The Guardian November 22, 2000


NATO instrument of imperialist power
A History of Aggression

by Werner Hoppe

It has been argued that the attack on Yugoslavia changed NATO from a 
defensive to an aggressive military alliance. In Germany, the Federal 
military forces are now being transformed from their original claim to 
serve a defensive purpose, to interventionist forces. The implication is 
two-fold: firstly, that there was a "Soviet threat", and secondly, that 
NATO pursues peace, because its goals are political, not military. These 
are erroneous and dangerous misconceptions.

Since its inception NATO has pursued the aggressive and expansionist goals 
of imperialism in its struggle against socialism, the international 
workers' movement, and the oppressed.

The strategic objective of "rolling back communism" was stamped on its 
birth certificate, and West Germany was given the task of forward line.

In 1969 Soviet Marshal Sokolovsky said: "The territory of West Germany is 
NATO's most thoroughly prepared forward line, with its broad network of 
airfields and missile bases, pipelines, repositories of nuclear and 
conventional weaponry, supply centres and so on." 

This concise outline was confirmed by tangible evidence, from the Alps to 
Felensburg, from Wilhelmshaven to the Rhoen.

The June 17 uprising in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in 
1953, Hungary 1965, the counter-revolutionary actions of "Solidarnosc" in 
Poland  none of these could have happened without NATO's diversionary 
activities.

The armies of the imperialist alliance which, in 1968, took up positions 
along the borders of Czechoslovakia, had other purposes than to help 
establish "democratic socialism".

There are numerous reports and documents from peace scouts  some of them 
directly from NATO Headquarters and classified "top secret"  which 
confirmed aggressive plans, including the use of nuclear weapons.

The distribution of dictionaries in Russian, Polish, Czech and Slovak to 
NATO officers is indicative of the direction the "defenders" intended to 
take.

The aggressive plans culminated in the installation, in the early 1980s, on 
the territory of West Germany of the Pershing-II nuclear-armed missiles, 
with a reach to the Urals. This finally brought about the capitulation of 
the Gorbachev clique.

Since 1989 numerous imperialist politicians, from Egon Bahr to Kissinger, 
have openly acknowledged the connection between "detente" and massive 
armaments, to suit Reagan's formula for the destruction of the "evil 
empire".

NATO and national liberation movements

Was NATO defensive towards the national liberation movements among 
oppressed colonial peoples?

Soon after NATO's inception there was the attack on the Korean people.

The colonial wars of NATO member France in Vietnam and Algeria sought to 
subjugate the anti-colonial and patriotic forces. The Korean war saw the 
participation of a number of NATO member countries, and France could not 
have sustained the dirty war in Indochina without NATO's assistance. 
Furthermore, the US aggression in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia benefited 
from NATO structures and forces, including the use of West Germany as its 
logistic "Hinterland".

The same happened in 1970, when Jordanian troops, equipped and advised by 
NATO, tried to break Palestinian resistance in "Black September". At NATO 
bases in Hesse and Palatinate, tanks and armoured vehicles were painted in 
desert camouflage colours.

The long drawn-out colonial war of the Portuguese fascists in Angola, 
Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau would have probably ended with the victory of 
the liberation army, had it not been for NATO support.

The Federal Republic of Germany, with its long-standing good relations with 
the fascist Salazar regime of Portugal since Hitler's days, had been 
allocated a key role by NATO.

This was the reason why, in 1969, a commando of the Portuguese resistance 
blew up one of the numerous speed-boats ordered by Salazar, in the port of 
Hamburg, at the military wharf of Blohm & Voss.

When, in 1981, the siege of the US embassy in Teheran was worsening, the 
West German military, and those of other NATO nations, began to secretly 
mobilise the reserves and issued code words.

Was NATO defensive against revolutionary and democratic forces of the 
working class in NATO member countries?

According to West Germany's then Attorney-General Dehler, the introduction 
of "lightning laws" which led to the persecution and jailing of tens of 
thousands of communists and anti-fascists, were nothing more than a 
"sacrifice of freedom for the war in Korea".

NATO diversionist and terrorist organisation "Gladio" has worked without 
scruples in every federal state and continues to do so.

Its range of operations included fascist conspiratorial plans and the 
bloody "strategy of tension" in Italy.

Even "neutral" Switzerland has integrated itself into this anti-people's 
program with its own conspiratorial "Gladio" group and has long 
participated in NATO staff exercises.

In April 1967 "Gladio" cadres, in conjunction with NATO command centres, 
prepared the fascist putsch of the "Black Colonels" in Greece.

In those days it was no secret that in the port of Hamburg dozens of NATO 
tanks were ready for shipment to Piraeus and Thessaloniki.

NATO was further involved in the Portuguese April revolution. At the time 
NATO navies patrolled the entrance to the port of Lisbon.

NATO was especially active in supporting military fascism in Turkey. Here 
was the planning centre for the putsch of 1971, and during the second putch 
in September 1980 a multinational NATO naval group was engaged in strategic 
manoeuvres ...

The fact is that the various fascist and similar regimes in countries such 
as Portugal and Greece until 1974, and Turkey until now, remain in full 
conformity with NATO and its claims of defending "freedom" and "human 
rights".

To complete the picture [it is noted that] NATO's agreements with all 
member countries include the secret additional clause that, in case of 
"internal disturbances", there are provisions for Brussels [NATO 
headquarters] to assume direct powers.

Already in 1952 the US State Department declared that "NATO exists in order 
to watch over the security of its member states, and security must be 
understood as a totality. Internal security is just as important as 
external security."

NATO has always been flexible in defining its treaty borders  sometimes 
they are in the South of Africa, sometimes in Vietnam. The new NATO 
strategy, formulated last year, blatantly and cynically discloses its 
aggressive character...

Without the restraining influence of socialism there is nothing to stop 
military adventurism, and the lie about some "threat" can now be dropped. 
The attack on Yugoslavia has shown the true nature of NATO, and its 
adherence to the maxim of imperialism: aggression internally and 
externally.

* * *
From Red Fox, publication of the Berlin North-East Group of the German Communist Party, kindly translated by Vera Butler

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