Our country has been a vassal of the U.S. government for 21 years now, thanks to membership in NATO. We keep hearing fairy tales about how each member state has the same rights, and that NATO is not the pact of only one country; but the opposite is true.
When Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President George H.W. Bush met for their first official talks aboard the passenger liner Maxim Gorky on the coast of Malta on Dec. 2, 1989, the whole world breathed a sigh of relief that the Cold War had finally ended. The leaders of the two superpowers did not sign any treaty, but shook hands in agreement to fulfill the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and, most importantly, to gradually close down most of the military bases that had been built after World War II. Congress later passed a law affirming that Russia was no longer the “Evil Empire,” as former President Ronald Reagan had labeled it.
More than 30 years have passed, and today it is apparent that, to U.S. officials, that gentleman’s agreement is merely a big joke. During the 21 years that the Czech Republic has been a member of NATO, the number of U.S. bases has increased dramatically, and they have been located increasingly closer to the borders of Russia, which the American government and top NATO officials have groundlessly labeled an enemy. And so once again, we find ourselves today in the situation of facing danger, which supposedly lies in ambush for us in the form of a Slavic country – Russia. The former chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Czech Gen. Petr Pavel, deserves a great deal of the credit for this. His fanatical harangue about Russia to the media, which has been going on for years, is well known.
Although membership in this aggressive military pact was one of the foundational, historic milestones of our country, it was not for citizens to decide. And it was not anticipated, because the first discussion on joining took place very shortly after the capitalist takeover in 1989, under the sizeable initiative of Vaclav Havel and Madeleine Albright. By November 1990, the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic had already acquired associate delegate status, and three months later, Havel became the first president of the former Eastern Bloc to address Alliance headquarters. It was the very same Havel who, in the spring of 1990, had called for the dissolution of both the Warsaw Pact and NATO in the interest of preserving world peace.
Without any mandate from the people, our country became a NATO member on March 12, 1999. Four days later at NATO’s Brussels headquarters, Milos Zeman declared, “Today is a sunny day for the Czech Republic.”* Eight days later, NATO planes began bombing civilian targets in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The U.S. announced a month ago that it was considering the possibility of placing or maintaining its military bases in at least three more countries, supposedly to deter Russia and China.
The reset in relations between the U.S. and Russia declared by Barack Obama in 2009 has been gradually morphing into a new Cold War, in which the Czech Republic, through its membership in NATO ,is taking part.
*Editor’s note: Milos Zeman is currently president of the Czech Republic, and served as prime minister from 1998 to 2002.
About this publication