Why We Must Leave NATO 155

The Guardian had a major feature last week on the 20th anniversary of the attempted coup against Mikhail Gorbachev in the Soviet Union. Contrary to the intention of the coup leaders, it was the catalyst for the end of the Soviet Union and, in a sense, the ultimate victory of NATO.

As NATO bombing this week achieves the loss of power of Gadaffi in Tripoli, a look back at that 1991 Soviet coup highlights the stunning hypocrisy of NATO and the danger to world peace which it has become.

One of the leaders of the coup against Gorbachev was a dedicated Stalinist Politburo member named Islam Karimov, who was President of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. After the failure of the coup, he embraced the idea of Uzbek independence in order both to escape retribution for his part in the coup and to maintain Stalinism in his little part of the Soviet Empire.

(A digression, but one of Karimov’s first acts in independent Uzbekistan was to order the Uzbek Supreme Court to pardon Alisher Usmanov, a notorious gangster jailed by the Soviet Union. He is now the third richest man in Britain).

Karimov has to this day maintained the Soviet institutions in Uzbekistan and even increased the levels of repression, with absolutely no civil or political liberty, and commercial freedoms restricted to his immediate family and friends.

So Karimov, the world’s most notorious torturer, must be NATO’s number 1 remaining enemy, right?

No, actually. He is NATO’s best friend.

Karimov is the major conduit for land supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan, is host to Germany’s forward airbase, is a most valued member of NATO’s “Partnership for Peace”, is a recipient of NATO military training and equipment.

Because NATO does not care in the least about dictators. It likes them if they forward NATO’s interest in Central Asian or Middle Eastern oil and gas, and if they host NATO military logistics. Karimov can murder hundreds, keep 10,000 political prisoners in desert gulags. Bahrain can become a torture camp. NATO really does not care. Every time you hear a NATO spokesman telling lies about their mission to protect civilians, remember the tortured of Uzbekistan.

I used to be neutral about whether or not an independent Scotland should remain in NATO. I now view leaving NATO as the number one foregin policy priority.

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155 thoughts on “Why We Must Leave NATO

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  • Paul Johnston

    Hard to argue against that one Craig although disbanding it seems more logical rather than leaving it!

  • JimmyGiro

    JimmyGiro’s Law of Bureaucracy #1: “Any system funded to counter a ‘problem’, has a vested interest in maintaining that problem.”

  • mike

    There is a lot of internet chatter at the moment concerning civilian deaths in Libya — mainly as a result of NATO bombing and strafing of civilian areas. However, there’s no sign of this on Al Jazeera, usually so reliable when it comes to showing the sordid reality behind the “humanitarian intervention” bullshit.

    Could the reason be that Al Jazeera is owned by the Qatari state, and Qatar sent its jets to help NATO flatten a few warehouses?

  • brian armitage

    If Scotland were to become independent and leave NATO I would definitely consider applying for citizenship!

  • mike

    I should have added to the above that, of course, you won’t see any mention of civilian deaths on the BBC, so closely is it aligned with UK foreign policy.

    Last week on BBC News 24 (10.55pm on Thursday 18th August) we saw a perfect example of that when the anchor shot down the concerns of a 5live journalist who was reviewing the next days papers.

    5live man: “I wonder if our alliance with the rebels won’t come back to haunt us.”

    Anchor (interrupting): Well, of course we are there to help protect civilians so we’re not going to go into that.”

    Soft power, indeed.

  • mike

    Dunno about Saban, Mary. All the references seem to be that he was “mulling” a 50 per cent stake. That was in 2009.
    Perhaps we’ll see a different view of illegal settlements if Saban takes that big a stake…

  • yevgeny

    USSR, Milosevic, Mladic, Hussein, Gadaffi. Whose next? Shouldn’t someone be warning Ahmadinijad and Bashir not to talk on the telephone? This organisation is out of control. A threat to what is left for world peace.

  • mary

    This hard faced hard eyed NATO PR woman http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/photos_69767.htm
    has just given out the latest propaganda followed by the boy Hague from his den in King Charles Street who assures us that his aim is to protect civilians in Libya.
    The Sky banner is saying that Sarkozy is drafting a new UN resolution. What is it going to be next sayanim Sarko? Boots on the ground? Where? When?
    I see that Anna Botting (remember George Galloway demolishing her?) has joined all the other harpies in Tripoli. Olga Guerin, Lyse Doucet, Alex Crawford, Lindsey Hilsum etc. What is the matter with these women? Are they getting a buzz from the blood letting? Perhaps they are missing a normal chromosome or two.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Mike, Al Jazeera is a pro-Western station. It was physically attacked and some of its staff killed in various places by the Bush regime because it stepped out of line, in order firmly to establish its oppositional credentials and because the Bush regime was rhetorically and in reality fundamentalist and inflexible (as opposed to the Obama regime, which is in reality (yet not rhetorically) fundamentalist and flexible enough to know how best to exert news management techniques. Al Jazeera does a lot of good reportage, but when it comes down to it, it is not truly oppositional vis a vis capitalist imperialism. And, as you correctly state, Mike, they do not criticise their host, the regime of Qatar. Al Jazeera – like, say, the Guardian – in essence reflects power struggles within imperialist elites, wherever they happen to be domiciled. As with liberal foundations, their function is to help to manage the discourse. This should not be mistaken for genuine oppositional or revolutionary analysis.

  • Jan Wikund

    Concerning Karimov: I think it was Roosevelt who said about some dictator or another “He may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he is our son-of-a-bitch”. So There is nothing new about Karimov.

    It wasn’t new when Roosevelt said it either. I suppose this sordid sphere of influence game has gone on since the days of Sargon.

  • Scouse Billy

    Suhayl, quite correct re. Al Jazeera. I should add that it is just a re-brand of the BBC’s Anglo-Arab radio network.
    Mary, I share your revulsion for the butch Romanian NATO PR bitch and the assorted BBC/Sky harpies.
    I spend my time flipping between RT and Press TV to get a handle on what appears to be going down – Craig, Webster Tarpley was on Press TV last night (what a hero) 😉
    Meanwhile good piece from Pravda re. Western media whores:

  • Vronsky

    I’m not sure how firm the SNP commitment is to remaining outside of NATO. There are voices in and around the party advocating some relaxation of this position, probably in response to unremittingly hostile media reporting of this stance. Salmond is still occasionally upbraided by the BBC for his description of the ‘humanitarian bombing’ of Serbia as illegal and ‘an act of unpardonable folly’, in spite of being one of the few who had the right way of it (it was alo condemned by Amnesty International and the Red Cross). NATO is a criminal gang, just a very well equipped and funded one, so it it is ever astonishing to see moral inversions like this twat:
    I hope the party’s attitude remains that expressed (mildly) by SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn and quote in the blog.

  • yvgeny

    It is hard to listen to western media when they tell so many lies about geopolitics. It would be better if the bbc and mainstream media were turned off and news about the real criminals were streamed live from the Kremlin.

  • mike

    Indeed, suhayl: the mainstream media is there to expose MANAGERIAL incompetence within the state and its various incarnations, but nothing more than that.

    In its defence, I would point out that Al Jazeera has done some great work within the last few weeks on the ONGOING disasters of Fukushima and the Deepwater Horizon gusher, while “our” media has stayed virtually silent on both subjects.

  • danj


    I think you need to worry about the company you keep. The scouse billy, is that a young picture of Hitler, quoting approvingly from pravda, the same newspaper who could write this:

    I tend to side with Allah and the good Moslems trying to celebrate Ramadan as cowardly Christian crusaders try to kill them, destroy their civilian structures and impose foreign values on their society with a top-down approach. I only hope and pray that the clique of nations involved in this outrage reap what they have sown, tenfold.

    By this, I mean that I hope that what they have wished and meted out to others comes back to them multiplied by ten. After all, they claim they are acting in goodwill. So…Allaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahu Akhbar!

    Really, has it come to that?

  • Scouse Billy

    danj – top marks for recognition, bottom of the class for comprehension (seems the irony went over your head).
    Please judge an article on its merits rather than its provenance – your attempted conflation of separate articles is intellectually dishonest at best.

  • Scouse Billy

    “The war propaganda has entered a new phase, involving the coordinated action of satellite TV stations. CNN, France24, the BBC and Al Jazeera have become instruments of disinformation used to demonize governments and justify armed aggressions. These practices are illegal under international law and the impunity of the perpetrators must be stopped.”
    “(UN) Resolution 110 of 3 November 1947 regarding “measures to be taken against propaganda and the inciters of a new war,” condemns “propaganda which is either designed or likely to provoke or encourage any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.”

  • danj

    yeah right: I just wonder why you call the bbc whores etc and then seem so pleased with, wait for it, RT, Press TV and Pravda. You couldn’t make it up. I wouldn’t quote those guys even I thought they were trustworthy; which I don’t. You give publicity to Pravda, that is insane. Is the irony in the fact that you do use a picture of the young Hitler. You know; I am all ironied out.

  • Scouse Billy

    We were all young and innocent once – then what happens to us (?) is the point – who on earth do you think funded and promoted Hitler?
    As regards alternative perspectives within the media/info. war, you might care to take a close look at this article and comments. It should be of interest (remember the “firework” display at the close of the Beijing olympics – the lingering images left in the sky could not be seen in and around the stadium itself, only on TV – think about it):

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “It is hard to listen to western media when they tell so many lies about geopolitics. It would be better if the bbc and mainstream media were turned off and news about the real criminals were streamed live from the Kremlin.” Yvgeny.
    Do you mean to put up a webcam in Putin’s office; that way, we’d all be able to watch some other “real criminals” at work? I agree about disinfo., etc. that emanates from the MSM in the West and the systemic instrumentalisation and suppression of information. But they’re all at it – The Guardian, Pravda, Press TV, Fox, the BBC, etc., of course they are, that is what propaganda and news management is; that is why states and corporate organisations that are the pillars of economic/military systems have news agencies and media corporations. To state the obvious, the game is power, the prize, wealth. Now, of course, the USA has an enormous amount of military and media power and (at least here in the UK) we are in the US ‘sphere of influence’ (to be polite, for a moment, to the British Government and other elites; there are other ways might depict the ‘Special Relationship’) and so we will be exposed to their lies more than to those of others. But at base, they are all liars. Take everything with a mountain of salt.

  • Anon

    “Why We Must Leave NATO”
    It would not be allowed, remember, who said…”You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.”
    As for NATO, it is paid for by the tax payers of many nations, and owned/control by the few. NATO in reality is a mercenary force there to serve the interest of a few people who are on their way to owning the whole planet and all of humanity.

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