War, Fear and Insecurity

As I read the news every morning, I keep reading the term “NATO.” To say the truth, I always viewed NATO as it is (war), which describes (shows) the mentality of the powerful against the weak. I was, therefore, impressed when I read The Nation’s
No to War, No to NATO
By its editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel.

” Activists see a NATO with bases on every continent; a military force that organizers say accounts for more than 75 percent of global military expenditures and drains resources that might otherwise address needs like education, job creation, and poverty; “out of area” operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan, the Mediterranean Sea, and a training mission in Iraq; a destabilizing presence pushing a “missile defense” system, ignoring international law, expanding to Russia’s doorstep, and maintaining a first-strike option — all fueling a renewed arms race. (Recently, popular opposition to the proposed Czech-based radar system for US missile defense was a key factor in bringing down the ruling government there.”

Such statement is amazing, because it sheds the light on the wide spread of the NATO forces around the world, which encourages other countries to arm themselves to remain strong against any possible ‘NATO threat.’ Indeed, war brings nothing but war, and killing only makes both the attacked and the attacker remain on their guards (on the alert) in case of any retaliatory responses or ‘preemptive strikes.’
In the The Things they CarriedWhen Dave Jensen broke Lee Strunk’s nose while fighting, Jensen had to remain on the alert for a while:

” In any other circumstance it might’ve ended there. But this was Vietnam, where guys carried guns, and Dave Jensen started to worry. It was mostly in his head. There were no threats, no vows of revenge, just a silent tension between them that made Jensen take special precautions. On patrol he was careful to keep track of Strunk’s where¬abouts. He dug his foxholes on the far side of the perime¬ter; he kept his back covered; he avoided situations that might put the two of them alone together. Eventually, af¬ter a week of this, the strain began to create problems. Jensen couldn’t relax. Like fighting two different wars, he said. No safe ground: enemies everywhere. No front or rear. At night he had trouble sleeping—a skittish feeling— always on guard, hearing strange noises in the dark, imagin¬ing a grenade rolling into his foxhole or the tickle of a knife against his ear. The distinction between good guys and bad guys disappeared for him. Even in times of relative safety, while the rest of us took it easy, Jensen would be sitting with his back against a stone wall, weapon across his knees, watching Lee Strunk with quick, nervous eyes. It got to the point finally where he lost control. Something must’ve snapped. One afternoon he began firing his weapon into the air, yelling Strunk’s name, just firing and yelling, and it didn’t stop until he’d rattled off an entire magazine of ammunition. We were all flat on the ground. Nobody had the nerve to go near him. Jensen started to reload, but then suddenly he sat down and held his head in his arms and wouldn’t move. For two or three hours he simply sat there.
But that wasn’t the bizarre part.
Because late that same night he borrowed a pistol, gripped it by the barrel, and used it like a hammer to break his own nose.” (O’Brien, 162, 163).

Fighting between Jensen and Strunk, obviously had consequences; it was not just Dave Jensen defeated Lee Strunk, the end, but it forced (or made) Jensen always worried, fearful of Strunk’s revenge, even though Strunk had not vowed to do so. Jensen’s life was transformed into a living hell, always on the alert, expecting Lee Strunk’s strike (revenge) in every sound or movement around him. Even the little quiet times for his companions were not of any comfort for him, as he remained in fear. In other words, fighting (defeating) Strunk did not provide Dave with anything but less safety and constant fear and feeling of insecurity.

This is war—this is NATO—it does not provide its member states with security, but it forces external countries (none-NATO members) to arm themselves, triggering arms race between nations, and consequently, making them all feel insecure, fearful of each other, and constantly expecting the enemies whom they strike to retaliate.
War, therefore, does not bring security or stability to the world; it makes both soldiers and nations feel insecure, and thus, war brings fear, not safety or security.

The only promising thing, however, is that people (the public) are starting to realize this, and this is indicated in the Nation’s article quoted above, about the resignation of the Check Republic’s government due to public pressure after they accepted the US proposed Missile system in their country. In addition, protesting against the NATO shows that people are getting sick of war, and are realizing that war is not the solution.

” Participants will include national and international groups representing the peace, human rights and anti-globalization movements, as well as students and youth groups. Also represented are trade unions, parliamentary Left and Green parties, and Attac. In all, 600 organizations from 33 countries — including Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Georgia, Brazil, Guinea, the Philippines and Turkey — have endorsed the campaign’s “No to War, No to NATO” appeal.”

No to War, No to NATO

Tim O’Brien’s The Things they Carried


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