As the NATO Summit in Madrid gets underway on 29 June, its detractors are already in their thousands and thousands of people all over Spain and the world.
It is worth noting that Spain joined NATO in May 1982, a few years after the end of Franco’s dictatorship. According to the newspaper El País, only 18% of its citizens supported NATO, while 52% were against it and the remaining 30% had no opinion on the matter. And only in 1997 did it become part of the military structure of the Atlantic Alliance.
After NATO’s progressive weakening following its lethal interventions in the Balkan war and the Libyan conflict, it lacked an injection of FORCE to give strength and vigour to its discourse and action plan. This vitamin was provided by the conflict with Russia, which is raging in Ukraine.
All Western countries unanimously condemned Russia’s military intervention on Ukrainian soil, and caution had to prevail after Putin threatened to unleash a reaction like never before if the Alliance or any of its members dared to intervene in the conflict. Everyone read this as a clear allusion to unleashing a nuclear conflict, to which humanity reacted in horror as a dangerous, psychopathic monster. The fact is that the Russian leader wants to play the winner in this conflict and cannot afford, according to him, to have his former Soviet domain become part of the enemy, with military, and perhaps nuclear, bases included.
NATO, however, through its allies, including Spain, has sent initially very conventional weapons to Ukraine, but now increasingly powerful ones, to a country that is not a member of the Atlantic Alliance, but aspires to be a member of the European Union, and why not, in the near future, also a member of the Alliance to protect itself from Russia, its great threat, and not suffer the same fate as Crimea.
This clearly violates the principle of neutrality committed to by Ukraine in the Minsk agreements, but Ukraine did not believe in Russia’s reciprocity of non-intervention. This crisis of trust between Russia and Ukraine, between Ukraine and Russia, and reciprocally between Russia and NATO, has been cemented because the commitments made since the times of Gorbachev and Reagan, not to expand into Eastern Europe, towards the former Soviet socialist republics, have not been honoured, and as we all know, they are now part of the Atlantic force.
This set of mistrust and non-compliance unleashed the conflict, which has now been going on for four months with its aftermath of death and destruction, and it is uncertain whether it will end soon, or whether there will be much more bloodshed and cities razed to the ground.
We do not have to wait for the results of the Summit to guess the plan of action to follow, the historical background and recent statements by NATO and the European Union lead us to predict that the plan of action involves more military aid, more US military presence in Europe, tougher and more diverse condemnations and more armament and militarism for the allies. Already Pedro Sánchez, head of the Spanish government, has promised Joe Biden to increase the number of US destroyers in Rota (Cádiz) from two to four to six, apart from more military trials and training by Europeans, as announced by the UK for its troops.
This is the warlike, warmongering policy that knows no other way of relating internationally when other countries dare to develop another kind of political and social system of life that does not give way to the multinational investments that have colonised the entire planet. This is not the case with Russia, but it is the case with its policy of alliances with outlawed countries such as Iran, China, Venezuela or Cuba, or a bloc such as the BRICS, antagonistic to the economic interests of the neoliberal West.
This has been the case historically for millennia, during which various empires have fought over the planet’s natural resources, and in their decline have dragged large sectors of humanity to the collapse of barbaric warfare.
In this sense, the ruling class has not changed substantially, trust has not been strengthened, the competitive and nationalist spirit has not been loosened, and despite having multilateral organisations such as the United Nations, they have not been endowed with the attributes, competencies, authority or democratic spirit needed to consolidate a new world order based on justice and the necessary collaboration to remove them from the so many crises that threaten the world.
The conscientious world population is convinced that violence is not the way forward, that laying down arms and replacing them with dialogue and negotiation is what can and must overcome conflicts. But the rulers, deaf to the will of the people, persist in following the same dynamic that could lead us to the final disaster. There is no room for negotiation when geopolitical interests are stronger when global hegemony is more important than human beings themselves.
That is why all over the world these days in London and Berlin, but particularly here in Madrid, a gigantic march of 30,000 people filled several blocks through the streets of the city crying out for peace and sanity, against NATO’s warmongering and its obsolete way of conducting international relations. The March advanced through the whole city centre from Atocha to Plaza España, escorted and preceded by about twenty police vans, and numerous media, without any episode that altered its peaceful spirit, ending with a small musical artistic show in which a trans activist performed and sang spectacularly, just in the month of sexual diversity.
Many humanists participated in this March, and we said through their microphones and in front of an enthusiastic crowd, that violence is not the way, that the governments of the world must abandon their outdated way of resolving their conflicts through weapons and war that will lead humanity to its destruction, That all countries, including Spain, must sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), whose first Review Conference of States Parties has just been held in Vienna, the place from which we come. That citizens must demand of their parliamentarians who represent them that wars must end now, and that non-violence is the only FORCE capable of moving the world towards a future in peace and harmony.