government in Ukraine. Undermining foreign governments is not a way to get them (or their neighbors) to open up. I'd also point to Putin's approval ratings at home and suggest it might be time we learn some lessons about transposing our values on to other peoples.


#21

Sometimes an old bull will go bad. He'll grow irrational over time, dangerously unpredictable. He might kill the farmer, might smash himself into a tree or the side of a barn until he is gravely injured or dead. The US shows the signs of an old bull going bad.


#22

No, Medea Benjamin. It's not time to rethink NATO. I object. It's time for organization so obsessed with their own returns and celebrity to fulfill the responsibility to look next door and get over your differences for real. You fail to cooperate, beside putting your names on self serving publicity stunts, to create true non partisan unity. There are 2.3 M NGOs in the US alone in 2015, up from 1.5M in 2014, which clearly is a pattern of failure. In the Antiwar or Nuclear disarmament movement and advocacy groups, there is denial to see that there must be a systemic failure at creating true leverage and synergy when TomDispatch reports that the US are involved now in 135 wars (google that).
You did what you could, what you believe would work. You failed. Now let the critics try another way.. In other words.. rethink your strategy. It's not delivering enough.


#23

Important side note: Virtually all of the secretaries general of NATO since 1985 have been members of the Bilderberg Group. NATO is the military arm of the .01 percenters. Handle with care!