Unprecedented Protester vs. NATO Debate is on for Thursday night

CHICAGO, IL — After some difficulties lining up pro-NATO participants, a widely-publicized debate about NATO that may be without precedent is on for 6 PM to 7 PM, Thursday, May 17 at the Pritzker Military Library, 104 S. Michigan Avenue.  The debate will be webcast and can be viewed at www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org, will also be available to the media via The Chicago Switch at PML.1 Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Last week after NATO leaked news about the impending debate and the debaters on its side, those debaters pulled their participation from the event.  Anti-NATO forces led by the Coalition Against the NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8), organizers of the big Sunday, May 20th march on the NATO summit, lobbied to have the debate in a much larger venue so that all who wished to witness it in person could do so, but pro-NATO forces refused to participate in such an event.  Therefore, there will only be a small, invitation-only audience evenly split between the two sides.

CANG8 insisted also that the event be open to the media, and were successful in reaching agreement on that principle.  Nonetheless, due to limited space at the Pritzker Library, media participants are asked to RSVP, bring photo identification, and a press pass or other documentation indicating which outlet(s) they are representing. 

Representing anti-NATO protesters will be Iraq Veterans Against the War Chicago Chapter President Iris Feliciano. Feliciano is served in the Marine Corps on Active Duty from 1996 to 2005 and on Reserve Duty from 2006 to 2010, and served in Operation Enduring Freedom.  Also representing the protesters will be Rick Rozoff, an internationally recognized researcher on NATO and author of the Stop NATO website.    

Representing the pro-NATO side will be Ambassador J.D. Bindenagel and John Allen Williams, Ph.D. Bindenagel is a former U.S. Ambassador and career diplomat who served in Germany during the end of the Cold War, and was involved in debates on NATO security policy and membership.  Williams is Professor of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. He is a retired Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve and served with the NATO Inter-Allied Confederation of Reserve Officers (CIOR).

The moderator will be Richard E. Friedman, President of the National Strategy Forum.  Friedman also serves as Counselor to the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security.  Mr. Friedman was an Air Force Officer during the Korean War, and served on the Army Science Board.

The CANG8 wishes to thank Mr. Friedman and the National Strategy Forum for approaching us to propose the debate, and then lining up others on the pro-NATO side to engage in it.  The National Strategy Forum also kindly opened the pages of its journal, National Strategy Forum Review, to allow CANG8 organizer Andy Thayer publish an article about why he opposes NATO.