CHICAGO NATO SUMMITRY AND PROTESTS May 23, 2012Posted by wmmbb in CENTRAL ASIA, Peace.
US citizens attempted to exercise their First Amendment rights in Chicago during the Nato gathering of leaders, which strangely included Australia.
In the new world order, we are often told geography no longer matters. Chancellor Merkel has been very unhappy with the ways things are going lately, not least the electoral judgements of the Europeans, and the French seem to have precipitated the exit of Nato from Afghanistan. The world order is breaking down, as appearances are maintained.
So why was Nato established – Noam Chomsky repeats past history?
There is the odd conjunction of Afghanistan and Nato. These things can be explained. It turns our we are partners in the Grand Scheme of global control and structural inequality maintained by violence.
ABC News reports:
NATO leaders have sealed a landmark agreement to hand over control to Afghanistan’s security forces by the middle of next year.
The deal on the mid-2013 handover target was sealed on the second day of a meeting of more than 50 world leaders, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard, in Chicago.
The summit also formally committed to a US-backed strategy to gradually withdraw foreign troops by 2014.
However some troops, including Australian special forces, are expected to remain in the country past that date.
Ms Gillard says Australian troops in Uruzgan province will begin the transition in the coming months, and says it will take between 12 and 18 months to complete.
The summit’s final communique ratified plans for NATO-led forces to hand over command of all combat missions to Afghan forces by the middle of next year and for the withdrawal of most of the 130,000 foreign troops by the end of 2014. The statement deemed it an “irreversible” transition to full security responsibility for fledgling Afghan troops, and said NATO’s mission in 2014 would shift to a training and advisory role. “This will not be a combat mission,” it said. (ABC/Reuters)
While Nato cannot declare victory after eleven years of sponsored murder in Afghanistan, it mercifully will partially withdraw from Afghanistan, without accepting responsibility or paying reparations. They intend to keep their murderers in Afghanistan and, although not expressly acknowledged keep on the killing vendetta with drones. In this light the Australian Government’s commitment to spend millions of dollars on a fictional national army in a fictional national state is simply deeply pathetic.
In a little commented upon sideshow the Pakistan President was among the gathering, but he was unable to seal the deal with the US, so that the Karachi access line remains closed.
Out in the streets, citizens were assembling, for the most part, peaceably and petitioning their Government. Overt violence is the ongoing in poorest areas of the city. That may in part explain the proneness of the CPD to respond with violence. Police wielding wooden batons, in a threatening fashion invariably lead to express violence, ensuring the protest was newsworthy for the reaction of a small number of protesters. The real purpose of the police menace was to deter citizens from protesting in the first place, and thus make democracy and the First Amendment irrelevant.
Before the gathering police presence moved in on the crowd, a distinctive group of protesters, veterans of the wars of aggression and occupation in the now forgotten and murderous Iraq “success” and the Afghanistan military “success” were on hand to engage in a moving symbolic protest. This was captured by Democracy Now:
Bernard Harcourt writing for The Guardian observed:
Most of the reporting of the demonstrations that met the summit will focus on the minor violence, on the few clashes between protesters and police, on the blood, on everything that happened after the peaceful march was over. In our sad world of spectacle, the pushing and shoving will be all that gets our attention. It is a pity.
Because what was truly remarkable today was the American servicewomen and men tossing their medals back at Nato. In a mixture of sadness, shame, anger, and pride, of trauma, sorrow, and pain, some looking back at their time in Iraq and Afghanistan, some healing from PTSD, others chanting Occupy slogans, these men and women showed a type of courage that the Nato leaders should have been forced to watch. Tragically, our leaders were busy posing for photo ops. They should have been forced to listen to these courageous men and women, to their veterans. It is their loss, ultimately.
Many of these men and women urged us to do something to set straight the havoc that we have wreaked in these various occupations. Some mentioned a memorial for the tens of thousands of civilians killed in Afghanistan or more than 100,000 civilians killed in Iraq. Others offered their apologies. Still others shared their pain, their torments, their nightmares. All of them spoke truth. Perhaps that was their greatest gift of peace.
If only the Nato leaders had listened.
Meanwhile the news cycle moves on. Journalism gets to the centre of every story. So the events of Chicago and the last hurrah of Nato will inevitably sink from consciousness, as for example the deranged US Army sergeant who was quickly removed out of Afghanistan after apparently murdering civilians at random . . .
- Stephen Walt, NATO’s Not Very Lofty Summit (Foreign Policy).
- Film maker produces stunning video of NATO protests, (Chicagoist)
- Inside Stories America, Can Nato Survive? (Al Jazeera)
- Allison Kilkenny, A Tale of Two NATO’s: Permitted Marchers met the Black Bloc (The Nation)
- Robert Grenier, The NATO Afghan summit: Reality and Illusion (Al Jazeera)
- Toronto protesters send message to NATO about Afghanistan (ctv.ca)
- US war veterans tossing medals back at Nato was a heroic act (mycatbirdseat.com)
- NATO Leaders Commit to Afghanistan Transition (voanews.com)
- The NATO Summit’s Biggest Losers (theatlanticwire.com)
- Obama to talk Afghanistan at NATO summit (marketwatch.com)
- Nato vows to stick by Afghans as they take control (dawn.com)
- NATO Chicago Summit: Protests, Bomb Plots … And Expanded NATO Missions (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- NATO summit agrees on 2013 Afghan handover (abc.net.au)
- NATO Protestors’ Message In Chicago Echoed In Denver (denver.cbslocal.com)
- Afghan exit is ‘fraught with peril for NATO’ – euronews (euronews.com)
- NATO Agrees to New Timeline for Afghanistan (news.firedoglake.com)
- NATO to pull out most troops by end of 2014 – Xinhua (news.xinhuanet.com)
- Gillard pledges millions for Afghanistan’s future (abc.net.au)
- Afghanistan deadline splits NATO members (smh.com.au)
- NATO Continues Plans for Missile Defense (voanews.com)
- Grading Obama’s NATO Summit Performance (usnews.com)
- Harper pledges money for Afghanistan as NATO leaders affirm 2014 withdrawal (macleans.ca)
- Kucinich: “NATO Talks a Sham: War in Afghanistan is Not Ending” (weeklyintercept.blogspot.com)
- Chicago NATO Summit focuses on Afghanistan (suntimes.com)
- Obama: NATO shifting to help peace in Afghanistan – Boston.com (boston.com)
- Kucinich: “NATO Talks a Sham: War in Afghanistan is Not Ending” (occupyblogosphere.wordpress.com)
- For Public Consumption: NATO ‘Pullout’ Won’t Actually Remove Troops From Afghanistan (news.antiwar.com)