At the 75th anniversary this week of the Allied assault on Nazi-occupied France, US President Donald Trump and other NATO leaders issued a “D-Day Proclamation.” In it, they pledged never “to repeat the horror of World War Two.” Finian Cunningham specially for the Russia Today.
The US and 15 other nations, including Britain, France, and Canada, also declared their commitment to “resolve international tensions peacefully.”
If the so-called D-Day proclamation sounds like a load of PR twaddle, that’s because it is.
Evidently, it was hurriedly put together for some feel-good effect as Trump and others commemorated Operation Overlord to the strains an army brass band and Vera Lynn’s wartime paean ‘We’ll Meet Again’. The noble sacrifices of soldiers and civilians in the defeat of Nazi fascism would have to be given some token of decorum in the form of a peaceful proclamation, so it seems.
However, the proclamation by Trump and his gang of NATO warmongers has to be seen as nothing but cynical lip-service.
While commemorating a past naval offensive “for peace,” the US has at the very same time deployed warships and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in the Persian Gulf in a blatant show of aggression towards Iran. Washington is flagrantly using military force to subjugate Tehran to its geopolitical demands. So much for “resolving international tensions peacefully.”
Trump this week told media that he did not want the stand-off with Iran to become an all-out military conflict. Yet he continues to threaten that the US is ready to deploy the military option against Iran. Last month, he cryptically warned about the “official end of Iran” while also offering “talks” with Tehran. Trump’s occasional words of peace are therefore meaningless.
Washington’s apparent problem with Iran is based on claims that the latter is “supporting regional terrorism” and has “ambitions to build nuclear weapons.” That amounts to paranoid hearsay, sourced from the Israelis and Saudis. It is hardly the grounds for justified military force. In reality, the US is simply using aggression – which is a war crime – in order to exert its political will on Iran.
Another contemporary case that flies in the face of the D-Day Proclamation is the Trump administration’s threat to use military force against Venezuela. That threat is wielded because Washington doesn’t want the elected socialist president Nicolas Maduro in power, and instead wants to replace him with their preferred pro-Washington opposition figure who has never been elected by the people. This is not even a case of “resolving tensions peacefully”. It is a straight leap to militarism by the Trump administration towards a sovereign country whose internal affairs should be none of Washington’s business.
If Britain, France, Germany, Canada and other members of the NATO military alliance were genuinely committed to this week’s D-Day Proclamation they would be forthrightly telling the US to halt its aggression towards Iran and Venezuela. But none of them have. The Europeans may have expressed concern about US tensions with Iran, owing to their selfish instincts for their own safety, but they have not been nearly as robust enough in censuring Washington to cease its criminal use of aggression. Their mealy-mouthed attitude is in effect a cowardly form of passive aggression.
No surprise there, however. Every illegal war and covert operation launched by the US has been supported by the NATO alliance ever since its formation in 1949. When did the bloc ever oppose any American military intervention, no matter how egregiously unlawful and destructive? It automatically issues a blank cheque of seeming “multilateralism” to cover for US war crimes, the most recent of which include the wars in former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia and covertly in Syria, where the NATO powers covertly sponsored jihadist terror proxies in a bid for regime change against President Assad.
Some of the NATO minions go off on their own national adventures. France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who likes to pontificate about “saving the planet”, has currently ordered French troops to “fight terrorism” in Mali, Niger, Cameroon and other former colonies in Africa.
Maybe if France stopped looting those countries with its control over their national finances through the colonial-era African Franc system whereby those countries are mandated to deposit their gold reserves in Paris, then many internal African “tensions could be resolved peacefully.” As is it, the military option is the preferred one because it flatters the French national ego on the world stage and makes huge profits for France’s weapons industry.
What NATO member has ever stood up and questioned the Washington-led policy of aggression towards Russia and China? All 29 members of this militarist club indulge the US ringmaster and its gung-ho strategy of encircling Russia and China with missile systems, encroaching bases, warships, and warplanes.
Just last month in an address to West Point graduates, Vice President Mike Pence “promised” that US soldiers would one day be on a battlefield “for America”. He said it was a “certainty.” Ominously, Pence mentioned China as a potential target because it has the audacity to “rival American power.” Again, so much for commitment to resolve tensions peacefully.
Here is the stupendous irony. NATO was formed in the ashes of World War Two, not because the US and Britain defeated Nazi Germany. It was the Soviet Union that largely destroyed the Nazi war machine. The overdue D-Day landings in June 1944 were finally ordered by American and British rulers because they feared the Soviets would conquer all of Germany singlehandedly. The Red Army at that stage in the war was rolling up the Third Reich, eventually taking Hitler’s Berlin in May 1945.
Before the outbreak of the war, American and British capitalism had fostered the rise of Nazi Germany during the 1930s as a bulwark against the Soviet Union and the spread of socialism among their own working classes. Nazi Germany would not have become the fearsome force were it not for massive foreign investment from Wall Street and American corporations like Ford, General Motors, Du Pont, ITT and others, as documented by historian Jacques Pauwels. When the Nazi regime went rogue, Western powers were obliged to liquidate it, as they usually do, as seen with other client regimes down through history. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein being a choice case.
The D-Day event is therefore not at all what it seems. There is no disputing the courage and conviction of ordinary American and British soldiers who went to war against fascism. But that principled motivation did not apply to their ruling classes. A concomitant of the ambiguity and contradictions is demonstrated in the way that NATO was promptly set up after the war, and for the primary purpose of confronting the West’s supposed wartime ally, the Soviet Union.
Another concomitant is the way the US and NATO powers have in the decades after the war continued to use militarism and aggression as a matter of policy to achieve their geopolitical interests. The US and other Western powers never really had a problem with Nazi Germany based on political, legal or moral principle. The latter’s termination came to be a matter of pragmatic urgency in order to safeguard Western geopolitical interests of stability and spheres of influence. The root problem for Western capitalist powers was always Russia as a power perceived to be in defiance of their objectives.
That’s why the D-Day Proclamation of peaceful intent issued by the US and its gang of NATO warmongers is a travesty. It’s the exact opposite of their policy and practice of aggression.
Finian Cunningham is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively on international affairs.
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