NATO: MAKING FEAR PAY
What to think of individuals who put the entire planet at risk for a paycheck?
European and U.S. taxpayers keep NATO families in the luxury to which they have long become accustomed. And there are tens of thousands such families.
From the lowest to the highest within NATO the salaries are extremely generous. Those at the top of the tree earn in the hundreds of thousands while the lowest of the low still lives like kings and queens compared to ordinary hard-working mortals.
What would or could these men and women do if NATO no longer had a purpose? What kind of life could they expect if the fear that sustains NATO dries up?
There are many reasons why NATO still marches on despite its primary reason to exist having vanished like a puff of smoke over thirty years ago, not only the gravy train of a perpetual assured income, enough to send all your kids to the best schools and afford only the best from holidays to homes to designer clothes to cars and all the other goodies elite classes expect almost as their God-given right.
Imagine all the career structures where NATO personnel move steadily up the pay grades bi-annually, annually or based upon some propaganda coup, helpful comment or doubtful nation brought into the fold to assist the hate campaign against Russia. All those tens of thousands of career ladder positions need to be safeguarded. Show me a single NATO staffer who would willingly give up his or her job for the sake of world peace where nations get along with each other, Russia and China included. I would be willing to bet a large amount of dollars, pounds or any other currency that you could not find one single solitary soul who would do it.
The late great American investigative journalist Robert Parry was once at a swanky get-together of Washington political bigwigs where the alcohol was flowing freely and tongues began to wag in a similar very free fashion. He found himself talking with a particularly important member of the Washington elite during this confab. The topic turned to U.S. foreign policy and the anti-Russia campaign that was raging at the time. The perhaps quite tipsy bigwig turned to Parry and made a quite startling admission. “Yes, of course we lie about Russian aggression. We MUST do it to preserve NATO.”
Another great figure closely associated with U.S. foreign policy was George Kennan. He is attributed to be the man who almost single-handedly developed America’s containment policy regarding the Soviet Union. One day an enterprising newsman rang him up to ask his opinion on the fact that three ex-Warsaw Pact nations had just joined NATO.
The article which emerged from this phone conversation between reporter Thomas L. Friedman and George Kennan which was published in the New York Times is well worth quoting in full:
Foreign Affairs; Now a Word From X
His voice is a bit frail now, but the mind, even at age 94, is as sharp as ever. So when I reached George Kennan by phone to get his reaction to the Senate's ratification of NATO expansion it was no surprise to find that the man who was the architect of America's successful containment of the Soviet Union and one of the great American statesmen of the 20th century was ready with an answer.
''I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,'' said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home. ''I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.''
''What bothers me is how superficial and ill-informed the whole Senate debate was,'' added Mr. Kennan, who was present at the creation of NATO and whose anonymous 1947 article in the journal Foreign Affairs, signed ''X,'' defined America's cold-war containment policy for 40 years. ''I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe. Don't people understand? Our differences in the cold war were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime.
''And Russia's democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we've just signed up to defend from Russia,'' said Mr. Kennan, who joined the State Department in 1926 and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow in 1952. ''It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course, there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are -- but this is just wrong.''
One only wonders what future historians will say. If we are lucky they will say that NATO expansion to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic simply didn't matter, because the vacuum it was supposed to fill had already been filled, only the Clinton team couldn't see it. They will say that the forces of globalization integrating Europe, coupled with the new arms control agreements, proved to be so powerful that Russia, despite NATO expansion, moved ahead with democratization and Westernization, and was gradually drawn into a loosely unified Europe. If we are unlucky they will say, as Mr. Kennan predicts, that NATO expansion set up a situation in which NATO now has to either expand all the way to Russia's border, triggering a new cold war, or stop expanding after these three new countries and create a new dividing line through Europe.
But there is one thing future historians will surely remark upon, and that is the utter poverty of imagination that characterized U.S. foreign policy in the late 1990's. They will note that one of the seminal events of this century took place between 1989 and 1992 -- the collapse of the Soviet Empire, which had the capability, imperial intentions and ideology to truly threaten the entire free world. Thanks to Western resolve and the courage of Russian democrats, that Soviet Empire collapsed without a shot, spawning a democratic Russia, setting free the former Soviet republics and leading to unprecedented arms control agreements with the U.S.
And what was America's response? It was to expand the NATO cold-war alliance against Russia and bring it closer to Russia's borders.
Yes, tell your children, and your children's children, that you lived in the age of Bill Clinton and William Cohen, the age of Madeleine Albright and Sandy Berger, the age of Trent Lott and Joe Lieberman, and you too were present at the creation of the post-cold-war order, when these foreign policy Titans put their heads together and produced . . . a mouse.
We are in the age of midgets. The only good news is that we got here in one piece because there was another age -- one of great statesmen who had both imagination and courage.
As he said goodbye to me on the phone, Mr. Kennan added just one more thing: ''This has been my life, and it pains me to see it so screwed up in the end.''
The fact is that neither NATO personnel nor the serried ranks of European and U.S. political elites give a flying fuck about world peace.
These dinosaurs are stuck foursquare within an environment where they are virtual prisoners of the status quo. That status quo, built brick by brick since the end of World War II requires that the entire edifice remain forever and that if there is no longer a good reason for its continuance then a reason must be found.
The primary task they consider their sworn duty to perform is the maintenance of that status quo. There is no ability or inclination among the people involved to look beyond themselves and their own self-interest. Due to this, we have the world kept constantly at the door to a living hell, a phantom menace is always conjured up and highlighted using compliant mainstream news media and their headline slogans. It’s a cosy little cabal of self-serving elites all petrified that people might discover that peace broke out many years ago. That peace was a threat to the fear required to sell newspaper advertising and the papers themselves and a threat also to the vast empire of money-making based on a manufactured threat, NATO.
Look for no change to this nice little matrix of money-making. There would have to be genuine peacemakers involved along with people of sufficient mental stature to look beyond themselves to the benefit of all of us. As Mr Kennan inferred and Mr Friedman said openly, instead of this we are in the age of midgets.
Midgets who use fear to keep their positions to their great advantage and to the detriment and potential annihilation of the rest of us.