Challenging the New Cold War

As NATO plans for a new Cold War, some Western dissidents are questioning the scare-mongering about Russia and the rationale for this expensive and dangerous revival, write Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater.

By Medea Benjamin and Alice Slater

Donald Trump angered the D.C. establishment when he said that NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance, may be obsolete and the U.S. should reassess its spending on the alliance. Hillary Clinton has used Trump’s comments as another example that he is a dangerous, loose cannon. But Trump has brought up an issue worth exploring and this month, amid NATO’s Annual Summit in Warsaw, Poland, is an excellent opportunity to do so.

Formed in the  early years of the Cold War, 1949, with the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, U.K., Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, and France, by 1952 this post-WWII alliance included Greece and Turkey, and had rejected the Soviet Union’s request to join.

A scene from "Dr. Strangelove," in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

A scene from “Dr. Strangelove,” in which the bomber pilot (played by actor Slim Pickens) rides a nuclear bomb to its target in the Soviet Union.

In 1956, when West Germany was admitted to NATO membership, the USSR formed the Warsaw Pact in response and the Cold War was then on, full-blown. Missiles and nuclear weapons from each side pointed menacingly at each other, with the United States parking nuclear weapons in five NATO countries (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Turkey), where they remain to this day. NATO doctrine provides that nuclear weapons will be used if necessary, at will, on behalf of all its members.

After the Berlin wall fell in 1989 and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev miraculously let go of all the Soviet-occupied Eastern European countries, dissolving the Warsaw Pact without a shot, the U.S. promised Gorbachev that if he didn’t object to East Germany’s inclusion in NATO, we would never expand NATO further eastward. Russia had lost 27 million people to the Nazi onslaught during World War II and had good cause to fear a military alliance on its borders.

Despite U.S. assurances to Gorbachev, today NATO has expanded to include 12 new countries in eastern and central Europe, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Croatia. NATO now extends right up to Russia’s border, and has even been discussing membership with Georgia and the Ukraine.

One can only imagine what the response would be in the United States if Russia were to invite Canada and Mexico into its military alliance. Let us not forget how close we came to war when the Soviet Union put missiles in Cuba. And part of the deal President Kennedy made with President Khrushchev for their removal was to take U.S. missiles out of Turkey.

Although NATO took no military action during the Cold War, during the first Gulf War it deployed forces for the first time, and then acted unlawfully when it bombed Yugoslavia without UN authorization. The UN Charter, devoted to preventing “the scourge of war,” allows nations to the use force only in self-defense when under threat of imminent attack, or when authorized by the Security Council, neither of which had occurred when NATO bombed Yugoslavia in the 1999 Kosovo war. Since then NATO has taken part in many military actions, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. But this year it has been particularly aggressive and provocative, conducting massive military maneuvers on Russia’s borders.

It is totally unacceptable to be taking these provocative measures when the U.S. and Russia have nearly 2,000 nuclear warheads on hair trigger alert, loaded on missiles, submarines and airplanes, poised and ready to fire in minutes. Next year, the Pentagon plans to quadruple military spending in Europe to $3.4 billion and begin rotating an armored brigade through Eastern Europe — in addition to extra NATO forces to be deployed to Poland and the Baltics. The U.S., the main force behind NATO, is already in a deadly proxy war in eastern Ukraine.

In June, NATO launched the largest war games since the Cold War, involving hundreds of tanks and jets, as well as 31,000 troops from 24 countries. The war games in Poland included air-ground assaults and electronic warfare scenarios. Airborne units, infantrymen, medics, military police and aviation units have operated jointly throughout the exercise, which culminated in a massive live-fire event led by the U.S. military. A naval exercise involving NATO forces has just begun in Finland. Meanwhile, there is an ongoing “Saber Strike” operation in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

One can only wonder how, 25 years after the end of the Cold War, we find ourselves rattling our sabers, nuclear and conventional, in this untenable dilemma. Surely President Eisenhower’s prescient warning way back in 1961 that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex” is a potent warning for today, more than half a century later.

The time has come to spread the word about the dangerous mischief NATO is causing on Russia’s border. With the recent breakup of the old paradigm after the U.K. just voted to leave the European Union, there may be a new opening for change. It has been reported that Germany and France have been talking about ending the sanctions on Russia imposed after the Ukraine events and are now recommending a less aggressive posture for NATO.

America too, could do its share to make good on the U.N. promise to “end the scourge of war” by ratcheting down the hostilities towards Russia and working for the abolition of NATO.  You don’t have to be a Donald Trump supporter to recognize that it is time to rethink NATO

Medea Benjamin is the cofounder of the peace group CODEPINK. Alice Slater is the New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. [This article previously appeared in The Hill newspaper.]

11 comments for “Challenging the New Cold War

  1. Anonymous
    July 10, 2016 at 10:19

    There are things that we have learned from the Corrupt handling of Criminal case of Espionage and Treason that Hillary Clinton committed and was not Indicted with, and this is because she had Accomplices.

    The things that the FBI has learned Much earlier than what we have learned are Evident after the Irrefutable Facts are looked at, and after the dots are connected, and the FBI has become in a long line of Clinton Accomplices, and this may be because of what the FBI discovered during their long and thorough Investigation, but the FBI has Known of Human Nature the Unsustainable Condition of the Planet’s Environment for a long time, and this is the Key to Understanding the Obvious Connecting of the Dots.

    We Know that Hillary Clinton allowed a Uranium Mine to be Sold to foreigners, while she was Secretary of State, and that Fact could Not be concealed, but the Real Motive for the Sale of that Uranium Mine to foreigners had to been concealed, and made to look like it was Money, because Hillary Clinton may not be elected President, or the Election Cannot be Rigged to make Hillary Clinton President.

    The Clinton Foundation received a Bribe for that Uranium Mine, and the Clintons and their Accomplices want People to think that the Real Motive was for Money.

    This is why the Clintons Schemed an Investigation into what is better referred to as Hillary Clinton’s Private Clandestine Email Server, and Hillary Clinton Schemed the Benghazi matter so that Knowledge of her Private Clandestine Email Server could become Known, so that it appears that her Corruptions was because of Money, even though the Big Banks who she works for could Print All of the Money the Clintons wanted out of thin air, and so Money is Not the Real Motive, and this comment reveals the Real Motive.

    We will see why certain Clinton Accomplices in the American Mainstream Media have this Unnatural Bias for the Clintons and for other Clintonite Corruptocrats, who are also known as Democrats.

    These People have More Human Nature than the average American, and Human Nature says that Most People of Any Race Will look after Themselves before they look after others, and this is the case even in the Most Favorable of circumstances, but it is even more Evident under the Clinton Controlled Democratic Party.

    Many Americans think that the FBI was ordered to act Corruptly by not recommending Criminal Charges against an Obviously Guilty Hillary Clinton who is Guilty of Espionage and Treason against America.

    We know that there was a recent meeting between Bill Clinton and the Attorney General on a Private plane, where their Conversations could be kept Secret between them.

    This is how the FBI was told not to follow the Law with regards to Hillary Clinton, and that meeting of Bill Clinton and the Attorney General was Not a chance meeting, but it was a meeting by Appointment, and Only the intellectually challenged would think otherwise.

    The FBI and the Department of Justice and the Department of State and the White House have Known these things for some time and the Elaborate Cover Up was Methodically Schemed years ago.

    We have heard that America has Star Wars technology and Missile Shields to protect America against Nuclear Missiles from other Countries, and I do not know if that is the case, but if there was a WW 3, then the last thing that Hillary Clinton and the other Clintonites who include the Corrupt Journalists and those who have a Nuclear Shelter would want is for those missile shields to work during WW 3.

    This is because the Radiation would reach those Americans who do not have Nuclear Shelters, and they would go looking for those Americans who have Nuclear Shelters, and they would find them, and it would Not be pretty for those in their Nuclear Shelters.

    This is why those who began WW 3 Need All Americans, Canadians, and Mexicans who do Not have a Nuclear Shelter to Die and to Die Quickly, so that they Cannot come looking after those in their Nuclear Shelters.

    This is why the Clintons and the Clintonites want foreigners to have Uranium, so that they can build more Nuclear Weapons to Kill All of those on the Northern American Continent who do Not have Nuclear Shelters.

    Bill Clinton and the Attorney General had a Correspondence where People could Not record or read their Correspondence, and the Attorney General told Bill Clinton that certain People in the FBI may also want a place in a Nuclear Shelter.

    The Attorney General Confirmed to Bill Clinton that these People would Act Corruptly and help Hillary Clinton become President, where the Election would be Rigged to have Hillary Clinton Usurp the Presidency, even as Hillary Clinton Rigged the Democratic Primaries, and we will see what Senator Sanders says at the Democratic Party Convention, because Senator Sanders would have had a Majority of Delegates with Only the Pledged Delegates if the Democratic Primaries had Not been Rigged along with Dirty Tricks and Wide Spread and Systematic Election Fraud.

    The FBI used Many Lawyers’ Parsing of words, along with using Lies and other Corruptions, because it is up to the Department of Justice to Indict, but the process was Corrupted to say that FBI had to recommend Indictments, whereas, it is the FBI that informs the Department of Justice of Crimes that were Committed, and it is up to the Department of Justice and the Attorney General that recommends Indictments, and the FBI said that anyone else who did what Hillary Clinton did would lose their Security Clearance and be Prosecuted.

    The thing that the Clintonite Corruptocrats, the Corrupt Government Officials, along with Biased Corrupt Lying Journalists and some American Celebrities want from the Clintons is Information on when they need to be in their highly provisioned Nuclear Shelters at .

    We Know that if Hillary Clinton were to be elected President then it would be because of Vote Rigging, and that Hillary Clinton would be so Unpopular that she will Not be able to be reelected even with the World Greatest Vote Rigging, Dirty Tricks, and Election Fraud, and Lies from Corrupt Journalists.

    Hillary Clinton would either not seek reelection as President, or she will make WW 3 so that she will be able to Know when WW 3 will be so that the Clintons can Safely be in the Presidential Nuclear Shelter or their own Private Clinton Foundation Funded Nuclear Shelter, rather than to be caught Unaware because they were Holidaying somewhere, and the Clintons could Not make it to their Nuclear Shelter in time, and they would have to Perish, and where their Nuclear Shelter has Decades of supplies, which for the Clintons importantly includes Drugs and Alcohol.

    People can do their own Research on the matters of Clinton and Cocaine, and then they will then be better able to Understand these things.

    There are People who think that Senator Sanders should Demand that the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination be given to him, after the FBI Indicted itself over Hillary Clinton Espionage and Treason, or he will tell his supporters to Vote for the Green Party, or for Not Voting on Election Day, or to Vote for Anyone But Clinton.

    Educated or Experienced Americans on the Left Know that if they want a Political Revolution, then they Need their own Political Party, or they need Never to Vote until that happens, but the Green Party is there for some of them to Vote for.

    Senator Sanders has Acted as a Clintonite Corruptocrat regardless of what he says are his Policies, and Actions speak Louder than words, because long ago he should have had as his beginning point and his end point that it is Unconscionable for Hillary Clinton to be President, and that there is No more to say on that, and that he Cannot endorse Hillary Clinton to the Highest and Most Responsible Office under any circumstances.

    Senator Sanders Knows of the suffering that Clintons have put on Americans because of NAFTA and of Accepting Prison lobbyists Money, and those who think that suffering will be alleviated in America because of Hillary Clinton wanting to make Tertiary Education Free, then she is Lying on that and Many other things, and People who want a Decent America should Not Vote for Corrupt Untrustworthy Politicians like Hillary Clinton.

    Senator Sanders Knows that the Lying Hillary Clinton Lies to have access to the Presidential Nuclear Bunker, and Senator Sanders Knows there is one Law for the People and another for the Clintons, and Senator Sanders and his Family may have a place in a Nuclear Shelter, and the Clintonites will need to Know what time they will Need to be in their Nuclear Shelters, and Only Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton would Know that, if they were to became Co Presidents again.

    The Democratic Party Superdelegates that can give Senator Sanders the cover to make it look like he did not deliberately work against the Clintons, however, the Democratic Party Superdelegates also have places in Nuclear Shelters, and they Know that they Need Hillary Clinton to be President, because the Republican Presidential nominee has been among those who has spoken against Hillary Clinton’s Corrupt Clandestine Email Server, and her other Crimes and Corruptions, and the Republican Presidential nominee wants less to do with NATO, because the Clintonites want to use NATO to begin WW 3.

    This is because ordinary People who vote for Hillary Clinton are voting for their own deaths.

    This is why there are People who think that Nuclear Shelters should be banned in America, and that there should be Public Funding for Elections in America, and Only Recyclable Paper Ballots used for Elections.

    Many People commented on Hillary Clinton’s Cackle, and the Clintonites who monitor the Internet, have recently told her to try to conceal her true Character, and she has stopped Cackling in Public, and she Only Cackles in Private, and this is shown in the Video Tiled: Hillary Clinton Evil Laugh Compilation (UNCENSORED) at , and we see in that Video where a woman goes into a Cellar while she is Cackling, and People think that this is how the Clintonites and Hillary Clinton would Cackle if Hillary Clinton went to the Presidential Nuclear Shelter as President of America.

    There are Many Americans who think that the Patriotic Whistleblower Edward Snowden, should be Pardoned after the Corrupt Manipulations of Hillary Clinton’s Clandestine Private Email Server, and that there should Not be any charges against the Innocent Journalist Julian Assange, and Many Americans Know that the Clintonites Will try their Best to Rig the next American Election.

  2. Bill Bodden
    July 9, 2016 at 16:01

    The Supreme Court did Gore in, not Raplh Nader.

    Actually, Gore did Gore in before the right wing of the supreme (?) court gave him the coup de grace. I was prepared to vote for Gore as the lesser evil based on what I perceived in the Bush/Cheney ticket, but I inevitably became disgusted with his blatant phoniness and switched to Ralph Nader. Apparently, others had similar reactions. The final blow as far as I was concerned with Gore came when he tried to sell little Elian Gonzales down the Miami River to get the Cuban/Bay of Pigs vote. As for not getting a war on Iraq such as Bush/Cheney gave us, that could not be ruled out with Gore pandering to the Israel Lobby and having Joe Lieberman (Dem. – Israel First and CT) as his VP.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 9, 2016 at 16:11

      You won’t believe who I voted for. The only thing I can say that made sense at that time, was the Steel Workers also campaigned for George W. Bush. I throughly got caught up In the moment, with his compassionate conservative lie. It wasn’t long after W. took office, and he came to thank the Steel Workers, and shortly after he left the cookout, and he said his hands were tied towards imposing any tariffs against import steel. The rest is history. Clinton was bad for industrial businesses, and Gore felt the blowback from those Clinton policies.

  3. Bill Bodden
    July 9, 2016 at 13:37

    Want a woman to be our next president? One that we can be justifiably proud of? We have a choice of two exemplary citizens: Medea Benjamin and Jill Stein. Make them your write-ins in lieu of “none of the above” – One for president, the other for vice president.

    Unfortunately, America will most likely get what it deserves – Hillary Clinton and some pathetic lackey designated by the un-Democratic Party’s oligarchy on behalf of the ruling plutocracy.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 9, 2016 at 14:02

      Bill, see the attachment I left here. It looks like Jill Stein formally invited Bernie over to be the Green Party presidential candidate. I sort of doubt he will accept, plus I think Jill should remain in the presidential slot, and Sanders as her VP, or in a practical way which I think would be better would be to have Bernie as Jill’s Chief of Staff. I just wish that Jill Stein could get some publicity, and get her candidacy known, because once known she would be a suitable rival to anyone she would run up against. Oh, I don’t want anyone to throw that Nader meme around, because it’s bogus. The Supreme Court did Gore in, not Raplh Nader.

  4. Bart
    July 9, 2016 at 13:32

    Last night the News Hour shocked me by interviewing Dimitri Simes who was allowed this quote:

    “If we would discover that there would be Russian troops in Mexico, I wonder how many American politicians and indeed American people would that think this is an acceptable situation.”

    This being the first time I have seen the MSM wade into “shoe on the other foot” waters with respect to NATO encroachment.

  5. Brad Owen
    July 9, 2016 at 12:44

    The time for big Paradigm-shifting changes is near at hand, and it’s stupid for us Americans to just drift along as if the Cold War, the USSR, and the Warsaw Pact never ended. NATO should be dissolved. The European Continental Countries should fully embrace the Russian Federation and become one Bloc. We should, in an effort to woo the U.K. away from a Chinese financial Alliance that might pursue reckless adventuring, seek permission to join the UK’s CommonWealth and renew our allegiance to the Crown (bow and “Kiss The Ring”), and, along with Canada, Australia, and NZ, form the CommonWealth Bloc. The Asian World is already coalescing into a Bloc. Ibero-America and Pan-Africa are the 4th and 5th Blocs. All Blocs should come under the U.N. umbrella. The U.N. Headquarters should be relocated to a Neutral District that encompasses the Middle East (Palestine, 1947 Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, in a Six Nations Confederation [a nod to one of our political tutors; the Iroquois] comprising the Neutral District) the five Blocs guaranteeing all of the aid and development necessary to remove all conflicting interests, fully developing and “greening” the Neutral District so as to become the richest and most-developed area of the World (THAT should make all concerned, want to bury the hatchet). Aid & Development in general, should become the #1 global economic activity, turning weapons and Defense over to the “Blue Helmets”. If failing to make the M.E. the UN Neutral District, then Antarctica should become the Neutral District (build several of R. Buckminster Fuller’s domed cities there, to house the U.N. Organization. Any resources found there to be dedicated to the U.N.’s Treasury, and invested in Global Aid & Development Projects). This basically summarizes the “A Better World Can Be Achieved” idea. It’s a nice dream anyway.

  6. Jonny James
    July 9, 2016 at 12:21

    In addition to vowing to obliterate Iran and confront Russia in Syria, HRC has likened Vladimir Putin to “The New Hitler (TM)” du jour.

    She is closely allied with some of the most sociopath, warmongering, and unhinged so-called neocons; she is funded by Wall St. and the Oligarchy; she is a puppet of the Military Security Surveillance Complex. (She says she takes her orders from the CFR) She is also a party to high crimes against the constitution and de-facto treason (willfully lying about war/peace and national security); war crimes (her role in the Destruction of Libya, Syria); and many other crimes. (see: prof. Francis Boyle)

    This puts her in the untouchable group of war criminals like her mentor Henry Kissinger, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Bush Jr., and Dick Cheney. All of these war criminals and enemies of humanity have been lavishly rewarded for their crimes (as have their buddies, the Too Big To Fail Banksters)

    Since she will not be indicted, HRC will almost certainly be selected for the next Puppet Emperor. If history is any guide, we can expect things to worsen and conflict with Russia to escalate further. Not just the “neocons”, the so-called Liberal Interventionists are also on board for mass murder and war crimes – possibly leading to a nuclear confrontation with Russia. (In the unlikely event of a Trump presidency, I would expect very little to change, despite Trump’s cheap rhetoric)

    Since the Media Propaganda Cartel has brainwashed the vast majority of the population, it is important for us to speak out about this, spread a more rational, fact-based narrative and counter the massive misinformation to create more dissent.

    In addition to great articles like this one from Medea Benjamin, Robert Parry, RayMcGovern and others here on CN, here is another you might have seen a few weeks ago around the internet. Paul Craig Roberts, prof. Stephen Cohen and others as well endorse this. Nuclear confrontation is more likely than it has been in decades.

    • Joe Tedesky
      July 9, 2016 at 13:50

      Jonny James, I worry a lot about having Hillary as this country’s Commander and Chief, as well. Although I’m coming to the belief that we are starting to see the end of the U.S. as it’s being the only sole superpower on this planet we call earth.

      If you read the attached article to my comment here, this matrix explains battalions against divisions will come in handy.

      (Three to five battalions, approximately 1,500 to 4,000 soldiers, comprise a brigade. The size of a division varies from about 10,000 to 18,000 soldiers, and most divisions have three or more brigades of roughly equal size.)

      As, the article I linked you to will explain, everything we are doing against Russia is a bluff. European nations are already having a hard time explaining to their citizenry just what in the heck is going on with their relationship to Russia. Everyone knows that this saber rattling against Russia is not a good thing. To the very well informed it’s worst than not good, it’s insane and mean spirited, and that is not what this world wants, or needs at this curtain time in our history.

      Think of this; if the English and French needed America’s help to bomb Libya, then what does that say about our NATO might? Consider how long America has been struggling in Afghanistan, and against an enemy who has no air forces, so what’s that all about? If America thought that by using proxy warriors, well how’s that Syrian war going for the U.S.? So, what genius in D.C. truly believes we can defeat Russia with what we got? I might had, how I’m not looking forward to either the U.S. or Russia getting the chance to see which is the stronger of the two when it comes to their nuclear power.

      The only thing as you stated with your comment Jonny James, and then there’s our own homegrown Queen of Chaos!

      • Jonny James
        July 9, 2016 at 15:05

        You raise another good point, Joe. In addition to points in the article you posted, I think informed folks know that the NATO conventional forces are no match and invading Russia is absurd, as history clearly shows. It appears this, and wishes of bringing Ukraine into NATO, and excuses to install more missile systems on Russia’s border are also in play. The Military Security Surveillance Complex can sell more weapons and they use the Orwellian excuse of “Russian Aggression” to scare and intimidate EU/NATO. The Politics of Fear over and over.

        It seems that US foreign policy becomes less about apparent policy “success” and more about generating 100s of billions of revenue for the large weapons and surveillance industries. In short, a short-sighted and reckless policy simply to rob the Treasury of trillions.

        The presence of so-called “tactical nuclear weapons” or battlefield nukes and the policy of their possible use; unintended consequences, first strike nuclear doctrine, reckless lies and demonization of Russia makes for a dangerous cocktail.

        It appears that the recent overture to work with Russia in Syria is just hollow PR. Once the “elections” are over and the new Puppet Emperor is in place, we will see things go back into high-gear.

        • Joe Tedesky
          July 9, 2016 at 15:42

          Jonny James it also goes to show, how during it’s time as the world’s most powerful nation, how that same Miltary Industrial Complex stole the show, and America squandered it’s moment in the sun to be an effective leader. The history of empires show how they always evaporate inside their own steaming kettle, and this is how and where America has failed. If I had my way, America would peacefully merged among all the other nations, and what would be even greater, is if America were to be the one to shout the loudest and start a worldwide campaign to disarm just not nuclear, but conventional weapons as weapon. You see this in my opinion is the kind of leadership, that the world has been waiting for. Maybe it’s time to give the people what they really want, peace.

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