NATO – An Idea Whose Time Has Gone 169

In the past dozen years, the armed forces of NATO countries, whether operating under the NATO banner or in related ad-hoc coalitions, have killed many hundreds of thousands of people. Of those hundreds of thousands of people, only a few hundred at most ever had any connection to any attack on a NATO country.

Whatever modern NATO has become, a defensive alliance it is not; that fact is beyond rational dispute.

It is also the case that the situation in countries where NATO has been most active in killing people, including Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan, has deteriorated. It has deteriorated politically, economically, militarily and socially. The notion that NATO member states could bomb the world into good was only ever believed by crazed and fanatical people like Tony Blair and Jim Murphy of the Henry Jackson Society. It really should not have needed empirical investigation to prove it was wrong, but it has been tried, and has been proved wrong.

The NATO states as a group have also embarked on remarkably similar reductions in the civil liberties of their own populations during this period. NATO to me is symbolised by the fact that its Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as Danish Prime Minister blatantly lied to the Danish parliament about Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction. When Major Frank Grevil released material that proved Rasmussen was lying, it was Grevil who was jailed for three years. In the United States, no CIA operative has been prosecuted for their widespread campaign of torture, but John Kiriakou is in jail for revealing it.

NATO’s attempt to be global arbiter and enforcer has been disastrous at all levels. Its plan to redeem itself by bombing the Caliphate in Iraq and Syria is a further sign of madness. Except of course that it will guarantee some blowback against Western targets, and that will “justify” further bombings, and yet more profit for the arms manufacturers. On that level, it is very clever and cynical. NATO provides power to the elite and money to the wealthy.

But what of Putin’s Russia, I hear you say? I am no fan of Putin – I think he is a nasty, dangerous little dictator. But little is the operative word.

Russia is not a great power. Its GDP is 10% of the GDP of the EU. Its economy is the same size as Italy’s. The capabilities of Russia’s armed forces are massively exaggerated by the security industry, including the security services, and by arms manufacturers. The entire area of Eastern Ukraine which Russia is disputing has a GDP smaller than the city of Dundee.

Russia is only any kind of “military threat” because of its nuclear arsenal. The way forward to peace is active international nuclear disarmament – and the existence of NATO is the greatest obstacle to that. The idea that almost the entire developed world needs to encircle and contain Russia with massive military threat, is as sensible as the idea that it needs to encircle the UK or France – both of which have substantially larger and more diversified economies than Russia and much larger and more technologically advanced arms industries.

NATO is by far the largest danger to world peace. It should be dissolved as a matter of urgency.

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169 thoughts on “NATO – An Idea Whose Time Has Gone

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  • mike

    We’ll give the corporate media time to promulgate the “ISIS is an existential threat” meme, before we “reluctantly” start bombing. And then we’ll slide into hitting one or two non-ISIS Syrian targets. Once we have enough assets in the area, the US/UK presence on Syrian soil will increase, as we hunt down those pesky dehumanised beasts. That’s how it’ll go down.

    The goal is Syria. Same as it ever was.

    Meanwhile, The Telegraph are today reporting more US-driven sanctions on Russia just as Russia and Ukraine seem to be reaching some kind of ceasefire agreement. This is what the US have done: repeatedly scupper any chance of a truce.

    Where is all the evidence to prove that Russia/militia shot down flight MH17? Why do the supposed villains keep asking for Kiev and Washington to produce the evidence?

    The corporate media no longer give a toss about MH17. The good little doggies don’t ask awkward questions.

  • Resident Dissident

    Hi ESLO, good job for Mr Goss that we are from a Yorkshire family rather than a Sicillian one!

  • Roderick Russell

    Only a few months ago the media were telling us that Iran was very bad indeed and that Syria’s Assad was practically the devil incarnate; indeed it seemed at times that we were being geared up to the possibility of war with them. Now we are being told that they are almost our allies against ISIS and others. Indeed just to make things interesting, we seem to have managed inadvertently to supply ISIS with its heavy weaponry.

    But it’s worse than that. Apart from nearly getting us into a war with Russia, the NeoCon agenda seems to include the development of a police state. Recent “Snowden” disclosures of some of GCHQ’s training material plainly shows that one of GCHQ’s objectives [and likely the other FYES organizations too] is to create ‘Cognitive Stress’ + ‘Physiological Stress’ + ‘Affective Stress’ in their victims. This is the role of a secret police; not that of an intelligence agency.

    This is NATO Now: It is the NeoCon agenda – extraordinarily Orwellian. You know: We always need enemies, but they change from day to day (2) We practice torture from Zersetzen to Waterboarding but pretend that we don’t (3) We are developing a secret police state but punish those (like Assange, Snowden) who tell us because we want to fool ourselves that it isn’t true.

    Why all this confusion? The answer, I think, is that the Neocons are confused and don’t know what they are doing – just like Europe’s diplomats and politicians 100 years ago in the run up to WW1. NATO, which used to have a purpose, is becoming a threat to our security.

  • Ba'al Zevul (With Gaza)

    s for Afghanistan and Chechenya I think I will rely in (on) Fisk… (ESLO)

    But not for Israel, hey?

    …an interesting precedent. If an innocent Israeli life – cruelly taken – is worth around 330 acres of land, then an innocent Palestinian life – equally cruelly taken – must surely equal the same. And if even half the 2,200 Palestinian dead of Gaza last month – and this is a conservative figure – were innocent, then the Palestinians presumably now have the right to take over 330,000 acres of Israeli land, in reality much more.

    Do the math, eh?

  • Tony M

    Someone posted, probably here, this link, worth a read despite the gory title.

    “The records are especially rich concerning Allied relationships with Ukrainian nationalist organizations after 1945. This section focuses on the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists under Stephen Bandera and the exile representation of the Ukrainian underground government (ZP/UHVR), which was dominated by Bandera’s one-time followers-turned-rivals, including Mykola Lebed.”

    “British Intelligence (MI6), however, was interested in Bandera. MI6 first contacted Bandera through Gerhard von Mende in April 1948. British operations through Bandera expanded. An early 1954 MI6 summary noted that, “the operational aspect of this [British] collaboration [with Bandera] was developing satisfactorily. Gradually a more complete control was obtained over infiltration operations and although the intelligence dividend was low it
    was considered worthwhile to proceed. Bandera was, according to his handlers, “a professional underground worker with a terrorist background […]”

    “When the Soviets reconquered East Galicia in November 1944, there were few Jews there left alive. But Maltz recorded that, “When the Bandera gangs seize a Jew, they consider it a prize catch. The ordinary Ukrainians feel the same way … they all want to participate in the heroic act of killing a Jew. They literally slash Jews to pieces with their machetes…”

    “Beginning in 1953 AERODYNAMIC began to operate through a Ukrainian study group under Lebed’s leadership in New York under CIA auspices, which collected Ukrainian literature and history and produced Ukrainian nationalist newspapers, bulletins, radio programming, and books for distribution in the Ukraine. In 1956 this group was formally incorporated as the non-profit Prolog Research and Publishing Association. It allowed the CIA to funnel funds as ostensible private donations without taxable footprints.”

    Prolog recruited and paid Ukrainian émigré writers who were generally unaware that they worked in a CIA-controlled operation. Only the six top members of the ZP/UHVR were witting agents. Beginning in 1955, leaflets were dropped over the Ukraine by air and radio broadcasts titled Nova Ukraina were aired in Athens for Ukrainian consumption. These activities gave way to systematic mailing campaigns to Ukraine through Ukrainian contacts in Poland and émigré contacts in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Spain, Sweden, and elsewhere. The newspaper Suchasna Ukrainia (Ukraine Today), information bulletins, a Ukrainian language journal for intellectuals called Suchasnist (The Present), and other publications were sent to libraries, cultural institutions, administrative offices and private individuals in Ukraine. These activities encouraged Ukrainian nationalism, strengthened Ukrainian
    resistance, and provided an alternative to Soviet media. In 1957 alone, with CIA support, Prolog broadcast 1,200 radio programs totaling 70 hours per month and distributed 200,000 newspapers and 5,000 pamphlets. In the years following, Prolog distributed books by nationalist Ukrainian writers and poets. One CIA analyst judged that, “some form of nationalist feeling continues to exist [in the Ukraine] and there is an obligation to support it as a cold war weapon.” The distribution of literature in the Soviet Ukraine continued to the end of the Cold War”

    Hate, especially this sort of virulent, insane hatred is not natural, it must be nurtured.
    Amazing to think when Atlee’s Labour government were introducing prescription charges, costs for glasses and dental work, in those late forties, when food was rationed when people froze to death in their homes, parts of British government were keeping some of what must have the worst of the worst war criminals in clover and in comfort, and indulging their fanaticism.

  • Macky

    @ESLO, You stated that the main trigger for OBL turning against the US was because of their involvement in the 1st Gulf War, per se, which is not accurate: he of course greatly resented the stationing of US troops on Holy Muslim soil during this time, but he mostly blamed the Saudi rulers themselves for allowing those “infidel” troops there in.

    Here are OBL own words about his own motivation, & about 9/11

    “And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed – when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the US sixth fleet”

    “As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way [and] to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.”

  • John Goss

    “Hi ESLO, good job for Mr Goss that we are from a Yorkshire family rather than a Sicillian one!”

    How pathetic. Still keeping up the charade. Like I say so far up yourself you’re starting to believe your own shit. So they let you take a computer home. Or you’re using the same IP address again. Pathetic.

  • Ben


    Fred what is the ratio of referendum posts to every other subject imbibed on Craig’s blog? Whatever the breakdown, I’m sure there is 79% approval here for the majority post. Bookies are giving 10:1 odds the next one will be on Scotland as well. Bets?

  • John Goss

    I know using the same IP address would give a different avatar but it seems to be a response to my noticing that Resident Dissident was posting comments during a weekday but then pointing out it was a bank holiday. Not been posting comments today Resident Dissident. Well not till ESLO got home. I’m actually finding it humorous in an odd sort of way as what lengths you would go to try and prove you were not the same character. I bet a few others are too.

  • Kempe

    ” the truth is it would be practically impossible for EU member states not to respond to a military attack on the EU. ”

    Really? Why? There is as far as I’m aware no treaty obligation requiring them to do so and anyway how would the EU respond? More self-defeating ineffective sanctions? If you hadn’t noticed the EU is too busy with more important issues like trying to ban vacuum cleaners and toasters.

  • Macky

    ESLO: “I am related to Resident Dissident we are not the same person”

    You must be very closely related to share the same IP address ! 😀

    Are you related to any other Poster here, that we should know about ? 😀

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Just silly, especially from a russophobe, to urge the ending of NATO when it is the West’s real government now since it tried to get rid of Putin’s USSR and Russia by triggering a non-nuclear showdown with Moscow by assassinating Sweden’s Olof Palme.

    Counting on you, Craig, to keep my vow of not again appearing on this site by deleting this.

  • Ben

    Obameron in Wales.

    Barack Obama and David Cameron have vowed to use the Nato summit starting in Wales on Thursday to engineer a resilient military and political coalition, including key countries in the Middle East, capable of squeezing out and destroying Islamic State (Isis) in northern Iraq.

    British officials also said the Britishprime minister was examining every option to protect the British hostage threatened by the jihadist group on Tuesday, in light of its murder of the American journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley in the past month.

    “We will not be intimidated,” Obama said in Estonia on the way to the summit. “Their horrific acts only unite us and stiffen our resolve to take the fight against these terrorists. And those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget and that our reach is long and that justice will be served.”

  • Tony M

    No-one has done more harm to Americans than their own governments, including that of Obama.

    Let Justice be served.

  • Fedup

    Indeed NATO is a defunct organisation that is used to further the waves of destruction and through selling more weapons systems for the benefit of the shareholders of the death industry.


    Mod could you please forward my email address to BrianFujisanWabi-sabi?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Ben

    So good to see an active thread NOT on Scots Indy. Well. almost active. I thought Americans were way too focused on local politics. Ethnocentrism, thank god, is not an American monopoly.

  • mark golding

    Craig with great respect I can give away the fact that NO sarin gas markers were found at Porton Down that would have indicted the Assad regime for the Ghouta chemical attack crimes.

    An embolden Vladimir Putin citing Iraq WMD lies back-channelled our own intelligence services with a crucial sticking point that found it’s way to senior politicians and influenced the vote, adding bias towards NO STRIKE.

    Effectively agent Cameron, the bastard, was caught out on a lie which Vladimir stuffed in his face, eye to eye. Bravo!

  • Je

    “the Britishprime minister was examining every option to protect the British hostage”.

    Cameron seems to be doing everything to get him beheaded. Threatening to bomb IS. Saying your going to supply the Kurds with weapons. Joining Obama in saying “will not be cowed by barbaric killers.” etc etc. Cameron might as well do the beheading himself.

  • Resident Dissident

    “You must be very closely related to share the same IP address ! ”

    Since when has a statement from Mr Goss being considered as evidence for anything other than his own mental state – the moderators can easily confirm if our IP addresses are not the same.

  • Macky

    Resident Dissident; “the moderators can easily confirm if our IP addresses are not the same”

    On the contrary, I’m referring back to the famous occasion when a Mod confirmed here that yes indeed, the same IP address had just been used for Posts by yourself & ELSO; bad memory or just troll habitual lying reflex ? 😀

  • ESLO

    What a little man you are Goss never being able to apologise for your abuse or correct your many mistakes.

    PS Macky I think you will find the moderators said quite the opposite about IP addressess . Please check and then apologise if youare big enough to do so.

  • Macky

    ESLO; “Please check and then apologise if youare big enough to do so”

    Will be happy to do so if so, but I distinctly also remember Clark commenting on the Mod’s Post at the time, stating that since IPs are unique, it was impossible for two different people to have the same one, which doesn’t support your version; I don’t really have the time to search for this now, but please feel free to do so yourself and prove your case.

  • Ben

    “Law and order do not necessarily follow. In the broader context of a deteriorating security situation in the east, Amnesty International has recently raised its concerns with the Ukrainian authorities about one particularly errant MP who has been “detaining” – in effect abducting – and ill-treating individuals across the region.

    He’s called Oleg Lyashko, he is the leader of the pro-Ukrainian Radical Party, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament and former presidential candidate. He travels in the company of muscular armed young men in military fatigues and the ubiquitous camera to record his exploits. His website makes for some grim viewing – Oleg Lyashko is shown entering private and public premises, always accompanied by armed men, and subsequently abducting individuals or forcing them to carry out his instructions.

    Oleg Lyashko is supposed to be a lawmaker, but he has taken the law into his own hands. “Glory to Ukraine, death to the occupiers” is his rallying cry.”

    I sure wish Craig would extend his remarks instead posting an obligatory nod to the rest of the world, then exiting stage-right, returning to the OCD of UK politics; Scotland.

  • ESLO

    You made the accusation – you search for yout evidence. Clark is absolutely right about IP addresses being unique – which is of course why I don’t need to be convinced that I don’t share one with RD. Remember what I said about small men.

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