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At the Nato summit this week, one man is notable by his absence. Last Friday, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko (pictured with Russian President Vladimir Putin) was refused a visa on instructions from Washington, an unprecedented diplomatic snub. After a six-year propaganda campaign waged against Lukashenko by the west, he now stands isolated. (AFP file photo)...





NATO:  Like everything else with Warmonger Bush, its about making money

There is no question but that George Warmonger Bush is good for business.  If business and making profit was the only ethic, then George would be elected king of the world.

Forget morality.  Forget pollution.  Forget fostering a gigantic arms industry.  Forget global warming.  Forget human rights.  Forget justice.  Forget all non business ethics.

The world that George is creating is one that most people are not going to want to live in.  It is a world where survival of the fittest reigns.  It is a world where the gap between rich and poor increases.  It is a place where the majority of the world is economically enslaved.  It is a place where money and power gravitates to the few and misery and exploitation is foisted on the majority of the world's population.

The years that George Bush was president will go down in American history as our darkest hour.  They will go down in history as a time of major deterioration of the global environment and the exploitation of the world community under his New World Order of Imperialistic Capitalism under the guise of Democracy.  They will go down in history as the most shameful as a time when Americans forgot all their high ideals and invaded Iraq for 112 billion barrels of oil.

The only thing good about George that I can say is that he is honest.  He says America first.  He means America first.  If you ain't American then you are subject to exploitation.  The whole world is just a great big labor pool to George.  And with the greatest army the world has ever seen, George is the potential owner of any natural resource he wants.

It will take decades to undo the mess that George is creating politically, economically and environmentally.

John WorldPeace
November 24,  2002


The Prague racket

Nato is now a device to exert control and extract cash. Those who resist, like Belarus, are punished

John Laughland
Friday November 22, 2002
The Guardian

At the Nato summit in Prague this week, one man is notable by his absence. Last Friday, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus was refused a visa on instructions from Washington, an unprecedented diplomatic snub. After a six-year propaganda campaign waged against Lukashenko by the west, he now stands isolated. The EU is about to slap a travel ban on him and his ministers, like the one imposed against the Zimbabwean government. Meanwhile, some American politicians have started to refer to Belarus as part of the axis of evil.

The reasons given for the west's hostility towards Belarus are that Lukashenko is authoritarian and a "dictator". This is an odd charge, given that the losing candidates in last September's presidential elections conceded that the incumbent president had won more votes than them. It is also strange for the west to revile Lukashenko when it courts so assiduously President Putin, whose own election, like all those in Russia since 1991, was outrageously rigged.

Most of the charges levelled against Belarus are absurd. It is often claimed that people are beaten for speaking Belarusian; in fact it is the official state language and Lukashenko himself speaks it frequently. It is also alleged that Catholics and Jews are persecuted there. But the Catholic hierarchy was restored under Lukashenko and the Oxford Institute for Hebrew and Jewish Studies has just confirmed that the Jewish community in Belarus is flourishing. It is also stated repeatedly, without evidence, that Lukashenko has had his political opponents murdered: these claims persist in spite of the fact that one of his alleged victims was discovered alive and well and living in London.

The real reason why the west hates Lukashenko has nothing to do with concern for democracy or human rights. It is instead that, as a genuinely popular politician who has preserved his country from the worst ravages which economic reform has inflicted on its neighbours, Lukashenko is not given to taking orders. In this respect, he is unlike any of the other senior former communist officials currently hobnobbing in Prague. The west's friends in eastern Europe today have their hands firmly on the commanding heights of political control in their countries, just as in many cases they personally did under communist dictatorship.

The west prefers such people because the demands it makes on post-communist countries are so unpopular. All eastern European states are required to sell off their national economic assets to foreigners, and close down their agriculture by accepting the dumping of subsidised EU food imports. This creates massive social disruption and unemployment. In addition, they must spend at least 2% of their GDP on defence, preferably on arms made in the US.

Consequently, a small country like Lithuania, whose economy has collapsed so catastrophically, has just announced the purchase of $34m worth of Stinger missiles, made by the Raytheon Corporation of Tucson, Arizona. When Tanzania announced it was spending $40m on a new civilian air traffic control system, there was an outcry; but Lithuania, whose official GDP is not much larger than Tanzania's, will have to spend $240m on arms every year as the price for Nato membership. And Lithuania is just one of seven new member states, all of which are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on arms.

The economic interests driving Nato expansion are so blatant that the man who co-ordinates US policy on the matter practically has "military-industrial complex" as his middle name. Bruce Jackson, president of the US committee on Nato, is a former military intelligence officer in the US army who became vice-president of Lockheed Martin, the gigantic US arms manufacturer and biggest provider of financial control and accounting services to the Pentagon, from whose accounts trillions of dollars have disappeared.

Jackson left Lockheed Martin in August to take up his new full-time political job of "promoting democracy in a united Europe". But a good illustration of the economic agenda which is really behind Nato expansion was given when Jackson recently told Bulgaria that its membership of Nato would depend on it selling the national tobacco factory to the "right" foreign buyer.

Far from promoting democracy in eastern Europe, Washington is promoting a system of political and military control not unlike that once practised by the Soviet Union. Unlike that empire, which collapsed because the centre was weaker than the periphery, the new Nato is both a mechanism for extracting Danegeld from new member states for the benefit of the US arms industry, and also - ever since the promulgation of Nato's New Strategic Concept in April 1999 - an instrument for getting others to protect US interests around the world, including the supply of primary resources such as oil. It is, in short, a racket. Any state which refuses to play ball knows the consequences: the humiliating treatment meted out to President Lukashenko is simply intended pour encourager les autres.

John Laughland is a trustee of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group


How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?

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