Finland regions

Top 10 Reasons Sweden and Finland Will Regret Joining NATO –

By David Swanson / World BEYOND War

Friendly advice to my brothers and sisters from Finland and Sweden.

  1. There are people at the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin laughing at you. You shouldn’t feel special. They make fun of the American public all the time. But bringing countries with a much higher standard of living, better education, and longer lifespan than the United States – countries that got those things largely by staying neutral and out of the Cold War and many hot wars – to sign a pre-agreement to participate in future wars (the kind of madness that started World War I) and commit to buying shipments of weapons in eternal preparation! – well, the laughter is unlikely to end.
  1. Have you seen these angry protests across Europe (not to mention South Korea) lately? You have decades to look forward to if we survive your stupid decision that long. People may be protesting in their own selfish interests with a little ignorant bigotry, but they are protesting both for peace and for the redirection of resources to useful things. They may be aware that misdirecting resources to wars kills far more people than wars (and will until wars go nuclear). But most of their countries are locked down, like yours is about to be. Parts of your land will belong to the US military; you will even lose the right to ask what poisons are dumped in your water. Parts of your government and industry will be subsidiaries of the American military machine, no more able to function without it than is Saudi Arabia – where people at least have the excuse that they cannot legally speak or act freely. In the two years since the start of every war that the American public applauds, a majority in the United States still says it shouldn’t have been done – but never that it should be ended. So will you and your NATO membership, not because of some mystical nonsense about honoring dead troops by killing more, but because NATO will own you.
  1. Not only are the skies blue, but, yes, it’s true: Russia has a horribly horrible government that commits unspeakably heinous crimes. You can see them in the media as you should be able to see every war and every aspect of every war. Allowing your government to imitate that of Russia will make Russia worse, not better. Russia cared little for anything but stopping the spread of NATO and did what it had to know to quickly accelerate the spread of NATO, because it lost its mind over war, and because she and you are taken for suckers by the US military, including that branch called the RAND corporation that wrote a report recommending the provocation of a war like this. When this war escalated six months ago, the US government called it unacceptable and unprovoked. Obviously, any war is unacceptable. But this now bears the official name of Russia’s unprovoked war – not only because it was provoked so openly and intentionally, but so that the provocation could continue.
  1. You are escalating a provocation. You are a perfectly kind and harmless loving person who doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and who is afraid of Russia and has no idea that nonviolent defense is possible or knows that your government has no interest in it. But there is a person of that exact description in Russia who will see your government’s actions as extremely frightening, while placing nuclear weapons in Belarus will be comforting and soothing. Well, nothing will assuage the concern aroused in good noble hearts by this idiotic outrage than to repeat it with American nuclear weapons in Sweden or Finland. There is nothing difficult to understand in all the good intentions and fear of loved ones. There also shouldn’t be anything hard to figure out that this will end in a high risk of nuclear apocalypse and nothing good down the road. The arms race from which some countries had the wisdom and independence to stay away is a vicious circle that must be broken.
  1. Not only did the US, UK and NATO want this war, but they took careful steps to prevent it from ending in the first few months and did everything they could to develop a endless stalemate. There is no end in the site. Your governments joining NATO is another provocation that will increase the emotional commitments on both sides, but do nothing to make either side likely to triumph or agree to negotiate peace.
  1. It is possible to oppose both sides of a war, and to oppose the mission of arms traffickers who support both sides. Guns and wars aren’t the only ones driven by profit. Even the NATO expansion that kept the Cold War alive was driven by arms interests, by the desire of American arms companies to turn Eastern European countries into customers, as reported by Andrew Cockburn, as well as the Clinton White House’s interest in winning the Polish-American Vote by bringing Poland into NATO. It’s not just a drive to dominate the world map – although it’s certainly a drive to do so even if it kills us.
  1. There are alternatives. When French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr in 1923, the German government called on its citizens to resist without physical violence. People non-violently turned public opinion in Britain, the United States and even in Belgium and France, in favor of the occupied Germans. By international agreement, the French troops are withdrawn. In Lebanon, 30 years of Syrian rule ended with a large-scale nonviolent uprising in 2005. In Germany in 1920, a coup overthrew and exiled the government, but upon its release the government called for a general strike. The coup was defeated in five days. In Algeria in 1961, four French generals staged a coup. The non-violent resistance defeated him in a few days. In the Soviet Union in 1991, the late Mikhail Gorbachev was arrested, tanks sent to major cities, the media shut down and demonstrations banned. But nonviolent protest ended the coup within days. During the first Palestinian Intifada in the 1980s, much of the subjugated population effectively became self-governing entities through non-violent non-cooperation. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia liberated themselves from Soviet occupation through nonviolent resistance before the collapse of the USSR. The non-violent resistance in Western Sahara forced Morocco to propose a proposal for autonomy. During the last years of the German occupation of Denmark and Norway during World War II, the Nazis no longer controlled the population. Nonviolent movements withdrew US bases from Ecuador and the Philippines. Gandhi’s efforts were instrumental in driving the British out of India. When the Soviet army invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, there were demonstrations, a general strike, a refusal to cooperate, the removal of road signs, the persuasion of troops. Although ignorant leaders conceded, the takeover was slowed and the credibility of the Soviet Communist Party ruined. Non-violence has ended the occupations of the cities of Donbass over the past 8 years. Non-violence in Ukraine blocked tanks, deterred soldiers from fighting, pushed soldiers out of areas. People change street signs, put up billboards, stand in front of vehicles and get bizarrely congratulated for it by an American President in a State of the Union address. The nonviolent peacekeeping force has a long track record of greater successes than the UN’s armed “peacekeepers”. Studies show that non-violence is more likely to succeed, those successes last longer. Look at the examples in the movies Pray to the devil to return to hell, unarmed soldiers, and The singing revolution. There is a screening and a discussion with the creators of this last Saturday.
  1. Negotiations in Ukraine are perfectly possible. Both sides are engaged in both senseless cruelty and the exercise of restraint. If they weren’t, if one side was made up of irrational monsters, then the risk of immediate terrorist attacks in Sweden and Finland would be high on the list. We all know that’s unlikely because talking about irrational monsters is the nonsense we knowingly tell ourselves in order to be able to endure a war. There are many ways to engage with the world other than organized mass murder. The idea that supporting NATO is a means of cooperating with the world ignores superior, non-lethal means of cooperating with the world.
  1. When you join NATO, you go far beyond embracing Turkey. You approve of the horrors that NATO has committed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya. Did you know that in the United States, NATO serves as a cover for crimes? Congress cannot investigate whether NATO did. And people can’t wonder if NATO did it. Placing a predominantly American war under the NATO banner prevents Congress from monitoring that war. Placing nuclear weapons in “non-nuclear” countries, in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, is also excused on the pretext that these countries are members of NATO. By joining a war alliance, you legitimize, if not almost legalize, in millions of somewhat soft minds, the wars in which the alliance engages.
  1. NATO seeks to destroy the most beautiful place in Montenegro.

Ask me about these points and explain the errors of my ways during this September 8 webinar.