In 1999, Nobel laureate Harold Pinter called America's bombing and dismemberment of Yugoslavia "barbaric (and despicable), another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile (to consolidate) American domination of Europe."
Against Iraq and Afghanistan it's to dominate Eurasia, and against Libya for greater regional hegemony, including resource control, privatization of state industries, new Pentagon bases for future imperial wars, and deterring any democratic spark from emerging.
Obama lied saying:
"United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster."
In fact, he caused a humanitarian crisis by killing civilians, the situation worsening daily as deaths and destruction increase.
"We will seek a rapid, but responsible, transition of operations to coalition, regional, or international organizations that are postured to continue activities as may be necessary to realize (stated) objectives," he added.
Giving NATO operational no-fly command is a ruse. NATO is the Pentagon, America's missile to reign death and destruction on targeted nations directly or through proxies. Washington planned, orchestrated and leads naked aggression on Libya. The announced handover changes nothing. European allies are more pawns than partners. They mostly go along to get along.
America remains in charge for what promises to be a protracted, destructive, expensive war to replace one despot with another. Like Iraq and Afghanistan, it'll likely cost billions of dollars at a time homeland needs are neglected to hand America's wealth to Wall Street, other corporate favorites, and militarists for endless wars - lawless naked aggression each time.
Moreover, humanitarian intervention is cover for mass killing and destruction. The more the better to assure corporate crooks huge contracts to rebuild, then on to the next war, and the next one, ad infinitum, America's addiction, the major media its cheerleading chorus.
NATO, An Alliance for War, not Peace
Established in April 1949, NATO calls itself a "political and military alliance for peace and security." In fact, it was more for offense than defense. Cold War hysteria was contrived to incite fear and assure an arms race for corporate enrichment. Napoleon once said, "Men are moved by two levers only: fear and self-interest."
Until the Soviet Union dissolved, communism was the alleged enemy. Today it's terrorism, as bogus now as then. Both, however, were used for hugely profitable imperial wars from Korea to Libya to numerous proxy ones, as well as trillions of dollars for military readiness - in fact, scandalous amounts in America without enemies for justification since WW II.
Strategically intervening under US control, NATO, in fact, threatens world peace and human survival. In November 2010, Robert Griffiths, general secretary of Britain's Communist Party (CPB) said:
Under NATO, "(a) global military and reconnaissance infrastructure is being created to support US, British and western European big business interests, especially energy, financial and armaments monopolies." What began "as a cold war provocation against a non-existent Soviet threat (now) invent(s) or exaggerat(es) threats from so-called failed or rogue states, Islamic fundamentalism and cyber-terrorism."
Petre Ignat, general secretary of the New Communist Party of Romania, called for NATO's disbandment, saying:
"We cannot and will not recognize such a murderous alliance, with such a horrible track record....which includes the murder of thousands of innocent civilians in places like Bosnia, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. We cannot and will not recognize an alliance which, through its aggressive policy of expanding East and setting up new military bases there, through its gross interference in other countries' internal affairs, through its gross violation of international law, can only increase the likelihood of an inter-imperialist war between Western imperialism and emerging capitalist powers, like Russia."
Its original member countries include America, the five (1948) Treaty of Brussels states (Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg), Canada, Portugal, Italy, Denmark and Iceland. It's now expanded to 28 states and dozens of partners, threatening world peace and stability.
Membership, however, is a bonanza for Western and Israeli weapons industries as current members and entering states must maintain modern arsenals to state-of-the art readiness, despite no enemies except ones Washington creates to wage wars.
On April 4, 2009, NATO's 60th anniversary, a major international demonstration was held in Strasbourg, France under the slogan, "No to War - No to NATO." Participating organizations included peace groups, global justice movements, trade unions, students, and others against NATO's aggressive military and nuclear policies.
Rather than providing security, NATO has been an obstacle to world peace. In a public statement, the Strasbourg coalition said:
NATO "is a vehicle for US-led use of force with military bases on all continents, bypassing the United Nations and the system of international law, accelerating militarization and escalating arms expenditures."
Its member countries account for up to 80% of all purchases, used for imperial wars called "humanitarian intervention."
"To achieve our vision of a peaceful world, we reject military responses to global and regional crises," real or contrived. "We refuse to live under the terror of nuclear weapons, and reject a new arms race." World security depends on peaceful cooperation and coexistence, impossible to achieve under NATO.
Today, bogus threats are used to justify its existence, including "terrorism," instability, arms trafficking, and proliferation of ballistic missiles, nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, mostly in Western and Russian arsenals.
Moreover, new justifications are exploited, NATO citing:
"Key environmental and resource constraints, including health risks, climate change, water scarcity and increasing energy needs (that) further shape the future security environment in areas of concern to (member states) and have the potential to affect significantly (their) planning and operations."
In addition, other areas, including the "ability to prevent, detect, defend against and recover from cyber-attacks (and) assessing the impact of emerging security technologies."
At the same time, NATO pays lip service to "creating the conditions for a world without nuclear weapons" when, in fact, members like America proliferate them. Hypocritically it then states, "As long as there are nuclear weapons in the world, NATO will remain a nuclear power" because Washington, Britain and France won't abandon them.
Rick Rozoff runs the Stop Nato web site:
"an international email news list that examines, from an adversarial position, the expansion of (NATO) and affiliated and allied military blocs into and throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caucasus, Central and South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, Africa, the so-called Greater Middle East and beyond."
As explained above, he calls NATO "the first attempt in history to establish an aggressive global military formation," comprising one-third of world nations as members or partners on five continents. Stop NATO's purpose is "anti-militarist, international and internationalist." The ultimate aim is survival.
NATO wars, in fact, are America's for greater reach. Against Libya it's to control the only North African Mediterranean state outside its partnership, and only one of five African states not under AFRICOM.
Replacing Gaddafi with a subservient puppet will assure its entry, giving Washington unchallenged Mediterranean Basin dominance, a strategically important waterway bordering three continents. Securing control over Iran, Syria and Lebanon successfully will achieve overall regional hegemony.
NATO's European dominance and eastward expansion especially threatens Russia. Its new Military Doctrine listed "main external threats of war" concerns, including:
-- NATO's global expansion, including to Russia's borders;
-- destabilizing nations and regions;
-- deploying foreign forces on territories and adjacent waters bordering Russia and its allies;
-- deploying offensive strategic missile systems targeting Russia;
-- militarizing space;
-- deploying strategic non-nuclear precision weapons;
-- interfering in the internal affairs of Russia and its allies;
-- proliferating weapons of mass destruction, including missiles, related technology, and nuclear weapons;
-- violating international agreements;
-- not ratifying and implementing others on arms limitations and reductions; and
-- escalating armed conflicts and using military force in areas bordering Russia and its allies.
As a result, at the February 2010 Munich Conference, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said:
After the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact dissolved, "a real opportunity emerged to make the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) a full-fledged organization providing equal security for all states of the Euro-Atlantic area. However, the opportunity was missed, because the choice was made in favor" of expanding NATO eastward, threatening Russia and its allies.
For example, Yugoslavia's 1999 bombing violated international law and NATO's charter "when a group of OSCE countries....committed aggression against another OSCE country." Again in August 2008 in the Georgian - South Ossetian conflict "in violation of the Helsinki Final Act," prohibiting use of force. US-led NATO, in fact, proliferates it globally, Libya its latest adventure, threatening the entire region and beyond.
A Final Comment
It's no exaggeration calling NATO a global menace, waging war, not peace. It should be abolished, dismantled, not expanded. Today, it reserves the right to use nuclear weapons unilaterally in violation of the 1996 International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling stating:
"....the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable to armed conflict, and in particular the principles of humanitarian law," despite no "comprehensive and universal prohibition."
Operating lawlessly and recklessly as America's "missile," NATO threatens world peace, stability, security and survival. Disbanding it is more important than ever. Besides millions of Iraqi and Afghan victims, how many Libyan deaths are needed to prove it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.