If one wants to identify the people responsible for rising tensions in Europe with the Russian Federation, then look no further then the knaves, lunatics and yellowbellies of NATO.
Let’s start with the knaves. The biggest knave of all is the US president Barack Obama. Many Americans voted for Obama hoping for a real change in government. Instead they got the same ol’, same on neoliberal, neocon Republicanism, only worse. They got a slick, smooth-talking sharper who does not blanch at telling the most outlandish, outrageous lies. The dystopian world anticipated by Orwell in 1984 has arrived.
From Obama’s point of view, he is not lying, of course; he is «creating new realities». It’s a great line and it could have come from Orwell, but it didn’t. It came from George W Bush’s right hand man, Karl Rove. It was in 2004. The United States and its first butler, Great Britain, had just destroyed Iraq. The Bush administration was boasting of victory so it seemed at the time. Rove claimed that «reality» was a superfluous consideration. «That’s not the way the world really works anymore», Rove said. «We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do».
Rove said it, and Obama demonstrates Rove’s law, almost every time he speaks publically. You might laugh at how preposterous Obama has become, but it’s no laughing matter when it comes to NATO and its encirclement of Russia. NATO had its big «summit» meeting in Warsaw this month. The city was plastered with posters comparing Russia to the Nazi SS. You know Poland, or maybe you don’t, but its Russophobia dates back centuries and is rooted in its failure to gain control of the Ukrainian and Byelorussian borderlands between Russia and Poland. In its perennial wars with Russia, it almost always lost. So Polish nationalists, let’s call them sore losers, want to even the score, and what better way to do it then with the help of NATO. Does the Polish government have a hidden agenda: to re-establish Poland’s frontiers of 1772 and its great power status? Let’s call it the tail wagging the dog.
That’s alright with Obama because it suits his interests. He wants to put Russia in its place, force its submission to American hegemony. He can’t abide the «truth teller» Vladimir Putin, whose refreshing public honesty so underscores Obama’s dishonesty. It’s a grave matter when an elected head of government lies to his people as a matter of course. Such conduct can only be dangerous. In Warsaw, Obama declared that Russia was an aggressor. «Russian aggression against Ukraine», he said, «threatens our vision of a Europe that is whole, free and at peace». Psychologists call such accusations «projection». I call it «pot calling kettle black» or the aggressor, Obama, accusing his targeted victim, the Russian Federation, of aggression. The accusation is preposterous, but it is the main NATO line to justify its military encirclement of Russia. Then there is this astonishing statement in the recent NATO communiqué. «…Large-scale snap exercises [on Russian territory are] contrary to the spirit of the [2011 OSCE] Vienna Document… [as are] provocative military activities near NATO borders, including in the Baltic and Black Sea regions and the Eastern Mediterranean…»
«Do as I say», insists the United States, «not as I do». Are not «NATO borders» now on Russia’s borders? Does not the Russian Federation have security interests on its western frontiers or in the Baltic and Black Seas of all places and the eastern Mediterranean? The NATO communiqué denies Russia’s right to defend its borders or centuries old national security interests. «We moved in», NATO has said to Russia in effect, «you move out».
The Ukrainian crisis was not precipitated by Russian «aggression», but by US and EU support and direction of a fascist, or «Neo-Nazi» coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014. Ukraine was intended to become the «buckle» of the NATO encirclement of Russia. Here was yet another American «colour revolution» aimed against the Russian Federation.
If any act of aggression was committed, it was by the United States and its European vassals. The coup d’état, like the fascist mutinies in Spain in 1936, provoked resistance in various parts of Ukraine. In some places, Odessa, Mariupol, and Kharkov, for example, the resistance was repressed. In other areas it succeeded. In Crimea the largely Russian population immediately rose up, mobilised its militias, and then voted massively for reunification with Russia. I call that self-determination, not «aggression». The people in Crimea received help from Russian sailors and marines stationed by treaty rights in Sevastopol. The American hallucination of expelling the Russian Black Sea fleet from its home port and taking its place, was dashed. In other parts of Ukraine, notably in the regions of Lugansk and Donetsk, the largely Russian population took up arms against the Kiev junta’s marauding bravos.
The knave Obama claimed that Russia «invaded» Ukraine; it did nothing of the sort. «Miners and truck drivers» of the Donbass, as Putin once put it, defended their homes and families against Kiev’s murderous fascist militias. They got support from the Russian government; how could Moscow ignore the massive violence being perpetrated against its own people? There was no Russian «invasion», although US, British, Canadian, and other NATO soldiers and mercenaries are now present in Ukraine, backing the neo-Nazi junta in Kiev. The west is in effect facilitating the re-legitimisation of fascism in Eastern Europe, backing the Kiev junta and the celebration of Nazism in the Baltics.
Was World War II for nothing? Explain that to our surviving vets.
The knaves in NATO are also the lunatics. What do they think they are doing, holding military exercises on Russia’s frontiers, stationing troops in the Baltic states to threaten Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg, building missile bases in Romania and Poland? NATO’s eastward movement toward Russia’s frontiers had nothing to do with the fascist putsch in Kiev. NATO expansion began in the 1990s in spite of promises to the contrary notwithstanding. A 1997 NATO commitment not to station troops in Eastern Europe is also being violated. It’s «not legally binding», say the Americans. Is there any NATO agreement with Russia which is «legally binding»?
«What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too», Obama would say with a perfectly straight face.
The American generals who command NATO forces have been and are Russophobes. General Philip Breedlove, recently retired, is reported to have tried to goad Obama into even more aggressive behaviour toward Russia. Breedlove’s statements are redolent of the fictional American warmongers Buck Turgidson and Jack D. Ripper in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove. One could even imagine Breedlove as T. J. «King» Kong, riding an atomic bomb, like a bucking horse, to oblivion.
Fiction reflected reality, and still does.
All the lunatics are not of course American generals. Some Europeans, for example, the retired NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, are more American than the Americans themselves. And let us not forget the former Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, who spoke like a ventriloquist’s dummy, regularly taken out of a suitcase by his American voice. Why do Europeans so demean themselves?
As for the yellowbellies, let’s consider the Europeans, who know better, even speak out publically, but then bow to Obama’s «new realities». Take for example, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister. He has spoken against US inspired sanctions, which have done serious damage to German economic interests. Recently, Steinmeier condemned NATO’s «loud sabre rattling and warmongering». Or, consider French president François Hollande’s recent comments. Russia should not be considered a threat but rather a partner. «NATO has no role at all to be saying what Europe’s relations with Russia should be», Hollande stated on July 8 as he arrived for the NATO summit in Warsaw: «For France, Russia is not an adversary, not a threat». The recent terrorist attack in Nice should only confirm Hollande’s convictions. Enough is enough. There needs to be a change in policy. Of course, Steinmeier and Hollande are not the only ones. Italy wants to strengthen its economic presence in Russia and hopes ties between Moscow and the European Union will improve, said Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi a few weeks ago.
I could go on and on. Obama has declared that Russia threatens the Baltic states and Poland. «There he goes again», you might think. It’s more «new realities». No European or even US intelligence service believes such assertions. Every once in a while the truth leaks out. Czech General Petr Pavel, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, said recently that Russia was no threat. «It is not the aim of NATO to create a military barrier against broad-scale Russian aggression», Pavel opined, «because such aggression is not on the agenda and no intelligence assessment suggests such a thing». Pavel’s truth telling was a gaff, Obama must have thought. Otherwise, why station 4000 NATO troops in the Baltic states and Poland? Well, for one thing NATO needs an enemy to justify its continued existence; the US government needs a reason to justify increased military spending and to pressure the European states to increase theirs.
The European leaders, like Steinmeier, Hollande and Renzi, amongst others, know that Obama is lying. They know that Washington is forcing the European states to act contrary to their interests. They know that Europe, not the United States, pays the price of anti-Russian sanctions. Even the French National Assembly recently approved resolutions against sanctions. So why did France, Germany and Italy sign on to the preposterous NATO communiqué accusing Russia of «aggression»? Are they all yellowbellies, who are afraid to stop the dangerous provocations of Russia or to challenge Obama’s «new realities»? Time is running out for answers.