Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cold War Redux

Reuters: NATO in Estonia
Informed observers know that the West engages in anti-Russian propaganda and has done so since the end of WWII.  Perhaps earlier in the Cold War some of NATO's rhetoric against the Soviet Union was justified by the facts on the ground, but now NATO bombast is nothing more than a sales pitch to keep the war machine grinding out profits for weapons manufacturers.  What disturbs US Person is that NATO leaders may be beginning to believe their own lies about Russia and Russian intentions under Vladimir Putin.  NATO leaders should know that there is no credible evidence Putin provoked the 2014 Ukraine crisis.  What evidence is available shows the US influencing domestic Ukrainian politics.  A senior State Department official (Victoria Nuland) was caught on tape calling one Ukrainian candidate for president, "our guy".  Putin was trying to maintain the Ukrainian status quo by supporting the duly elected leader of that country, Yanukovych, not foment a coup.

In the days leading up to the Warsaw summit held recently, a Polish general and chairman of NATO's military committee said the deployment of more NATO multinational troops along Russia's Baltic border with Europe was a "political not a military act" arising out of necessity.  General Pavel went further, telling a news conference, "such [Russian] aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing."  Nevertheless NATO espouses exactly that in its joint communique, condemning "Russian aggression".  A classic example of Washington group think swallowed whole by the militarily dependent nations of Europe.  This comes just days after Britain's Chilcot Inquiry showed in minute detail how the Iraq War was caused not by Hussein's non-existent WMD, but by a steady drumbeat of agitprop emanating from the Bush White House, specifically from the Vice-President's office. 

Instead of the truth about relations between Russia and the West, western leaders endorse dangerous lies.  The NATO communique also says Russia invaded the Crimea, conveniently eluding the fact that 96% of ethnic Russians living in Crimea voted to join their motherland. It also ignores the elephant still in the room: two recent western alliance 'interventions' in Libya and Iraq.  NATO calls Russia's military maneuvers within its own borders "provocative", while NATO transports four new battalions eastward to the Baltics, a move it characterizes as merely a response to Russia's "fundamental challenge" to the alliance.

Why do NATO leaders engage in such elaborate double-think?  Are they insane? No, but they are critically sensitive to their countries' economic interests.  Weapons are big business and America is the world's biggest arsenal.  Reassuring our European allies is costing us $789 million in 2016 and that expense will climb to $3.4 billion in 2017. The alliance recently completed its largest military exercise ever, "Anakonda 2016", involving 31,000 troops, half of which were American.  No wonder Putin reverently wishes in his public remarks that NATO would come to its senses before an irreversible mistake is made.  However, the Pentagon has decided anti-insurgency is not its thing.  What it is built for is "high end" conflict in a game of great power competition.  Just call US Person a misanthropic "stooge" for fearing the Pentagon's contemplation of the unthinkable: all-out nuclear warfare.  Russia is no stateless group of terrorists marauding the desert from the back of pick-up trucks.  As one perceptive blogger put it, "We are the Empire".