The insane dynamics of war



NATO must be recognized not just as a criminal organization, but as a mortal danger to the survival of civilization.

Deliberate provocations by a nuclear rival, coups d'état, color revolutions, broken promises, broken treaties, escalating tensions, demonization, slurs, double standards – all while asserting adherence to international legal norms and playing innocently on our aggressions, our violations of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, Articles 1(2),[1] 2 (3),[2] 2 (4)[3] and 39[4] of the UN Charter.

Abrams tanks, Leopard tanks, F-16s, indiscriminate weapons, depleted uranium, cluster bombs. The summits illustrate how the moral compass of the collective West gets lost in the avalanche of fake news,[5] false history, false law, bellicose rhetoric, media hyperbole, serial harassment of dissidents, harassment of whistleblowers, censorship. Western binary mentality continues to divide the world into good and bad countries, democracies and autocracies. There is little room to accommodate a comprehensive picture of prehistory, root causes of conflict, and nuance. There is an almost total absence of a sense of proportion.

The global majority in Latin America, Africa and Asia are increasingly alarmed by the surrealistic spectacle of a collective West that seems out of control, developing its own lethal dynamic, displaying a paroxysm of Russophobia and Sinophobia, inciting hatred, canceling culture , refusal to maintain a serious dialogue, doubling down on eschatological demands. Many non-Western thinkers and politicians are articulating justified warnings that the ongoing internecine conflicts in the West are adversely affecting the economies of third world countries and could result in the Apocalypse for the entire planet. The West is not playing classic Russian roulette – it has developed its own version: Ukrainian roulette, compulsive apocalyptic vabanque.

Meanwhile, Western media, notably Reuters, AP, CNN, Fox, New York Times, The Washington Post, with the BBC, Le Monde, Figaro, FAZ, the mirror and even the swiss NZZ ensure daily doses of indoctrination for Western audiences, providing distorted narratives that repeat and embellish what Washington and Brussels mandate, blithely ignoring other views and perspectives and the audiatur et altera pars principle. Media freedom in the collective West seems to mean the right to repeat NATO narratives ad nauseam, even when proven wrong. This “freedom” also includes the freedom to ignore all voices critical of NATO and to refrain from asking critical questions at NATO press conferences.

Western media systematically fail to report the fears of billions of human beings in the rest of the world, Brazilians, Mexicans, South Africans, Ugandans, Indians, Chinese, who want peace and stability in the world, as well as a chance for sustainable development. Many in these countries blame not Russia but Washington and Brussels for provoking the conflict in Ukraine. This global majority is not interested in whether Crimea is in Russia or Ukraine. They demand a peaceful solution to an internal Western conflict, so that the spillover does not displace the economies of non-Western countries. Peace must be sought and won at the negotiating table and not on the battlefield.


The power of advertising

In the legal, moral, and political arenas, the truth is less important than the perception of the truth. Since time immemorial, language has shaped our perception of reality, coloring it according to the political agenda of the powerful. Advertising was not invented in the XNUMXst century. It has always existed and generated an opportunistic pseudo-reality, an epistemology that subverts our understanding of facts and events. Labels, caricatures, generalizations serve as shortcuts for judgments and influence our daily behavior in choices. We are not obliged to use these templates, but most people do so without thinking.

Mainstream media narrative managers are bent on persuading us to believe who is good and who is bad, which politicians we should like, whom we should despise, what “metaphysics” we should consider valid within mainstream (conventional) epistemology. Of course, we still have our own brains and we can use them – sapere aude! As Horace used to say.[6] The sad thing is that even highly educated people, graduates of Harvard, Oxford, Science-Po, continue to place their trust in media that do not deserve our trust. As Julius Caesar said: quae volumus, ea credimus liberenter — we believe what we want to believe.[7] Indeed, it takes temerity to realize that our own politicians and media lie to us, that they are purveyors of disinformation and practitioners of Orwellian doublethink.

Human beings have an innate desire to believe in a positive metaphysics, they want to mirror themselves in some authority, they need to have references, points of orientation. That's why we are all, to some extent, denialists, resistant to bad news. Despite the blatant official disinformation that preceded Western aggressions in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, we still want to believe that our governments are really upholders of the rule of law and human rights, that they “mean well”, even if they occasionally inadvertently “make mistakes”.

Of course, it's painful to accept that some things that affect us are ugly, but the realization really opens up new perspectives. If we reject blind faith in our leaders and practice a healthy skepticism, if we proactively seek other views and perspectives, we grow, mature and experience a sense of liberation from illusions, gaining a new purpose based on the facts as they remain, not as we would like them to be.


the function of the law

The law has an epistemological function when defining what is allowed and what is reprehensible. The law is not immutable or God-given, but constitutes a codification of the rules of the game at a particular moment in time and in a particular context. Law should not be confused with justice. Law is just the expression of a certain order of things, past and future generations and other civilizations may have totally different legal orders and different ideas about what justice entails.

Education teaches us to respect certain “red lines” laid down by the scribes of our society – the legislators in Parliaments, in the United Nations, in international conferences, such as those organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which concretized the ius in beautiful, the laws of war. These codifications include the rejection of indiscriminate weapons such as landmines and cluster bombs. The International Convention Prohibiting Cluster Munitions (123 signatories, 111 States Parties)[8] of December 3, 2008 was signed by many states that are now considering supplying cluster bombs to Ukraine. Who knows!

Judges apply laws that have been codified by institutions that have the authority to legislate. It is what we like to call the “rule of law”, not to be confused with the “rule of justice”. Furthermore, the “rule of law” is systematically undermined when the legal profession engages in blatant double standards and international tribunals such as the International Criminal Court[9] they practice selectivity, investigating only a few crimes, while leaving crimes committed by western countries unpunished.


criminal organizations

Articles 9 and 10 of the London Agreement of 8 August 1945, the Statute of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, as well as the Nuremberg Judgment of 1 October 1946[10] created a precedent for a previously uncodified crime – participation in a “criminal organization”. Several Nazi organizations, including the SS, the Gestapo and the Reich Cabinet, were considered criminal organizations, a problematic concept that goes against the legal principle of the presumption of innocence.

If we move forward to the 6st century and consider the activities of the CIA, MI30, Mossad, targeted assassinations, overt and covert actions in violation of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, what is the relevance of the Nuremberg precedent for these organizations and for the World Organization itself? North Atlantic Treaty. If we compile the evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by NATO forces over the past 7 years, that would be enough for the International Criminal Court to issue indictments for violations of Article 8 (crimes against humanity) and XNUMX (war crimes ) of the Rome Statute.

Initially, NATO had its raison d'être under its 1949 Treaty. But by the time the Warsaw Pact was dismantled in 1991, that rationale fell away, and it gradually morphed into an imperialist hegemonic military bloc bent on imposing the Worldview from the collective West to the rest of the world.

While Chapter VIII of the UN Charter recognizes the legitimacy of “regional arrangements” (Articles 52-54) in the field of collective security, it requires that these regional arrangements be subordinated to the superior authority of the Security Council, which has a monopoly on the lawful use of force. Since the 1990s NATO has conspired to usurp the functions of the Security Council and so far has gotten away with it, even though the NATO treaty must yield to the primacy of the UN Charter, according to Article 103 of the Charter, the “supremacy clause”. If States are dissatisfied with the current state of international law, it is up to them to seek an amendment to the UN Charter in accordance with article 108.

It was undoubtedly contrary to the Charter of the United Nations for NATO countries to use military force against Yugoslavia in 1999, in the absence of a Security Council resolution under Chapter VII and a finding under Article 39 of the Charter that there was a previous threat or breach of international peace and security rules and the failure of peaceful negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations. Without Security Council approval, NATO actions in Yugoslavia and elsewhere were simply illegal and involved the civil and criminal liability of the State, including the obligation to pay reparations to victims of aggression. NATO's actions since the entry into force of the Rome Statute in 2001 deserve to be investigated under the rubric "crime of aggression" (Article 5 of the Rome Statute) supplemented by the Kampala definition of aggression and, of course, under Articles 7 and 8.


The end never justifies the means

Florentine diplomat Nicolo Machiavelli never wrote the phrase “the end justifies the means” in his famous book The prince. Yet the thrust of the entire book is just that. Down through the ages, those in power have always asserted that since their goals were supposedly noble, the means to achieve those ends should be allowed. The same idea is expressed in common parlance that you cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. But this is a lame excuse. What must be understood is that the bad means defile the end and make it bad as well.

Politicians and media in the collective West try to justify the unjustifiable, including indiscriminately delivering weapons to Ukraine, covering up US involvement in the Nordstream pipeline explosion,[11] Ukraine's responsibility for the bombing of the Zaporozhe nuclear power plant and the Kakhovka dam[12] and other dams.[13] Politicians and the media systematically engage in apologetics about war crimes committed by NATO forces. In addition to merely covering up crimes, they engage in a form of totalitarian censorship and practice cruel persecution of whistleblowers who tell us what crimes are being committed in our name. In fact, secrecy is a facilitator of crime.

Few people know that the Holocaust, the greatest crime of the XNUMXth century, was largely perpetrated under the cloak of secrecy, that the Führerbefehl no. 1 required absolute secrecy about government practices,[14] that the killers of Einzatzgruppen they had to sign on pain of death that they would never reveal anything about the murders, why Heinrich Himmler reminded the murderers in his 1943 Posen speech of the absolute necessity of secrecy. This is why there was Nazi Operation 1005[15] to try to erase the evidence of the murders by the Einsatzgruppen, digging up mass graves and turning over the skeletons, because most of the concentration camps in the east were evacuated and destroyed before their capture by the Soviet Army. Secrecy and denial were indispensable elements of the criminal conspiracy.[16]

UN Rapporteur Nils Melzer's book The Trial of Julian Assange[17] documents the egregious violations of the rule of law in the US, UK, Sweden, Ecuador in connection with the Assange frame and “prosecution”. Indeed, Nils Melzer is the Emile Zola of the 1890st century, demonstrating far worse judicial misconduct than Zola revealed in the XNUMXs in connection with the framing of Alfred Dreyfus by a French military tribunal. The Assange scandal is much worse than the Dreyfus Affair,[18] but the mainstream media today have totally failed in their duty of surveillance and many journalists have even joined the wolves.


What future for NATO?

Professors like John Mearsheimer,[19] Richard Falk,[20] Jeffrey Sachs,[21] stephen kinzer[22] and others expressed their concern about the dangers that NATO poses to the survival of humanity, with the rationale that it should be dismantled. The best that can be hoped for is that NATO will be phased out and that the Global Majority will succeed in rejecting NATO's ambition to expand further not only in Europe but also in the Asia-Pacific region. Perhaps if the global majority exposes the multiple war crimes of NATO forces over the last 30 years and demands accountability from NATO countries, the perception of NATO as a “defence alliance” will be replaced by the label of a “criminal organization”.

When the media indoctrination and propaganda about NATO is exposed as false, when the perception in Western countries turns from positive to negative, when people realize that NATO is a Machiavellian institution that has exhausted its usefulness, it will be possible to gradually slow it down.

Ultimately, NATO must be recognized not just as a criminal organization, a roaring vestige of a dying Western imperialism, but as a mortal danger to the survival of civilization on Earth. NATO is on the wrong side of history.

Alfred de Zayas is professor of law at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and served as the UN's Independent Expert on International Order in 2012-18. Author, among other books, of Building a Just World Order (ClarityPress).

Translation: Waldir Beividas.

Originally published on the website counter punch.


1. Among the purposes of the UN “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace”

2. All Members shall resolve their international disputes by peaceful means, in such a way that international peace, security and justice are not threatened.

3. All Members shall refrain, in their international relations, from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

4. The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace….


6. Dare to think for yourself, dare to know! Horace, First Book of Letters (20 BC). Immanuel Kant also used the expression in his 1784 essay "What is Enlightenment?"

7. De bello civile, 2, 27, 2


9. A. de Zayas, Chapter 4, The Story of Human Rights, Clarity Press, Atlanta 2023.



12. acusa-ucrânia-destruindo-kakhovka-dam-behest-west-2023-06-07/




16. A de Zayas, Völkermord als Staatsgeheimnis, Olzog Verlag, Munich 2011.

17. Verse Books, New York, 2022.


19. The Great Delusion, Yale University Press, 2018.




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