If it was not tragic, it would have been very funny that NATO had the nerve to blackmail Macedonia with any conditions and prerequisites for joining NATO. By accepting Macedonia in NATO, the United States will make another geostrategic step forward and provide additional opportunities for arms sales, while Macedonia, this poor little country of ours, will be forced to spend unnecessary money on military in times when money, which the country does not have much of, should urgently invest on far more important issues. But since the opening of a real debate about the need for membership in NATO has been prevented in Macedonia for more than a quarter of a century, since the media approach is almost exclusively given to misinformation, unnecessary statements and spins related to the alleged benefits of joining NATO – many think that NATO is something like the Holy Grail, so instead of spending NATO money on campaigns to convince us that it is good to accept this membership, instead of giving us economic help and other benefits to deceive us to accept this, they ask us to fulfill the conditions for membership. I will say it again – if it was not tragic, it would have been very funny.
One of the main spins they use is talking about NATO and the EU put together in the same package. As if they are talking about the same organization. So they talk about Euro-Atlantic integrations, wanting to create the impression that membership in one organization is inseparable from membership in the other. They even allow excursions in misinformation, posing, explicitly or implicitly, the membership in NATO as a condition for membership in the EU. And when the unquestioned facts about the existence of countries that are members of the EU without NATO membership are told (in fact, every fifth EU member is not a member of NATO!) And that Turkey, regardless of being a NATO member, fails to join the EU for more than 30 years, it is then recourse to relativization that in practice it has proven to be so. In doing so, they merely ignore the case of Ukraine, for which the plan was different due to geopolitical reasons: first, membership in the EU and then NATO. Wow, it can be done this way too? But, as this does not fit into the misinformation of NATO propagandists that EU membership was tied to previously becoming member to NATO, they ignore the Ukrainian example. On the alleged similarity of NATO and the EU, the propagandists are trying to devalue NATO’s opposition, arguing that this also means opposing EU membership. It’s not like that at all. Since they are not the same organizations, one can support Macedonia’s membership in the EU, while opposing the NATO membership. We will still need a realistic analysis of the arguments regarding EU membership. We need to ask ourselves the following questions: what does the suppression of the social dimension from the EU mean, what does it mean that in the EU today the ratio of developed and undeveloped countries is quite different than 30 years ago, what does it mean that the EU increasingly tolerates the violation of democratic standards by their member states? But, definitely, opposing NATO membership does not necessarily mean opposing the EU membership. It is quite possible to be for the EU, and against NATO. Being against NATO does not necessarily mean taking pro-Russian positions! This is another of NATO’s propagandists favorite spins. If someone is against joining NATO, then he had to be for Russia. Where does it say that? Russia has undemocratic power, which, like the United States, has imperialist claims. If anyone opposes US imperialism, must he they support Russian (or Chinese) imperialism? It is impossible for anyone to oppose imperialism in principle, no matter which country imposes it? NATO propagandists have recently allowed themselves to rally with russiaphobia. This needs to be condemned. There must be no incitement to spreading hostility to any people. One should always pay attention to the condemnation of power in a particular country not to cross hatred towards the people of that country. But do we see that NATO propagandists feel that they are losing ground under their feet as they begin to imply that any NATO criticism is necessary from the pro-Russian positions?
This imputing over the pro-Russian positions even serves NATO propagandists for themselves to adopt the aura of promoters of democratic values. They used to explicitly argue that NATO promoted democratic values, but after some non-democratic practices of some of the NATO member states became apparent, today propagandists usually refrain from explicitly placing this disinformation. The “ride” on the implicit assumption that once you are pro-Western, then you have to devote yourself to democratic values. How is democracy in Turkey? Ask the hundreds and thousands of people in prisons! Those who ended up there because of a word of criticism against the government. Is not NATO supposedly a club of democratic countries? Why NATO tolerates the violation of democracy and human rights in Turkey? Or, let’s take Hungary for example. Viktor Orban rules the country is in a similar manner as Nikola Gruevski did with Macedonia. Is that a rule that can be considered democratic? Why did NATO not point out to Hungary that it is a democratic club of countries and that such a practice of power is unacceptable under NATO standards? As soon as we put things like this, the truth comes to the surface. We all know that NATO will not exclude either Turkey, Hungary or any other country for violating democracy. NATO countries are accepted due to geopolitical reasons, not for the sake of promoting democracy! It is so obvious that it is a real shame how much it is cheaply to help NATO propagandists spread the misinformation that NATO was a club of democratic countries!
We will stay a little longer on the topic of democracy and NATO. If democracy is neither a condition for NATO membership nor a condition for retaining NATO membership, does it mean that a country that fulfills the geostrategic reasons for becoming a NATO member will be forgiven for its insufficient fulfillment of democratic standards? You already know the answer. But that answer has extremely important implications for us in Macedonia. SDSM-DUI’s authority did not raise democratic standards in general regarding the rule of VMRO-DPMNE-DUI. Is NATO prepared to accept Macedonia as a member regardless of whether democracy is being promoted or stifled? Is this position going to play a role in what kind of assessment will be given for the upcoming referendum, whether it will be fair and democratic or not?
Due to the lack of space, we will not address the disinformation and spin of NATO advocates over the alleged economic benefits of joining NATO and other quasi-arguments that bombard the public. One thing is clear. Membership in NATO, unlike joining the EU, is such an obviously wrong move that even they want to accept us under our constitutional name – we should not agree. NATO propagandists want to impose themselves with the democratic scare?
If so, let them not suppress the debate. Let them allow a greater media space for the arguments against NATO instead of continually bombarding us with their propaganda of disinformation, unnecessary claims and spins.
Zdravko Saveski, member of Levica