Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled “Evil Defeated by Good”, representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987, which banned land-based short- and mid-range nuclear missiles (a reach of between 500 and 5,000 km). Symbolically, the body of the dragon is in fact made with pieces of US Pershing-2 ballistic missiles (originally based in West Germany) and Soviet SS-20 missiles (originally based in the USSR).
But the nuclear dragon, which in the sculpture is shown as dying, is now being reborn. Thanks to Italy and other countries of the European Union, which, at the United Nations General Assembly, voted against the resolution presented by Russia on the “Preservation and Implementation of the INF Treaty”, rejected by 46 to 43 with 78 abstentions.
The European Union – of which 21 of its 27 members are part of NATO (including the United Kingdom, which is currently leaving the EU) – has thus taken a uniform stance with the position of NATO, which in turn has taken a uniform stance with that of the United States.
The Obama administration first, followed by the Trump administration, have accused Russia, without any proof, of experimenting with a missile from the forbidden category, and have announced their intention of withdrawing from the INF Treaty. At the same time, they have launched a programme aimed at renewing the installation of nuclear missiles in Europe to guard against Russia, while others will also be based in the Asia-Pacific region against China.
The Russian representative at the UN has warned that “this constitutes the beginning of a full-blown arms race”. In other words, he warned that if the United States should once again install in Europe nuclear missiles pointed at Russia (as were the Cruise missiles based in Comiso in the 1980’s), Russia would once again install, on its own territory, similar weapons pointed at targets in Europe (but which would be unable to reach the USA).
Ignoring all that, the EU representative at the UN accused Russia of sabotaging the INF Treaty, and announced the opposition vote by all the countries of the Union because “the resolution presented by Russia avoids the question under discussion”.
Essentially, therefore, the European Union has given the green light to the possible installation of new US missiles in Europe, including Italy.
On a question of this importance, the Conte government, like its predecessors, has abandoned the exercise of national sovereignty and aligned itself with the EU, which, has in turn adopted the position of NATO, under US command. And across the entire political arc, not one voice has been raised to request that it should be the Parliament which decides how to vote at the UNO. And similarly, no voice has been raised in Parliament to request that Italy observe the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires that the USA must withdraw its B61 nuclear bombs from our national territory, and must also abstain from installing here, as from the first half of 2020, the new and even more dangerous B61-12’s.
So this is a new violation of the fundamental constitutional principle that “sovereignty belongs to the people”. And since the politico-media apparatus swaddles Italians in the ignorance of these questions of such vital importance, it is also a violation of our right to information, not only in the sense of the freedom to inform, but also the right to be informed.
We must do this now, or else tomorrow there will be no time to decide – a mid-range ballistic missile can reach and destroy its target with its nuclear warhead in between 6 and 11 minutes.
This article was originally published on Il Manifesto. Translated by Pete Kimberley.
Manlio Dinucci is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.