Belgian action against militarism


This 9 April 2018 satiric video from Belgium is about the 69th birthday of NATO. It says about itself (translated):

On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, NATO blew out 69 candles. NATO is responsible for an annual military budget of 919 billion dollars, of which 70 percent is from the United States.

This enormous amount benefits US American arms corporations and increases the threat of new major conflicts. More and more spending on ‘defense’. That is what NATO requests from its member states, and therefore also from Belgium.

The (manipulated) choice of the replacement for the Belgian F-16 must therefore be seen in that context. With 10 illegal missions as its record and many dead people, we think it is high time for NATO to retire! If you ask us:

Nuclear weapons away from Kleine Brogel

– Belgium must sign the UN treaty against nuclear weapons

No new fighter planes

– Belgium out of NATO and NATO out of Belgium

We are preparing for a NATO summit [probably including Donald Trump] in Brussels in July. Want to join us? Contact gmo@intal.be.

Anti-warplanes demonstration, 22 April

Translated from Belgian peace movement intal today:

Together with the other organizations of the platform “No fighter planes” we call again to immediately stop the procedure of replacing the F-16s, and to enter into a broad public debate about whether or not the F-16 fighter planes have to be replaced. Join us in action on Sunday 22 April! #f16gate #geengevechtsvliegtuigen

Can our F-16s fly longer or not? Was Minister of Defense Vandeput aware of the information of the army top brass or not? Does our government want to procure at any price aircraft that can drop nuclear bombs?

A dangerous game is played with our tax money, while:

16% of the population in Belgium live below the poverty threshold
Belgium does not achieve its objectives in the fight against climate disruption
The ‘defense’ budget is double that of Justice
Our government practices austerity for billions on public transport, despite the gigantic traffic jams and air pollution
Our government has not yet made a balance sheet of 40 years of use of the F-16s

The platform “No fighter planes”, of which intal is a part, calls again to IMMEDIATELY stop the procedure of replacing the F-16s, and to enter into a broad public debate about whether or not the F-16 fighter planes have to be replaced.

Do you also want to see your tax money invested rather in the needs of the population and the planet instead of expensive and superfluous war gear? Then join us in action on Sunday 22 April!

Appointment: Sunday, April 22, 14h Cinquantenaire, Brussels (metro Merode). Dress code: black.

Trump to NATO summit, Brussels, 11/12 July?


This video from Brussels, Belgium is about the big demonstration there against the militarism of Donald Trump and NATO on 24 May 2017.

See also here.

Dutch NOS TV reported on 13 March 2018 that on 11/12 July this year there will be another NATO summit in Brussels, with Trump probably present.

One should hope that there will again be a big demonstration then, like the one in 2017.

Belgian right-wing minister of the interior Jambon wants to protect Trump and other NATO bigwigs from hearing demonstrators shout anti-war slogans and protect the warmongers from seeing pro-peace signs. So, Jambon wants 3500 police from all over the country to stop Trump and his ilk from being aware of opposition to them. However, local police are not keen of going to Brussels, so it is not certain yet whether Jambon will get his 3500 police.

Ex-NATO boss regrets NATO warmongering


Ukraine

The Dutch ex-NATO boss Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has been, deservedly, criticized on this blog.

Now, however, for a change, he has said something right. Reminding me a bit of ex-United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, with his lies on behalf of the George W Bush administration, promoting war in Iraq, which Powell later regretted. Unfortunately, many politicians seems to become wiser only after retirement than when they still had powerful jobs.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘NATO should not have proposed membership to Ukraine and Georgia’

Today, 20:25

Then, Georgia was ruled by dictator and George W Bush pal Saakashvili. In Ukraine, people demonstrated against NATO membership and against George W Bush. Even the ‘pro-Western’ ‘orange’ Ukrainian government opposed Bush’s NATO missile plans.

NATO has driven Vladimir Putin into a corner, making him more radical. These are not the words of Russia, but those of NATO’s former Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

According to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the West must respect the Russian red line. The speed of NATO enlargement has contributed to Putin’s aggressive stance in the former Soviet Union.

NATO should not have offered membership to Ukraine and Georgia in 2008, the former NATO executive said. He calls it understandable that Putin has opposed it. …

The NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 was a breaking point in the relationship between Russia and the West. NATO opened the door for Georgia and Ukraine. Both countries were allowed to join, even though no date was mentioned. That was the wish of the American President Bush. The German Chancellor Merkel resisted. But NATO decided to leave the door ajar. That was unacceptable for Russia and Putin also said that afterwards.

The former Secretary General now says that he underestimated the response and that he should have done more to keep the parties on the same level. According to De Hoop Scheffer, the decision led to a radicalization by Putin.

He sees a direct connection with the war in Georgia (2008) and Ukraine (2014). Meanwhile, De Hoop Scheffer is convinced that there can no longer be a question of membership for both countries.

NATO warmongers as pseudo-feminists


This video is called Iraqi women and rape by the forces of order in Iraq. Her name is Sabreen Al Janabi. One of the many ways in which the situation for Iraqi women deteriorated abysmally, after the United States Bush administration, and later other NATO governments, invaded Iraq.

By Julie Hyland in Britain:

Jens Stoltenberg and Angelina Jolie call for NATO intervention to promote “gender equality”

16 December 2017

NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and actress Angelina Jolie have joined forces to project the US-led war alliance as a progressive role model for gender politics and a “leading protector” of women’s rights.

Their op-ed in the Guardian last weekend, “Why NATO must defend women’s rights”, is presented as a joint mission to secure the “fundamental promise in the UN Charter of equal rights and dignity for women.”

One rubs one’s eyes in disbelief. Written in defence of an organisation that is the primary source of warmongering, by its leader and chief propagandist and an Ayn Rand devotee and self-styled “humanitarian”, the op-ed could be mistaken for satire.

Angelina Jolie is a fan of United States far-right author Ayn Rand, preacher of the gospel of all-powerful corporate capitalism, based on the supposed ‘virtue of selfishness’. Ayn Rand, by the way, opposed women becoming president of the USA. She also condoned rape. So, hardly “gender equality”.

Claiming that NATO was founded to safeguard “the freedom of its peoples”, the authors assert that, for 70 years, the US-led bloc has stood for the “defence of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law and the UN Charter.”

In fact, from its foundation in April 1949 until the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in July 1991, NATO’s role was dictated by confrontation with the Soviet Union. To this end, it not only fomented a nuclear arms race but was involved in numerous conflicts and interventions from the Korean War to Cuba.

With the juridical liquidation of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO’s aggressive stance became more overt as it mounted direct military operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan and, more recently, Libya and Syria aimed ultimately at encircling, and dismembering Russia and China.

Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives as a result and millions more have been injured and displaced. These wars, moreover, have been accompanied by the evisceration of all pretence at maintaining democratic norms—including extraordinary rendition and targeted assassinations by drone strikes, not to speak of the gutting of civil liberties “at home”.

This has been the case irrespective of the lofty claims of “humanitarian intervention” and the citing of a “Responsibility to Protect” that accompanied these wars. It is a matter of fact that wherever NATO goes, abject misery and horror follows.

Stoltenberg/Jolie’s article represents a desperate attempt to rebuild NATO’s threadbare credibility in the face of this record.

The essential political aim of such claims is to argue that “Ending gender-based violence is a vital issue of peace and security as well as of social justice. NATO can be a leader in this effort.”

One would not normally engage in an argument over who suffers most in war. After all, the overwhelming majority always suffer in war. That is why anyone guided by humanitarian and democratic impulses seeks to prevent it. But Stoltenberg and Jolie do not possess an ounce of such sensibilities between them.

An estimated 31,000 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan alone since 2001 and upwards of 30,000 in Libya since the invasion of 2011, to take just two examples.

An exact breakdown of these figures along gender lines is difficult to obtain. The casualties will undoubtedly include many women, and an untold number of children who are especially vulnerable to IEDs and the catastrophic breakdown of health and welfare provision that invariably accompanies war.

In cases of sexual violence, moreover, reality is not nearly as one-sided as Stoltenberg/Jolie make out. An authoritative study by Lara Stemple, of the University of California’s Health and Human Rights Law Project, Male Rape and Human Rights, notes that sexual violence against men has been used as a “weapon of wartime or political aggression” in numerous countries, with up to 80 percent of male political prisoners in several conflicts surveyed reporting sexual torture and rape.

Significantly, it cites Abu Ghraib in Iraq, where US soldiers forced detainees “into acts such as nude posing in piles, group masturbation, and simulated sex, several of which were photographed. Other detainees were sodomized and some had electrical wires attached to their genitals.”

Male rape and sexual torture are reportedly rife in Libya following the NATO-backed invasion, which saw former leader Muammar Gaddafi sodomised with a bayonet and then murdered by western-allied forces.

Stoltenberg/Jolie couldn’t care less. They are not out to prevent conflict, but are seeking a pretext to create it. Thus, in a modern day-twist to the “white man’s burden”, they advocate the fight for “cultural change” and “gender equality” through the barrel of a gun.

Their appeal is a weaponisation of feminism in the service of NATO and of imperialist reaction. This is especially necessary when the imperialist alliance is preparing even greater crimes that threaten humanity with a new world war, fought with nuclear weapons.

Only last month, NATO agreed plans for a major military escalation in Europe, including two new military command centres. While Stoltenberg claimed this was necessary due to Moscow’s “aggression”, it is NATO that is provocatively building up its military forces along Russia’s borders, including the deployment of thousands of troops.

It is to conceal its predatory aims that Stoltenberg/Jolie attempt to recast NATO as a tool of female emancipation.

NATO will integrate “gender issues into its strategic thinking”, reinforce a “culture of integration of women throughout the organisation, including in leadership positions”, promote “the role of women in the military”, and deploy “gender advisers to local communities”, where “NATO’s female soldiers are able to reach and engage with local communities,” they write.

Without a trace of shame, the op-ed targets Ukraine and Syria as in particular need of NATO’s gender crusade. This on behalf of an organisation that supported fascists in the first conflict, and worked with Islamic extremists, such as the Al Nusra front in the other.

So much for women’s rights! Their white-wash of NATO, this imperialist thieves’ kitchen, should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

From NATO war to Libyan slavery


This video says about itself:

Should NATO Answer for Libya’s Slave Trade?

2 December 2017

CNN has revealed that African migrants are being sold at slave auctions in Libya for as little as $400. As the UN weighs sanctions, professor and author Horace Campbell says the NATO powers who tore Libya apart should own up to their responsibility.

As EU policies drive migrants away, Libyan authorities push them into dire detention centres. For some who reach Europe, it is worth the risk: here.