A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce A. Dixon
NATO, the armed fist of the US and Western Europe in Asia and Africa is coming to Chicago in May. NATO countries account for more than 70% of the planet's military spending. To underline their contempt for ordinary Chicagoans and their children, Chicago's Public Schools are sponsoring a “welcome NATO” video contest for public school children, but the first prize is much less than what a round fired from many of NATO's guns cost. What cheapskates.
NATO, Chicago's Cheapskate Public Schools Insult City's Children Again
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Bruce A. Dixon
“NATO is now the multinational cloak for US intervention in Afghanistan, and in the Middle East and Africa as well. It is the armed and predatory white West arrayed against the rest of the world...”
I was born and raised and lived most of my life in Chicago, and although I've lived in Georgia the last decade, I still consider myself an exiled Chicagoan. So this spring I'm especially proud of the movement activists and ordinary citizens of Chicago who did something we were all told could not be done against the opposition of the White House and Rahm Emanuel's City Hall. They drove the G8 summit meeting, which had been scheduled concurrently with the NATO summit in May, out of town.
So at the end of February, the White House quietly announced that the G8 summit would be moved to the remote presidential mountaintop retreat at Camp David, Maryland.
This is as it should be. No past meetings of the global bankster elite and their captive heads of state could be conducted in the midst of living cities full of ordinary people anyplace on this planet, because when ordinary people learn what the G8 is, they inevitably turn out to protest in large numbers, with permits or not, legally or illegally. This is why past G8 summits have had to be held on fortified islands in the Quebec River, at mountaintop retreats in Italy, on in the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia.
Chicago will, however, play host to the NATO summit in May, which is almost as bad. NATO was originally the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Canada, the US and the powers of northwestern Europe arrayed against the Soviet Union after World War 2. With the end of the Soviet Union in the 80s, NATO now includes all of Germany, and eastern and southern Europe right up to the Russian border and down as far as Turkey.
NATO is now the multinational cloak for US intervention in Afghanistan, and in the Middle East and Africa as well. It is the armed and predatory white West arrayed against the rest of the world, poised to seize and control the wealth and strategic resources of the former colonial world on behalf of those who rule the US and Europe. Taken together with the US, which alone accounts for half the world's spending on arms and military training, the NATO countries make up more than 70% of the world's military expenditures.
“So what's the first prize? A free ride scholarship at a choice college? A pair of new Mercedez Benzes like the winners of the Chicago marathon get every year?”
You really can't put a friendly face on that. But the Department of Cheapskate Public Relations at Chicago Public Schools, which since the 1990s have been under direct mayoral control, is trying. They're sponsoring a pitiful little contest among Chicago Public Schools students for who can make the best three minute video welcoming NATO's armed fist to Chicago next month.
So what's the first prize? A free ride scholarship at a choice college? A pair of new Mercedez Benzes like the winners of the Chicago marathon get every year? Not really. These are Chicago public school students and their teachers, after all. The first prize winner gets an iPad, and their teacher gets $400 worth of school supplies. They don't call them the Department of Cheapskate Public Relations for nothing.
When AT&T's minority broadband circus comes to town, they let Tom Joyner give away three or four dozen laptops in every city. NATO governments spend a lot more than iPad money on every single missile and round fired from some of their fancier guns. They should call up Tom Joyner and see how this bribing minority kids and photo-op thing actually works. It's just another cheapskate insult to Chicago, to our schools and teachers and our children.
A single iPad doesn't cost much. Movement folks in Chicago can probably take up their own collection and offer their own comparable prize for the public school student who comes up with the best “say NO to NATO video” around the time that zoo pulls into town. I hope they do.
And I hope to be back home in Chicago when NATO comes to town, and to join with tens of thousands of friends and neighbors to greet the bloody handed lying warmongers of NATO when they come to defile my home town. Hope to see some of you there.
For Black Agenda Radio I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com.
Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and resides in Marietta GA, where he serves on the state committee of the Georgia Green Party. Contact him at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com, or through this site's contact page.