For neutrality and peace instead of NATO and war

In June 2023, the Irish government has been holding a „Consultative Forum on International Security Policy,“ intended to „open a discussion“ about Ireland’s policy of neutrality. At the invitation of Irish MEPs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, German MP Sevim Dagdelen spoke about peace and neutrality at the conference „Neutrality: Who Cares?“ on June 24 in the Morrison Hotel in Dublin.

The war in Ukraine is claiming lives each and every day. In Germany, we have so-called military experts, such as Florence Gaub, Director of the Research Division at the NATO Defense College, who have publicly declared that we shouldn’t advocate for a ceasefire or for peace negotiations because conflicts have their “internal clock” and only when it has run out is a ceasefire possible. Our response to these cynics of power is that: no, this war must end, and it must end immediately. We need an immediate ceasefire without preconditions and a diplomatic solution. And let me say quite clearly that those who want to make this contingent on prior commitments by either of the warring parties just want this war to continue. This madness must be stopped!

And it appears that an agreement was on the table in March 2022. And it’s a disgrace that the then Conservative UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in cahoots with the US administration, prevented a deal from being reached! So let’s take a close look at what’s happening.

The war in Ukraine has turned into a dangerous NATO proxy war against Russia.

And this war has the potential to escalate, also thanks to the supply of more and more and increasingly heavy weapons. Anyone who wants to prevent a nuclear war in Europe must stand up to this escalation!

And apparently there’s more at stake here, that NATO countries are crossing the line from non-belligerent to belligerent parties. They’re doing this in the form of cooperation between intelligence services, by advising and coordinating liaison officers on the ground, by exchanging technical and tactical expertise, and by comparing situational pictures to the point of joint situation planning and training Ukrainian soldiers on the use of Western weapons on a massive scale.

The recent attacks with British Storm Shadow missiles represent a fresh escalation in this regard. This spiral of escalation must be stopped. The supplies of weapons to the war zone must be stopped!

Brazil, China and six African countries have launched peace initiatives and travelled to Kyiv and Moscow. Why isn’t this being supported in Washington, in Berlin, in London or even in Dublin?

I often hear people ask what the problem with NATO is since, or so they argue, it’s a purely defensive alliance. But anyone who claims that NATO is a purely defensive alliance either isn’t familiar with the history of the military pact or is knowingly lying to the public.

Didn’t NATO wage war in Afghanistan for 20 years? Didn’t NATO invade Yugoslavia in 1999 without a mandate from the UN Security Council? Didn’t NATO wage a murderous war to implement regime change in Libya in 2011 in violation of a UN Security Council resolution? Wasn’t it NATO that, despite promises to the contrary, continued to expand further and further east right up to Russia’s border? Wasn’t it NATO that, back in 2014, committed itself to a gigantic rearmament programme with the 2 percent target?

No, NATO is a warfare alliance. Anyone who accedes to it is party to murder and manslaughter as well as to violations of international law, and that’s why it should be dissolved.

And that’s why, also against the backdrop of its proxy war in Ukraine, I have called for Germany’s withdrawal from this military pact and for the withdrawal of the US soldiers after 78 years, who can take their nuclear weapons with them.

And then I’ve heard the argument that NATO is an alliance of democracies against autocrats. It’s astounding that no one is remotely ashamed of propagating such high-grade nonsense. This argument is historically false. NATO never had a problem with fascist dictatorships as members, as in the case of Portugal under Salazar or in the case of Greece following the military coup. And today it has no problem with the autocrat Erdogan or Meloni. But those who enter into pacts with autocrats should please stop claiming that this is a question of democracy and human rights.

And when German tanks are rolling into battle against Russia right now and the German Government, in response to my questions, cannot even rule out the possibility of NATO’s weapons ending up in the hands of Russian Nazis, who are now evidently carrying out attacks against Russia with the support of Ukraine, then we must be worried. We have seen with ISIS in Syria what a Frankenstein created by the West is capable of doing. This policy is despicable!

A few days ago, the EU adopted its 11th package of sanctions against Russia. This time around, extraterritorial sanctions are set to be imposed on third parties. Brussels is not only at risk of becoming a party to the war itself by providing military aid on a massive scale and training soldiers.

By doing this, the EU is also intensifying its self-destructive economic war. While the Russian economy is growing by two percent, Germany is hurtling into recession and the EU will soon follow suit. More and more people can no longer afford the skyrocketing prices for energy and food. The combination of a gigantic rearmament programme to the tune of more than 1.1 trillion US dollars by the NATO and EU countries this year, from which only the shareholders of the arms industry benefit, and a self-destructive economic war is poison for our societies. This madness must be stopped!

Neutrality is a very precious commodity these days. After all, only those who preserve their neutrality also preserve their democratic sovereignty, a government of the people by the people. Many countries in the Global South are having to witness right now how the NATO countries are unwilling to accept their neutrality but want to force them to sign up to the economic war and the deliveries of weapons.

In a kind of neo-colonialism, they want to tell the countries of the Global South what to do. The most recent example of this, is the right-wing pro-NATO government of Finland, which wants to cut off development assistance to African countries that it considers to be too pro-Russian on the basis of how they cast their votes in the UN.

Ireland has a long history of fighting for independence against colonial oppression, of which everyone here can be justifiably proud. Neutrality is at the heart of its hard-fought independence. To defend neutrality also in this day and age is to defend freedom, justice and democracy itself. You have our solidarity in this so very important struggle. Dear friends, let us stand together against this war! Against escalation! For an immediate ceasefire! For peace negotiations! Let’s win the peace and not the war!


Pressenza Berlin