Because current survey results should always be treated with caution, let’s take one from the past first. In 2015, 58 percent of Germans said that Germany should not provide military assistance to the ally in the event of a “serious military conflict” between Russia and a neighboring NATO country. In other countries, too, the willingness to comply with the obligation to provide assistance specified in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty was not very high, but nowhere was skepticism towards NATO greater than in Germany.
There are good reasons for this loss of trust, and these are less to be found in the soul of the German Michel than in NATO’s transformation from a defense alliance in the Cold War era to an international intervention force. The attack on Yugoslavia in 1999, which violated international law, and which the Red-Green federal government wanted to give legitimacy to by summoning the Hitler specter, must be noted as the beginning of this change. And if you look at the results of this “liberation of Kosovo” today – and find little more than a gigantic US military base and a mafia state with drug trafficking – you shouldn’t be surprised that NATO’s reputation is not very good. This association is not about democracy/freedom/human rights, but about power, – and business interests – which the United States freely stated after the Yugoslavia war: It was about correcting Eisenhower’s strategic mistake at the end of World War II: establishment of a US base for the control of Eastern Europe. This “correction” has since continued with NATO’s expansion into many other Eastern European countries and is still in progress in Ukraine.
The fact that the majority of Germans in 2015 were no longer willing to assist this aggressive “defense alliance” has less to do with a lack of willingness to help or an excessive amount of cowardice than with a realistic assessment of the situation. A survey on whether NATO should not be disbanded and turned into a military alliance involving Russia and China would probably be absolutely viable for the majority. Especially since approval ratings for the North Atlantic Alliance have continued to decline – although two thirds of the Germans are still in favor of staying in NATO, approval has declined significantly in France, England and all other EU countries. And it will not increase if NATO is now participating in the largest US maneuver in Europe in 25 years, which is to be practiced under the name “US Defender Europe 2020” in the Baltic States, Poland and Georgia, and will simulate how to quickly deploy troops and transport heavy equipment across the Atlantic and across Europe to the Russian border. With the exercise, the Bundeswehr said, “the United States is making a clear commitment to the security of Europe”.
That this security is threatened from the east, from Russia, is the central narrative with which NATO justifies its existence and its ever-growing budget, which now amounts to 1,000 billion, 1 trillion, euros per year. The fact that French President Macron recently called this Moloch “brain dead” was not well received by some NATO members, but it is certainly true of the alliance founded in the Cold War: the enemy in the east, an “aggressive Russia”, is programmed into NATO’s DNA, without it its business model immediately breaks down. This is why the enemy has to be constantly summoned and hallucinated, even if he doesn’t exist or even offers disarmament and peace negotiations. These are a red cloth for the Moloch, because they mean lost sales – “security” and “peace” can only be achieved with more and more weapons.
59 years ago, in January 1961, US President Eisenhower spoke in his farewell speech about this Moloch, whom he called the “military industrial complex”:
“In government, we have to be careful in our thinking against the intrusion of unauthorized influences from the military-industrial complex, be it intentional or not. The danger of an ominous increase in unauthorized power exists and will continue. We cannot allow the weight of this combination to endanger our freedoms and democratic processes. We shouldn’t take anything for granted. Only a vigilant and knowledgeable citizen can ensure a balanced connection of the massive industrial and military defense machinery with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and freedom can thrive together.”
Eisenhower was a military man through and through and anything but a peacenik. How real the Moloch he warned of is more than half a century later – $ 900 billion a year in America alone must be sacrificed to him, 50 billion in Germany. And he demands more and more. And because he got more and more money and more and more power, the Moloch of the military-industrial complex also infiltrated politics and the media. Which successfully prevents a really “knowledgeable” citizenship because the Viet Cong /Taliban/Saddam/Putin villains are constantly being presented as a giant threat. Only this permanent alarmism keeps the Moloch alive. Who really wants security and freedom – peace! -, instead of sacrificing increasingly gigantic offerings to a brain-dead monster – should no longer be frightened by it.
This article was originally published in German on KenFM. You can find it here.