- PHOENIX - After months of ducking a controversial issue, the U.S. Senate
has finally picked up the NATO hot potato - a proposed eastward expansion
of the western military alliance to include Hungary, the Czech Republic
and Poland. The reason that NATO has become the hottest potato on the Hill
is that the vote, expected later this week, promises to reveal where the
Senators real loyalties lie. Is it with the arms contractors who threw
cash into their campaigns? Or with the people who sent the Senators to
Washington? If the vote goes as expected and the NATO expansion is approved,
not only will it help stoke the embers of Cold War II, but it will mean
that more taxpayers' money will end up in the U.S. death merchants' pockets.
- "If all goes according to their
marketing scam, the Russians will soon be eyeballing General Dynamic tanks,
Boeing F-18s, Lockheed F-16s and McDonnell Douglas C-17s, doing the Cold
War jig just inches away from Mother Russia's sacred turf," writes
Col. David Hackworth, America's most decorated living soldier, in his weekly
column earlier this month. "Bill Clinton and most Democrat and Republican
porkers in Congress are right behind NATO expansion. The $33 million dollars
that defense contractors have pushed their way in campaign contributions
since 1990 has helped sharpen their thinking. Last year, one company alone,
Loral Space and Communications -- owned in part by Lockheed Martin - gave
the Democrats a juicy $366,000."
- Just how well the Senators' thinking
has been sharpened, and how thoroughly their wheels have been greased,
became apparent in yesterday's vote on Senator Tom Harkin's (D-IA) amendment
to limit the cost of the NATO expansion to the American taxpayers. His
amendment was soundly defeated in a 76-24 vote. [At the end of this Bulletin,
you can see the list of the 76 Senators who voted against the U.S. taxpayers'
- What's at stake, of course, is tens of
billions of dollars which the three new countries will have to spend on
American-made arms and equipment so as to become compatible with the NATO
standards. "Poland alone may buy up to 150 fighters at around $40
million a pop," Col. Hackworth estimates. "And somewhere down
the muddy track, 14 other former Soviet bloc countries could become NATO-ized
with tanks, radios and aircraft, all, if the contractors have their way,
made in the good ol' United States of America."
- This is the reason some Eastern European
military experts are also balking at the expansion. Josef Pawelec, for
example, a retired Polish colonel and a former member of that country's
Parliament, wrote in a June 1997 issue of the Executive Intelligence Review:
"For those who (can) think (for themselves), the process of NATO
expansion is either an idea coming from the devil himself, or from an intelligent
spy or a traitor. That is because it is difficult to find a rational explanation
for it under present peacetime conditions in the region." (see TiM
GW Bulletin 97/6-5, 6/13/97).
- The reason?
- "The Rand Corp. estimated that including
the Visegrad group (Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic) in NATO will
require over $100 billion in additional costs. This is unquestionable.
We have experience in this matter from the Warsaw Pact. We will have
to standardize, that is, exchange, practically all the equipment in all
the armies of the new member (calibers, codes, and other systems of the
Warsaw Pact countries are totally different from those of NATO).
- The chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed
Services Committee announced on Polish television that our defense budget
will be determined by NATO according to the needs of the NATO alliance.
We know these needs. For example, France,s (military) budget is 250 billion
francs (about $50 billion). Taking only one-tenth of this amount, we need
15 billion zloty, which means two times more than we are spending now."
- And then, there is just as ticklish a
question... Even if the "Poles et. al." collectively decided
that doubling their defense budget was a good idea, do they have the money?
"Can they afford to bear the burden or not?" Harkin asked on
the Senate floor yesterday. "We've been told they can. Now I'm hearing,
well, maybe they can't, we'll have to give them subsidies for weapons.
If that's the case, do they have the economic strength to join NATO?"
- Of course, not. But as Col. Hackworth
notes: "No sweat. The arms gang has set up a US-backed loan program
with their porker pals in Congress. Of course, American taxpayers will
guarantee it." And, of course, Wall Street will fund it. Once that
happens, the formerly free and sovereign Eastern European nations will
become the financial slaves of the New World Order, just as surely as the
Southeast Asian countries did, when they took the Wall Street money. So
the former Soviet-East Side Gang's dominions will have become the Wall
Street-West Side Gang's minions. New masters, new chains, same old slavery...
- As for the U.S. taxpayers, should any
of the loans turn bad, we will be asked to bail out Wall Street bankers,
just as we did in Mexico and Southeast Asia. After all, our government
will have guaranteed those loans, as Col. Hackworth predicted. As if this
country's $6 trillion debt and the $300 billion-plus interest payments
weren't burdensome enough already even without the NATO expansion!
- Get the idea? More money spent by taxpayers;
more money made by Big Business and Wall Street. The NATO expansion is,
therefore, simply a new tactic in the old New World Order elite's PERPETUAL
WAR FOR PERPETUAL COMMERCE strategy (also see TiM GW Bulletin 98/2-4, 2/1798).
And the proof of it is yesterday's 76-24 Senate vote.
- GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES
- Besides the economic issues, there are,
of course, serious geopolitical ramifications of the proposed NATO expansion.
The Russians don't like the NATO encroachment closer to their borders,
and have let it be known in no uncertain terms. "Wait till Russia
growls again and the race -- arms race, that is - takes off like a Montana
grizzly bear after a fat New York City tourist," Col. Hackworth predicted
- No sooner was the ink dry on his column,
when Russia confirmed that it would deliver this summer $200 million-worth
of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Cyprus, the U.S. objections to it notwithstanding
(see today's, Apr. 29, front page New York Times story, "Greek Cypriots
to Get Missiles from Russians"). The missiles have sufficient range
to strike at the aircraft over Turkey, not just around Cyprus.
- So as the U.S. is rattling its sabers
in the northeast, Russia is quietly driving a wedge between the two NATO
members in the southeast of Europe. A new war between Greece and Turkey,
which some pundits think is inevitable in the next few years, may be the
start of NATO's unraveling, as its members line up between either Turkey
or Greece (the U.S. behind Turkey; most Europeans behind Greece). In other
words, the current U.S. European policy is self-destructive, and may end
up being suicidal.
- A New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman,
seems to agree. He argued in his Feb. 17 piece that, "stemming the
weapons proliferation should be the centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy."
But isn't. Which is why he criticized Madeleine Albright for being inconsistent
- on one hand threatening to expand NATO into the Baltics, on the other
hand complaining about Russia not going along with the then proposed U.S.
bombing of Iraq.
- Such an arrogant, confrontational and
antagonistic State Department policy vis-a-vis Russia is practically pushing
this nuclear power into the hands of the sworn U.S. enemies. Not just
Iraq, but also Iran. And why shouldn't the Russians play tit-for-tat with
us over Iran and Iraq especially when a "shoot first, aim later"-Secretary
is in charge of the Foggy Bottom?
- While our Secretary of State was still
the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., she reportedly confronted the then Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell, chiding him - (paraphrasing):
"What good is it having the most powerful military in the world if
you don't use it?" That's like saying - "what good is it owning
a gun if you don't kill people with it?"
- But the Secretary of State, whom some
have dubbed "Madeleine Halfbright," is "Mrs. Fullbright"
when it comes to knowing what side her bread is buttered on. And who her
and Bill Clinton's real bosses are - the Wall Street bankers and the U.S.
death merchants. Her policies may not make sense to people who seek real
peace and fairness. But this Secretary of Hate is performing at the A+
level if the ultimate goal is "PERPETUAL WAR FOR PERPETUAL COMMERCE."
(see TiM GW Bulletin 98/2-4, 2/17/98).
- As if trying to confirm her Halfbright
epithet, Albright wrote an OpEd piece which today's New York Times published
under the headline, "Stop Worrying About Russia." The Secretary
of State basically said "tough luck" to the Russians, arrogantly
asserting the U.S./NATO right to move in on the former Soviet minions.
"If we want Russia to complete its transformation into a modern European
power, the last thing we should do is to act as if Central Europe is still
a Russian sphere of influence," Albright argued.
- But what if the Russians don't think
that being "modern" is such a cool idea? What if they see the
moral and political corruption in the West and say, "Yukh! Who'd
want that?" All the Russians need to do is look around and see the
devastation upon their culture and lifestyles which the western "reformers"
have wreaked in just a few short years (see "Privatizing Russia: Financial
Crime of the Century?", TiM GW Bulletin 98/3-8, 3/24/98).
- Furthermore, if the three Eastern European
countries which the U.S. government if pushing for admission to NATO are
indeed so "modern," how come the European Union hasn't admitted
them as members? Are we trying to be more European than the Europeans?
Or (super)impose our will on them? And if the latter is the case, you
don't think that even our most loyal western allies will eventually resent
it, notwithstanding what they say or don't say in public? After all, they
have their own death merchants.
- Some, not many, senators seem to understand
all that. Robert Smith (R-NH), for example, argued that, "with or
without NATO, the United States can come to the defense of any European
nation next week, tomorrow, next year or five years from now. Should Europe
ever be threatened by Russia, or by anybody else, we can expand NATO. We
can do it quickly." He continued: "But there is a lot to lose
and very little to gain by expanding NATO now. We basically say to Russia:
'Don't worry about it. Don't worry about NATO expansion. It is O.K. It
is a defensive alliance.'
- But it does not matter what we say. It
matters what the Russians think. They have stated clearly and officially
they oppose expansion. It has been said by others on the floor, and I agree
that we should not set our foreign policy based on what the Russians say,
I will be the first to admit that, but we ought to realize there is a lot
going on inside Russia and there is no threat to these nations from Russia.
- So tell me what the threat is. Tell me
what the urgency is. There is no urgency. There is no threat. It is an
emotional feel-good thing to do. They earned it. They are free. Let us
put them under the umbrella of NATO and protect them. From what? We are
still going to go to their defense if anything threatens them. Every person
in the Senate knows it. The most important requirement for the Poles, the
Czechs and the Hungarians as far as their security is concerned is that
America and Russia remain friends. That is the protection these nations
need, that Russia and America become friends and remain friends..."
- At which point, Senator John Warner (R-VA),
interjected: "Mr. President, will the Senator allow me to observe
that the American taxpayers, since 1992, have contributed $2.6 billion
in the spirit of that friendship to help Russia dismantle its weapons systems?
And here this comes along and takes a red-hot poker and jams it right in
- Whose? The Russians or the U.S. taxpayers?
- "It sure does," Sen. Smith
agreed. "The Senator knows that. He knows the Senator has worked
on this issue tirelessly in the Armed Forces Committee and has visited
Russia to see this. I don't think anybody could deny that in the very near
future Russia is going to be one of the, if not the, strongest nations
in that region of the world. The question is whose side is it going to
be on? Is it going to be on the Iranians' side? Is it going to be an alliance
with the Chinese Communists? Or is it going to be on our side? If it is
on our side, why will the Poles care or the Czechs or the Hungarians or
anybody else? The point is they wouldn't.
- What we ought to be doing again is keeping
the window open, using the advantages that we have to draw that out, to
draw them this way. Senator Warner has mentioned how they have reached
out to do that. We are taking down tremendous numbers of weapons that have
been aimed at the United States for decades.
- But extending an alliance, which during
the cold war the Soviet Union considered hostile, the countries that she
doesn't threaten is basically kicking this former giant, like the Senator
from Virginia said, poking them in the ribs... That is exactly what we
- God knows. I have stood on this floor
many times and in the House Chamber before that and extolled the virtues
of the United States against the Cold War, the Soviet Union, and voted
trillions to defeat it. But let's not walk away from the victory. Let's
not walk away from the victory. History shows that it is unwise to treat
nations like that, and it is highly dangerous for countries in the middle,
because these are the countries that are going to suffer if there is a
confrontation that takes place between the United States and Russia again.
It is the nations in the middle in Eastern Europe that are going to get
the squeeze. That is where it is going to be fought. Those are the people
who are going to suffer."
- Hear, hear! So now that you know that,
maybe you should let those among the 76 who are from your state have a
piece of your mind, especially as this was only a vote on an amendment,
rather than the final vote. What we do now may help minimize regrets later.
Don't let "the porkers" drop the NATO hot potato!
- APPENDIX - U.S. SENATE VOTE ON THE HARKIN
- April 28, 1998, 2:54 PM - TREATY NO.:
Treaty 105-36 TITLE: Harkin Amdt. No.2312 - REQUIRED FOR MAJORITY: 1/2
RESULT: Amendment Rejected
- Ashcroft Graham
- Baucus Harkin
- Bond Hutchinson
- Bumpers Jeffords
- Byrd Johnson
- Conrad Kempthorne
- Dorgan Kohl
- Feingold Leahy
- Abraham Faircloth
- Akaka Feinstein
- Allard Ford
- Bennett Frist
- Biden Glenn
- Bingaman Gorton
- Boxer Gramm
- Breaux Grams
- Brownback Grassley
- Bryan Gregg
- Burns Hagel
- Campbell Hatch
- Chafee Helms
- Cleland Hollings
- Coats Hutchison
- Cochran Inhofe
- Collins Inouye
- Coverdell Kennedy
- D'Amato Kerry
- Daschle Kyl
- DeWine Landrieu
- Dodd Lautenberg
- Domenici Levin
- Durbin Lieberman
- Bob Djurdjevic
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