Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Diana Johnstone, NATO's mission creep," CounterPunch, March 13/15, 2009.

Circulated by Murray Dobbin's Word Warriors list.

[Remember NATO has been mentioned as the occupier of choice in Gaza, the West Bank, Zimbabwe, and Darfur. Not everyone agrees, but that could change quickly. What is unlikely to change any time soon is the operational and diplomatic shortfalls that have turned NATO operations into large human sacrifices which may take down a few "suspected militants" in the bargain. -jlt]

NATO, the main overseas arm of the U.S. military-industrial complex, just keeps expanding. Its original raison d’ĂȘtre, the supposedly menacing Soviet bloc, has been dead for twenty years. But like the military-industrial complex itself, NATO is kept alive and growing by entrenched economic interests, institutional inertia and an official mindset resembling paranoia, with think tanks looking around desperately for “threats”.

This behemoth is getting ready to celebrate its 60th birthday in the twin cities of Strasbourg (France) and Kehl (Germany) on the Rhine early in April. A special gift is being offered by France’s increasingly unpopular president, Nicolas Sarkozy: the return of France to NATO’s “integrated command”. This bureaucratic event, whose practical significance remains unclear, provides the chorus of NATOlatrous officials and editorialists something to crow about. See, the silly French have seen the error of their ways and returned to the fold.

  Residents of the tranquil city of Strasbourg are obliged to apply for badges in order to leave or enter their own homes during the happy event.

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