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Europe Needs To Be Independent

By John Scales Avery

09 April, 2014
Countercurrents.org

Legacies from the First and Second World Wars and the Cold War

In both World War I and World War II, participation by the United States brought victory to the Allies. In the years that followed 1945, the Marshall Plan helped Europe to recover. During the Cold War period that followed, many people in Europe saw NATO, and a close alliance with the United States, as means for preventing a takeover by the Soviet Union. However, whatever debt of gratitude Europe may owe to the United States for its past help, we must now ask whether the time has not now arrived for Europe to be independent. Just as the US once declared it is independence from England, Europe must now declare its independence from the United States.

The loss of democracy in the United States

Recent revelations by Edward Snowdon, Wikileaks and other whistle-blowers have made it clear that the United States has suffered a decay of its political institutions. The US can hardly be called a democracy today, since it seems to be ruled by an extremely wealthy oligarchy rather than by its people. In fact, the people of the US do not really know what their government is doing because the activities of the CIA, the NSA, Secret Service, Homeland Security the FBI, and many other agencies are masked in secrecy. A country where the people do not know what their government is doing, and where the people have no control over their government's actions, cannot be said to be a democracy.

The history of this huge secret side of the US government goes back to the Cold War period, during which both sides engaged in both covert and military interference with the internal affairs of smaller countries. The Soviet Union and China also intervened in the internal affairs of many countries, for example in Korea in 1950-53, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and so on; very long list.

Meanwhile the US interfered, militarily or covertly, in the internal affairs of a large number of nations: China, 1945-49; Italy, 1947-48; Greece, 1947-49; Philippines, 1946-53; South Korea, 1945-53; Albania, 1949-53; Germany, 1950s; Iran, 1953; Guatemala, 1953-1990s; Middle East, 1956-58; Indonesia, 1957-58; British Guiana/Guyana, 1953-64; Vietnam, 1950-73; Cambodia, 1955-73; The Congo/Zaire, 1960-65; Brazil, 1961-64; Dominican Republic, 1963-66; Cuba, 1959-present; Indonesia, 1965; Chile, 1964-73; Greece, 1964-74; East Timor, 1975-present; Nicaragua, 1978-89; Grenada, 1979-84; Libya, 1981-89; Panama, 1989; Iraq, 1990-present; Afghanistan 1979-92; El Salvador, 1980-92; Haiti, 1987-94; Yugoslavia, 1999; and Afghanistan, 2001-present, Syria, 2013-present. Egypt, 2013-present,Venezuela, 2013-present. None of these interventions can be justified, since people have a right to live under governments of their own choosing, regardless of whether those governments are optimal.

With the fall of the Soviet Union, intoxication with the idea of the United States as the sole superpower expressed itself in the form of contempt for international law and the United Nations, and especially in the declarations of the “Project for a New American Century”, which many people have compared to Hitler's “Mein Kampf”. Here are some links:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3249.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29129.htm

NATO

Former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans Christof von Sponeck used the following words to express his opinion that NATO now violates the UN Charter and international law: “In the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, the Charter of the United Nations was declared to be NATO's legally binding framework. However, the United-Nations monopoly of the use of force, especially as specified in Article 51 of the Charter, was no longer accepted according to the 1999 NATO doctrine. NATO's territorial scope, until then limited to the Euro-Atlantic region, was expanded by its members to include the whole world”

One might say that in recent years, participation in NATO has made European countries accomplices in US efforts to achieve global hegemony by means of military force, in violation of the UN Charter and international law.

Article 2 of the UN Charter requires that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” This requirement is somewhat qualified by Article 51, which says that “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Memeber of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

Thus, in general, war is illegal under the UN Charter. Self-defense against an armed attack is permitted, but only for a limited time, until the Security Council has had time to act. The United Nations Charter does not permit the threat or use of force in preemptive wars, or to produce regime changes, or for so-called “democratization”, or for the domination of regions that are rich in oil. NATO must not be a party to the threat or use of force for such illegal purposes. At present the United States government is trying to force the European members of NATO to participate in aggressive operations in connection with the coup which it carried out in Ukraine. Europe must refuse. See the following link:

https://www.transcend.org/tms/2014/04/natos-aggression-against-russia-and-the-danger-of-war-in-europe/

US tactical nuclear weapons in Europe

At present, NATO's nuclear weapons policies violate both the spirit and the text of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in several respects: Today there are an estimated 200 US nuclear weapons still in Europe The air forces of the nations in which they are based are regularly trained to deliver the US weapons. This “nuclear sharing”, as it is called, violates Articles I and II of the NPT, which forbid the transfer of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon states. It has been argued that the NPT would no longer be in force if a crisis arose, but there is nothing in the NPT saying that the treaty would not hold under all circumstances.

Article VI of the NPT requires states possessing nuclear weapon to get rid of them within a reasonable period of time. This article is violated by fact that NATO policy is guided by a Strategic Concept, which visualizes the continued use of nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future.'

The principle of no-first-use of nuclear weapons has been an extremely important safeguard over the years, but it is violated by present NATO policy, which permits the first-use of nuclear weapons in a wide variety of circumstances.

NSA spying on European leaders

The massive illegal collection of private data by the National Security Agency has produced worldwide anger. The targeting of European leaders has included the famous bugging of Angela Merkel's cellphone.

In the words of former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts, “Obama’s US Trade Representative, who has been negotiating secret trade agreements in Europe and Asia that give US corporations immunity to the laws of all countries that sign the agreements, has threatened WTO penalties if Europe’s communications network excludes the US companies that serve as spies for NSA. Washington in all its arrogance has told its most necessary allies that if you don’t let us spy on you, we will use WTO to penalize you.”

What will the future bring?

For many years, the US dollar has acted as a global currency. However, we can already see moves away from the “petrodollar”. When China, India, Russia, Iran and Brazil begin non-dollar trading, the value of the dollar will fall drastically, and US political and economic power will fall with it. This is just one more reason why European independence is desirable. But the most important reasons are ethical ones: Europe must not be the close ally (or puppet?) of the world's greatest purveyor of violence and war.

John Avery received a B.Sc. in theoretical physics from MIT and an M.Sc. from the University of Chicago. He later studied theoretical chemistry at the University of London, and was awarded a Ph.D. there in 1965. He is now Lektor Emeritus, Associate Professor, at the Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen. Fellowships, memberships in societies: Since 1990 he has been the Contact Person in Denmark for Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. In 1995, this group received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts. He was the Member of the Danish Peace Commission of 1998. Technical Advisor, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe (1988- 1997). Chairman of the Danish Peace Academy, April 2004. http://www.fredsakademiet.dk/ordbog/aord/a220.htm. He can be reached at avery.john.s@gmail.com

 

 



 

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