“God Bless NATO!” “When we fight in wars, we have to fight as one” “Our light forces must Be more lethal” and so on…these three examples sum up the tone of the speech. President George Bush made his speech on his new ideas for the Pentagon in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was watching US navy exercises. He called his new approach “a new architecture for the defence of America and of our allies”. He did not specify where the attack was supposed to come from. “We do not know yet exactly what shape our military forces will have in future, but we do know which direction we are going to start to follow. On the ground, our heavy forces have to be lighter. Our light forces will have to be more lethal. In the air, we will be able to attack anywhere in the world with absolute precision, using aeroplanes or systems without crews (missiles)”. “We are going to modernise some weapons and equipment, something which was left for too long. We will do it judiciously and selectively…(with) new technologies which will support a new strategy”. Now we understand his obsession with the Strategic Defence Initiative. Given an umbrella at home and with belligerent talk like this “attack anywhere in the world”, exactly where – and how far - is this gentleman going? The discourse continues : “God Bless NATO! With the advance in technology, we can confront the dangers which come in a missile…We are going to co-operate in the task of peace. In diplomacy, in technology, in anti-missile defence, fighting in wars and above all, avoiding wars, we must work as one”. Here is a clear indication of the USA’s awareness that not all NATO countries support the SDI. France is openly against it. Germany is apparently not in favour and NATO is not as united as it once was. NATO’s behaviour in recent years has turned a substantial part of the populations in member countries against the organisation. One thing is certain – the US fighting machine has good equipment, money and manpower. Yet in virtually every conflict in which the US Armed Forces have entered since the Second World War, the result has seen them running. (We must not forget that in this conflict, the USA was substantially aided by Britain and Russia and that 90% of German soldiers killed, were killed on the Eastern Front). They ran away from Vietnam, they ran out of Lebanon, they ran away from Somalia. They bodged a rescue venture in Iran, they killed 90% of the British casualties in Iraq, they downed an Iranian passenger airliner and bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.(Sorry!) Even international terrorists like Osama Ben Ladan can outwit the NSA (National Security Agency). Before the bomb attacks against the US embassies in Dar-es-Salaam and Nairobi, in the 1990s, the NSA intercepted Ben Laden’s communications with the guerrillas who carried out the attacks – but did not manage to decode them. We now all know where we stand and the “niceties” in the brief silence before George Bush and Condoleeza Rice opened their hearts to the world have disappeared. We have a National Security Advisor who considers Russia as a threat, as we read in these pages on 11th February and a President who openly speaks about “attacking anywhere in the world”(sic) and “fighting in wars” while at the same time building himself a nuclear shield and talking about defending America and its allies.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON