Friday, May 18, 2012

A dress rehearsal for clamping down

As Chicago prepares for the NATO summit this weekend I'm left with one little nagging question - why does NATO still exist?

The meeting is an exercise in just what the police and law enforcement can get away with before the people stand up and say that enough is enough. Police are seeking to place as much of the city in "lock down" as possible in order to shut down planned protests. No one will be allowed on a city bus or train with a backpack, bike, food or drink. Passengers will not be able to carry a bag more than 15 inches by 15 inches. Anyone on a bus or train will be subjected to warrantless searches.

Of course the state security apparatus places the blame for the security crackdown on protesters - nevermind that the city decided to allow this meeting to occur in the Windy City. The very last thing we can have is a bunch of long haired-types marching around with signs making folks think about what's going on. And, given the current state of the War on the Constitution Terrorism, we must bring up the specter of terrorism in order to   justify this attack on the Bill of Rights. After all, most of the lemmings will gladly sign over their freedoms if the state tells them that's the price of security.

But, back to the main point...

NATO was created during the height of the Cold War as a military tool for the capitalist nations of the West to counter the Soviet Union. NATO was used to suppress uprisings by leftist forces around the world. In 1989 the Soviet Union collapsed and the "threat" that NATO was created to counter vanished. But the military body continues to exist and is now used to provide political cover for the U.S. and its allies when Western countries intervene in the affairs of Third World countries such as Afghanistan.

Much as their are way too many law enforcement agencies operating in Harris County, there are too many armies operating around the world. NATO is an example of the enduring power of bureaucracy. There is no need for NATO, but still it exists without a mission.

And now this obsolete organization is being used as the excuse for clamping down on the Constitutional rights of protesters and citizens in Chicago.

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