Statement by A-ryhmä on Finland joining NATO.
Originally published on Takku and Enoughisenough14.
The majority of the Finnish elite have supported the idea of Finland joining NATO for a long time already. After Russia’s attack to Ukraine, support of the prospect has risen throughout the entire population due to fear of war. The elite wants to use this situation as an opportunity to submit a membership application to NATO.
It is understandable that Putin’s hostile policies cause fear and a counter reaction, but Putin is not going to attack Finland. Putin already imagines himself to be surrounded by enemies. Therefore, a military alliance opposing him expanding to the Russian border is not necessarily a punishment, but rather a validation of his deluded worldview. Applying for a NATO membership is about highly theoretical long-term threats, but on a long time span, anything can happen. For example, the US could turn into a dictatorship.
As a member of the EU, Finland is already part of a military alliance. Were Finland to be attacked, every EU county would quickly be at war, and through them, NATO countries as well. So a NATO membership is mostly about identity. It is justified by “belonging to a sphere of Western values”, but Turkey’s Erdogan, for example, has nothing to do with democracy or human rights. Erdogan has militarily occupying Northern Syria, destroying Kurdish society, as well as continuously attacking Northern Iraq in an attempt to squash Kurdish attempts for democracy. This behavior does not significantly differ from Putin’s Russia.
Choosing between two evils can be appropriate when there is nothing else to be done, but Finland is not facing a threat that makes this choice inevitable. NATO-Finland would be just a capitalist as Finland without NATO, but the former would be more supportive of imperialism. Joining NATO would be a choice to support Kurdish people’s persecution.
We do not want a world, where all areas must be part of a global superpower’s sphere of influence, and we do not accept attempts to establish a position in the said sphere of influence, except in an extreme emergency. Finland has already mostly given up impartiality by joining the EU, and throwing its scraps in the bin would only be an acceptance of any impartiality being impossible, and the role of smaller countries being to just pick the least repulsive master.
Attacking and occupying other countries has been an inherent part of US foreign policy in the last decades. NATO membership does not necessitate joining in on these attacks, but an attack is not defense only so long as the victim of the attack is not able to strike the attacker in the back. We should not assume, that none of the targets of the US or Turkey’s attacks will ever be able to strike back. In theory, Finland can refuse to defend other NATO member countries when they have caused their problems themselves, but in practice, in the end nobody wants to help the guy who never offers help in return. If Finland always overturns the deployment of article 5, it is unlikely Finland would receive any help while under attack either.
According to those who support joining NATO, it is purely a defense alliance. But it is often impossible to figure out who shot first. The US and Great Britain lie about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and they can lie again in the future. When an ally gets into a war, you are unlikely to start asking for proof and justifications, even if the
reasons for the war are questionable. Otherwise, an ally will soon be a former ally.
NATO is based on nuclear weapons. We oppose nuclear weapons, and support multilateral nuclear disarmament.
There are situations in which nonviolent defense can work, but we do not believe it can always replace violent self defense. A-ryhmä supports all forms of resistance to imperialism. When communities must defend themselves against authoritarian actors, we suggest voluntary defense organizations instead of an army. Currently in Ukraine, this voluntariness has succeeded at least partly and in some places, because there have been more willing defenders than equipment.
We especially support Ukrainian anarchists who have organized themselves into the Resistance Committee, and fight alongside Ukraine’s regional defense forces and other army units. In addition, we support Russian anarchists’ nonviolent and violent actions against the war.
A-ryhmä is an anti-authoritarian group, which opposes oppression in all of it’s forms. Down with domination and hierarchies! We organize lectures, movie showings, demonstrations, campaigns, underground study circles and the ‘people’s kitchen’.
You can read more in depth about A-ryhmä’s stance on militarized and armed power in Alusta’s program of principles, which A-ryhmä signs: http://alustaaloite.blogspot.com/2015/03/alustan-periaateohjelmaehdotus….
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