Ilya Katz (Israel)-New Democratic Dialogue. Libex.Eu
ALLIANCE PARTNERS / What kind of "freedom" is NATO fighting for in Greece, Turkey and Portugal? What kind of "peace" was the US fighting for in Vietnam? NATO membership for nearly 25 years has disempowered Norway.

Last autumn, "Exercise Strong Express" brought together 65 soldiers from ten countries. The participants received a greeting letter from the NATO leadership, where it was emphasized that NATO fought for peace and freedom. Among the signatories was General Andrew J. Goodpaster, NATO's supreme military leader in Europe. Goodpaster came to NATO straight from a top position in the US Vietnam War.

What kind of "freedom" is NATO fighting for in Greece, Turkey and Portugal? What kind of "peace" was the US fighting for in Vietnam?

The amount of bombs corresponds to more than 100 kilograms of explosives for every person in Indo-China.

In Vietnam, the United States waged a protracted war against a poor peasant population. By supporting corrupt regimes in the South, the United States has opposed all just solutions. The amount of bombs corresponds to more than 100 kilograms of explosives for every person in Indo-China. Vietnam is an agricultural country, but today large areas are destroyed by bombing and the use of chemical agents of destruction. The napalm war has claimed tens of thousands of victims. The number of new-born, malformed children has increased sharply.

Today, the US's "peace effort" is deployed in Cambodia. Under the leadership of Prince Sihanouk, the country stayed out of the war, but three years ago the US helped a reactionary Lon Nol regime to power. Today, the progress of Cambodia's National Unity Front is met with American bombing, following the pattern of Vietnam and Laos.

It is the same people in Washington who make vital military decisions both for Indo-China and for Norway.


In Africa, NATO clearly shows its face in the fight against the African liberation movements. This was documented in detail at the large OAU/UN conference in Oslo in April. Without membership in NATO, it would be impossible for Portugal to wage its barbaric war in Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau.

Portugal receives supplies of weapons, aircraft and napalm from its allies, and Portuguese officers receive training within the framework of NATO's education and training system. Through the alliance, Portugal takes part in the development of new weapons systems, and such information is passed on to South Africa. When the Oslo conference adopted a clear statement about the participation of the major NATO parties in the repression, the Norwegian representative only received support from Turkey for a proposal to avoid mentioning our partners directly in the decision.

It is also the major NATO partners that profit the most from the fact that labor and mineral wealth are sucked out of southern Africa. Both Portugal and South Africa welcome investments from the USA, Great Britain, West Germany and France, and see this as a guarantee that the major companies' home countries will supply even more weapons to "defend their interests". Within NATO, there are also strong forces that want to expand the alliance's area to also cover southern Africa. In this way it will become even clearer that the "defence pact" is a pact for the defense of international capital interests, and that the opponent is all the peoples and movements that fight for national and social liberation.

NATO decides in Norway

During an EC discussion in the Storting in 1967, Finn Moe – then chairman of the foreign affairs committee – claimed that NATO membership meant the transfer of even more autonomy than EC membership.

Within NATO, there are strong forces that want to expand the alliance's area to also cover southern Africa.

In 1949, there was talk of a "pact between independent nations", but NATO quickly became a gigantic military apparatus, subordinate to the US's worldwide interests, and with an organizational structure that means submission to small nations.

Decisions on advanced defence, increasingly tighter integration also in peacetime, etc., followed one another in close succession. Coordination of emergency laws, surveillance, merchant fleet, communication facilities and weapons production were the next steps. As early as 1954, NATO decided to build its common defense on the use of nuclear weapons, and a few years later it was decided to station medium-range missiles and stores for nuclear charges in Europe. After this, Norwegian nuclear and base policy has been subordinated to the NATO strategy, but the truth about this has been kept hidden through art of formulation and indoctrination.

Through decisions in the NATO Council, rolling defense plans and long-term planning, vital decisions are made without democratic debate. In the book NATO base Norway (1973) Kari Enholm has documented how NATO membership over nearly 25 years has disempowered Norway, placed us as an exposed flank and subordinated Norway to superpower interests. A break with bloc politics is therefore a prerequisite for national self-determination and an active peace policy.

Military shut down

Norway's vulnerable position as NATO's northern flank imposes ever-increasing defense expenditure on our country. At the NATO defense ministers' meeting in Brussels last year, we received strong praise from the alliance's general secretary, Joseph Luns. Of NATO's member states, only the major powers the USA, West Germany and France spend more on the military per inhabitant than Norway.

For 1973, the amount is NOK 3,5 billion. Since 1961 there has been an increase of 300 per cent, and the rate of increase is ever faster. This has happened in a period where the de-escalation and rapprochement between the power blocs should have curbed spending. But the defense plans are drawn up among NATO's armament ideologues, and the Norwegian Parliament obediently follows suit.

"The defense billions for progress."

NOK 3,5 billion. It is an additional burden that ordinary wage earners have had to bear. Those who shout the loudest about increased public spending rarely mention the defense billions. A local community in Knaben is devastated when a company runs a loss of 6 million. That's less than a single fighter of the Starfighter type costs. The African liberation movements receive the same per year as half a day's military expenses. The Navy's training budget alone could provide 15 day home places. That's why the old SF slogan is more important than ever: "The defense billions for progress."

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