Why is NATO expanding to the East?
On 29th March, seven new countries joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which had come into force in a completely different international contect on 24th August 1949, to guarantee the security of the North Atlantic area. Why, then, does this organization now spread eastwards to Turkey's eastern borders in Asia and to Estonia, within striking distance
of Moscow and Leningrad?
Further and further from the Treaty of Washington
NATO was constituted by the Treaty of Washington, 4th April 1949, ratified on 24th August the same year. Article 1 states that "The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means", after an introduction which claims that the objective is "to promote
stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area".
The original intention was to form an alliance in which the parties to the agreement would support each other in the event of an attack (from the USSR, which never came). What we saw yesterday was an expansion to the east which does not fit into any of the Articles constituting the organization. NATO
quotes Article 10 to justify its move: "The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty", however the article continues: "and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty".
If the original principle for this treaty was a defensive block to counter the wrongly perceived threat from the USSR, in European States, for the security of the North Atlantic, how to justify the fact that NATO's borders stretch well into Asia, and other areas of Europe thousands of kilometres away from this area?
With the Treaty of Rome, on 28th May 2002, an attempt was made to appease Russia and calm her fears about NATO's expansion to the east, which had been its policy since the "Study on NATO Enlargement" in September, 1995, long before the spectre of international terrorism arose.
This Treaty established the NATO-Russia Council, an organism for consultation, joint decisions and consensus-building based on a principle of equality and common interests. Under this Treaty, consultations are to be held on a monthly basis at the ambassadorial level, half-yearly at the ministerial level and occasionally, at the Summit level (Heads of State).
Since crisis management is one of the areas covered by this Treaty, where was the consensus and consultation before the illegal attack against Iraq?
And why continue the expansion now onto the borders of the CIS if Moscow if not at ease with this decision?
The Bush doctrine
The real reason for NATO's expansion to the East is visible in the rhetoric of US President George W. Bush yesterday, at the ceremony at the White House, after Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia were admitted into this organization: "As witness to some of the great crimes of the last century, our new members bring moral clarity to the
purposes of our alliance...They understand our cause in Afghanistan and in Iraq...because tyranny for them is still a fresh memory".
This idiotic and intempate nonsense was backed up with phrases by the now clearly assimilated Colin Powell, like nations "yearning for freedom".
If President Bush is referring to great crimes and moral clarity perhaps he would like to explain what is happening at Guantanamo, where prisoners are being held without trial or accusation, in cages, and have been tortured.
Perhaps he would also like to explain why his regime flouted international law, breaching the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention and the founding principles of NATO itself, by carrying out an act of mass murder in Iraq, in which war crimes were committed. And on the subject of moral clarity, how does he justify lying, forging documents and bullying members of the Security Council to constitute his causus belli?
Are the purposes of the Alliance to commit war crimes, to drop cluster bombs into civilian areas, to bomb wedding parties, to slaughter children, to target civilian infra-structures and to hand out contracts without tenders, to set up a string of military bases around the globe within easy striking distance of the world's resources?
In this case, let us change the name from North Atlantic Treaty Organization to North Atlantic Terrorist Organization.