The NATO summit—a meeting of the mob


Petro Porochenko meets with French President François Hollande and President Obama at summit.

A three-day summit of the top crime bosses of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the military arm of the U.S. empire, concluded on Sept. 5. Reuters summarized the outcome this way:

“NATO leaders emerged from a summit in Wales with a plan to protect eastern members from a resurgent Russia, a pledge to reverse the decline in their defense spending, and an embryonic Western coalition to combat Islamic militants in Iraq.

“Yet despite ringing declarations of resolve, the U.S.-led alliance cannot fix the conflict between [the U.S.-backed, far-right coup government of] Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists, and the West is still a long way from having a strategy to defeat Islamic State insurgents in Iraq and Syria.”

Not exactly an upbeat assessment.

Origins of NATO

NATO was founded in 1949, ostensibly to hold off an invasion of Western Europe by the Soviet Union, which had suffered massive destruction and the loss of more than 25 million of its citizens in World War II.

This was a classic case of psychological projection, serving the objective political and economic needs of U.S. monopoly capitalism. It was NATO, headed by the U.S., that aimed to fulfill the task that the fascist forces of Germany, Italy and eastern Europe had failed to accomplish: destroy the Soviet Union and with it the world Communist movement. This was what the Cold War was all about, a global class war that included such hot wars as Korea and Vietnam and the anti-communist purges initiated by U.S. President Harry Truman.

The NATO summits are, according to Wikipedia, “important junctures in the alliance’s decision-making process on the highest level.” A more accurate description would be that these summits are important junctures for decisions already made in Washington and the Pentagon to be conveyed to NATO members. The “decision-making process” at the summits is mostly a charade.


Hundreds turn out to protest summit. Photo: Jim Wood

Attending the latest summit was the representative of the top crime families of the U.S., President Barrack Obama, along with representatives of the subordinate “families”—heads of the various European and near-European members of NATO.

These countries are really satellites of the U.S., which maintains strong occupation forces in the region to this day and continues to have by far the strongest military in the world—nearly a quarter century after the counterrevolutionary destruction of the Soviet Union in 1991.

As with lesser criminal syndicates, the top families of the Empire allow “allied” families to share in the booty—in this case, from exploiting the labor and mineral wealth of the oppressed countries of the world. The super-profits—profits above the average rate—extracted from the working classes of these countries also enable the giant corporations owned by the billionaire crime families to grant substantial concessions to the organized workers and middle classes of the imperialist countries themselves—in return for labor and social peace, along with support to imperialist wars and continued capitalist rule.

Cold War II?

There has been much talk in the corporate media lately about the U.S. becoming embroiled in a new Cold War. In reality, except for a few years when under Boris Yeltsin the ex-Soviet republics fell into dire crisis and appeared to be ripe for plucking by the triumphant Empire, the original Cold War never ended. While the Soviet workers’ state had been overthrown and socialist construction given up, some major democratic gains of the October 1917 Russian Revolution remained. Russia began to get back on its feet, its economy once again growing, now on a capitalist basis—even if at levels well below those of 1989 when socialist construction was abandoned by the Gorbachev government.

But any actual, or even potential, economic development that threatens serious competition for U.S. monopoly capitalist interests cannot be tolerated by the Empire. These threats must be countered with measures such as economic sanctions and political destabilization, as well as interventions or threats of interventions by NATO and/or ad hoc “coalitions of the willing.”

As the Reuters summary mentions, such a coalition was formed at the NATO summit. At a press conference at the summit’s end, Obama enthused that “there’s great conviction that we have to act as part of the international community to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.” [ISIL—Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, now the Islamic State.]

This new “caliphate”—“caliph” means successor to the prophet Muhammad—has established a powerful presence in both Iraq and Syria. Despite its reactionary ideology, the IS has gained control over a large territory, including major oil fields and refineries, and has acquired billions in financial resources. If it were to unite large geographical areas including the oil-bearing lands now controlled by the Gulf oil monarchies, it could potentially develop a capitalist economy that would compete with the moribund, monopoly-dominated economies of the U.S and its European and Japanese satellites. A process of “primitive accumulation” is already underway, such as described by Karl Marx in his famous work Capital.”

This potential competition the Empire cannot tolerate and will take every measure, including bombing, blockade and, as a last resort, “boots on the ground” (at this point called “advisors”), to nip in the bud any such possibility. This is the case even though in its formative period, fighters later coming together as ISIL were part of the U.S.-supported constellation of forces that arose to overthrow the secular nationalist government of Syria.

The U.S.-instigated coup in Ukraine in February, spearheaded by neo-Nazi forces, had a similar aim in relation to potential competition from capitalist Russia, and capitalist Ukraine as well. The near-term aim was to continue the eastward extension of NATO right up to the Russian border. In addition, sanctions were imposed on Russia following its support to Russian-speakers in Crimea and eastern Ukraine who revolted against the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s elected government.

The sanctions already imposed—and additional ones discussed at the summit—are aimed at undercutting Russia’s economy, crushing Ukraine’s economy, and ending over time the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas and oil in favor of the newly resurgent—thanks mainly to environmentally destructive “fracking”—and export-oriented North American oil, gas and coal industries.

Dollar rises

Despite the defection of Crimea and the recent reverses suffered on the battlefields of southeastern Ukraine by the Kiev regime headed by newly “elected” Petro Porochenko, an honored guest at the NATO summit, the financial markets have assessed the results of the latest East-West confrontation so far fairly positively, at least for the U.S. The dollar has soared in relation to other major currencies and even risen substantially against gold.

In conclusion, it should be pointed out that the Empire’s interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, whether through NATO or “coalitions of the willing,” all had essentially the same underlying objectives as outlined above, not the advertised aim of establishing “freedom and democracy.” This is the case even though the extremely bloody and costly interventions mostly produced “failed states”—more correctly crushed states—rather than stable client regimes. Iran also remains on the target list but continues to show resilience in the face of draconian sanctions.

Keep up the resistance

Hundreds of people gathered in Wales prior to the summit to march through the center of Cardiff and Newport in an anti-NATO demonstration. Organized by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Stop the War Coalition and South West against Nuclear, protesters gathered to make clear that 150 heads of state and ministers heading to the Celtic Manor Resort were not welcome.

All efforts by the imperialist “mob” to bring about regime change and suppress independent economic development are reactionary through and through and must continue to be resisted by anti-war and anti-imperialist movements worldwide.

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