Showing posts with label NATO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NATO. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2017

The coming of Donald Trump: The future is anybody's guess!

Make no mistake about this: Donald Trump is an autocrat and a potential dictator of America. He has appealed to nationalism, engaged in blaming various ethnic and religious groups for America's, troubles and declared himself the solution to these troubles. It is said that Russia "hacked" the 2016 presidential election, that "hidden, racist voters" turned out to vote, and that the mass media has now "normalized" Trump and his offensive rhetoric and gave him billions in free advertisement.

 Whatever,,,Trump is now King of the United States...what is going to happen next with this American autocrat is anybody's guess. America has never had a real autocrat as president.

I told you all, on the various forums, to watch out for Russia and to not count Russia out in the international.system. The expansion of NATO to the borders of Russia, to include provocative air patrols, massive military maneuvers, and perhaps the stationing of nuclear missiles, are all actions that Russia must respond to for the protection of it's national security. Part of the blame for provoking Russia to take cyber-hacking to counter the perceived and real threats in its "near-abroad" can be laid at the feet of those East European leaders in Baltic countries and Poland too, and of the desire by neo-cons to dismember Russia?

Fuck the Baltic Air Policing!

Affecting Western national elections through cyber activities and "hacking," underhanded political and social attack messages, are sheer genius on the part of Putin and the Russians...and demonstrates that national security is about more than just military power.  They are also a statement that Russian concerns about activities related to NATO expansion and inclusion in a European security system should have been taken more seriously. Russian security needs should have also been a part of a European security system that includes Russia.   (see Senate Intel Report on Russian influence in 2016 election for more).

Expect increased violence and oppression from American police and oppression - including increased abuse of the labels "terrorism" and "anarchists" - against those who oppose government abuses from a Trump regime.  Expect so-called "Islamic extremism" to fuel more Islamophobia and ignore the fact that "Islamic terrorism" that is "inspired by ISIS" is nothing more than violent crimes by trouble individuals. We know that there is a different reaction from Western governments to violent crimes by non-Muslims (criminal justice) and violent crimes by criminals claiming some inspiration from "Islamic faith" (national security and oppression of the Islamic faith).   We can also expect increased spying, oppression and violence against Black activists opposing police violence, expanded abuse of the label "anarchists" by police to justify oppression and criminalization. Funny how support for Black Lives Matter "anarchists" include elected leaders and how the Movement has engaged in our democratic process for an end to police brutality against black people.. 

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Note: 1. I voted for Clinton and for Bernie Sanders in the Wisconsin Primary.  My views line up with Bernie Sanders the most, but Donald Trumps observations on the economic and social hardships faced by many  Americans rang true and were probably a main driver of his election. An autocrat like Trump does better appealing to those who are hurting, angry and in need of relief.  If Trump does not deliver, (and hateful nationalists never had good economic policies), he will be bounced out too...

Note 2. Russia Today (RT) is not "propaganda" anymore than CNN is "propaganda." The label "fake news" has been applied to just about any written and spoke word - including academic written works and peer-reviewed articles. RT has told the truth about the American life, especially the criminal justice system and the struggles of working people.  Sure, RT gets government funding, but CNN appeals to the US government for access to government leaders, including the US president.

Note 3. I will be blogging mostly at my Home Sweet Home blog and the topics will be short and varied.  I will be expressing my sympathies for Russia as well as outrage for possible Trump policies in other forums. I am both pro-Russia and anti-Trump.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Turkey's plane shoot down and the danger os NATO's Article Five

Why NATO and its Article Five is more dangerous than ISIS. In 1949, when the Cold War was heating up, the Western powers formed a mutual defense pact to curb what they saw as aggressive moves by the Soviets in East Europe after WWII. The resulting North Atlantic Treaty (aka Washington Treaty) spawned the defense alliance that takes the Treaty's name. Article Five is regarded as the "collective defense" article in NATO's Treaty and its "cornerstone."

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.
Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .
I have long argued that this article is dangerous for international peace and security - and we see that playing out with regard to Turkey and its shooting down of a Russian bomber engaged in counter terrorist actions in Syria.  The first action Turkey took after shooting down the jet (its crew shot at as they rode parachutes to the ground - and this is a war crime) was to run to NATO and invoke Article Four consultations clause. The Russian plane was not attacking Turkish soil and it's well known that Russia is involved in counter-terrorist operations.

The side question here is about aggressive and reckless actions taken by a NATO member that would get a retaliation response if the state was not a NATO member.  I say it would be immoral and outrageous for NATO members to regard aggressive and reckless actions, to include the war crime of shooting pilots riding parachutes to the ground, to come to the defense of Turkey under threats of Article Five. It is immoral, and as an American, I renounce any Article Five defense for Turkey should Russia retaliate against it, which it will in some form.  The order of things now is to punch Russia and then run under NATO's collective defense coat tails. It's a dangerous order for world peace and must be stopped!

NATO member can act recklessly, aggressively and NATO members must regard any just and right retaliation as "an attack on us all."  It is easy to see why NATO has acted aggressively now and in the past when it comes to poking Russia in the nose. This is true of chiefly Eastern European leaders in Poland and the Baltic countries who have long standing, reckless and dangerous Russophobia. These leaders appear to see any cooperation with Western countries and Russia over the ISIS terrorist organization as a threat to the Cold War mentality they resurrected in Ukraine. They promote the myth of "Russian aggression."  It is right for Russia's Lavrov to suspect NATO pre-planning in the shooting down of Russia's bomber. This pre-planning to sabotage Russian cooperation with Western countries could lead right through NATO to Eastern European state capitals and the desire to maintain NATO's favorite enemy at the expense of much needed counter -terrorist operations against ISIS.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rutte's rhetoric: Why the Netherlands cannot be an impartial party to the MH17 investigation

As of this writing, we do not know how Flight MH17 of Malaysian Airlines fell from the sky or was shot down. There is a strong suspicion that the airliner was brought down by a missile of some sort, perhaps fired from a Soviet/Russian made SA-11 tracked-tank launcher. It is well known that the Ukrainian military has various types of SAM missile launchers and an air-defense unit.

Rutte's rhetoric. There is the sad notion in Dutch foreign policy that neutrality and human rights activism of the past  are "linkse hobby's" (leftist hobbies). Dutch  human rights activism today is only to be selective and has long left neutrality behind. The wonderful foreign policy has been replaced with American neoconservativsim and Minster-President Rutte demonstrated that the other day. The pro-Kiev stance and the advocacy for the Ukrainian government's views on the downing of Flight MH17 were evident in Rutte's highly inflammatory and accusatory speech in Ukraine the other day where Rutte made a declaration to "give Putin one last chance."One last chance" to do what?

Well, here is the devil incarnate himself (video above), Vladimir Putin, telling us to allow for international experts to have security for the site, as well as for access.  However, the most outrageous and inflammatory statements that Rutte made was that "he was shocked by the disrespectful behavior" of the rebels at the MH17 crash site. The "disrespectful behavior" that Rutte claims to be shocked by was a still photo that showed a Rebel holding up a child's toy.

"Shocked at disrespect, blah, blah..." but Mark Rutte, like the Dutch mass media, did not want to miss the chance to bash the Rebels and especially Russia and Putin. Never mind the fact that the Rebels are fighting for human rights in their own country - Rutte and the Dutch media did not watch the whole video. This is part of the new "rechtse hobby's" in Dutch foreign policy - acting disrespectful and confrontational as a neoconservative, Dick Channey, little punk.

Rutte and his accusations proven to be a fraud. Watch between 1: 08 to 1:18 and see that the Rebel is not treating the toy as a "trophy." He sets down the toy and makes the Sign of the Cross on himself in respect for the victims of Flight MH17. Mark Rutte now looks like a pro-Kiev propagandist who is abusing the victims of the crash for political gains for his friends in Kiev. But Rutte's abuse of the dignity of the MH17 crash victims will go unpunished in Dutch politics.


Rutte must be damned by his irresponsible rhetoric.Mark Rutte - we are all shocked and outraged by how you have abused the dignity of the the MH17 victims for a chance to bash Putin and Russia! Shame also on the Western mass media, including in the largly Persgroep-owned media in Netherlands, which has abused the dignity of the victims to bash Putin and Russia.  Whether it is CDA, VVD, LPF, they are all the same wannabes who want to follow the radical ideology of American neoconservative and its confrontational madness with Russia.

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 Rutte drags Dutch Public (political) Prosecutor service (het OM) in and that means lack of impartiality of the Dutch.. As far as "justice" - what if this turns out to be an accident? This is a conflict zone. Military aircraft were shot down here in the past week. So, the OM (Openbaar Ministerie) involvement in this means that "justice" depends on "who" downed this airliner: If its turns out to be the Ukrainian Army, it's a mistake, but if it's anyone connected to the Rebels - then its a crime by "terrorists" and the Netherlands needs to "get the terrorists." Het OM is NOT a fact finding prosecutor, but very a  political prosecutor. Geert Wilders acquittal, when he was clearly guilty, shows us the politicalization of Dutch justice - and so do the prosecutions for the speech crime of "threatening Wilders." This same public prosecutor service prosecutor sent Joke Kaviaar to jail for writing "every word a spark" on her blog. So -  involvement of the political prosecutor OM means that the Netherlands cannot be regarded as impartial in any impartial investigation of the downing of MH17 with 190 Dutch citizens on board.

And ...het OM has never met a Muslim it did not find to be "radicalized!" 

The Dutch State can use its investigate powers with its OM and anything else - but the results can never be regarded as "impartial."  The results will be fixed by the OM to favor Kiev and the NATO Alliance, as well as the Dutch State's masters in Washington.  Rutte has damned his Dutch State by his own words and his miserable ideas based on neocon confrontation with Russia means there is NO such thing as an impartial MH17 investigation from the Dutch State.  This result of any OM investigation into MH17's crash will be to make Russia and the Rebels look guilty is predictable!

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Not Unf**king believable! Yes, another 'brainwashed' Dutch viewer who has not seen the video, or has not seen the whole video. So, like most Dutch, she allows her pumped up emotions to be guided by the Persgroep-owned, mass media and irresponsible statements of her Minister-President Mark Rutte. We've seen this after before ... after the murder of "Theo." 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Anti-Russian propaganda and the Ukraine crisis: Thoughts on a study-paper framework.

Crossposted from The StateMaster - http://www.criticalterrorism.com/

Propaganda that is aimed at demonizing and dehumanizing involves the creations of images of "The Enemy."  In Sam Keen's classic 1986 book, Faces of the Enemy: Reflections of the Hostile Imagination (Harper and Row: New York, NY.), there are several images to cast the Enemy into that can serve to instill fear and hate, hostility, and at the same time portray "our side" as righteous, pure, good and civilized. We can not only see these images being created with regard to Russia, we can use Keen's classic work to break down anti-Russian propaganda into components of propaganda. The creation of paranoia is a major aspect of anti-Russian propaganda that seeks to further demonize and dehumanize Russia and Russians so that dialog between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis is difficult and impossible.

Sam Keen's definition of “paranoia” involves “a complex of mental, emotional and social mechanisms by which a person or a people claim righteousness and purity, and attribute hostility and evil to the enemy.” Paranoid thinking eliminates in advance the acceptance of evidence that might contradict assumptions about “the Enemy” (19, 1986). So, our definition of Russophobia involves the notion that America and its allies are righteous and pure, including with good intentions, while Russia and its allies, including those “pro-Russians” in Ukraine are hostile and evil. Russia is an actor that is a “barbarian at the gate,” threatening and war-like to “good and civilized nations” of America and its allies. We can include in this the notion that Russia and its allies are of bad intentions, and cannot be trusted in word and deeds. Hence, the mind becomes closed to treating the Russian viewpoint in the Ukrainian crisis as an equal and valuable viewpoint to the American viewpoint.

The purpose of propaganda, according to Keen, “is to paralyze thought, to prevent discrimination, and to condition individuals to act as a mass” (25). The notion that any view that comes from anything Russian or related to the Russian state cannot be trusted is an effect of anti-Russian propaganda and its promotion of Russophobia, or “the hate and fear of Russians and Russia, which includes the notion that no words or deeds from Russian or Russians and those defending Russia and its leaders can be trusted, must be taken as falsehoods and outright lies.” The various components that can form a study paper on anti-Russian propaganda put out by Western media and the U.S. State Department.

This excellent video touches on some of the ingredients that are a part of anti-Russian propaganda efforts on the part of Western mass media and the American government. This includes the Pussy Riot and "Putin hates Gays" propaganda stories. 

The first component to Russophobia is the notion of Russia and Russians as “uncivilized, war-like, threatening” and, as Sam Keen put it, a barbarian that is a threat to “the civilized world” (43). In the climate of paranoia towards Russia, there is simply no ability to engage in constructive and civilized dialog that can resolve the crisis. Part of the hostility toward Russia is to claim that Russian persons, Russian media, as well as the Russian government, is not to be trusted and is lying about its policies and posture in the Ukrainian crisis. This is a form of dehumanizing the Russians, can be regarded as a form of anti-Russian bigotry, and can be said to be along the lines of Sam Keen's likening the enemy as a barbarian (21, 44).

A second, but important component is the personification of Russia as "Putin," Vladimir Putin, the Russian President. Anything said in defense of Russians, including Russia personified as “Putin," is said to be “Russian propaganda.” One cannot view Western mass media discussion of the Ukraine crisis and not be met with some image of "Putin." It is quite common for a state in a conflict to be personified in the image of its leader, in the fashion of the rational actor realist's notion of a “state as a person.” As in the video, “Russia” and “Putin” are often one and the same, attacking the “free speech” of Pussy Riot and as a “hater of gays.” This argument is a part of Sam Keen's idea of Enemy and an uncivilized barbarian that opposes progress of the “good and civilized nations” (the US and its allies) when progress in “free speech” and Gay rights is viewed as “good and civilized.” Any future study of anti-Russian propaganda in the course of the Ukrainian crisis must contain a section on the personification of “Putin” as the Russian nation.


John Kerry's address to NATO is full of Sam Keen's idea of  the "Russian enemy" as "barbarian-enemy" that wants to "expand and be a threat to the good and civilized world" that he, Ukraine and NATO Allies represent.  Mirrors classic propaganda about the Soviet threat of the Cold War.

Another component is the notion of "Russian aggression," Russia as a "threat," and the accusations of Russian involvement in Ukraine. Sam Keen also discusses the Enemy as “greedy for empire” (48) and as “aggressor” in his discussion of paranoia and the role of propaganda in spreading stereotypes and notions about the Enemy. This “greed for empire” accusation is currently being made against Russia, even though Russia is not a threat or even an enemy of Europe or the European Union. A key component of the current anti-Russian propaganda program of the US is that “Russia is an aggressive nation” and that “Russian aggression” is a “threat to Europe.” On close examination we see that Russia has demonstrated no aggression to other European states other that the 2008 war it had with Georgia. However, a report from the European Union placed the blame for the war at the feet of Georgia, and its president at the time, Mikheil Saakashvili. Russia's presence in the Crimea was not an“invasion,” but Russia was in Crimea by a treaty with Ukraine. Beyond that, there is currently on real evidence that Russia is a threat or that the Russian military is present in Ukraine.

It can easily be argued that the paranoid and closed minded notion of “Russian propaganda” and “Putin propaganda” held by governments and individuals is a form of anti-Russian bigotry and discrimination. The “sanctions” that Washington is leading against Russian business and leaders is an example of discrimination, as sanctions can easily lead to ethnic, religious and national discrimination. What we could see in the future is discrimination against Russians growing in the Western world and Russian ethnic communities could be added to the list of suspect communities in Europe, the most noted example in Europe are Muslim immigrant communities.

The mass Western media-viewing public is not the only audience affected by America's push of Russophobia and anti-Russian bigotry, but international organizations, the Council of Europe and the United Nations Security Council have a noticeable anti-Russian tinge. This notion of paranoia appears to be stoked by Washington, which is now pursuing a regime of sanctions against Russia and Russian business leaders, and arm-twisting European leaders to follow along. The Russophobia that Washington is stoking through its use of influence of the Western mass media and international organizations, like the UN Security Council, means that the Russian point of view is being squeezed out of forums to be heard. This means that America's anti-Russian bias propaganda that closes minds and will translate translates into anti-Russian bigotry. This means a lack of dialog and confidence building and this means that the Ukrainian crisis will be hard to resolve without equal participation of all parties, including and especially Russia.



Monday, October 28, 2013

Why US spying? America is your crazy, paranoid neorealist neighbor living in a world of 'anarchy.'

America is really not your friend!
Now - why is it that the leaders of France, Brazil, Germany and the European Union are actually surprised by American - and British - spying? After +25 years of largely Republican-conservative presidents in the Whitehouse, it should not surprise us that a certain mindset and worldview regarding the international system dominates American thinkers. That thinking is largely dominated by Neorealism or Structural Realism (here is a short presentation of it) and its notions of anarchy, self help and paranoid mistrust of other states' intentions. The problem is that America's "best NATO friends" need to have intelligence watch for American agents and snooping, and stop with the Islamophobic nonsense in immigrant neighborhoods! 
Rather than snooping on Muslim youth at parks and schools, German, French and European intelligence agents need to watch the American embassies and activities of Americans in their own countries.

States (like Germany), both friend and foe to America, are seen as putting their state survival and geopolitical advancement first, above any and all interests. A state's first interest its own security. America's interests, understandably, are a nonexistent in the interests set of a state in the international system.  States and their "selfish self interests cannot be trusted in a world of anarchy and self help."  In years past here on Yellow Stars, I have cited one book in particular that contains essays by Waltz, Walt, Kupchan, and that is G. John Ikeberry's America Unrivaled: The Future of the Balance of Power (2002). This collection of mostly neorealist essays has quite a lot to say about how American thinkers should "manage European security after the Cold War." It's about maintaining American hegemony over Europe with a sickening arrogance in a world of anarchy and self help." Only America comes first to American thinkers - and those European states that seriously believe that America cares about their security are dead wrong about that!  America does not care about German interests, German policies, and German security beyond that which benefits America's interests. Should German interests, German policies, and German security conflict with American hegemony (hence American security) it will be German interests, German policies, and German security that will lose. America does not care about Germany, only what America gets out of the "transatlantic partnership," including at Germany's expense.  Once one understands this viewpoint (especially the Germans and other Europeans), one can then understand why America's intelligence community is keen to spy on "good NATO allies" and does not care about how the Germans or other European feel about the Snowden revelations. 

It is also about "counter-balancing" and the notion that weaker states will eventually resist American unipolar power in the international system, including in Europe. To "secure peace" America must maintain dominance and hegemony, and "the American way" must be spread in the world. America not only wants to bask in the "unipolar moment," it wants to bask in it as long as possible. A threat to America's unipolar hegemony is taken as a threat to American national security. American hegemony and dominance is seen as a "keeper of peace and a buffer for American security." An ally state, like Germany, had better have American security interests (not threaten US hegemony in Europe) in mind when planning German foreign and security policy. Some neorealists believe that Germany could slide back to the Germany of the 1930s!  Because American neorealist thinkers mistrust this from Germany, France, the European Union, as well as Brazil and Russia, American "national security" (hegemony) requires spying to ensure that allies are thinking and acting according to what is best for American "national security"  interests (hegemony) and that American neorealist thinkers know what potential rivals, like Russia, are up to and how it could effect American "national security" by threatening American hegemony in Europe and beyond. It's a mindset that whatever is "anti-American" is a threat to American national security, one way other the other.
 
The dominance of neorealism in American policy making is at the heart of the problem. In American Unrivaled, Stephen Walt proposes "keeping the world off-balance" to "prevent that rise of an anti-American alliance" to balance American dominance and "defend the legitimacy of US Preponderance" (121-154). There should be no doubt that the spying on "good NATO allies" like France and Germany, as well as others, is a part of neorealist strategy to "keep the world," especially Europe, off-balance and keep America dominance. In fact, the arrogance of American neorealists is such that it could be believed that America has some kind of right to know what its European underlings are up to.Those that wish to counter the US and its arrogance in the world need to understand the reality of what American thinkers actually think, and make adjustments to counter America activities. I have always said - with good educated reason - that there is NO such thing as a "equal partnership" with America, and America feels entitled to take everything, including your state secrets.
 American neorealists are probably not a bit sorry for the NSA spying - and even if treaties are obtained against American spying - it's a safe bet that America will continue to spy anyway to make sure that the your state and the world is "kept off -balance." In the narrow logic of American neorealist thinkers, "this keeps American safe."

 America is your crazy, paranoid and neorealist neighbor that wants to know everyone's business. People need to realize that America in the world is like a crazy, paranoid, nosy neighbor who wants to know everybody's business because this crazy, paranoid, nosy neighbor seriously believes that her neighbors - including her best friends - might be plotting against her, to break in her home at night and attack her...she dominates and has neighbors in the European neighborhood doing her bidding. She at least wants to know if even her friends are saying bad things about her so she can decide if they are really friends, or if they need to be dropped of the 'friend list' she keeps ... and added to the enemies list. In order to "have peace" in the neighborhood, America wants you to think like her. America in the world is really a crazy, paranoid, nosy neighbor in the neighborhood with crazy neorealist notions. She wants to protect her dominate position in the world, especially her dominance of the European neighborhood. You need to take steps to protect yourself from her - even if you are one of her best friends. She doesn't trust you either, even if she says she does!

  In one simple sentence: "It's all about keeping the Russians OUT, the Americans IN, and the Europeans DOWN."


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Turkey’s righteous anger

It is deeply troubling to think of the prospect of Russia arming the Assad regime. However, Russia could argue that the Western/NATO nations give armed support to the Georgian tyrant, Mikheil Saakashvili. So, Bashar al-Assad is Russia’s tyrant to support and arm. We have yet to see international norms develop that bring rebuke upon nations that support tyrannical regimes, like Assad in Syria, with weapons.

The shooting down of Turkey’s unarmed aircraft without warning– in international waters or not – is an act of war by the Assad regime against Turkey. Over the past couple of weeks, Syrian soldiers and officers have been defecting to Turkey – and the Assad regime has accused Turkey of “harboring terrorists.” (yes – that old accusation of “terrorist!”) The 550 mile long border between Turkey and Syria is already a hotspot of Syrian military actions against rebels, who hold towns along the border. The liberal flow of rebels and refugees along the border is a source of tension between Ankara and Damascus.

The blatant shooting down of the unarmed Turkish plane is probably the Assad regime attempting to flex muscles and give the international community warnings.  Bashar al-Assad stated that his country is “in a state of real war.” “When we are in a war, all our policies . . . need to be directed at winning this war." Assad believes that the "war" is a conspiracy led by the United States and its allies - or with the defections - the Assad regime is about to implode?

[youtube id="CGpfGByNboc" w="250" h="200"]

Turkey is right to be angry, as the downing of its jet is a unacceptable, as stated by NATO - and act of war. While the EU wants a "restrained response" from Turkey, Ankara has every right to take some sort of action. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated that every Syrian military element that approached the Turkish border will be treated as a threat.  Shortly after this speech, Turkish media reported that Turkish military elements have been deployed to the Turkish-Syrian border.

"Our plane was targeted not by mistake but deliberately, entirely in an act of hostility. At a time, place and method defined by itself, Turkey will make use of its rights that derive from international law and firmly take necessary steps against this injustice.”


Yes - Turkey has every right to retaliate and that should be one of its options. Now - people who say that they are "sick of war" and want to disarm every nation are quite ignorant of the reality of a dangerous international system. This danger is no better illustrated that through the brutality of the Assad regime against its own citizens.  The ability to stand up to the provocation of having you airplane shot down by the tyrannical next-door neighbor is a part of defending your own nation's security.  It is very important from a national security standpoint to not appear weak and stand militarily strong. These appearances are very important for the security of a nation - as well as the trust of the nation's people toward leaders to keep them safe from outside attack. National security is the first business of states - and to appear timid and not offer any kind of response to armed provocation just invites more trouble.

NATO SecGen Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that this incident shows  "is another example of the Syrian authorities’ disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life." Agreed - and for Turkey to be next to this regime is, indeed, a threat to Turkey's national security. Turkey is not only right to retaliate, but right to take actions that defend its own security with such a dangerous next-door neighbor. Turkey's actions in its own defense are simply not the same as the Bush administration's invasion and occupation of Iraq - and those who see it that way are dead wrong! Military power and its use are intended for just this situation, the situation of defending your nation from the bully next-door.

Could NATO be pulled into actions against Syria? Yes it could be pulled into a conflict, but only under certain conditions. If Syria were to start attacking Turkish military assets in Turkey (artillery shelling over the border into Turkey) this could invoke Article Five of the North  Atlantic Treaty (NATO's founding treaty) whereby "an attack on one is an attack on them all" :

Article 5


The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

This article is the main security guarantee of the NATO Alliance and is no longer confined to just "Europe or North America" or "the North Atlantic area."  This applies to an attack on any NATO Member State - which includes Turkey. When a state "joins NATO"  there is a "Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty" document for the joining state. Here is part of the text for Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of Greece and Turkey of 1951 (emphasis mine):
If the Republic of Turkey becomes a Party to the North Atlantic Treaty, Article 6 of the Treaty shall, as from the date of the deposit by the Government of the Republic of Turkey of its instruments of accession with the Government of the United States of America, be modified to read as follows:

For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:


  1. on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France, on the territory of Turkey or on the islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer;


  2. on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.



There would have to be a "finding of an Article Five" by NATO's North Atlantic Council (NAC), which is the governing body of the Alliance made up of civilian ambassadors.  The last and only time Article Five was invoked was after the 11 September 2001 attacks against the US. It is quite easy to see that shelling over a border into a NATO member nation is, indeed, an armed attack, but given the anti-Muslim bend in some NATO member countries (ex. the Netherlands) there could be foot dragging in the NAC that was not seen when Article Five was invoked after the 11 September 2001 attacks against the US by the Afghanistan-based, al-Qaeda  group.

While the Netherlands is and always has been a staunch and active supporter of the NATO Alliance as an Atlanticist nation, we could see real foot dragging by the Dutch even if Syria attacked Turkey outright.  It could get ugly in the NAC with these anti-Muslim nations...and the Dutch could be forced to choose between their Islamophobic "clash of civilizations" mentality toward Turkey or the honor and standing of their beloved NATO Alliance.

If we say that Article Five is invoked, we have the additional question into just which NATO members would be willing to risk their forces in an armed defense of Turkey.  Contributions can be airspace fly over rights for its military aircraft up to to military units, but given that anti-Muslim bend in some NATO member nations, many may not want to risk their military units to defend Islamic Turkey.  Turkey might just be on its own and perhaps joined by few Arab nations.  This would be a shame and an embarrassment for the NATO Alliance if such a reaction occurred in the event of an armed attack against Turkey...

See:

NAC Statement on the shooting down of a Turkish aircraft by Syria

Turkey threatens military retaliation along Syria border, drawing defiance from Assad

Three top Syrian officers defect to Turkey. How bad for Assad?

EU ministers urge restraint from Turkey

NATO chief condemns Syria over jet downing

Turkey Says It May Target Any Syrian Forces Nearing Border

 

 

Friday, December 4, 2009

Europe Afghanistan NATO America

More warm European bodies to the Afghanistan meat grinder. Hillary Clinton is now at NATO HQ begging “our allies” (NOT!) for more warm bodies to send to the Afghanistan meat grinder. So far, some 7,000 European souls are being pledged from 26 nations. What is hopeful is that both France and Germany say their will wait for what the United Nations has to say. Let’s hope that both of the EU’s core Member States have a long wait and that the report from the UN is discouraging.The reality is that Afghanistan is hopeless, unless the Afghanis assume responsibility for their own security. The reality is that, sooner or later, both Afghanistan and Iraq have to stand or fall on their own.

This visit to NATO to ask “our allies” for help is about saving NATO from the dust-bin of history and saving American hegemony over the European Continent. This author suspects that the reason for Operation Atalanta and its un-European activities have NATO-American origins and intended to tie European battle groups to NATO and American hegemony. The fight here is for European defense and security independence from the NATO yoke.The war in Afghanistan is defined as a “war for American security” interests. The reality is that Russia and China have more at stake than does Europe and the US. This is yet another dupe play, as with Kosovo a decade ago, to forever keep European security and defense, which has been becoming more independent in the past few years – for ever chained to the NATO yoke of American hegemony.Good for France and Germany if they hold back their blood and treasure from America’s Afghanistan war. These two need to, along with other European nations, pull their troops out of the Afghanistan quagmire – and totally out of NATO. American troops and forces must be kindly told to leave EU Member States. The security of Europe is too important to leave in the hands of selfish American interests!