Connect with us

Latest

News

Staff Picks

NATO Wants To End Russia’s Independence – Not Just Prolong its Own Existence

Statements by Western leaders clearly show they are driven by an ideology of Western “exceptionalism” which is why they seek to confront Russia.

Alexander Mercouris

Published

on

1,072 Views

Seth Farris has recently written an interesting and insightful piece for The Duran discussing NATO policy towards Russia. 

In it he argues that the confrontational line NATO is taking towards Russia is driven by NATO’s need to justify its existence.   Since the USSR collapsed, the argument goes, NATO has lapsed into pointlessness and therefore seeks a confrontation with its old Cold War enemy Russia to persuade the European public of the need for its continued existence.

In making this argument Seth Farris makes strong and valid points.  However this argument in my opinion suffers from the fundamental flaw of all arguments that look for rational and pragmatic explanations for US and Western policies.  This is that there is in fact little about the policies that is either pragmatic or rational, and that on the contrary the facts point to current Western ideology providing the reason for the West’s actions.

The starting point in any discussion of Western policy should be what Western leaders actually say.    This point should be obvious but it is too often overlooked.  If one takes this approach then it becomes immediately obvious that US and Western leaders never say anything even in private or to each other that even remotely hints at the essentially bureaucratic reasons for their actions that Seth Farris discusses.  

Is there anything else to suggest Western leaders are nonetheless motivated by the sort of concerns Seth Farris discusses even though they never express them?

I have to say that the answer seems to me to be no. I get no sense Western leaders are worried about NATO or that they feel they have a need to justify its existence to the European public.  To the extent the European public worries about NATO, it has always seemed to me that those worries get fanned by a NATO confrontation with Russia rather than by a policy of friendly co-existence with it.

That has been the consistent pattern since the Second World War, for example during the Berlin crisis of 1961, during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, in response to NATO plans to deploy cruise and Pershing missiles in Europe in the 1980s, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, and most recently during the Ukrainian crisis when European opinion opposed the sending of arms supplies by the US and NATO during the fighting in the winter of 2014-2015.

Recent opinion polls – which have caused great alarm in NATO circles – tend to bear this out.  They show majorities in most European countries opposing their countries going to war with Russia to defend other NATO partners, with the majority opposed in Germany (the key state) being as high as 57%.

That points to a policy of calming tensions in Europe as the best way to perpetuate NATO, rather than one of cranking them up.

It is NATO’s doubts about the unity of the European public’s support for NATO in the  event of a confrontation with Russia rather than a plan to mobilise European opinion behind NATO by conjuring up a threat from Russia such as Seth Farris discusses that in my opinion explains the current hysteria over the Baltic States.

The Baltic States present NATO with an insoluble problem.  By admitting them into NATO NATO committed itself to defending them in case of invasion by Russia.  Tiny and unable to defend themselves, their location on the Russian border and at the very edge of NATO’s eastern fringe where Russian power is overwhelming they are however militarily undefendable.  To compound the trouble the relentlessly anti Russian policies of their governments and their discriminatory policies towards their own Russian speaking populations not only provokes Russia but make NATO’s defence of them potentially unattractive.

Realistically, if Russia were to invade the Baltic States there would be nothing NATO militarily could do short of threatening Russia with a world war to defend them.  A world war with Russia to defend another NATO country is however precisely what opinion polls show the European public is most adamantly opposed to.  Abandoning the Baltic States to their fate would however cancel NATO’s treaty commitment to defend its members, threatening the whole alliance with collapse.

The hysteria over the Baltic States is not therefore because NATO leaders want to whip up fears of Russian aggression.  It is because they know the guarantee NATO has given them is a bluff, and one which as relations with Russia deteriorate they increasingly fear might be called.  The ineffective steps they have taken, which Seth Farris discusses, merely emphasise the point.

If maintaining good relations with Russia, not seeking confrontation with Russia, is the best way to preserve NATO, why do US and Western leaders constantly seek confrontation with it?  Why have they pursued so relentlessly policies of NATO and EU expansion which can only provoke Russia?

The answer is to be found in what Western leaders – especially US leaders – say and in the vast literature their media and think-tanks produce.

Time and again when Western leaders talk about Russia they explain the West’s dispute with Russia in terms of “values”.  Supposedly it is because Russia does not share the West’s “values” that the West is in confrontation with it.

As to what those “values” are, Western leaders – especially US leaders – are never shy about that: they are the set of ideas that taken together form the liberal Atlanticist late capitalist consensus that now rules the West.

These ideas combine post modern post Christian anti religious ultra liberal social ideas and policies of a sort rejected by most people in the West just a generation ago – but which the West now insists are mandatory for all its members – with a set of economic ideas and policies which are sometimes called “laissez faire” or “neo-classical” or even “neo-liberal” but which in reality are best described as essentially oligarchic.

A key point to understand about these “values” is that the West simultaneously considers them its property and demands they be accepted by everyone else as universal.  The West and especially the US thereby give themselves the right to impose them on everyone else.

What that means in practice is – since the US is by far the most powerful Western state – that when Western leaders talk about Western “values” what they are actually talking about is US power.

It is because Russia refuses to subordinate itself to US power but insists on following its own course both in its foreign and domestic policies that the Western powers challenge it.  For them any state that insists on going its own way is denying the universal reach of their power and ideology, which for them is unacceptable and represents a challenge they cannot tolerate. 

russia-vs-nato07

That is why the West and Russia are in confrontation with each other.  The fact Russia also happens to be a very large and very powerful country in de facto alliance with China – the main challenger to the US led order – is what lends this conflict its urgency.

Obviously in such a conflict bureaucratic self-interest of the sort discussed by Seth Farris plays a role.  However one should not give this factor undue weight.  Ultimately this is a conflict which is ideological and geopolitical not bureaucratic.

Russia’s very existence as an independent state is what is at stake.  This is an existential issue, not one to be seen as a byproduct of a bureaucratic conflict.  It is dangerous to be complacent about it

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of

Latest

Ukraine’s President Says “High” Threat Of Russian Invasion, Urges NATO Entry In Next 5 Years

Poroshenko is trying desperately to hold on to power, even if it means provoking Russia.

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


Perhaps still seeking to justify imposing martial law over broad swathes of his country, and attempting to keep international pressure and media focus on a narrative of “Russian aggression,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko denounced what he called the high “threat of Russian invasion” during a press conference on Sunday, according to Bloomberg.

Though what some analysts expected would be a rapid flair up of tit-for-tat incidents following the late November Kerch Strait seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and their crew by the Russian Navy has gone somewhat quiet, with no further major incident to follow, Poroshenko has continued to signal to the West that Russia could invade at any moment.

“The lion’s share of Russian troops remain” along the Russian border with Ukraine, Poroshenko told journalists at a press conference in the capital, Kiev. “Unfortunately, less than 10 percent were withdrawn,” he said, and added: “As of now, the threat of Russian troops invading remains. We have to be ready for this, we won’t allow a repeat of 2014.”

Poroshenko, who declared martial law on Nov. 26, citing at the time possible imminent “full-scale war with Russia” and Russian tank and troop build-up, on Sunday noted that he will end martial law on Dec. 26 and the temporarily suspended presidential campaign will kick off should there be no Russian invasion. He also previously banned all Russian males ages 16-60 from entering Ukraine as part of implementation of 30 days of martial law over ten provinces, though it’s unclear if this policy will be rescinded.

During his remarks, the Ukrainian president said his country should push to join NATO and the EU within the next five years, per Bloomberg:

While declining to announce whether he will seek a second term in the office, Poroshenko said that Ukraine should achieve peace, overcome the consequences of its economic crisis and to meet criteria to join the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization during next five years.

But concerning both his retaining power and his ongoing “threat exaggeration” — there’s even widespread domestic acknowledgement that the two are clearly linked.

According to The Globe and Mail:

While Mr. Poroshenko’s domestic rivals accuse him of exaggerating the threat in order to boost his own flagging political fortunes — polls suggest Mr. Poroshenko is on track to lose his job in a March election — military experts say there are reasons to take the Ukrainian president’s warning seriously.

As we observed previously, while European officials have urged both sides to exercise restraint, the incident shows just how easily Russia and the West could be drawn into a military conflict over Ukraine.

Certainly Poroshenko’s words appear designed to telegraph just such an outcome, which would keep him in power as a war-time president, hasten more and massive western military support and aid, and quicken his country’s entry into NATO — the latter which is already treating Ukraine as a de facto strategic outpost.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

The Stampede of the Gadarene Swine: US Leaders Allowing Ukraine to Pull Them into Global War

There is no way in any sane assessment that the Ukrainian forces – and certainly not the neo-Nazi militias recruited in the west of the country to terrorize the east – can be regarded as “brothers” of the US armed forces.

Published

on

Authored by Martin Sieff via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


George Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel was right – Again: The only thing the human race learns from history is that it learns nothing from history.

In 1914,the British Empire, largest in human history and one of the longest-lasting, charged into World War I to defend “gallant little Belgium” whose King Leopold over the previous 30 years had carried out one of the longest, largest genocides of all time, killing 10 million people in the Congo.

Germany, wealthiest, most prosperous nation in Europe, blundered into the same needless war when feckless Kaiser Wilhelm II causally gave sweeping approval to Austria-Hungary to annihilate the tiny nation of Serbia. Millions of brave and idealistic Russians eagerly volunteered to fight in the war to protect “gallant little Serbia.” Most of them died too. There is no record that any of the Serbian leaders after the war visited any of their mass graves.

Now it is the United States’ turn.

Since the end of the Cold War US policymakers, presidents and their congresses have carried out virtually every stupidity and folly imaginable for any major power. The only one they have so far avoided has been the danger of stumbling into a full scale world war.

However, now, with the escalating and increasingly hysterical US support for the shady and risk-taking junta in Kiev, President Donald Trump risks committing that most dire and unforgivable of all horrors.

Trump today is no more than putty in the hands of his national security adviser John Bolton, one of the masterminds of the catastrophe that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Bolton is just like his hero Winston Churchill a century ago during World War I. He always gets his way, always gets the wars and battles he wants and bungles them embarrassingly every time. And like the young Churchill, Bolton never learns, never mellows and he never changes. It is always everybody else’s fault.

Churchill finally did grow and learn. His famous activities of the 1930s were not meant to start a new world war with Germany under the far worse leadership of Adolf Hitler: He wanted to avert such a war.

The invaluable diaries of Ivan Maisky, the Soviet Union’s ambassador to Britain through the 1930s make clear that even then Churchill was eager – alone in the British ruling classes – to establish a serious close defensive alliance with Josef Stalin and the Soviet Union. He recognized that would be the only way to box in Hitler and prevent a global catastrophe.

But Bolton has not learned from his hero – Quite the reverse. He is now impelling Trump on a reckless course of empowering the dangerous adventurers who with US support have seized Ukraine and have spent the past nearly five years wrecking it.

Even worse, the same kind of absurd sentimentalizing of an obscure, tiny or unstable ally that doomed Britain, Russia and Germany to unimaginable suffering and loss in 1914 now permeates US decision-makers, strategists and their pontificating pundits about Ukraine. On March 1, 2016, US General Philip Breedlove, then NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) memorably referred to “our Ukrainian brothers and sisters” in a Pentagon press briefing

There is no way in any sane assessment that the ramshackle Ukrainian forces – and certainly not the neo-Nazi militias recruited in the west of the country to terrorize the east – can be regarded as “brothers” of the US armed forces. The US and Soviet troops who met on the River Elbe on April 25, 1945 after advancing a combined more than 2,000 miles to liberate Europe from the darkest tyranny in its history could truly be called “brothers.”

However, the US military today and the Ukrainian forces they are being drawn in to protect certainly are not “brothers and sisters.” No poll has been taken since then across the United States, as far as I am aware as to whether the American people would be willing to risk full-scale nuclear war to defend a government in Ukraine that is demonstrably unpopular among its own people.

Trump was elected president in November 2016 precisely because he was the only candidate in that shock election who unambiguously called for the United States to end its 70-year fixation with getting pulled into one endless war and confrontation after another around the world. It would be the darkest of ironies if instead he took America into its last and most catastrophic conflict – a nuclear confrontation from which there could be no recovery, no escape and no survival.

Britain, Russia and Germany in 1914 were all destroyed by the deliberate plotting and manipulations of vastly smaller or weaker allies run by psychopathic gamblers. The rulers of Kiev today, in their entirely reckless disregard for the dangers of global thermonuclear war clearly fit into that category.

Policymakers in Moscow recognize this dire reality. Their counterparts in Washington remain amazingly totally blind to it. Their only idea of strategy is the suicidal stampede of the Gadarene Swine in the Gospels off the end of a cliff. And they are taking the entire human race with them.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

FBI, CIA Told WaPo They Doubted Key Allegation In Steele Dossier

The WaPo sent reporters to every hotel in Prague, trying to figure out if Cohen was ever there, and came away empty.

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn’t believe a key claim contained in the “Steele Dossier,” the document the Obama FBI relied on to obtain a surveillance warrant on a member of the Trump campaign.

The Post‘s Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller‘s Chuck Ross.

“We’ve talked to sources at the FBI and the CIA and elsewhere — they don’t believe that ever happened,” said Miller during the October event which aired Saturday on C-SPAN.

We literally spent weeks and months trying to run down… there’s an assertion in there that Michael Cohen went to Prague to settle payments that were needed at the end of the campaign. We sent reporters to every hotel in Prague, to all over the place trying to – just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty. -Greg Miller

Ross notes that WaPo somehow failed to report this information, nor did Miller include this tidbit of narrative-killing information in his recent book, “The Apprentice: Trump, Russia, and the Subversion of American Democracy.”

Miller also admits that the dossier’s broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims.

Steele, using Kremlin sources, claimed in his dossier that Cohen and three associates went to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purpose of discussing “deniable cash payments” made in secret so as to cover up “Moscow’s secret liaison with the TRUMP team.”

Cohen’s alleged Prague visit captured attention largely because the former Trump fixer has vehemently denied it, and also because it would seem to be one of the easier claims in Steele’s 35-page report to validate or invalidate.

Debate over the salacious document was reignited when McClatchy reported April 15 that special counsel Robert Mueller had evidence Cohen visited Prague. No other news outlets have verified the reporting, and Cohen denied it at the time.

Cohen last denied the dossier’s allegations in late June, a period of time when he was gearing up to cooperate with prosecutors against President Donald Trump. Cohen served as a cooperating witness for prosecutors in both New York and the special counsel’s office. –Daily Caller

Cohen’s attorney and longtime Clinton pal Lanny Davis vehemently denied on August 22, one day after Cohen pleaded guilty in his New York case – that Cohen had never been to Prague, telling Bloomberg “Thirteen references to Mr. Cohen are false in the dossier, but he has never been to Prague in his life.”

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending