A 7.8. magnitude earthquake hits Europe’s southern neighbors Türkiye and Syria – and the NATO alliance does next to nothing in response. What sort of security organization is that?
Rather, it seems to be too busy trying to start World War Three by undertaking an unprecedented mobilization of resources and equipment in Ukraine against Russia. A mobilization that is completely unwarranted and indeed is an audacious gaslighting charade played on the Western public.
The United States-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization has an annual military budget that exceeds well over $1 trillion spread over its 30 member nations. One of those members is Türkiye.
What sort of priorities has NATO? Not rhetorical, theoretical, or presumed priorities, but real-life practical, demonstrable priorities.
On Monday morning this week, southern Türkiye and neighboring Syria were devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake and multiple huge aftershocks. The death toll in both countries has risen to over 11,000 with tens of thousands injured and made homeless. With thousands of missing people trapped under rubble, the casualties will increase over the coming days.
Many countries were quick to send emergency rescue teams to the zone of havoc that straddles the border between Türkiye and Syria. Russia and Iran – experienced in such natural disasters – were among the first neighboring countries to send in aid and salvage crews.
By contrast, the apathetic response from the U.S.-led NATO bloc has been abject. What’s even more incredible, Türkiye is a long-time prominent member of the organization and is considered a vital partner for the European Union.
NATO bills itself as a “collective security organization”. Its remit is not just about military security. It touts itself as protecting the Euro-Atlantic hemisphere from all security threats including from natural disasters. Its lackluster response to the earthquake this week on the very doorstep of Europe is like that of a big shiny red fire engine parked lazily near a building ablaze – and doing diddly-squat about it.
All one has to do is compare the massive mobilization of military and financial aid that the U.S. and NATO mounted for Ukraine. The proxy war in that country against Russia has been fueled with over $100 billion in “emergency” spending by the United States and its European allies. No expense has been spared by Western governments who have signed off a blizzard of cheques funded by their taxpaying citizens to prop up a corrupt regime in Kiev to fight against Russia. (If you don’t know about the farcical Zelensky cabal and its teeming corruption then you have been reading too much Western media and getting your geopolitical views from Hollywood celebs.)
NATO has been bragging about showing “unity” and “resolve” in support of Ukraine where Ukrainian foot-soldiers are being slaughtered in what is a proxy confrontation for Washington against Russia.
The United Nations estimates that civilian deaths in Ukraine’s year-long war are around 7,000. That’s relatively low compared with the military casualties which amount to perhaps 200,000. Up to 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the violence and most of them are being sheltered in Russia. About four million Ukrainians who fled their country are being put up in hotels across the European Union, given visa-free status and generous comforts funded by taxpayers.
In a matter of hours, however, the earthquake to have hit Türkiye and Syria resulted in civilian casualties far surpassing the year-long war in Ukraine.
Why aren’t the United States and NATO members mobilizing tens of billions of dollars in aid and rescue crews for the quake victims? What are all those airplanes, ships, tanks and engineering equipment for if they can’t be deployed with efficient timing and logistics to save lives? Where is the will to move heaven and earth to dig people out of crushing debris?
Of course, the answer is that NATO is not a “security organization” in the normal meaning of the word. It is a war machine that serves U.S. imperialist objectives. It’s a relic from the Cold War that has now been redeployed to fight Russia and China, and in doing so push the world to the abyss of global nuclear war – the ultimate “insecurity”.
If practical security concerns had anything to do with NATO, the disaster this week in Türkiye and Syria demonstrates beyond doubt that the organization is nothing but a monstrous hypocritical front.
This week U.S. President Joe Biden gave his State of the Union speech before Congress. He was speaking less than 24 hours after the earthquake wrought devastation. He did not even mention the calamity during an hour and a half of cloying self-admiration about the virtues of the “unique nation”. Preposterously, he insisted in his nationwide address that the war in Ukraine is “a test of our age” for American leadership.
Biden claimed that the ever-so-chivalrous U.S. was “defending a stronger Europe” and “defending democracy” in Ukraine from “Russian aggression”. How’s that? By installing and weaponizing a Neo-Nazi regime in Kiev from a CIA-backed coup in 2014 and which is up to its eyeballs in corruption? Joe Biden is deceiving himself and the American public with narcissistic fairytales. No wonder the United States and its Western minions are in such a mess economically, socially and morally when unabashed delusion is aired nationwide on primetime TV.
The truth is far more ugly and bloody. And the truth is that the earthquake has inflicted such horrendous damage this week because of the decade-long U.S. and NATO proxy war in Syria. That failed war from 2011 for regime change in Damascus (using Islamist terror gangs as NATO foot-soldiers) caused millions of refugees and weakened infrastructure in the afflicted border area. A humanitarian crisis was already in place before the quake struck – a humanitarian crisis that Washington and its crime syndicate NATO organization have created from their criminal intrigues for regime change.
Adding ignominy to grievous injury, the international response to the earthquake is being hampered by U.S. and European Union sanctions against the Syrian state. Washington heartlessly said this week it was not going to lift its sanctions off Damascus in the aftermath of the quake.
All the grand vanity and deception of Washington and its NATO minions gets buried in an instant by a sudden movement in tectonic plates.
The United States and its lackey Western “powers” talk endlessly – and nauseatingly – about democracy, humanitarianism and security. Then when a real-world emergency happens, all the pious and self-regarding talk implodes in a pile of dust. And when the dust settles and the heartrending cries of children fade, all that’s left of Western claims is earth-shattered hypocrisy.
Finian Cunningham: Former editor and writer for major news media organizations. He has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages.