“War is what happens when language fails.”
― Margaret Atwood
I bear solemn witness to the fact that NATO heads of state and government meet only to go through the tedious motion of reading speeches, drafted by others, with the principal objective of not rocking the boat
Pierre Eliot Trudeau
Critics of NATO claim its noble sounding ideals of “establishing peace” and constant “humanitarian intervention” during times of conflict are really euphemisms for a strategy of Western powered and financed imperialist expansion.
Ashahed M. Muhammad
NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was founded in 1949. The first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay stated in 1949 that the organization's goal was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down." The members agreed that an armed attack against any one of them in Europe or North America would be considered an attack against them all. The Treaty member states at the time included the USA and Canada in North America plus 26 West European countries. It has since expanded to include East European countries originally members of the Warsaw pact. Today NATO members maintain a military strength of 3.3 million active and reserve military personnel and with an annual budget in excess of one trillion dollars. Clearly NATO provides a lot of employment.
Much has changed since 1949 but NATO retains the same goals to keep an enemy out, and to keep anyone opposing the alliance down. With so many careers dependent on thinking within the box NATO is a mental trap they can't escape. Currently there are no enemies threatening the alliance so one has to be invented otherwise NATO becomes an unwieldy and inflexible behemoth that serves no unified purpose. It is self-evident that conflicts such as in Syria and Ukraine and tensions with Iran can be better handled by bringing together nations that include those outside NATO's orbit such as Russia, Iran and China. For example Russia has negotiated the destruction of Assad's chemical arsenal and curbed the excesses of a mixed bag of rebels while American policy has floundered. NATO with its antagonistic view of Russia and Iran should not have any involvement in any of this. NATO has become a barrier to rational commercial and military alliances by identifying enemies where none exist. Its ancient mission is searching for a cause.
An overwhelming majority of Crimea's citizens (predominately Russian speaking) voted to rejoin Russia for a better life rather than continue as part of a corrupt Ukraine whose inept and unelected leader ( supported by a meddling US) stupidly threatened to deny Russian speaking citizens the right to use their language. The south eastern region of Ukraine is made up of 8.3 million Russian speaking citizens, amounting to 33% of Ukraine's population. If the Canadian Prime Minister decided to deny French Canadians the right to their language it is unlikely that the country would survive. This is the situation in Ukraine. By Crimeans voluntarily deciding to break away from Ukraine it rekindled the cause of NATO's old warriors who have viewed the Ukraine as their battle ground for placing missiles pointing at Russia's along its borders. They found their justification to bring back the Cold War. The usual robotic response of Europe's NATO members was to accept American direction to apply sanctions and more sanctions and the fracking industry has found a justification for polluting the environment to produce this highly expensive gas to replace cheaper gas from those evil Russians. Happily this is falling apart as German business barons are aggressively objecting to any breakdown in their growing commercial ties with Russia. Also good news in Crimea when MacDonald halted their operations Burger King immediately announced they would take over, so the silly season is breaking down.
Helmut Schmidt, the much respected ex chancellor of Germany has commented that Russia's actions in Crimea are completely understandable and the idea of sanctions "a stupid idea" The BRICS group (Chinese, Indian, Brazilian,South Korean) take the same position supporting Russia, so NATO's American "Old Warriors" and their servants in Europe's members of NATO face quite a head wind. What we have here is a very large and obsolete institution in search of a mission and unable to change course. With Russia, its targeted enemy a nuclear power, NATO is impotent and floundering.
The West is broke so all they can offer the Ukraine is the arrival of the IMF who as in Greece, Portugal and formerly in Yeltsin's Russia, undertook IMF programs of propping up banks while implementing severe austerity programs to pay for it. The end result is a lowered standard of living, the country faced with selling off its heritage and assets to the highest bidder to pay off the bankers and the emergence of carpet baggers who become a wealthy oligarchy. Putin brought this to an end in Russia and brought the nation out of poverty. He has also subsidized the Ukraine, offered additional funding as an alternative to the West's cashless IMF program and approached the EU to sit down and discuss it. But NATO members cannot consider talking to the enemy although cracks are showing.
The Trouble Maker - Victoria Nuland, US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs
Contributing to chaos in Ukraine and irritating Russia along its borders seems to be its only course of action for NATO and this is being assisted by the notorious Victoria Nuland,, (of "Fuck Europe" fame), who claims that the US has invested 5 billion dollars meddling in the Ukraine. Ms Nuland's specialty is 'Regime Change'. Her husband is historian Robert Kagan, Council on Foreign Relations member, and co-founders of the think-tank "Project for the New American Century" (PNAC). The PNAC called for, among other things, regime change in Iraq and a strategy for securing America's global control.
Victoria Nuland's 'Regime Change' objectives in Ukraine and now in Venezuela are consistent with realizing PNAC objectives. Founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan (her husband). The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) stated goal is "to promote American global leadership." In other words world dominance or global hegemony.
A leaked phone conversation between Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt clearly reveals their meddling in governing issues in Kiev. The EU and US have carried out a classic coup d'état in Ukraine using ultra-right forces as human resources that includes anti-Semites, Nazi movements, and racial purists. What's the objective in all this? Clearly the setting up of an American/EU puppet leader and the arrival of NATO as a bayonet pointing to Russia. Understandably Putin's response has been to place a strong military presence on its border. Its a Mexican Standoff. Putin defused Nuland's attempt to initiate regime change in Syria by negotiating the destruction of all chemical weapons. She is angry and is using regime change through Kiev to get back at him.
Where do we go from Here?
NATO can't offer a solution; it's the core problem by thinking of nations as friends and enemies. Its also largely financed and driven by US leadership (75% of its military budget). Since WWII US leadership hasn't performed very well; defeated in Vietnam, destroyed Iraq, entangled in Afghanistan, messed up Libya, currently confused in Syria and propping up and forming alliances with right wing and backward governments like Saudi Arabia who finance radical movements throughout the Middle East.
Where do we go from here and what do we stand for? I really don't know. I just know that NATO is obsolete and a dangerous communications barrier that no longer needs to exist. All nations need alliances but not through NATO's monolith .
I would like to hear the comments of anyone who has taken the time to read this.