One only has to look back at the recent history of NATO to understand it needs to be poked with a very long stick. To put it bluntly. its US leadership are warmongering thugs and not to be trusted.*
The Ukraine war has been manufactured in Washington and Putin foolishly took the bait. As to Zelenskyy the Ukrainian president what did he think would happen when he got into bed with NATO - the Russian bear would roll over on its back and be satisfied with a jar of honey?
We're told by the MSM that borders are sacrosanct. They are not. They change with the prevailing political wind. I don't have to remind Britain's near neighbour of this. After a great many years as a single entity a sizable section of Ireland in the north east of the country was partitioned. Finland is another example, as is Mexico. Indeed Africa and the middle East were shared out by imperialist powers without a thought about historical borders. They simply drew a new line in the sand and to hell with the consequences. As to the Ukraine it's border has flip flopped all over the place down the centuries.
I'm not saying this is okay, just pointing out that it happens.
Sweden joining NATO. I'm not sure that is a runner. The Turkish president Recip Erdogan will demand a high price from the Swedish people if he agrees to support their application, including the betrayal of former members of Kurdish organisations and individuals who found sanctuary there. Besides, there is a lack of democratic accountability here which is hardly mentioned. Swedish people haven't been given a vote on whether or not to join NATO, a momentous event by anyone's standards as the country has been a nonaligned nation for over 200 years.
Finland is different for a number of historic and geo-political reasons that I won't go into now. But what I will say like the Ukraine, it's borders have dramatically changed especially in the twentieth century. According to DW News: By joining the alliance the Finnish people will be hit harder than most:
it only exports 5.4% of goods and services to the country, but Russia played a big part in key industries like paper and energy supplies, 87% of all oil products and 100% of natural gas came from Russia. Most of the consequence will be negative for the Finnish economy, many exporting companies will have to find new markets and this will take time when the global post pandemic recovery is facing head winds.
Which begs the question why hasn't the Finnish people been allowed a referendum to decide whether they wish to join NATO, instead of having a diktat imposed on them from those in power? If l were a Swedish or Finnish citizen I would ponder that old proverb, Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
• If anyone doubts this don't take my word for it - read what a former President Jimmy Carter said when talking to Trump:
The U.S. has been at peace for only 16 of its 242 years as a nation. Counting wars, military attacks and military occupations, there have actually only been five years of peace in US history — 1976, the last year of the Gerald Ford administration and 1977-80, the entirety of Carter’s presidency.
Carter then referred to the US as “the most warlike nation in the history of the world."
⏩ Mick Hall is a veteran Left Wing activist and trade unionist.