NATO: The Most Dangerous Military Alliance on the Planet

The massive expansion of NATO, not only in Eastern and Central Europe but the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia, presages endless war and a potential nuclear holocaust.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the arms industry that depends on it for billions in profits, has become the most aggressive and dangerous military alliance on the planet. Created in 1949 to thwart Soviet expansion into Eastern and Central Europe, it has evolved into a global war machine in Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

NATO expanded its footprint, violating promises to Moscow, once the Cold War ended, to incorporate 14 countries in Eastern and Central Europe into the alliance. It will soon add Finland and Sweden. It bombed Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo. It launched wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, resulting in close to a million deaths and some 38 million people driven from their homes. It is building a military footprint in Africa and Asia. It invited Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, the so-called “Asia Pacific Four,” to its recent summit in Madrid at the end of June. It has expanded its reach into the Southern Hemisphere, signing a military training partnership agreement with Colombia, in December 2021. It has backed Turkey, with NATO’s second largest military, which has illegally invaded and occupied parts of Syria as well as Iraq. Turkish-backed militias are engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Kurds and other inhabitants of north and east Syria. The Turkish military has been accused of war crimes – including multiple airstrikes against a refugee camp and chemical weapons use – in northern Iraq. In exchange for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s permission for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance, the two Nordic countries have agreed to expand their domestic terror laws making it easier to crack down on Kurdish and other activists, lift their restrictions on selling arms to Turkey and deny support to the Kurdish-led movement for democratic autonomy in Syria.

It is quite a record for a military alliance that with the collapse of the Soviet Union was rendered obsolete and should have been dismantled. NATO and the militarists had no intention of embracing the “peace dividend,” fostering a world based on diplomacy, a respect of spheres of influence and mutual cooperation. It was determined to stay in business. Its business is war. That meant expanding its war machine far beyond the border of Europe and engaging in ceaseless antagonism toward China and Russia.

Read the full article at The Chris Hedges Report

Illustration by Mr. Fish, modified by me.

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The Great NATO Manipulator

“It is clear to everyone in the world that Ukraine will win. It’s only a matter of time. It is a matter, unfortunately, of the losses we suffer, primarily of people. It is a matter of modern weapons, which we must get and will definitely get.” Source: Volodymyr Zelensky

Background image via Le Parisien, modified by me.

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Uncle Sam’s Proxy War in Ukraine

By Graham E. Fuller

As the war grinds to a close, where will things go?

Contrary to Washington’s triumphalist pronouncements, Russia is winning the war, Ukraine has lost the war. Any longer-term damage to Russia is open to debate.

American sanctions against Russia have turned out to be far more devastating to Europe than to Russia. The global economy has slowed and many developing nations face serious food shortages and risk of broad starvation.

There are already deep cracks in the European façade of so-called “NATO unity.” Western Europe will increasingly rue the day that it blindly followed the American Pied Piper to war against Russia. Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.

Contrary to optimistic declarations, NATO may in fact ultimately emerge weakened. Western Europeans will think long and hard about the wisdom and deep costs of provoking deeper long term confrontations with Russia or other “competitors”of the US.

Europe will sooner or later return to the purchase of inexpensive Russian energy. Russia lies on the doorstep and a natural economic relationship with Russia will possess overwhelming logic in the end.

Europe already perceives the US as a declining power with an erratic and hypocritical foreign policy “vision” premised upon the desperate need to preserve “American leadership” in the world. America’s willingness to go to war to this end is increasingly dangerous to others.

Read the full article at: Graham E. Fuller

Background image via Getty Images, modified by me. Map and flags via WikiMedia.

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West has Declared Total War on Russian World

The West has declared a total war on Russia and the Russian world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Friday.

“The West has declared a total war on us, on the Russian World. Nobody makes any secret of this,” Lavrov said at a meeting of the Council of the heads of Russia’s constituent territories at the Foreign Ministry.

Lavrov warned that the Western policy of “cancelling” Russia would continue for a long time.

“The culture of cancelling Russia and everything related with our country has reached a point of absurdity. Bans have been imposed on such classics as Tchaikovsky, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin. Persecution is underway against Russian culture and art workers. In general, one can be certain that this situation will last,” Lavrov said.

“We must realize that it has exposed the West’s real attitude to the beautiful slogans that were put forward 30 years ago after the end of the Cold War, the calls for universal humanitarian values, for building a common European home from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Now we can see the real worth of these fine words,” Lavrov said.

He stressed that Russia would certainly not agree to put up with this.

Source: TASS.com

Illustration via Cloud Front, slightly modified by me.

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Israeli Forces Beat Mourners Carrying Abu Akleh’s Body


The veteran Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by Israeli forces on Wednesday while on assignment covering an Israeli incursion in the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

Ahead of the burial on Friday, thousands had gathered to participate in a funeral march which Israeli forces would not allow. In shocking footage aired live on Al Jazeera, Israeli forces beat mourners, including those carrying Abu Akleh’s body, almost causing them to drop the coffin.

“Al Jazeera condemns Israeli occupation forces’ attack on the mourners carrying the coffin of murdered journalist Shireen Abu Akleh,” the Qatar-based network said on Friday.

“In a scene that violates all norms and International laws, the Israeli occupation forces stormed the French Hospital in Jerusalem and attacked the mourners of the late Shireen Abu Akleh at the start of the funeral procession. They severely beat the pallbearers of the late journalist,” the network said in a statement.

“Al Jazeera Media Network denounces this violence in the strongest terms, and holds the Israeli government fully responsible for the safety and security of all the mourners and the family of our colleague Shireen.”

Full article at Al Jazeera

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Palestinian Journalist Killed in Cold Blood by Israeli Sniper

Shireen Abu Akleh, a longtime TV correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was killed on Wednesday while covering Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank.

She was rushed to a hospital in Jenin in critical condition, where she was declared dead shortly after, at 7:15am (4:15 GMT), according to the ministry and Al Jazeera journalists.

Abu Akleh was wearing a press vest and was standing with other journalists when she was killed.

Another Al Jazeera journalist, Ali al-Samoudi, was also wounded by a bullet in the back at the scene. He is now in stable condition.

Al-Samoudi and other journalists at the scene said there were no Palestinian fighters present when the journalists were shot, directly disputing an Israeli statement referencing the possibility that it was Palestinian fire.

“We were going to film the Israeli army operation and suddenly they shot us without asking us to leave or stop filming,” said al-Samoudi.

“The first bullet hit me and the second bullet hit Shireen … there was no Palestinian military resistance at all at the scene.”

Shatha Hanaysha, a local journalist who was standing next to Abu Akleh when she was shot, also told Al Jazeera that there had been no confrontations between Palestinian fighters and the Israeli army. She said the group of journalists had been directly targeted.

“We were four journalists, we were all wearing vests, all wearing helmets,” Hanaysha said. “The [Israeli] occupation army did not stop firing even after she collapsed. I couldn’t even extend my arm to pull her because of the shots being fired. The army was adamant on shooting to kill.”

The details of Abu Akleh’s killing are still emerging, but videos of the incident show that she was shot in the head, said Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim.

Photo of Shireen Abu Akleh is courtesy of Al Jazeera.

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Ladies and Gentlemen! The President of Ukraine!

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Sleepy Joe vs. Grandmaster Putin


Cartoon by Gary Varvel

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Foreign Fighters Flee from Ukraine after Being Tortured and Used as Cannon Fodder

On February 27, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a plea for foreigners to fight against the Russian military. In a statement, Zelensky said, among other things, that “This is not just Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is the beginning of a war against Europe, against European structures, against democracy, against basic human rights, against a global order of law, rules and peaceful coexistence.” He added: “Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals.”

In this way, Zelensky portrayed the conflict as one between a Ukraine that defends Western values, human rights and its political system against “Russian war criminals.” This narrative was disseminated to great lengths by Western media, who at the same time scoffed at the idea of a “de-Nazification” of Ukraine.

Omitted from Western media is the fact that openly neo-Nazi groups like the Mariupol-based Azov Battalion are official units of the Republican Guard, which is under the direct command of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry. It also omits that Stepan Bandera, a Nazi collaborator in World War II who encouraged Ukrainians to “destroy” Jews and Poles, leading to tens of thousands of deaths, is being rehabilitated in Ukraine and even had a major avenue in Kiev renamed after him. This is just two examples of the “Nazification” of Ukraine that is being purposefully ignored by the West.

None-the-less, by portraying the war in Ukraine as a struggle of liberalism against authoritarianism, Western liberals are whitewashing the Far Right and other foreign fighters from a myriad of illiberal ideologies as they descend on Ukraine to fight the Russians. According to Kiev, by March 6 at least 20,000 foreign fighters from 55 countries had entered Ukraine to fight against Russians.

The volunteers are a mix of neo-Nazis, radical Islamists, naïve liberals, pan-Turkists and a variety of Russophobes. Although Western media are lionising the foreign fighters, the accounts they give of their time in Ukraine are truly horrifying – from being tortured by Ukrainian soldiers, to being used as cannon fodder, and facing devastating missile strikes from Russian forces.

Full article at INTERNATIONALIST 360°

Image is courtesy of Military Times, slightly enhanced by me.

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Uncle Sam’s Moderate Rebels Club


Cartoon by Carlos Latuff

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