The Coastal Post - March, 1999

Beating A Dead Horse

By Edward W. Miller

"Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances, with any portion of the foreign world." - George Washington's farewell address September 17, 1796

For almost 10 years Muslims in Kosovo have doggedly followed the path of passive resistance while that arch-criminal Slobovian Milosevic imposed on them one devastating apartheid restriction after another. During those years our Jewish-dominated State Department urged Korovians down this non-violent path while repeatedly appeasing Milosevic as he violated one after another of the 1995 Dayton agreements. In recent weeks, political jockeying, intercontinental meetings, ambiguous threats of military retaliation, endless diplomatic dinners, photo opportunities and press conferences have played out on TV as the Muslims of Kosovo are massacred and over 220,000 driven from their bombed-out homes to freeze in the mountains. These events presage the same futile impasse the world watched on CNN during the prolonged Bosnia-Herzegovenia-Yugoslavia charade, a sickening deja vu of UN-NATO dalliance and impotence.

Back in 1994, Americans watched President Clinton peddle that straw tiger, NATO, first across Europe and to the borders of Russia. Except for the military, the responses varied from polite inattention to outright fury from the Russian Bear, whose leaders saw it as a military-political affront to their already uneasy Western alliances. Our then Secretary of State, Warren Christopher was noted to first nod and then sleep during at least one of the sales pitches. To many, NATO, a relic of the Cold War, had outlived whatever usefulness it may have had. This military dinosaur with no enemies to justify its continued existence should have been killed off, not let out to pasture. Despite the odds, though, NATO survived, and new life breathed into this dinosaur.

In early 1998, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 16 to 2 to extend NATO membership to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and despite warnings from Washington's deeply-divided foreign policy establishments, the U.S. Senate on last April 30th, urged on by the Clinton Administration, and with furious lobbying by the U.S. armaments industry, voted to expand the NATO Military Alliance to include those three countries.

Survival and extension of NATO after the Cold War has little to do with either protecting Europe or maintaining stability in the Balkans, but rather represents the triumph of the military-industrial lobby over common sense. NATO, in fact, was so divided during the early Balkan conflict it was pushed to the sidelines and later played no significant role during the Golf War.

In January of 1998, George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence listed eight dangers confronting the world: poverty, pollution, refugee movements, drug trafficking, ethnic strife, shortages of both water and arable land, and weapons proliferation.

It is obvious even an expanded NATO could not be expected to meet these threats; however, the cost of this dinosaur will undermine the world's ability to deal with any and all of Tenet's dangers. Why then did our Senate cave in? The answer: campaign money.

The U.S. arms industry has been actively lobbying the Senate for NATO and its expansion. Giant Lockheed-Martin led the way in 1996 with a $2.3 million campaign fund contribution. Their supposed unconnected U.S. Committee to Expand NATO based in the Washington office of the American Enterprise Institute faxes its propaganda to Senate offices on a daily basis, meets with the editorial boards of major newspapers, arranges meeting between Senators and interested Eastern European leaders to whom the notion of buying a relationship with the U.S. military is tremendously attractive. Ethnic lobbies representing 20 million Americans of Central and Eastern European extraction were organized to contact their Senators.

Though Clinton promised the cost to American taxpayers over the years of an expanded NATO would amount to only $200 million, independent analysts put the cost as high as $120 billion, and both new and potential NATO members will be under pressure to increase their military spending to at least three percent of the GDP. (See Mesler, The Nation, July 21, 1997) American taxpayers are already paying out of pocket for NATO with low-cost guaranteed loans to European countries, plus gifts of billions in excess arms from U.S. military stocks. Western arms manufacturers such as Saab/British Aerospace, Boeing/McDonnell Douglas, Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin, envisioning a potential Central European arms market of at least $35 billion, have spent millions on voter education in the new NATO countries, often violating local media laws regarding foreign contributions. (The Nation March 16, 1998)

Beside the fact that neither we, nor Europe, can afford this dinosaur, the best reason for ending NATO is its inherent threat to the United Nations, an organization we have sworn to support and with which most countries hope to keep the world at peace. The on-going fiasco in Kosovo will be repeated time and time again if we continue to juggle two military juggernauts, each with its international payrolls and multi-national general staffs struggling for control while fighting one another to define policy on this small planet which cannot even feed its people.

Americans may not be aware that the United Nations has several enemies determined to destroy its usefulness. Isolationist members of both the House and Senate have been chipping away at its budget, while demanding reform after reform. Secretary-General Kofi Aman has trimmed his staff, to improve the organization's efficiency, but the U.S. which owes the UN over $1.3 billion, refuses even money to fund retirements for staff members Aman wants to remove. In addition, Jesse Helms, a slave of the Israeli lobby since Jewish money almost cost him the last election, holds up UN funding with an anti-abortion tag he knows Clinton won't sign. Israel would like to shut down the only international organization that publicly confronts it on human rights abuses.

There are better reasons for getting rid of NATO than just preventing those endless squabbles over who will control it, pay for it, and who and when it will fight. First and foremost, the countries of the world cannot shoulder this military burden and support an effective United Nations. Just getting rid of thousands of European-based troops would do a lot to cut our losses.

Although decision-making in the UN is at times a circuitous and frustrating affair, at least the world has access to platforms in both the General Assembly or Security Council where the nations can both listen and manage input. With NATO, on the contrary, communication between countries each with its own political agenda, as well as communication between the NATO military elements is at best a conveniently-censored, military-political morass.

The solution for policing our planet is to end NATO, encourage each nation to arm and train whatever militia it can afford, guarantee to the UN a percent of this force for rapid-action peace-keeping, encourage the UN Security council to add at least Japan and Argentina as permanent members, require a two-thirds majority for any military peace-making operation and get rid of the dangerous veto.

If the Soviets can't help us kill off the NATO dinosaur, perhaps we can get Doctor Kevorkian to do the job.

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