NATO Reform

Monday, February 28, 2005 3:04 AM

The only way to "reform" NATO is to disband it. Naturally, Washington continues to view NATO as "a tool"--to quote the retired German chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. That is the way NATO was set up after WWII--an enterprise run from Washington. Why change now? Just because the USSR is no more? The Warsaw Pact is gone, but NATO continues on. It makes no sense.

Perhaps NATO could be replaced by something called the European Union Defense Alliance. EUDA. Sounds good. Then Bush could reposition all U.S. troops currently stationed in Europe to his "neocon" wars of "freedom and democracy" in the Middle East. In so doing, Bush would be destroying not just the U.S. military, but the U.S. Treasury as well. Thanks to Bush or those controlling him, that's where America is headed in any case. Bring it on.

Schmidt silenced

By Bertrand Benoit and Hugh Williamson

February 28 2005

With so much diplomatic choreography going on [during President's Bush trip to Europe], there was one concession by chancellor Schröder that went utterly unnoticed: his decision to drop his controversial proposal that a panel of experts be appointed to examine Nato reform.

Aides to the chancellor say the idea is no longer "acute". While the Germans had made no official suggestions about the elder statesmen who should sit on the round table, the names of George Bush senior and Helmut Schmidt, the retired chancellor, had been bandied about.

Schmidt, the chain-smoking Social Democrat, certainly has much to say about Nato. In a recent newspaper column, he accused the US of "turning the alliance into a tool of its strategy in the Middle East", adding that Nato had no business spreading democracy around the world. Shame the round table was dropped. It could have been loads of fun.