WORKERS' WEEKLY Vol. 29, No. 13, June 5, 1999


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Newspaper of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

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Condemn the Imposition of the “Peace Settlement” through the Doctrine of “Might Makes Right”!

NATO’s World-wide Strategy and Its “New Strategic Concept”

“NATO: foundation stone of Britain’s security”

National Demonstration: Stop the Bombing Now!

Demonstration will demand: Stop Bombing Yugoslavia Now!

DPRK Denounces Bombing of Yugoslavia and Draws Out the Lessons

The Genocide Must Cease

Full Text of the Peace Document

Condemn the Imposition of the “Peace Settlement” through the Doctrine of “Might Makes Right”!

Dismantle NATO! Britain Out of NATO!

The People Must Step Up their Struggle against the Danger of War!

Statement of RCPB(ML) – June 5, 1999

FOR OVER 10 weeks, NATO has been carrying out the criminal bombing of Serbia and the Serbian people. In the words of Tony Blair, “force is the only language Milosevic understands”.

April 11 demonstration against NATO bombing

Now, in order to stop the bombing, Slobodan Milosevic has accepted the “Peace Document” taken to Belgrade by the Finnish President Martti Ahtisarri on behalf of the EU and Russia’s Viktor Chernomyrdin. As part of this agreement, 48,000 troops, both NATO and Russian, are to occupy Kosova. Of this force, the KFOR, the British troops will number 19,000, more than double the US complement. It is said that the Commander of the NATO force is also likely to be British.

RCPB(ML) condemns this “imperialist peace” imposed through the medievalist and fascist doctrine of “Might Makes Right”. Just as US imperialism, the British government and other big powers tried to justify the NATO aggression for “humanitarian” reasons, so they are claiming that this agreement provides for the return of the refugees and “substantial self-government” for the Kosovars. They claim that it respects the “sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the FRY. But what kind of “self-government” is exercised with a close to 50,000 occupation force? What kind of respect for “sovereignty and territorial integrity” is this and has it been when aggressive warfare has been carried out against a sovereign country?

This war has been undertaken as the contradictions between the imperialist powers and the big monopolies sharpen. It has been carried out for control of the Balkan region, as being indispensable to control Europe and then push for control of Asia and for global domination. The imposition of the “peace settlement” will not resolve the contention between the big powers and their striving for domination. The politics of US and Britain particularly has been to use any means to put their troops into the Balkan region, occupy Kosova and force Milosevic to step down. Whether or not the bombs are falling, this will lead to further and worse conflicts in this region and throughout the world. The aggression by NATO has also sharpened the contradiction between imperialism and the peoples. The people in many countries throughout the world have been vehement in their opposition to this fascism with an “humanitarian face”. They cannot accept that this is now the end of the matter. It is important that the working class and people step up their preparations to prevent imperialist war, as well as at the same time stepping up their struggle for democratic renewal and fundamental change.

Tony Blair’s utterances show how deeply entrenched is the doctrine the British government has been following through its aggressive and interventionist foreign policy of the “white man’s burden”. In other words, with a “heavy heart”, Britain has been taking up the “responsibility” to teach the uncivilised what “civilised values” are. This was the essence of 19th century colonialism and led to the scramble for the redivision of the world and the outbreak of the first world war. If the imperialist powers have withdrawn from an inter-imperialist war at this time, the conditions have been created through the tragedies stored up in the region for a war to break out in the future. Blair claims he had no choice but to bomb Yugoslavia – he was a dove before he was a hawk. But who gives him the right to decide what another state should do within its borders? It is a big lie of a Hitlerite order that left to themselves peoples will be at each other’s throats, part of the ideological offensive, such as the demonising of the whole Serb people, to justify trampling on the sovereignty of a nation.

NATO and the imperialist powers have created a terrible and tragic situation in the Balkans which only the people can solve. Freedom and independence cannot be handed to any people by outside intervention, nor was this the aim of NATO’s aggression.

The working class cannot tolerate a government such as that of New Labour which goes to war and commits aggression against a sovereign country. It cannot tolerate that the values of globalisation are imposed under the banner of “civilisation”.

The workers should draw the conclusion that a government that disregards international law and bombs a sovereign country should be indicted and removed by its own people.  

Article Index

NATO’s World-wide Strategy and Its “New Strategic Concept”

NATO was set up in 1949. Its founding treaty binds NATO members to act only within the terms of the United Nations Charter and allows the use of armed force only in self-defence. By its treaty, NATO’s “area of operations” is limited to its members’ territory and the surrounding seas.

But NATO was never set up just as an alliance for “self defence”. It was set up under the mandate given by Churchill in his “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton Missouri, on March 5, 1946, when he upheld the doctrine of “manifest destiny”, based on the racist theory that the English-speaking nations must civilise all of Europe and the world. After World War II, instead of uniting to further the struggle against fascism and reaction, and safeguarding independence and democracy of the peoples, NATO was set up as an aggressive military alliance against a world in which the peoples were all liberated. It gave itself the immediate objective of the “containment of communism” to divide the people and cover up its aim of world conquest. In this way the US, Britain and other powers through NATO overturned Roosevelt’s policy of peace and friendship with the Soviet Union. They changed to a policy of dividing the world. In the name of the rampant chauvinism of the manifest destiny of English speaking peoples, “containment of communism”, “freedom” and “democracy”, they sought to realise the dream of Hitler to conquer the world.

In 1951, NATO’s integrated military command structure was established, outside the founding treaty. “Supreme Allied Commanders” were appointed and both positions have been held by Americans ever since. “Supreme Allied Headquarters” were also set up, with a whole series of “sub-commands” below these. This integrated command structure ensures that NATO countries’ forces can act together as a bloc.

In 1952 NATO was expanded to include Greece and Turkey. In 1955 a re-militarised West Germany joined. In 1982 Spain was admitted and in 1999 the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary joined.

At the time of the dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty Organisation in 1990, Soviet leaders were given assurances that NATO would not take advantage by expanding eastwards. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union itself in 1991, United States’ leaders began calling for eastward expansion.

In 1994, following a call by the United States’ Defence Secretary, NATO set up its so-called “Partnership for Peace” (PFP), which it describes as “the most intensive programme of military-to-military collaboration ever conceived”. The PFP is outside NATO’s founding treaty and involves “partner” countries restructuring and re-equipping their forces to become “NATO compatible”, committing these to operate with NATO and engaging in joint military exercises with it. At least 200 military exercises a year take place between PFP countries and NATO. Spread from Central Europe to Central Asia, 27 states are now members of NATO’s “Partnership for Peace”, which is officially described as “more than a half-way house to full NATO membership”. Through the PFP, NATO stretches literally up to the Chinese border surrounding Russia. Because it is not a treaty, it does not have to be debated in legislatures, yet in effect by simply signing countries are integrated into NATO. Even formerly neutral countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Austria and Finland have joined the “Partnership for Peace”. The Republic of Ireland is not at present a member of PFP, but a heated debate is currently under way as to whether to hold a referendum on joining.

In 1995, NATO forces entered Bosnia under the “Dayton Agreement” for what its leadership said then would be a “short period”. To this day, 34,000 NATO troops remain there with no timetable for their withdrawal, while some authoritative estimates predict that they will be there for another ten years.

Today the NATO countries’ military spending is greater than that of the whole of the rest of the world put together. In particular, it is eight times greater than that of Russia to the east and 11 times greater than that of all the North African and Middle Eastern countries together to its south. Within the NATO bloc the United States is by far the dominant power, accounting for over half of NATO military spending and for one third of world military spending. Of NATO’s European members, some have almost no military spending while Britain, France and Germany predominate.

NATO’s big powers dominate world arms production and trading, while it is officially declared that nuclear weapons “play a unique and essential role in the Alliance’s strategy”.

In the last five years, NATO has reorganised its entire command structure and all its forces so that these are now orientated for intervention outside its territory while “European” challenges to its domination by the United States have been fended off or sidelined.

Newspaper bluntly annoucning Blair's policy

NATO has previously always been careful to couch its activities in terms of international legality and the United Nations Charter. However, its current bombing of Yugoslavia openly breaks at least four international treaties, including its own founding treaty, and paves the way for the discarding of the whole international legal order built up in the first half of the 20th century, returning to the medieval dictum “Might Makes Right”.

In 1998, leading US officials began openly and loudly calling for NATO to formally take on a world-wide role. Some leading European politicians countered by saying that such expansion in its role should be limited to areas such as the Middle East.

It is widely predicted that in the next 20 years, China, India and Brazil will rise to the status of world economic powers. Brazil is the most populous country in South America and that entire continent has no permanent representation on the United Nations Security Council. There is contention between Brazil and Argentina, South America’s second largest economy, as to which country might represent South America on the Security Council.

Military spending in South America has been relatively “low”, so that, for example, annual British military spending is greater than that of the whole South Asian sub-continent and the South American continent combined.

In 1997, the US lifted its 20-year-old ban on the sale of advanced weaponry to South America, leading in particular to a scramble by major US and European arms manufacturers to sell advanced fighter-bomber aircraft to Chile. Opposing this were 28 Latin American heads of state, who warned against an impending arms race in the region. In February 1998, the United States formally granted Argentina the status of “major non-NATO ally”, the first time such a status had been given to any country in South America. The spring 1999 edition of “NATO Review” gives pride of place to an article by Argentina’s Defence Minister in which he highlights how Argentina has built ever-closer links with NATO in the 1990s, in particular by sending its troops to join the NATO force in Bosnia. The article concludes by saying that “Argentina will continue to serve in the unique capacity of NATO’s South Atlantic partner”.

Thus, under the leadership of the United States, NATO is used to incite divisions and rivalries on the far side of the world and to provoke an arms race there; and NATO’s proposed “world role” becomes an accomplished fact.

On March 24, 1999, NATO launched its criminal war of aggression against Yugoslavia which is continuing to date. Today, NATO has replaced its “containment of communism” with its “new strategic concept” of waging wars for “human security” to deal with “ethnic cleansing” and “terrorism”, for example. Behind this is the same reactionary notion of the superiority of the Anglo-American values and the drive for world conquest at the expense of peace, freedom and independence for the world’s peoples. This strategy was adopted after it had already become fact at NATO’s 50th anniversary “celebrations” in Washington at the end of April. From a “Euro-Atlantic area” NATO is openly declaring a world role and is extending its pretexts to launch itself on a world scale. The NATO watchword has become: “Out of Area, or Out of Business”. A complete reorganisation has taken place of the command structure and the structure of the military forces to make them more “flexible” so that over the past five years NATO has become increasingly geared to intervention by rapid reaction or response forces.

The internationally-binding “Nuremberg Principles” of 1946 declare as punishable “Crimes against Peace” the following: (i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; and (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any acts mentioned under (i). NATO now stands accused of just such crimes by its very existence.  

Article Index

“NATO: foundation stone of Britain’s security”

“Ten years after the Cold War, NATO has a new role. We have learnt that there is a continuing need for a military organisation of NATO’s competence and strength. We have learnt that NATO is still essential to maintaining peace and stability. NATO’s role now is not solely the territorial defence of its members against any external military threat. The mission most often undertaken now by NATO forces is to act as the instrument of regional security by building peace rather than by waging war.

“NATO has served our country well. It has given us security against external threat. It has given us confidence in our relations with European partners who had previously been opponents. It has given us the means by which to police the security of our region. And NATO is also the most powerful pillar of the partnership between Europe and the United States. We who owe so much to the Alliance must now be generous in admitting as members the Central European countries on our borders.

“The cost of enlargement will not be great - either to existing or to new members. But the rewards of a successful enlargement will be great for both. The reward is a NATO that unites rather than divides our continent. The reward is a NATO that has opened its doors, rather than kept them closed to exclude even our immediate neighbours.”

Speech by the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, in the House of Commons, July 17, 1998  

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National Demonstration: Stop the Bombing Now!

Anti-war protestors from across Britain will be joining the national demonstration in central London this Saturday, June 5, to demand a halt to NATO bombing of Yugoslavia to allow the peace settlement to proceed.

The march and rally is the third national protest organised by the Committee for Peace in the Balkans and supported by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. London’s march is part of an international day of protest, with demonstrations in many cities world-wide.

The march assembles at Victoria Embankment at 1.30pm. The demonstration will culminate in a rally at Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, adjacent to the Imperial War Museum in Kennington, south London. This begins at 3.30pm. Speakers will include: Alice Mahon MP, playwright Harold Pinter, CND representative Matthew Pelling and Green Party spokesperson Jean Lambert.  

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Demonstration will demand: Stop Bombing Yugoslavia Now!

The Committee for Peace in the Balkans issued a statement on Friday, June 4. It said:

“It is barbaric for NATO to continue to bomb Yugoslavia when the country’s leaders have accepted the terms of a peace settlement which NATO says are acceptable. NATO states that bombing will continue until the withdrawal of Yugoslav troops from Kosovo can be ‘verified’. Does this mean that withdrawing Yugoslav forces, and the civilians who will undoubtedly accompany them, must risk the kind of massacres of tens of thousands of people which the United States perpetrated against retreating Iraqi troops and civilians on the Basra road after Iraq had accepted the US terms for settling that war? In the name of humanity NATO must stop bombing immediately.”  

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DPRK Denounces Bombing of Yugoslavia and Draws Out the Lessons

THE official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Rodong Sinmun, denounced the bombing of Yugoslavia by the US-led NATO in an article on May 22. The article points out that the Yugoslav crisis suggests very instructive and serious problems to people. One of them, the paper says, is that the aggressive nature of imperialism remains unchanged. The crisis shows that the United States, the ringleader of imperialism, is the most shameless strangler of sovereignty, a chief culprit of state terrorism and a wrecker of stability and peace.

Yugoslavia is a recognised sovereign state and the Kosovo dispute is its internal affair. However, the US has been attacking this country by putting NATO into action under the signboard of “humanitarian assistance”. This is, in essence, a strangler of independence and sovereignty of Yugoslavia and state terrorism against it. The crisis also fully proves that the strength of the imperialists is not almighty and their up-to-date military technique is not “mysterious”.

This crisis, writes Rodong Sinmum, also suggests that the end of the Cold War is not permanent and the spectre of a new Cold War is haunting the world. The Yugoslavia crisis has sparked a new arms race and confrontation in the international arena. The serious lesson drawn from the crisis demands that all countries and nations defending independence increase self-reliant defence capabilities by their own efforts and cope with any event on their own initiative, not depending and counting on others’ strength.

A number of prominent figures of the DPRK have also condemned the air raids on Yugoslavia and demanded they be stopped. Ryom Sun Gil, chairman of the central committee of the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, issued a statement to the press on May 4 which pointed out: The US-led NATO forces struck and destroyed a number of factories, enterprises, schools, hospitals, kindergartens and even running buses, not military objects, and bombed even the Chinese embassy, and tried to defend themselves by saying they were “mistakes”. All the facts clearly prove that “human rights”, “humanitarianism” and “peace” on the lips of organisers of aggression and accomplices are a mask to cover up their arbitrary acts to dominate the world. The more the US-led NATO forces escalate their aggression, the deeper they will be driven into dilemma and the bitterer their political, moral and military defeat will be. The Korean working class and other people express firm support and solidarity for the just struggle of the Yugoslav working class and other people to defend the dignity and sovereignty of the country.

Chon Yon Ok, chairperson of the central committee of the Korean Democratic Women’s Union, issued a statement on May 15 which, among other things, said: The US-led NATO, interfering in the territorial integrity and internal affairs of a sovereign state, is committing aggression in defiance of the UN Charter and the recognised principles of international law, and violating the wartime humanitarian regulations on protection of civilians and means and method of war. This must be punished as a crime against peace and ethics and a war crime. If NATO continues committing this criminal aggression, challenging the justice and consciousness of humankind, it will meet a bitter defeat.

News analysts of the DPRK have also put the aggression against Yugoslavia in the context of the hegemonistic designs of US imperialism in Asia. For example, Rodong Sinmun of May 14 points out that, while unhesitatingly committing military terrorist acts against a sovereign state, the US is trying to list the DPRK as a “sponsor state of terrorism”. The United States itself, the paper points out, is a hotbed, organiser, executor and sponsor of terrorism. This notwithstanding, the US is impudently hurling mud at other nations over terrorism. Its refusal to exclude the DPRK from the “list of terrorist states” in its “annual report on terrorism” reveals its intention to intensify its hostile policy toward the DPRK. Motivated by an ulterior intention to commit a new state terrorism against the DPRK, the US has staged joint military exercises together with Japan and South Korea, reinforcing its armed forces in and around South Korea. The same newspaper on May 15 pointed out that, regarding the Korean peninsula as a vantage for realising its ambition for domination over Asia, the United States has set it as a primary target of its reactionary Asia strategy and the main task for strategic predominance in this region to ignite a second Korean war and seize the peninsula. The US Defence Secretary said that US forces are prepared for three limited wars, which means unleashing another war on the Korean peninsula along with the attack on Yugoslavia. A news analyst of Minju Joson on the same day said that it is the US strategy to take hold of east Asia, establish the sphere of domination over the Asia-Pacific region with it as a springboard and, moreover, dominate the world. A commentary in Rodong Sinmun on May 22 denounces the United States for massively reinforcing its armed forces in South Korea for a war against the DPRK under the pretext of the Yugoslav crisis. It says that the facts of the arms build-up, which it details, clearly show that the US and South Korean war hawks have made it a fait accompli to unleash a second Korean war of aggression.

It is in this context that William Perry, special adviser to US President Bill Clinton and his special envoy, visited the DPRK from May 25 to 28. The Korean Central News Agency writes that William Perry and his party were to exchange opinions with the DPRK side on issues concerning the relations between the two countries.  

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The Genocide Must Cease

Cuban representative expresses to the Security Council the island’s condemnation of the attack on the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and reiterates that the solution to the conflict must be political, not military

THE destruction of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade “is not an accident but aggression,” affirmed Cuban representative Bruno Rodriguez at a meeting of the UN Security Council on May 7, called at the request of China.

“The government of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns this new act of genocide which constitutes a flagrant violation of the sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China, the UN Charter, international law and the Geneva Convention,” the statement read.

NATO has argued that it bombed the Chinese diplomatic mission by mistake, having targeted an adjacent building housing the country’s armaments division. “They are now cynically stating that the embassy was not a deliberate target, that it was probably an accident,” the island’s representative added.

Rodriguez declared that the Security Council could not remain impassive and silent as if it were unaware of this attack and the bombardments of the last 45 days which have resulted in death, injury, hunger, desolation and terror for millions of people.

Reaffirming President Fidel Castro’s recent words, he noted that in this situation, the only solution possible is a political one, not a military one, on the basis of respect for all the nationalities in that region, their religions, ethnic origins and cultures.

“Cuba trusts that the Security Council will not accept nor endorse any program whatsoever based on force, inequality and despoilment... that it will not accept nor endorse any kind of agreement before halting the genocide.”

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Full Text of the Peace Document

This is the full text of the agreement obtained from EU sources in Cologne and was the document taken to Belgrade by the EU’s envoy, Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, and Russia’s Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Agreement should be reached on the following principles to move toward a resolution of the Kosovo crisis:

1. Immediate and verifiable end of violence and repression in Kosovo.
2. Verifiable withdrawal from Kosovo of all military, police and paramilitary forces according to a rapid timetable.
3. Deployment in Kosovo under UN auspices of effective international civil and security presences, acting as may be decided under Chapter VII of the Charter, capable of guaranteeing the achievement of common objectives.
4. The international security presence with substantial Nato participation must be deployed under unified command and control and authorised to establish a safe environment for all people in Kosovo and to facilitate the safe return to their homes of all displaced persons and refugees.
5. Establishment of an interim administration for Kosovo as part of the international civil presence under which the people of Kosovo can enjoy a substantial autonomy within the FRY to be decided by the Security Council of the United Nations. Interim administration to provide transitional administration while establishing and overseeing the development of provisional democratic self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life of all inhabitants in Kosovo.
6. After withdrawal, an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serbian personnel will be permitted to return to perform the following functions:
:: liaison with international civil mission and international security presence
:: marking/clearing minefields
:: maintaining a presence at Serb patrimonial sites
:: maintaining a presence at key border crossings.
7. Safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons under the supervision of the UNHCR and unimpeded access to Kosovo by humanitarian aid organisations.
8. A political process towards the establishment of an interim political framework agreement providing for a substantial self-government for Kosovo, taking full account of the Rambouillet accords and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other countries of the region, and the demilitarization of the UCK. Negotiations between the parties for a settlement should not delay or disrupt the establishment of democratic self-governing institutions.
9. Comprehensive approach to the economic development and stabilisation of the crisis region. This will include the implementation of a Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe with broad international participation in order to further promotion of democracy, economic prosperity, stability and regional co-operation.
10. Suspension of military activity will require acceptance of the principles set forth above in addition to agreement to other, previously identified, required elements, which are specified in the footnote below. A military-technical agreement will then be rapidly concluded that would, among other things, specify additional modalities, including the roles and functions of Yugoslav/Serb personnel in Kosovo.

:: Procedures for withdrawals, including the phased, detailed schedule and delineation of a buffer area in Serbia beyond which forces will be withdrawn.
Returning Personnel:
:: Equipment associated the returning personnel
:: Terms of reference for their functional responsibilities
:: Timetable for their return
:: Delineation of their geographical areas of operation
:: Rules governing their relationship to international security presence and international civil mission.
Other required elements:
:: Rapid and precise timetable for withdrawals meaning e.g. 7 days to complete withdrawal; air defence weapons withdrawn outside a 25 km mutual safety zone within 48 hours.
:: Return of personnel for the four functions specified above will be under the supervision of the international security presence and will be limited to a small agreed number (hundreds, not thousands).
:: Suspension of military activity will occur after the beginning of verifiable withdrawals.
:: The discussion and achieving of a military-technical agreement shall not extend the previously determined time for completion of withdrawals.

A second footnote refers to the composition of the international force, as follows:
It is understood that Nato considers an international security force with “substantial Nato participation” to mean unified command and control and having Nato at the core.
This in turn means a unified Nato chain of command under the political direction of the North Atlantic Council in consultation with non-Nato force contributors.
All Nato countries, partners and other countries will be eligible to contribute to the international security force. Nato units would be under Nato command.
It is understood that Russia’s position is that the Russian contingent will not be under Nato command and its relationship to the international presence will be governed by relevant additional agreements.  

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