“The NATO summit in Madrid will be historic, at the level of the Fall of the Berlin Wall,” said Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares with a notable ignorance of what that momentous event meant. And the opposite has happened: NATO has rebuilt the Walls of the Cold War. And he wants it all inside and under his control. Today it is much better understood why the chain of disagreements with Putin’s Russia increased and why the war did not stop.
A dying NATO was reborn with the invasion of Ukraine, as if by chance. And the Madrid conclusions leave no room for doubt about the objectives of the Atlantic Alliance: “NATO leaders have left a door open for negotiation, but we must not forget that they have made a commitment to strengthen weapons,” said the more serene chronicles. Yes, that’s the real bet.
Spain has been an excellent host for the guests. Dinners in “incomparable settings” that are said of the great Museums, cultural visits and trips for companions, dresses, gestures… they have had a great time and left delighted. Spain is a magnificent organizer of high-rise events. The Government, the security, the media echo, everything has worked. The King has played a very active role, even going to receive the president of the United States, Joe Biden, at the foot of the steps. Mission accomplished.
The veteran politician, with his democracy seriously threatened as we have already mentioned, has enjoyed reverential treatment in Madrid, and has obtained all the desired results. The meeting with Pedro Sánchez confirmed, in a few minutes, that he accepted his request to increase the presence of his army in Spain with two destroyers for his military base in Rota. The results of the Summit endorse US policies without fissures or dissimulations. And they ratify who is in charge in NATO and in its area of influence.
The negotiation with Russia is “an open door” without program or date, the commitment to increase military spending, an agreed certainty. NATO is going to multiply the troops in Europe by 8, 300,000 soldiers “in a permanent state of alert”, says the final communiqué, and to increase the economic endowment. Spain would almost double its budget if it comes to reaching 2% of GDP. Let us remember that what is added to one section is removed from another, and we will pay for that defense policy in public services.
“NATO prepares for a different and more dangerous world.” His secretary general has said it. Why more dangerous? For Russia? For Chinese? For the powerful countries that are not on the western side? Because of fascism and inequalities, of famines and migrations, of climate destruction and so many other problems, they say nothing. They certainly wouldn’t fix it with missiles.
The reanimated NATO resumes a new cold war with Russia, the eternal enemy, the one that works best for it in terms of social acceptance, the one against whom the Atlantic Alliance was founded 73 years ago. And he doesn’t want to negotiate. It doesn’t even pay attention to the arguments opposed by half the world’s society, at least those who are aware of what is happening. This warlike state brings about an unbearable inflation that the dissatisfied citizens direct against the governments, apparently ignoring that other governments will not control it except with more cuts or by stopping the escalation of the war.
Everyone assumes who’s boss: the United States. Concessions as serious as those that Sweden and Finland have accepted to overcome Turkey’s veto on joining the Alliance have been made at the summit: Erdogan has managed to hand over 33 Kurdish dissidents in asylum in these Nordic countries, who will know the rigors of that Alliance member with their opponents. In reality, they will say, it is something that is already happening in other countries of the “NATO Democracies”.
Another highly significant fact, perhaps the greatest of all: the Madrid Summit introduces China “as a danger” “because it contravenes the interests of NATO,” he says. In reality they are the interests of the United States; China makes the competition. The final agreement contemplates as an exponent of this risk that “China aspires to technological and military supremacy.” It is the same aspiration of the US and it cannot consent to it. And the allies abide by it. By the way, so far, the quest to be a technological strut has been more than demonstrated in China, in military technology as well, but the way of putting it into practice at the moment is not. China is buying public debt from different countries and building infrastructure in Africa and Latin America. It is another form of control. Less bloody.
A military confrontation with China would be devastating and is an increasingly insistent whisper in White House sources. NATO adds that China is an ally of Russia. He has not explicitly said so, but he is not on the side of the Atlantic Alliance either. Still less. And there is something else. China escapes from the influence of the United States and NATO, as do a number of countries not aligned with them. Eurasia is an area of high strategic and commercial interest. Persuasion by force does not seem the best system.
And in this context, the allied countries are going to reinforce and perfect their weapons, including that of supreme deterrence: the nuclear one that now has the American, British and French atomic arsenals. That fateful innovation that the most sensible leaders tried to deactivate in the Salt Treaties. Let us remember that the Cold War was based on the fear of what a nuclear conflagration would entail. The idea of disarmament has worked with ups and downs since the 70s of the 20th century. First with Nixon and Brezhnev; then with the great nuclear deterrence agreements of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, which George HW Bush would end up signing.
Rearming and erecting symbolic walls is a disastrous idea. This historical moment is being truly delusional and very dangerous because the different sides have the means to make entire countries disappear and some are showing little prudence.
The last straw is how they sell us the concept of “Security” when it is always at the expense of rights. “Security is not free” Luis Bassets wrote in El País, anticipating that “Europeans would like to play in the first division and for free but without paying the bills, both in military investments and in renunciations of sovereignty in favor of collective defense.” Who’s up for the game? a game? What security? The one of the false sensation that is sheltered in the arms.
When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, NATO had no reason to exist, but in fact it came to reinforce the other side of the antagonistic binomial. NATO or what is the same, the US and its allies, are its best representation. And it is of a supreme irresponsibility, frivolous and disloyal with the interests of the citizenry, not wanting to know what changed then, what remained and is now reissued.
A series of authors draw an overview of it in the book tear down the walls (Roca Editorial 2019), 30 years after the disappearance of the one that communist Germany erected in Berlin. After the first moment of euphoria, the world continued to erect all kinds of barriers, without any brake, until arriving here. “What really triumphed in 1989 and the following years was savage capitalism, which refuses to accept any type of regulation of the primacy of money in the lives of human beings and in the exploitation of the planet’s resources. It triumphed universally”, wrote the journalist Javier Valenzuela.
“Everything, everything, from the air we breathe, to the water we drink, the food we eat, through health, pensions, energy, education, housing, debt, everything has become a commodity subject to speculation in the stock markets. And the worst thing is the walls that blind minds and prevent us from seeing what is happening”, explained Lourdes Lucía, founder of ATTAC.
But perhaps it was the economist Àngels Martínez Castells who specified the meaning of the Walls, which is so necessary to show at this particular moment. “Only poets can offer the world the image of walls that reconcile us with the idea of raising them,” she said, “walls made of words to think and never stop.” And she looked for the one who had best told it.
“Without compassion and without shame, without consideration
towering walls were erected around me. (..)
How did I feel nothing when the wall was built?
I never heard any noise from the workers.
Without realizing it, I have been isolated from the outside world.”
«The wall», K. KAVAFIS
Well, it has happened again. Instead of bridges, more walls. If we heard them laying stone upon stone, we couldn’t get their echo to spread. Walls assumed by that mirage they call peace built above all with silence and fear and an overwhelming dose of propaganda.