Friday, September 12, 2014

The Duplicity, Double Standards and Hypocrisy of NATO

The following are few extracts from an op-ed at the Ottawa Citizen by James Bissett a former Canadian diplomat. He was Canada’s ambassador to Yugoslavia, Albania, and Bulgaria

...In fact, NATO didn’t have to find another adversary  it just pretended nothing had changed and acted accordingly. NATO’s behaviour towards Russia speaks for itself; a record marked by duplicity, double standards and hypocrisy. One of its first acts was to convert the Alliance from a purely defensive organization to one that could intervene militarily to resolve international disputes by force. The opportunity for this transformation occurred with the 78 day bombing of Serbia in March 1999 carried out by NATO without authorization from the UN Security Council. Later, in violation of UN Resolution 1244 reaffirming Serbia’s sovereignty over Kosovo, NATO recognized the unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence – declared without any pretence of a referendum.

During the bombing on NATO’s 50th birthday, US President Bill Clinton announced a new role for NATO – from now he declared, in effect, that NATO could intervene wherever and whenever it decided to do so. Article I of the treaty presumably had been nullified by Presidential decree. The NATO treaty had been turned upside down. In the same month NATO admitted Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO thus breaking the promise made to Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev that if Russia allowed a united Germany into NATO the organization would never expand eastward.

The current crisis in Ukraine threatens global security and at worst has the potential for nuclear catastrophe. At best it signals a continuation of the Cold War. Sadly, the crisis is completely unnecessary and the responsibility lies entirely in the hands of the United States – led NATO powers. The almost virulent propaganda onslaught blaming Russia for the instability and violence in Ukraine simply ignores reality and the facts.

NATO, spurred on by the United States, has been determined since the collapse of the Soviet Union to surround Russia with hostile NATO members. The first attempt to win Ukraine over to the West through the Orange Revolution in 2004 failed but NATO kept trying and now has “let slip the dogs of war” on that unfortunate country.

It was inevitable that NATO’s expansion eastward would at some point run into hostile Russian reaction. The attack on South Ossetia in 2008 by the US armed and trained Georgian military was the last straw and Russia finally showed its teeth and crushed the Georgian offensive in 48 hours. The Russians then added insult to injury by recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. President Putin had warned that the illegal recognition of Kosovo independence would set a dangerous precedent and endanger the international framework of peace and security. Obviously his warning was unheeded and now the Cold War has started again. This was not supposed to happen.....

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