[News] NATO occupies sweet home Chicago

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri May 18 12:29:59 EDT 2012

NATO occupies sweet home Chicago

By Pepe Escobar

So the anthem now goes something like this: C'mon, baby don't you 
wanna go/back to that same old place/sweet home ring of steel Chicago.

Robert Johnson must be spitting fire in his bluesy grave because the 
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), for its 25th summit, is 
occupying Chicago like it was Kabul - with Americans treated as 
concentric circles of Taliban. The Department of Homeland Security 
has branded the summit a "National Special Security Event"; that 
means the Secret Service, in practice, has taken over Chicago.

It's lockdown time - complete with Iraq-style concrete barriers; 
battalions sporting upgraded riot gear; "extraction teams" to snatch 
and grab pinpointed protesters in a "low intensity conflict" 
environment; and an Orwellian guest star, the LRAD (long-range 
acoustic device) - a sound cannon bound to "ensure a consistent 
message is delivered to large crowds", according to the Chicago 
Police Department.

It sounds like a zany remake of John Landis's immortal The Blues 
Brothers. So what role would US President Barack Obama, the Drone 
Godfather, play? Aretha Franklin singing Think ? Or Godfather of Soul 
James Brown leading the gospel choir to "see the light"? Obama, after 
all, is on a Mission from God himself - the MC of the militarization 
of Chicago mirroring NATO's militarization of the planet.

As for the masses of Americans who refuse to be occupied, or who are 
bent on turning Occupy Chicago into Occupy NATO, their plight sounds 
more like Albert King; Born under a bad sign/I've been down since I 
began to crawl/if it wasn't for bad luck/I wouldn't have no luck at all.

Married to the mob
NATO's Chicago summit is essentially a celebration of the "Strategic 
Concept" [1] adopted at the Lisbon summit in November 2010 - which is 
a sort of more palatable version of the Pentagon's "full spectrum 
dominance" doctrine.

Crucially, last month in a Pentagon/NATO funfest in Norfolk, 
Virginia, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [2] stressed the 
Chicago summit would "recognize the operational, financial and 
political contributions of our partners across a range of efforts to 
defend our common values in the Balkans, Afghanistan, the Middle 
East, and North Africa".

One wonders what kind of "common values" are inbuilt in a bogus fight 
against a ghostly "al-Qaeda" in Afghanistan - which has meant in fact 
NATO getting its ass kicked for interminable 11 years by hordes of 
enraged nationalistic Pashtuns with Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers.

And what kind of "common values" were packaged in the "humanitarian" 
bombing of Libya by the NATO/AFRICOM combo - when the end product, 
NATO rebel-controlled Libya, turns out to be a racist, hardcore 
Islamist heaven-cum-militia hell, now exported to neighbors such as Mali.

Not to mention that NATO adamantly refuses to acknowledge it killed 
scores of civilians in Libya as part of its R2P (responsibility to 
protect) mission on behalf of ... civilians.

Yet, when it comes to NATO "partners", things are as sweet as cherry pie.

Becoming a "partner" to NATO, especially for smaller countries, is 
not entirely dissimilar to being forced to a marriage with the mob.

More sophisticated techniques of extortion apply. Why don't you join 
our (nom du jour) freedom coalition? Why don't you contribute with 
some troops? Why don't you buy some gorgeous weapons from us? Or else ...

Have you ever loved a drone?
NATO itself says Chicago [3] will discuss three main topics:
The "commitment to Afghanistan". Translation; let's occupy it 
forever, at least with three major bases (Bagram, Shindand and 
Kandahar), but we must find a way to spin it nicely. And then we 
gotta make those Central Asian "stans" give us more bases. The 
"capabilities" to "defend its population and territory" - as in 
defending North America and Europe by bombing and/or occupying parts 
of Central Asia or Africa. This is all bundled up as "challenges of 
the 21st century". NATO's "network of partners across the globe".

The NATO partnership maze stands as one of the most successful 
handouts of boxes full of chocolate in history.

They include; the Partnership for Peace; the Mediterranean Dialogue; 
the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative; the Kosovo Force; Operation 
Ocean Shield (off the Horn of Africa); Operation Unified Protector 
(in Libya); Operation Active Endeavor (across the Mediterranean); the 
Troop Contributing Countries in Afghanistan, which feature 
Asia-Pacific nations such as Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, South 
Korea and Tonga; and the monstrous Partnership Cooperation Menu (with 
over 1,600 main dishes and side dishes).

There is also the Russian-NATO Council (RNC); that's as fractious a 
relationship as humanly conceivable, essentially because of the US 
obsession with missile defense.

NATO secretary general, the unctuous Dane Anders Fogh Rasmussen, 
already stressed that in Chicago NATO will announce "initial 
operational capability" for the joint US-NATO interceptor missile 
system in Europe. Translation; a phenomenal business venture for 
Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon.

NATO spins it as a "defense system" for Europe against North Korean 
or Iranian inter-continental ballistic missiles. This is absolute 
nonsense. This "defense system" is bound to be integrated into the 
Pentagon's first strike capability. Russian intelligence knows 
exactly who's supposed to be the real target.

No wonder Russia won't be at the Chicago funfest. Nor China. Nor 
Iran. Pakistan - for a still undisclosed amount of shiny metal 
carrots - is back at the last minute. None of this deters NATO. There 
is an internal drive to forge some sort of partnership with the BRICS 
group of emerging powers (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South 
Africa) - all in the name of "security on a global level". The BRICS 
are not interested.

Still, "liberated" Iraq will inevitably be annexed to the Istanbul 
Cooperation Initiative. "Liberated" Libya will be inserted into the 
Mediterranean Dialogue. The same will happen to Syria (provided a 
Mission from God installs regime change). "Evil" Iran, on the other 
hand, will always be excluded. Unless a Mission from God produces 
regime change.

NATOspeak defines this partnership free-for-all as the need for 
"improving interoperability", part of the overall plan to build a 
"hub of relationships around the world". That's the Lisbon 2010 
Strategic Concept in practice; Globocop NATO expanding to - literally 
- reach the stars.

So Chicago is just a test run - an advanced stage, compared to Gaza 
or Sadr City in Baghdad, of what the RAND corporation used to call 
MOUT (Military Operations in Urban Terrain). NATO after all has seen 
the future - and is immersing itself body and soul in the "war of the 
drones". If you can't beat them in Pashtunistan, at least you can 
corral them in the home of the blues. Woke up this morning/and I 
found my baby droned.

1. <http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LK25Df04.html>US a kid in 
a NATO candy store Asia Times Online, November 25, 2010.
2. <http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/04/187392.htm>Remarks to 
the World Affairs Council 2012 NATO Conference US State Department, 
April 3, 2012. 3. 
25th summit meeting, NATO website.

Pepe Escobar is the author of 
How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 
2007) and 
Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent 
book, just out, is 
does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com

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