Some thoughts on joining NATO
by Jiri Horak* Today all the ideals of peace and independence, neutrality and non- alignment so frequently displayed as a pretext in the recent past have been formally betrayed. Our country [the Czech Republic] is officially delivered to the political and military control of the US superpower through NATO. The new Czech bourgeoisie has thought it a good idea to couple its unstable power to the wagon of the most powerful. There must have been no shortage in "ideal" reasons: didn't Mr. Clinton give a quite recent proof of the humanistic spirit breathing in the "big western democracies" when he expressed sincere "regret" for the murder of 200,000 Guatemalans with the decisive contribution of the CIA and the US military? Unfortunately we will have to wait for a while to be able to listen to a similar "regret" about the present shameless interventions in the Balkans or about the bombing of Yugoslavia. Even for the genocidal starvation of the Iraqi people during the last ten years and for the daily air and missile strikes against that country, we will have to be patient and wait for a while. Strong stomach To enjoy one's place on the wagon of the most powerful, one has to be equipped with a strong stomach. One has to adjust oneself to the ideas on "democracy" of today's Turkish generals or the former, but not forgotten, US sponsored Greek Colonels. Regarding Greece and Turkey, two countries on the brink of war although both are members of NATO, some never-satisfied fault-finders might observe that being a member of NATO involves no security guarantee from one's mighty neighbours, even when they are partners in the same alliance. But this is only a minimal part of the picture ... One has to be equipped with a strong stomach because there are people around, like the former Italian communist D'Alema, now the Prime Minister of Italy, who would have you believe that by being a member of NATO one can influence its decisions. D'Alema must have rapidly forgotten his being "upset" over the acquittal of the Rambo-top-guns of Cavalese — the US warplane crew who sent the innocent occupants of a cable car hurtling to their deaths. Perhaps D'Alema was also absent-minded about the US threatening to bomb Libya with nuclear weapons from the Italian base of Aviano. And maybe he had no time when he was a leader of the communist youth to be thoroughly informed about the clandestine fascist army [Claddio] organised by the US secret services in Italy and its operations. (Now the US secret services will be in a position to watch over Czech security in the same paternal way they have shown when they used terrorist bombs to make Italy follow the right course). But this is old history: Let us look then at more recent events: three months ago in December, Mr Clinton and Mr Blair unchained a huge war operation against Iraq completely relegating the UN (now openly undermined by the US as the League of Nations was by the fascist regimes). No other European government was even forewarned. Shameless liars Those who try to portray NATO as a kind of democratic forum where respectable governments and institutions take majority decisions are shameless liars. These things have been well-known for a long time by all honest persons. Now, they are becoming even clearer. The annexing of the Czech Republic to NATO, together with Poland and Hungary, occurs at a time when a dramatic turning-point has been reached and war is being prepared on a much larger scale than in the past. In the midst of the celebrations for its fiftieth anniversary, NATO will officially adopt its new military doctrine of intervention EVERYWHERE in the world. The net of US military bases has been widened and strengthened in Europe as well as in Asia. Many countries have prepared special rapid deployment forces with professional personnel (the Czech Republic too will now be in a position to send some cannon fodder to win the high esteem of its masters). There are clear signs of the plans to deploy large military units in the Balkans and break the slightest resistance to the achievement of strategic military goals unthinkable some years ago. In the space of months the military units deployed in Macedonia (FYROM) under the pretext of defending the OSCE observers [in Yugoslavia] have become a threatening and heavily armed bridgehead for the invasion of Yugoslavia. The whole area from the Balkans to Central Asia is the object of special attention by the US military. It is the area where the present and future big oil pipe-lines run. It is not by chance that the establishment of US- Turkish military bases in Azerbaijan is now on the agenda and NATO secretary Solana expands the horizon of NATO operations as far as Kazakhstan. US-NATO military doctrine still involves the possibility of the first nuclear strike (just to underline how hypocritical the pretensions of nuclear non-proliferation are) and military expenditure becomes sky-high both in quality and quantity, well beyond the already astronomical levels of the cold war years. Against the background of these facts, the admonitions coming from high Western personalities not to let Russia feel isolated sound rather pathetic. What they really mean is, let us be sure that the Russian Government delays as long as possible any meaningful reaction to the impending threat and confines its protest to a harmless and pathetic mumbling. The fact is that ten years after the crisis of the Soviet Union and the Eastern European socialist regimes, the days of reckoning are approaching. In Russia particularly, there has been no such thing as a conversion of the economy from socialism to capitalism. What has taken place is rather the large scale destruction of productive forces and the embezzlement of social wealth like in a robbery committed by the few new rich who transfer the spoils abroad. The tragic consequences resemble the effects of a foreign invasion, like the nazi invasion of 1941. The western powers know only too well that they have nothing to offer to the peoples of the world, neither eastward nor southward, but misery and oppression. Tremendous economic crises with catastrophic consequences for the lives of the masses have swept over, not only the republics of the Soviet Union, but also the capitalist "paradises" of South East Asia and the dependent economies of almost all countries in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Winds of recession The winds of a recession crisis of catastrophic proportions can be perceived with threatening frequency not only in Japan, where they have been blowing already for some time, but also in the remaining major centers of world capitalism. The speeding up of large scale war preparations can be easily understood against this background. They find in it a very strong impetus.
* * ** Jiri Hovak is a member of the Prague Committee of the International Nino Pasti Foundation for Peace and the Independence of the Peoples.