Are We Heading for NATO vs. SCO?
EDITORIAL, 28 June 2010
#118 | Johan Galtung
The clouds are dark. But maybe less so than they look.
The “new” NATO doctrine is a direct follow-up of the MacCain (also Bush) promise during the election campaign, eagerly seconded by Obama: the world needs a security mechanism run by democracies, not by all kinds of UN countries (read non-West), some even having UN Security Council veto power. Of course NATO was the candidate as the ultimate guarantee of security, probably to be expanded, admitting some new reliable countries if they pass the national multiparty election test, FAFE, free and fair elections.
That means intervention anywhere in the world where security in the Western sense of the word is threatened: obstacles to free navigation (piracy, regardless of reason); “terrorism”, meaning people who do not have the type of army-navy-air force sufficient to challenge the USA in particular, and NATO in general, impediments to the free flow of energy, competition for strategic resources, attacks in cyber-space.
But NATO does not argue nonviolence as an alternative to terrorism, but democratic elections; majority rule. Totally inadequate for any of the numerous national minorities in a world with an average of ten nations per state, and inadequate for starving minorities. And – how about a country that wants to preserve energy resources, maybe even sees oil as dangerous and keep it underground, under the ocean floor–in other words countries wiser than BP, whose French distribution net has just been bought by an Israeli company? How about the biggest polluter of them all, the USA – is NATO supposed to invade them? How about countries with excessive and increasing inequality–like for a company a sign of imminent collapse?
In practice this means more efforts to mobilize NATO against Islam, in the name of FAFE. The Secretary General, the former Danish prime minister notorious for rejecting dialogue with Muslims (Danish, Arab Ambassadors, the Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference) seeing the cartoon issue as freedom of expression only, not also as freedom not be insulted and humiliated (who could be worse?).
Obviously, NATO is invited to fight US wars, like NATO was brought into Afghanistan (ISAF). Examples of NATO not obeying US bidding, or NATO imposing action against US political will, are absent or very few–Ukraine and Georgia may come to mind. From a US point of view NATO is almost the only one left. They can no longer count on unanimity in the UN Security Council, but place their hopes on NATO. Going alone is not to their liking, even if only backed by Barbados (the Reagan invasion of Grenada, entirely based on lies); they want to be seen as an expression of a universal will.
On the other side of the world is the SCO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ten years old (a response to NATO expanding eastward and AMPO westward, with China, Russia and four Central Asian countries as members), which 9 June opened its annual meeting in Tashkent in Uzbekistan. A de facto military alliance with joint military maneuvers. India, Pakistan and Mongolia are observers and likely members, Iran possibly too controversial. This is the organization most fit to handle Afghanistan, one day an SCO member? Making USA-NATO irrelevant, and considerably bigger than NATO.
How is this working out? Two huge alliances, one mainly Christian, one to a large extent Muslim, but also much broader and representative? Dialoguing with Afghanistan, ASEAN and countries in the former Soviet Union like white Russia, and also with Sri Lanka? The famous West against the Rest? To a large extent, yes–and also USA against China as the key countries on either side. With a difference, though: the USA is at the end of its imperial career, losing ground all over; China is building its position with talent and energy.
As a recent commentator said in IHT: Petraeus fainting, MacChrystal acting against all rules of a military hierarchy and BP distributing bonuses while destroying livelihood for millions–potentially–is all bad enough. But behind that is something even worse: Washington is no longer obeyed, not even taken seriously.
Turkey is a good example, so is Brazil; both once upon a time stuck in their obedience as faithful allies. There will be more. Gradually allies will withdraw from the Afghanistan stupidity, like they did from Viêt Nam; maybe South Korea under its present leadership will be the last. The US first use of nuclear weapons against declared nuclear powers and states suspected of acquiring them makes it very clear who is the major nuclear threat in the world.
Problem: could there be a military coup in the USA, a last desperate effort? Unlikely, they would lose at least half of the NATO and willing coalition members, hanging on to democracy as the last license to kill, like God once was.
Conclusion: USA-NATO, the game is over. Those were the days, our friends. Join the forces of the future.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 28 June 2010.
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