NATO is Not Welcome in Portugal!

The following is an excerpt of a statement released on August 29 by the"Yes to Peace! No to NATO!" Campaign of Portugal. The Campaign is a sponsoring organization of several marches and other mass actions against the NATO Summit, including the 30,000-strong demonstration which took place in Lisbon on November 20.

1) In its international relations, Portugal is governed by the principles of national independence, respect for human rights, the right of peoples to self-determination and independence, equality among States, the peaceful settlement of international disputes, non-interference in the internal affairs of other States, and co-operation with all other peoples for the emancipation and progress of mankind.
2) Portugal advocates the abolition of all forms of imperialism, colonialism, and aggression, simultaneous and controlled general disarmament, the dissolution of politico-military blocs, and the setting up of a collective security system, with a view to the creation of an international order capable of safeguarding peace and justice in the relations among peoples.
In Article 7 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic

On the occasion of the trip to Portugal by NATO’s Secretary General, within the framework of the preparation of NATO’s Summit, to be held in Lisbon in November, the Campaign "Peace, Yes! NATO, No!" – which encompasses 104 organizations – reaffirms its concerns and warnings regarding the real threats and dangers that are posed to the peoples as a result of the strengthening of NATO as an instrument for interference and aggression throughout the world.

Confronted with a growing crisis, the U.S. seeks, through the Lisbon NATO Summit, to force its allies into committing themselves to escalate conflicts in order to ensure the exploitation of resources, the control of markets and the political domination which it needs, in order to survive through the use of military force.

The U.S., which is facing its most serious economic and financial crisis since 1929, sees exploitation, violence and war as the response to the quagmire in which it is trapped. The U.S. Military budget for 2010 is the largest ever in its history, and is approximately the same as the sum total of those of all other countries. The military budget of NATO-member countries is roughly 2/3 of the world’s overall military budgets.

Those who promote the arms race, the militarization of international relations, the disregard for the sovereignty of peoples and war, are the same ones who are chiefly responsible for a deteriorating economic and social situation world-wide.

The Campaign "Peace, Yes! NATO, No!" also denounces the attitude of the Portuguese government which, whilst taking part in NATO negotiations, conceals from the Portuguese people the stances which it takes and does not promote a broad, serious and plural national debate regarding the serious consequences of tying Portugal to the ongoing escalation of militarism and war – an escalation which is in outright contradiction with the text of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.

Portugal will soon host the NATO Summit, at the same time as its budget allocations for military aggressions against other peoples are growing. These aggressions run totally counter to the national interest and are in clear disrespect of the Constitution of the Republic.

In Portugal, as in the European Union countries in general, it is those who live from their work, it is the pensioners, the poorest and least protected, that are burdened with “sacrifices”, whilst at the same time there are growing and immoral profits, subsidies and handouts. There is no lack of money for blackmail, interference and war.

Regarding the trip to Portugal by the NATO Secretary General, within the context of the preparation of that organization’s Summit which, among other goals, seeks to reformulate its strategic concept, the Campaign "Peace, Yes! NATO, No!" considers it necessary to denounce that:

1.The recently-disclosed contents of the so-called "analysis and recommendations of the group of experts for NATO’s new strategic concept" (a group which, significantly, was chaired by Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s Secretary of State during the illegal aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999), although devoid of fundamental novelties, can only give rise to greater concerns regarding the real dangers and threats which it poses for the peoples and the qualitative leap which is being prepared for the NATO Summit in Portugal;

2.In this document, it is defended that NATO should "normalize" and foment its aggressive acts of interference using any pretext; that it encourage higher military budgets (namely of its European members); an arms race; the setting up of foreign military bases and the deployment of troops outside the borders of its member countries; the transformation of the national armed forces into mercenary expeditionary forces at the service of NATO – that is, of the interests and ambitions of domination of the U.S. and the big EU powers – interference, the militarization of international relations and war;

3.The document reaffirms and takes to a new level NATO as an instrument of world-wide interference and aggression, prioritizing its activities outside the borders of its member States – in other words, inside the borders of non-member States;

4.The ambition is to project NATO’s actions into every region of the planet (Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and the rest of Asia, "obviously" omitting North America and leaving Latin America in the hands of the U.S.).

5.NATO actions are envisaged under the excuse of any (false) pretexts, with so-called "new threats" being concocted to try to justify NATO’s existence, doctrine, goals and illegal and criminal action;

6.In other words, NATO provokes and will provoke the situations that it will then use to try and “justify” its aggressions – before a public opinion that is intentionally manipulated through campaigns of disinformation;

7.International Law is again instrumentalized, whenever possible, to “legitimize” NATO’s illegal actions or, should that not be possible, is overtly flouted, claiming that any "threat" is reason enough to unleash interference and war;

8.Based on the experiences in the Balkans and Afghanistan, it is restated that NATO seeks to enlarge its sphere of action through the establishment of so-called "partnerships" with countries, regional or international organizations (including the UN) with varying contents, form and duration, so as to pave the road for its direct presence and action, or to tie and place others at the service of its goals and strategy of domination in all regions of the world. NATO is to play, according to the needs or possibilities, the role of director and main actor, or of director of other actors (as illustrated by the examples in the Balkans – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo – or of Afghanistan;

9.It reaffirms and lists all the hotbeds of tension and "threats", as defined by the USA, namely Iran, and puts forth the notion that a NATO aggression against that country may be justified;

10.It reiterates the promiscuity between the military and civilian spheres (humanitarian aid, civilian protection, …), subordinating the latter to the former, in the service of a strategy of interference and domination;

11.It reaffirms the European Union as a European pillar of NATO and its key and strategic ally, stressing the content and significance of the Lisbon Treaty for this militaristic goal;

12.It defends the preservation and use of nuclear weapons in NATO’s doctrine and strategy, defending the deployment of this type of weapons, namely of U.S. nuclear weapons, in other NATO-member countries;

13.It proposes that NATO considers as its own, the new offensive missile systems, including the anti-missile system in Europe;

14.It claims to defend a reduction and rationalization of NATO’s (administrative) expenses, but only in order to channel more resources towards wars of aggression against the peoples, as happens in Afghanistan, where it is confronting growing difficulties;

15.In a sentence, the document is a declaration of war against the peoples of the world.

With the increasingly overt and unacceptable goals of the NATO Summit, the demands and aspirations of the Campaign "Peace, Yes! NATO, No!" become increasingly relevant and legitimate:

  • To express the opposition of the Portuguese people to the holding of the NATO Summit and its war-mongering goals;
  • To demand that the government withdraw the Portuguese forces that are involved in NATO military missions;
  • To demand the dissolution of NATO;
  • To demand disarmament and an end to nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction;
  • To demand from the Portuguese authorities full respect for the contents of the U.N. Charter and of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, full respect for International Law and the sovereignty and equality of the peoples.
  • The Campaign "Peace, Yes! NATO, No!" considers that it is not possible to reform or improve the new NATO strategic concept that is being prepared, by deleting or rewording some paragraphs. What is needed is its total and outright rejection.
  • The struggle for peace and against war is an integral part and a necessary condition for progress and social justice.