Trump to Belgium for NATO, Italy for G7

This video from the USA says about itself:

Jeremy Scahill on the Military Industrial Complex, Donald Trump, Ramstein & Anti-War Movements

1 February 2017

In this interview with bestselling author, investigative reporter and co-founder of The Intercept, Jeremy Scahill, we talk about the political economy of the United States foreign policy apparatus and its influence abroad in countries such as Germany and Saudi Arabia. In addition, we explore the role that Germany plays in the war on terror and the history of anti-war movements.

– What was President Eisenhower referring to when he talked about the “Military Industrial Complex” in his farewell speech on the 17th of January, 1961? What scale and scope does this complex posses today?
Are President Trump’s foreign policy cabinet picks related to the Military Industrial Complex? How will they shape relations with the international community?
– How does Germany support the “War on Terror”?
– What is the significance of the US-Air base in Ramstein and are its activities compatible with domestic as well international law?
– What can Anti-War movements learn from the past that can be applied today to influence policy?

All of this and more is addressed in this video.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

US President Trump will visit late in May a NATO summit in Brussels. Trump will then also open the new NATO headquarters. In a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg both of them said to look forward to the meeting.

Trump assured Stoltenberg that the United States remains firmly supportive of NATO.

Though Trump did say that other NATO countries should increase military spending. Unfortunately, quite some politicians in these NATO countries agree.

From the No to NATO site:

Press release of the International Coordinating Committee of the international network No to war – no to NATO

January 2017/01/30

Protest against NATO at its next summit in Brussels on 24/25 May 2017

The duty of the peace movement is to formulate fundamental, peaceful alternatives to the militarists and proponents of war who come either from backgrounds of neoliberal globalization or national populism.

As I have explained, I disagree with calling extreme right politicians like Trump, Steve Bannon, Marine Le Pen in France or Geert Wilders in the Netherlands ‘populists’.

In each case, war is the continuation of politics, and militarism is an essential element of their politics, with NATO as a primary instrument.

Our alternative is: No to War and overcoming NATO

The importance of the next NATO summit in Brussels on May 24/25 doesn’t derive primarily from new political US-European constellations, but from the following realities:

The summit will evaluate the decisions of the NATO summit in Warsaw. Fundamental there was the aggressive extension of NATO to the East with the deployment of military troops and equipment to Poland and the Baltic States along the Russian border. The historically unprecedented movement of troops and material via Bremerhaven is merely a first step in violating the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997 and especially the 1990 Charter of Paris. The continuation of this confrontation will be on the agenda in Brussels.

The modernization of nuclear weapons arsenals – also in Europe – is on the agenda. Thus far, the statements of the new US-administration on nuclear weapons are in line with Obama’s modernization commitments, along with presidential statements that potentially increase the dangers of the uncontrolled use of these apocalyptic weapons. Furthermore, the new president of the USA seems to embrace a politics of proliferation, which clearly violates international law.

A new round of burden sharing of NATO’s military expenses is on the Brussels agenda. The 2%-goal of Wales and Warsaw will be evaluated and possibly increased. This increase augments that of the USA, which is massively increasing its military spending, including preparing for possible war against China.

This new division of labor demands a new role for the EU. The EU will steadily become a military superpower with military operations and interventions of its own in the periphery of Europe and Africa. Brexit opened the doors for EU militarization. The EU summit that followed made significant decisions for a program of common defense research, battle groups, honed coordination and communication, mandated further deployments (Mali) and increased the militarization of member states. These decisions have been combined with propaganda against the “aggressive Russians”.

Development of global NATO by new cooperation in Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore) as well as increasing already existing cooperation with Japan, South Korea as well as Colombia. NATO’s engagement in Asia with its high conflict potential is surely not enhancing peace in this area.

The signs point to confrontation, continuous interventions, and unrestrained arms races.

The coordinating committee of the international network No to War – No to NATO affirms its primary commitments:

Peace is possible only through cooperation, global disarmament, and the abolition of all nuclear weapons. NATO, the global military and interventionist alliance, must be overcome. How this will be achieved depends on national and international conditions. Among possibilities is the dissolution of NATO, its transformation into a cooperative European civil security structure reinforced by drastic disarmament, or the resigning of individual countries from NATO.

We will continue to act for the end of NATO and to increase our efforts for the NATO summit in Brussels.

The international network No to War – No to NATO conducted actions at all summits since 2009 and will participate actively in the international protests in Brussels.

We support and actively organize the international actions which were agreed upon in a preparatory meeting in Brussels in December 2016:

International Counter Summit
International Demonstration
Civil Disobedience Actions
Assessment of the possibility and desirability of organizing a camp

I hope many demonstrators will join this initiative. Opponents not just of the militarism of Trump and his ilk, but also of their sexism, their xenophobia, their making the rich richer and the poor poorer and other objectionable policies.

THE PENTAGON REPORTEDLY FAILED TO DISCLOSE UP TO THOUSANDS OF AIRSTRIKES According to the Military Times, thousands of airstrikes by U.S. Army helicopters and drones in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan have gone uncounted since 2001. [Reuters]

According to the NOS report, Trump will also go to Italy: 26-27 May 2017 G7 summit on Sicily. I hope there will be many protesters there as well.

26 thoughts on “Trump to Belgium for NATO, Italy for G7

  1. Trump and his supporters are unwilling to concede that the travel ban is racist and bigoted. Things are so bad now that this is what counts as an encouraging development. Would it really shock anybody – anybody? – if Donald Trump tweeted tomorrow, “Yes, that’s right, I banned travel from seven Muslim countries because America is a Christian nation – always has been, always will be”? (That’s 134 characters, by the way, so it’s definitely tweetable.)

    There have been some major, bigly contortions to avoid the conclusion that the travel ban is anti-Muslim and bigoted, even though Trump specifically said last year that the United States should ban all Muslims from entering. The title of Trump’s executive order was “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” Nothing Muslim there. And Homeland Secretary Kelly has taken pains to argue that these seven countries supposedly were selected for the “pause” because “vetting” visa applicants from them allegedly is difficult, thus raising the risk that mistakes will be made and visas will be granted to would-be perps.

    But the Cato Institute, a right-wing think tank, reported last week that visitors to the United States from the seven banned countries have killed “zero people.” So the “vetting” seems to be working just fine.

    Regarding the Lucky Seven, six of them (Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and, at a lower level, Sudan) are in the midst of civil wars, and one (Iran) is on the list just because. (Seriously, whatever you may think of the Government of Iran, I’m not aware of any real problem vetting visa applicants from there.) Why Iran and not Afghanistan, which somehow didn’t make Trump’s Hit Parade despite a 40-year civil war (plus two foreign occupations) which killed two million people?

    But if large-scale violence were what would make vetting difficult, then why didn’t Trump ban travel from . . . Mexico. You know, Mexico, where the drug war killed 10,000 people last year (and 80,000 in the last decade) making Mexico the fourth most violent armed conflict in the world (after Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan).

    Mexico – Christian.

    Why didn’t Trump ban travel from Nigeria? You know, Nigeria, where the Boko Haram insurgency killed 3500 people last year (and 50,000 during the last seven years), making it the sixth most violent armed conflict in the world.

    Nigeria – half Christian.

    Why didn’t Trump ban travel from Ukraine? You know, Ukraine, where the civil war killed 1000 people last year, and 10,000 during the past three years. Where a terrorist missile attack shot down a passenger jet.

    Ukraine – Christian.

    I’m sorry, but if you ban travel from Muslim countries that are undergoing convulsions, and not travel from Christian countries that are undergoing convulsions, then you’re a bigot.



    Alan Grayson


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