(Riot police officers move towards anti-NATO activists who set fire to a hotel near the Europe bridge, east of Strasbourg)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago NATO Host Committee have been trying to make Chicago citizens “drink the Kool Aid,” and think that the upcoming NATO Summit will be good for the city. The language on the Chicago NATO web site sounds like a fairy tale with such sentences as “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will hold meetings in Chicago from May 20-21, allowing the city to highlight its economic vitality, its arts and architecture, and its can-do spirit.” The city has even planned a children’s kite festival with face painters, balloon artists and a traveling zoo as part of the “festivities.” But I know my readers can handle the truth, so here it is.
First some background.
WHAT IS NATO:
“The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, is a political-military alliance made up of 28 member countries, including the United States. Formed in 1949, NATO has played a unique and essential role in maintaining security and stability throughout the past six decades. It has grown and adapted to changing political environments and security challenges and, with enlargements, partnerships, and peacekeeping missions, has proven itself to be a continuingly effective Alliance.”
WHAT WORLD LEADERS ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND THE CHICAGO SUMMIT?
“In all, several thousand dignitaries, along with an international press corps of thousands, will gather in Chicago. Attendees will include Heads of State and Government, cabinet ministers, other high-ranking government officials, and NATO’s Secretary General. In addition to the official meetings, the summit will bring a number of related events and conferences.” There are 54 countries listed on who is expected to attend the summit.
WHAT NATO SECRETARY GENERAL SAID ABOUT THE SUMMIT:
On April 19th, after a meeting of the NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs at NATO headquarters in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, “At our summit in Chicago, one month from now, all these countries and organizations will come together at the highest level. Other countries who have an interest in Afghanistan's stability will join us too. I expect the leaders of around 60 countries and international organizations to join us. This will be the biggest summit NATO has ever held.”
After the debacle is over, remember the words of Rasmussen that this was to be the biggest summit ever. How have other summits gone? The pictures on this blog of what happened in 2009 in Strasbourg, France speak 10,000 words, but here are some London Daily Mail quotes on what happened.
(Fierce protests: Protestors throw projectiles at police in downtown Strasbourg, France, on the second day of the NATO summit)
“Police using tear gas struggled to contain the protests as thousands of rioters armed with stones, sticks and barbed wire ransacked shops, smashed windows and set fire to several buildings, including a city-centre hotel.”
Crowds of demonstrators attempting to join the mob from across the German border were also forced back by French police. Police have been using tear gas in Strasbourg to quell protesters since Thursday night before the two-day NATO summit began. Yesterday police in heavy body armour and helmets were seen hoisting their shields as they were hit by missiles.”
“Some 15,000 German police and 9,000 French police are on call for the summit. Helicopters have patrolled the skies and police in fast boats have crisscrossed the river, too.”
In Chicago, condo associations have warned their residents to get out of town if possible during the summit. At my condo we have instituted a number of security measures, but at the Library Condos the warnings are very strong. This building said they have even hired two armed off duty police officers to help ensure everyone’s safety. Since all Chicago police officers are on full duty, these must be from the suburbs.
After reading this and seeing the pictures, do you still think the Summit will be a Mother Goose Fairy tale story or one from the Brother’s Grimm?