Delivery of Cluster Bombs to Ukraine Seals the Moral Bankruptcy of NATO
The over-hyped NATO Summit finally took place last week in Vilnius, Lithuania, with the expected talk about the “victory” of the West’s “rules-based order”. The reality, however, is that we have arrived at the end of the era in which the “unipolar world” was hegemonic and undisputed.
The NATO final communiqué contains the standard attacks on Russia as the enemy to be destroyed, and demands its “complete and unconditional withdrawal” from Ukraine “in its internationally recognised borders”, which will never happen. (But in the meantime, it is hoped, the West’s military-industrial complex will thrive and the trans-Atlantic financial system will survive.) A few paragraphs are also devoted to China and the “challenges to our interests” it poses, while urging Beijing to cease all kinds of support for Russia. Which is just as illusory.
Although many of the leaders gathered there vowed to make sure that Ukraine will be victorious, their promises ring quite hollow. Indeed, the summit itself was somewhat overshadowed by the Biden Administration’s announcement, just a few days before, of the despicable decision to deliver cluster munitions to Ukraine.
Since such weapons were banned by 120 countries in 2008 (but not the U.S. or Russia), the decision raised a storm of protest worldwide – but not from the leaders gathered in Vilnius. Militarily, these decades-old bombs will certainly not change the course of the war, that Kyiv is losing. Economically and ecologically, while Ukraine is one of the top grain producers in the world, it will make whole swaths of land unusable for decades to come. But above all in human terms, the damage inflicted on the civilian populations will be irreparable. That is precisely why they were banned, including by the same EU countries that are applauding today with both hands.
But the most revealing aspect of all this is the explanation given by Joe Biden himself as to why such a highly controversial decision was taken. In an interview aired July 9 on CNN, he said: “this is a war relating to munitions. And they [the Ukrainians] are running out of that ammunition, and we’re low on it”. In other words, contrary to the propaganda, Russia is not about to be defeated. Some denials of Biden’s comment were issued later, but Secretary of State Blinken confirmed on July 11 on NBC that “the stockpiles around the world and in Ukraine” are “about to be depleted”. Underscoring the cold calculations of the Biden Administration, National Security Council press spokesman John Kirby commented cynically that, in any case, Russia will have killed more civilians, than the number who will die from the cluster bombs.
The blatant hypocrisy of those who preach “western values” and yet continue to escalate this war they cannot win, is more obvious than ever, and should swelled the ranks of peace movements globally. The Schiller Institute is actively involved in building a coalition of such movements, and will participate in the demonstrations planned on August 6, on the 78th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Events are planned in most major cities in Europe, North and South America, and the rest of the world.