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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has gone far in achieving its mission; in fact, too far.

NATO has violated its original purpose: to protect its members of the North Atlantic region from the "commies."

Article 1 of NATO's charter states that it will "settle any international dispute by peaceful means." But it's clear that NATO was designed for defensive purposes as stated in Article 5 and Article 6 for protecting Europe and North America against "an armed attack."  The treaty is geared towards having other "parties" further this objective, as stated in Article 10. In other words, imposing itself on other nations to become a "member" while protecting the North Atlantic area. New members, however, have been turned into virtual market satellites.

There are now 28 member nations in NATO, 11 of which were formerly socialist: Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Thus, rather than its function as a defensive force, NATO has been blatantly expansionist. Its objective to expand to, and over, Russia's borders is also clear. Its actions have spoken louder than its rhetoric.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union the early 1990s has given NATO, and in turn, U.S. interests, a chance to imitate the Gilded Age, with its imperial mindset. It interfered in the Yugoslavia civil war by contributing to breaking up the country with a bombardment campaign. Right-wing nationalists in areas such as Croatia benefitted and in turn declared "secession" from Yugoslavia. NATO's military campaign in Libya, led by Britain and France, gave religious fanatics the opportunity to overthrow leader Muammar Gaddafi. Then there's its involvement in the Afghanistan conflict, deploying troops, 99,000 who are U.S. troops. And now NATO is planning to use psyops (psychological operations) in Ukraine to put forth propaganda favorable to the fascist-influenced government.

The United States has had the leadership role in NATO since its inception as part of the United Nations. The U.S. government has handled accession agreements and ratification procedures. And the United States' objective of imperial domination has had a contributor in NATO. Coinciding with that is to push the model of neoliberal economics, where it looks like Ukraine will be the next victim. But, neoliberal policies have produced economic crises in the U.S. and Europe. Thus, it is a poor example of providing aid to Ukraine.

There is emphasis on freedom, peace and humanitarianism in the NATO Charter. But expansionism is evidently the priority. Max Forte, author of "Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO's War on Libya and Africa," uses the phrase "humanitarian” imperialism:

"...it can only function by first directly or indirectly creating the suffering of others, and by then seeing every hand as an outstretched hand, pleading or welcoming. We see (or imagine) helpless others, gobbling morsels of food we hand them, brown mouths chugging down water from our plastic bottles, and we feel accomplished. Our moral might is reaffirmed by the physical plight of others. Clearly, the humanitarian relation is not a relation between equals."

With the Cold War ended, NATO should have dissolved years ago, going by way of the Warsaw Pact. But fairness wasn't part of the objective. The current international situation has been a litmus test for NATO in its official role as a defensive force. In the article, "NATO's Core Function is to Advance U.S. Global Interests and Foreign Policy Goals," Kate Hudson makes a point reflecting NATO's failure to live up to its role. "Vigilante-style, [NATO] can ride roughshod over the qualms of the United Nations - and often the restrictions of international law - to assert its own view off peace and freedom."

Hudson also writes that "NATO's last leaders' summit in Portugal in November 2010 took the NATO vision beyond Eurasia, releasing a new strategic concept entitled 'Active Engagement, Modern Defense.' It recommitted to an expansive and interventionist military agenda with projected global reach."

Despite its continuing existence, NATO has outlived its purpose, and in turn its usefulness. It should share the same fate as the Warsaw Pact.

NATO has to go.

Originally posted to LeftStarrDetour on Sat May 17, 2014 at 12:28 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  NATO has no justification for existing (14+ / 0-)

    The few possible good things it can do often overlap with UN's mandate.

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 12:40:48 PM PDT

    •  Really ??? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      charliehall2, TofG

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

      by waterstreet2013 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 04:42:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. Really (6+ / 0-)

        We've been in a Cold War stand for so long that people have forgotten that these foreign military organizations are a bad thing by nature.

        "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

        by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:30:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please explain how alliances between friendly (11+ / 0-)

          nations are a bad thing by nature? We had an alliance with France that is probably the main reason we have a nation called the United States of America. NATO stemmed from the alliance we had with foreign military organizations that freed Europe and Asia from Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito.

          Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

          by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 08:13:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Short answer: WWI (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q, KJG52

            Long answer: George Washington's farewell speech where he warned against foreign entanglements.

              Lots of military alliances means lots of wars. Lots of wars are bad for economies and democracies.

            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

            by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 08:45:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Man you really are a fan of Eugene Debs (6+ / 0-)

              Ever hear of a guy name Semion Mogilevich? Not hard to find out who he is, just google a search for the FBI's 10 most wanted list. He's a reputed buddy of Putin's. He's probably more responsible for what's going on in the Ukraine than any one person. I don't think he was such a fan of Debs because he's not a socialist. Neither is Putin. Now Mogilevich is reported to be the most dangerous mob boss in the world today (or for that matter, ever). He's also noted to hire hits on many around the world. So neither he, nor his buddy Putin are about peace. So please tell us all why NATO are the bad guys and Putin and someone like Mogilevich share the ideals of one Eugene Debs. I mean you agree with the post that NATO should be dissolved and from your writing you seem to favor the Russian view of what's going on with no opposition from us or our allies.

              Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

              by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:11:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You say (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BigAlinWashSt, dskoe, Jim Domenico

                "A fan of Eugene V. Debs" like it's a bad thing.

                You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                by Johnny Q on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:29:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Read it to mean the exact opposite . . . (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  tazz

                  more along the lines of Putin and his cronies being more capitalist than socialist, which seems obviously true by their actions.

                  When his people talk about economic policy, they sound like they have embraced the Tea Party book on taxation and social services and redistributive policies.  

                •  I actually am a fan of Debs as I wrote up thread (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NotGeorgeWill, realnrh

                  But I am not a fan of Vladimir Putin, or his machinations in Ukraine, or for that matter the elimination of NATO. I have the right to feel that way regardless of my political philosophy (which is closer to Eugene Debs than Obama's), but when it comes to understanding the dangers in other parts of the world, I'm kinda glad no foreign military will step foot on our soil. I felt that way when I served, and still feel that way almost 50 years later.

                  Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                  by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:46:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't see how anyone can be a fan of both (4+ / 0-)

                    Putin and Debs.

                    But opposing US intervention and the expansion of NATO is not the same as supporting Putin, not even close.

                    No War but Class War

                    by AoT on Sun May 18, 2014 at 06:49:33 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I have no problem whatsoever with (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Justanothernyer, realnrh

                      more nations voluntarily signing up with NATO like Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, or anyone other country that allies with the western nations. They're not joining up against their will, they all were part of an oppressive satellite alliance under the USSR, and they all have a threat hanging over them by the name of Vladimir Putin. So you would like to weaken that alliance with the west and strengthen Putin's influence because it's bad for those countries who want to join? And how has US intervened in those countries again? Yep, I can see the Polish people are demonstrating and rioting in the streets every day over joining NATO and being friendly with the US versus Georgia, Chechnya and the Ukraine. They're all chomping at the bit to rejoin the SSR. Yep, Vlad is such a peaceful, benevolent guy.

                      Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                      by tazz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:36:59 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Can you read? (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        fran1, Johnny Q
                        But opposing US intervention and the expansion of NATO is not the same as supporting Putin, not even close.
                        If you could explain what your comment had to do with my statement that would be wonderful.

                        No War but Class War

                        by AoT on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:48:07 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  And I asked how the US is intervening (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Justanothernyer

                          there and what's so bad about NATO expanding to those eastern nations who voluntarily join NATO. I thought you are implying that's a bad thing. I was hoping you would explain why.

                          Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                          by tazz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:57:25 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  And you once again implied that not supporting (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            fran1, Johnny Q, Jim Domenico

                            NATO means that you think Putin is a good guy. I'm opposed to NATO because it is a de facto military force for neoliberal expansion, whatever other utility it might have. NATO cares about capitalism winning and intervenes when capitalism is at risk or when capitalism can be expanded. If NATO were restricted to actual defense then your defense would make sense, but it isn't. I don't know of a time it was used to defend any NATO member.

                            And if you are in favor of interventions internationally then you aren't on the same page as Debs at all. He was arrested and imprisoned for opposing intervention in European fights.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Sun May 18, 2014 at 08:07:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's great to have ideological aspirations (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            realnrh

                            and I share your demilitarized dreams. But that's not reality.  NATO exists right or wrong. So does N. Korea, Syria, al Queda, and Vladimir Putin. Until all WMDs are wiped off the face of the earth, there will always be a NATO whether you like it or not. The real question is whether Putin, Iran or N. Korea wants to go the full monte and settle who rules the world. Personally, I have more faith in America because there are more people here who are pro humanity and peace than over in those countries. But you have the freedom to advocate American appeasement and surrender our military to all who would destroy us.

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:34:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You have no clue what appeasement means (0+ / 0-)

                            in historical context, nor does your fear mongering impress me.

                            The real question is whether Putin, Iran or N. Korea wants to go the full monte and settle who rules the world.
                            So you think the US rules the world and we are a benign dictator. I oppose dictators, benign or otherwise. Your sort of paternalistic imperialism is best left in the 19th century.

                            No War but Class War

                            by AoT on Sun May 18, 2014 at 06:51:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  I looked up Mogilevich (0+ / 0-)

                ...just a click over to Wiki and it was most enlightening. About the first thing Wiki does is name the members of the Mogilevich gang. His fellow mobsters include Dimitri Firtash and Oleksander Turchynov. Firtash is an oligarch and has been in the news lately, performs many quasi-governmental functions. Turchynov is Chairman of Ukrainian Rada (Parliament) and Acting President. Our guy in Kiev.

                So it's not exactly like NATO and US are partnered directly with Al Capone. We just have this thing going with Bugsy Siegel and MachineGun McGurk. With Capone looking in and calling the shots.

                The only reason for taking Ukraine any closer to NATO is rabid Russophobia and chronic incurable Cold War fever. If working with the likes of Semion Mogilevich is the only way NATO keeps going, I'll second the diarist. End NATO.

            •  You've got this slightly wrong. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              realnrh

              "Lots of military alliances" doesn't mean lots of wars. Lots of bad guys who are stronger than the good guys mean lots of wars. Alliances between lots of good guys in order to augment their individual strengths means fewer wars.

              The only point on which you and I agree is that "[NATO's] objective to expand to, and over, Russia's borders is also clear," provided that by "clear" you meant "clearly not the case."

              Vlad called. He says "keep up the good work."

              Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho

              by DocDawg on Sun May 18, 2014 at 10:18:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  That is offensively absurd (17+ / 0-)

      in an era where threats to countries like the Baltics and yes Ukraine are very clearly present, NATO definitely has a clear mission and role still to play.  Certainly Poland and the Baltic States

      Here we have people complaining that small countries sought the protection of an alliance with Western Europe against what is pretty undeniably a threat to their continued existence.  These countries weren't "socialist."  They were the subjects of the Russian Empire in all but name only.

      •  I suggest you do some history research (8+ / 0-)
        These countries weren't "socialist."
         Who do you think were the primary opposition groups to the Nazi occupation in Eastern Europe?

         Secondly, we are talking about a Russia that could barely put down an uprising in Chechnya (it took two attempts). NATO did most of its expansion into Eastern Europe after the Russian army was defeated by the Chechnyan rebels in the first war.
         Stop thinking about Russia like it is some sort of New Soviet Union. Poland is more in danger of Germany than Russia.

         Finally, what is going on in Ukraine is internal. Those seperatists are Ukrainian. The Ukrainian army can't put it down because the Ukrainian recruits refuse to fight (in the words of the Ukraine President).

        "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

        by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:06:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My thoughts on the matter... (9+ / 0-)
          "Poland is more in danger of Germany than Russia."
          The hell does this mean? Russia just occupied Crimea, with a justification of a vote taken in which 10% of the population voted in the affirmative, in the name of 'protecting the Russian minority' which was by no means being oppressed. Do you remembering Germany just waltzing into Luxembourg and claiming it's territory to 'protect' Germans? I don't.

          THIS is imperialism, not what NATO is doing. And the primary opponents of Nazi occupation in Eastern Europe? The Communists, no doubt. But, as you would have it, Communists in these states were OBVIOUSLY independent from the Soviet Union and the CPSU fully, NO influence was had upon them.

          And, come to think of it, why so rosy about Communism? Or socialism? Failed ideologies only supported by autocratic governance? That's fundamentally opposed to liberalism, progressivism, and republicanism itself, all of which I, and most of this site, are committed wholly too. I would believe you are committed as well.

          The peddling of the idea that pro-Russian militias hanging about, with Russian troops hanging on the border AFTER Russian troops occupied, seized, and 'legally' annexed Crimea is an internal matter is actually a bit dangerous. It's too often twinned with startling ideas that Yanukovych was ousted in a coup, and Ukraine is now run by 'fascists'. Again, this is dangerously revisionist and inaccurate.

          While I agree that NATO would be more irrelevant, Russian aggression shows that we can't be complacent.

          China's aggression in the S. China sea is worrisome as well, but I, almost alone on this site, believe that American influence can be helpful. And I sure as hell prefer NATO to a new Warsaw Pact, you reject it I'm sure. But have we already forgotten Georgia? Putin's imperialist, not us. The days of Iraq are gone.

          But then again, I'm a Wilsonian, so take this as you will.

          "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

          by anshmishra on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:24:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A little perspective (9+ / 0-)
            Russia just occupied Crimea, with a justification of a vote taken in which 10% of the population voted in the affirmative, in the name of 'protecting the Russian minority' which was by no means being oppressed.
            The Crimea election had 83% turnout. Even people condemning the election don't dispute that.
               What's more, Crimea has repeatedly voted in the past to seperate from Ukraine and have closer ties to Russia (see 1990 and 1994).
               Was this an imperialist move by Russia? Yes. Was it comparable in any way to some hostile global or even regional threat? No.

              Russia military powers are miniscule compared to Soviet past. NATO, on the other hand, is huge and vast and threatening to Russia. The American military alone (which unlike Russia, is bombing lots of nations) is as large as the next 13 militaries in the world, several of them being other NATO allies.
               Russia, in comparison, had to try twice just to put down a rebellion of the Chechnyans.

            And, come to think of it, why so rosy about Communism? Or socialism? Failed ideologies only supported by autocratic governance?
             I beg to differ. I suggest you look at the history of socialism and how it was opposed by those "freedom lovers" in the West who got so good at imprisoning and executing people.
            That's fundamentally opposed to liberalism, progressivism, and republicanism itself, all of which I, and most of this site, are committed wholly too. I would believe you are committed as well.
            I fully support democracy. Fortunately, socialism is built upon democracy. Most of the best progressives in American history were socialists. Most of the best parts of American society today were socialist ideas.

            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

            by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:43:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The comment is clear. (6+ / 0-)

              The "socialism" that existed under the Soviet Union, was a defacto Russian dictatorship.  Look at Hungary or Czechoslovakia or Poland, whenever a little hint of independence and freedom wafted through the air, it was tanks and troops from the USSR that returned to bring people back into line.

              A number of these countries enjoyed a brief period of independence after WWI.  Then it was occupation by the Nazis followed by a Soviet occupation that lasted decades.

              •  Some historical perspective (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q, KJG52

                Since some here have suggested that socialism was forced upon eastern Europe by Russia.
                   You mentioned Hungary after WWI. Are you aware that Hungary briefly had it's Communist state? It was crushed by the armies of neighboring countries with then carried out terror campaign against anyone with socialist leanings.

                "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:08:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The claim isn't that socialism was forced upon . . (6+ / 0-)

                  Eastern Europe.

                  The claim is that the Soviet Union was forced upon Europe.  

                  And the fear in many quarters is that Russia hopes to revisit the old map -- this time, the map will be Russian style gangster capitalist, not socialist -- akin to what has happened in Transnistria, Crimea, and to a large extent in Russia itself.

                •  You like to use the word perspective (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LookingUp, realnrh

                  Here's a little perspective, USSR was not a socialist state, it was a quasi Leninist turned Stalinist dictatorship that murdered, invaded and trampled on the individual freedoms of millions. Much longer and almost as ruthless as what Germany did to Europe during Hitler's regime. So by equating it with socialism is an outright insult to true socialists. It had nothing whatsoever to do with socialism. While hundreds of millions lived in forced menial conditions, there were elites who lived in luxury and ate, drank and farted in better living conditions than Donald Trump and the Koch brothers. Hungary May have flirted with their own style of communism but USSR was not communist, it was an outright dictatorship that destroyed millions of lives. Why are you so insistent on denying Russia's belligerence and threat to its neighbors? It does not matter what political name you equate with a country, it is about the freedoms of the people it governs.

                  Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                  by tazz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:52:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, perspective (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Johnny Q
                     Much longer and almost as ruthless as what Germany did to Europe during Hitler's regime.
                    Where exactly were those communist gas chambers and concentration camps?

                    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                    by gjohnsit on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:59:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, for starters you may want to read (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nextstep, tazz, realnrh

                      "The Voices of the Dead: Stalin's Great Terror in the 1930s" by Hiroaki Kuromiya. Of course it focuses on the 30s and not the entirety of the Soviet history, but... well, you can start there.

                      •  I ask again (0+ / 0-)

                        "Where were those gas chambers and concentration camps exactly?"

                          If Stalin was just like Hitler then the evidence of genocide must have been everywhere.

                        "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                        by gjohnsit on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:27:09 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Are you really ignorant (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          FinchJ, realnrh, Dr Swig Mcjigger

                          of the mass murders Stalin committed?

                          http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

                          by DAISHI on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:36:28 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Are you serious? (0+ / 0-)

                          Read a book.

                          •  Yes, I am very serious (0+ / 0-)

                            If Stalin was as bad as Hitler then where were the gas chambers and concentration camps?

                              Why does simply asking that question get outraged responses, rather than facts?

                              You know there are many different levels of evil out there. Stalin can be a mass murderer without being anywhere near as bad as Hitler.

                            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                            by gjohnsit on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:08:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok, because there weren't gas chambers, (3+ / 0-)

                            but there were gulags, prison camps, forced labor camps, psychiatric hospitals, and mass graves from the executions... Stalin wasn't as bad as Hitler.

                            Which wasn't even the point. Need I remind you, tazz said "almost as bad as Hitler." So you should be satisfied, but no!

                            Here you are asking for proof of the mass murders, mass deportations, and other crimes against humanity committed by the USSR, all to prove the point that he wasn't as bad as Hitler?

                            Bykinia, Poland. 30,000 dead. Other estimates are up to and over 100,000.

                            Kurapaty, Belarus. 30,000 plus.

                            Read a book. Millions died. Some were shot. Some were worked to death. Others starved. Entire communities were uprooted and moved across the country. People disappeared regularly. Good lord, this is all public information now that the archives are open.

                            The ARCHIVES! Just like the Nazis, they documented this madness and you have the audacity to ask for proof?

                            Read a book.

                            Yeah, not as bad as Hitler. Who gives a fuck. The Soviet Union was an abomination and was responsible for the deaths of millions. But he "wasn't as bad as Hitler." "Show me the gas chambers."

                            You do realize you sound a bit like David Irving with those demands right?

                            Excuse me while I puke.

                        •  You are obviously either a Putin fan (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          realnrh, Dr Swig Mcjigger

                          or a Russian. You can't be serious and not know of the gulags. Plus Stalin slaughtered millions, even Khruschev was forced to denounce him. There are estimates of 10 - 15 million who perished under Stalin alone. I think you are trying to re-write history or you really are some Putin loyalist coming on this website trying to drum up support for what Russia is doing. I heard the Israelis do that on some blogs. I guess Vlad has his operatives out in force.

                          Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                          by tazz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:24:14 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  That must be it (0+ / 0-)

                            I must love Putin. By pointing out that Russia's military is a tiny fraction of Ameirca's and that they had trouble just putting down Chechnya, then I must be spreading pro-Russian lies.
                              Lies that happen to be true, but true lies are even worse than false ones. After all, the Soviet Union = today's Russia is every way except reality.

                              It couldn't be that when you compare someone to Hitler that they should actually be as bad as Hitler.
                               Just because someone is only as bad as Ivan the Terrible, or Ghenghis Khan, Atilla the Hun doesn't mean they don't all equal Hitler too.

                            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                            by gjohnsit on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:35:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok, today's Russia is so much better (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            realnrh, sviscusi

                            You win, you and Semion Migilevich are much happier as are the Chechyans, Georgians and Ukranians, they're all better off with today's Russia. Happy, we'll dismantle all our military power, end NATO and just wave the white flag and make Vlad the new chairman of the board. Tell me this dude isn't a plant here.

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 01:49:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh FFS. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sviscusi

                      Insert your own pithy comment/angry screed/wise homily right here!

                      by StratCat on Sun May 18, 2014 at 03:53:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  "Putin's imperialist, not us". (10+ / 0-)

            LOL.  That's funny.  You think the U.S./NATO/Financial and Corporate Oligarchy Ruling Class war machine isn't imperialist, but Putin is?  
            Do you think it all stopped under Obama or something?  

            "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:48:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Speaking of Wilson (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BigAlinWashSt, Johnny Q, KJG52
            But then again, I'm a Wilsonian, so take this as you will.
             I'm a fan of Eugene Debs. So take this as you will.

            "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

            by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:59:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm a fan of Debs too (4+ / 0-)

              but that does not mean you know what you're writing about when it comes to NATO or Russia. As you write, for a little perspective, NATO ain't goin nowhere for the foreseeable future. Russia set up the conditions for the Crimean takeover. Russia, and before it the USSR has never been a bastion of freedom and never was about pure socialism, especially today. In fact, while many socialists in the US during WWI and after were touting the great reforms the revolution had brought forth in Russia, Stalin was killing millions. Mao killed even more during the cultural revolution. Mao made what Pol Pot did look like a picnic. So just because Wilson kept denying clemency for Debs does not make you right about Russia or Putin or dissolving NATO.

              Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

              by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 08:36:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That wasn't what I was saying (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Johnny Q, KJG52
                 So just because Wilson kept denying clemency for Debs does not make you right about Russia or Putin or dissolving NATO.
                 I only brought up Debs as a side-note because anshmishra brought up Wilson and denounced socialists.

                As for Putin, I never said anything about him. He's another Dick Cheney as far as I'm concerned, with a much smaller military.

                "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 08:57:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A much smaller military? (3+ / 0-)

                  I want what you're smoking. If you add up the frontline and reserve military personnel we're about even. They have equal or a bit more land based weaponry while we have a decided advantage with air and sea. The have twice as many nukes as we do. If you consider they only have 3/4 of our total population their ratio between population and military is higher than us. That's not to say there's too much on both sides. There's way too much. I wish there were no nukes, a hems or bios at all. But as long as there are threats to our survival by not only Putin, but al Queda, N. Korea or Yosemite Sam, NATO is going to exist, and for some reason, it makes me feel a little better knowing I live here with the cloak of NATO than in Somalia, Taiwan or even close to the border with Nigeria, which one day might thank NATO if they can free all those girls.

                  Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                  by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:37:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes. Russia has a MUCH, MUCH smaller military (4+ / 0-)

                    There's a reason why the rest of the world fears us, and its not just because we are bombing multiple countries right now. It's because our military budget dwarfs the rest of the world in such a way that hasn't been seen since the Roman Empire.

                    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

                    by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:48:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Do yourself a favor (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      realnrh, aimeehs, Justanothernyer

                      Read the Janes books about the military, then go try living in places like Kiev, Prague, Budapest, Chechnya or any of the Baltic nations and ask people old enough to remember and are still in fear about how much weaker the Russian military is.

                      Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                      by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:02:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  What does then have to do with now? You (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Johnny Q, fran1, truong son traveler

                        take the total defense spending of the U.S. and NATO over the last 20 years and compare it to Russia's and it's no comparison.  Nukes aside.  Even Obama baited Russia saying they couldn't stay with the U.S. NATO war machine.

                        "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

                        by BigAlinWashSt on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:04:38 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm kinda glad we might have an edge (4+ / 0-)

                          militarily over Putin. I guess you're not.

                          Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                          by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:09:02 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh ya, I think it's great we spend 1.2 trillion (4+ / 0-)

                            per year on defense, intelligence and national security.  Well worth to keep people like you safe.  
                            Shit. If that's what you need man.

                            "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

                            by BigAlinWashSt on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:19:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Never implied we should spend anywhere near (4+ / 0-)

                            that much. You made the written comment about not loving either of them. I am aware of countless times the nation I am a citizen has illustrated bad behavior since our independence from England, especially slavery and the treatment of Native Americans. However, I love this country, wore the uniform proudly, and am still able to practice what I believe in even if other people don't like it. If I didn't love it I'd be long gone living in another country. You seem like you don't love this country. That's your issue, not mine.

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:39:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It's not about that for me. I served too. (5+ / 0-)

                            It's about who has hijacked this country and are preventing the rest of us from having our life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  I want what's best for the people, not for the rich bastards that control all of us.  This is their game, not ours.  We're fools when we play by their rules.

                            "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

                            by BigAlinWashSt on Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:22:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I hate to break it to you, but we live (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NotGeorgeWill, aimeehs, sviscusi

                            in a country that has more than one political party. One party tries to do right by its people even though there are times they stray from the will of their constituents, another party with almost as many adherents want money and elitism to dominate and govern over the populace, we have a bunch of smaller parties that try to get some traction but usually they are always in the minority.

                            Stevie Wonder once wrote a perfect line for your comment about this is their game. He wrote "so make sure when you say you're in it but not of it, you're not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called hell". It's easy to blame all on the ruling class, but in the end you choose to still live here but I'm not sure why when you seem to think we're no better than Putin's Russia. There are many who login here who fight for what they believe but who don't trash who we are or think we're not capable of being better as a nation. The issue I think you have a problem dealing with is even though we have 1/3 of the country who favor capitalism over everything, they too have a right to express themselves politically and otherwise and have the right to run for elected office and win. So what would you like to happen? Have a one party system that only believes in a different kind of ruling class? They tried that in Russia for about 70 years. How'd that work out?

                            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                            by tazz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 12:03:26 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I wish it were so n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                            by CharlieHipHop on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:17:20 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Budget? That's because we spend money on (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      realnrh, aimeehs

                      expensive state of the art high tech systems, and because we spend money on pure pork, building things that the military doesn't even want, but building those things provides jobs in particular communities.  That drives up the budget.  

                      That says nothing about size of militaries wrt manpower.  North Korea, for example, has a ~9.5 million in its military (active, reserve, and paramilitary).  That's 40% of its population is in the military.

                      The US has ~2.2 million in its military (active and reserve),which is ~0.7% of its population.

                      Russia has ~2.8 million (active and reserve),which is ~1.9% of its population.

                    •  The Roman Empire had a rival: Persia (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      FinchJ

                      The two powers were roughly equivalent; they fought many wars, and neither ever overthrew the other. After the last Roman-Persian war, in the seventh century, a new power, the Islamic Caliphate, overthrew Persia and reduced the Roman empire to Asis Minor, the Balkans south of the Danube, and a bit of Italy.

                  •  Don't confuse the ideologues with facts (5+ / 0-)

                    They get upset. Especially when they love a brutal dictator like Putin more than they do our elected President.

                  •  Not exactly (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT
                    ...while we have a decided advantage with air and sea...
                    I hate to break it to you, but we're no longer number one in these areas.

                    Our stealth technology has long been a non-factor against the Russians and Chinese (remember when we bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade a couple days after Serbia shot down one of our stealth planes -- yeah, there's more to that story) who have passive radar technology that renders it obsolete.

                    Likewise, our fighter jets are no match for theirs.  Sorry to say, but it's true.  The F-22 was supposed to be a response to the Su-27.  The F-22 is still a joke compared to the Su-27 -- slower, lower range, lower ceiling, less heavily armed and armored, terrible in terms of maneuverability -- but the Russkies are two generations past that now with the Su-47.  We were even with them back in the Mig days, but we're behind now -- way behind.  I've heard this from sober military folk whose job it is to know these things.

                    The water situation is not much better.  The Akula class submarines are likely the quietest in the world and have hung out in the Gulf of Mexico for weeks undetected.  The Akula is heavily armed too, and Russia has some pretty formidable battleships and destroyers as well.

                    I know the U.S. military is excellent, but we only attack countries that can't really defend themselves, and Russia definitely doesn't fall into that category.

                    They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                    by CharlieHipHop on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:16:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Forgot to mention... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      tazz

                      ... I'm against dissolving NATO.

                      They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                      by CharlieHipHop on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:30:41 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Thanks for the info, the air and sea advantage (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        realnrh

                        is really carrier based but you're definitely correct about the Akula class subs, but when it comes to quiet, both sides boomers park it, make like a hole in the ocean and wait for the word to launch their missiles. Their fast attacks are faster and go deeper, but our sonar and other gadgetry is better. Besides, it really doesn't matter, once eithers fast attack locates and fires, the boomer has already launched and we only have a few minutes to put our heads between our legs and kiss our asses goodbye.

                        And I've been having fun arguing with these folks about dissolving NATO. The diary's author posted and dodged, never having the guts to defend or identify his real purpose for positing such an idea while Putin is considering his next move on Ukraine. I wouldn't bet against he posted it on several blogs and outlets. Who knows, that piece could have been written in Moscow for all we know.

                        Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                        by tazz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 05:30:20 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Who else made Pol Pot look like a picnic? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                truong son traveler, Johnny Q

                The U.S. military, in Vietnam, from what I've read.

                For that matter, there are more people in U.S. prisons today than Stalin had in the GULag at its height.

                Mind you, I am not in any way defending Stalin or Pol Pot, merely pointing out that Marxists have no monopoly on evil.

          •  Yikes! (6+ / 0-)

            To see the U.S.- NATO aggression, as opposed to solely this:

            Russian aggression shows that we can't be complacent.
            ...
            Check out my diary on Ray McGovern's assessment of both sides.  Ray McGovern, was the CIA Daily Briefer of President H.W. Bush at the time.  It's here

            So Russia knows it must not be complacent either.

            "...a silent coup has taken place in Washington and rampant militarism now rules..." Daniel Ellsberg via John Pilger

            by dharmasyd on Sat May 17, 2014 at 08:21:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Gerald Ford is smiling in his grave (4+ / 0-)

          as DKos commenters repeat his error from the 1976 Presidential campaign.

        •  Poland has so little to fear from Germany (10+ / 0-)

          that it's not only in the EU with Germany, but in the more exclusive club of countries that share completely open borders. It has so little to fear that it's in an even cozier three way alliance with Germany and France.

          Thanks to Solidarity and Lech Walesa, Poland emerged from the Warsaw Pact with a largely intact political apparatus. Which is to say the country was in a position to make a clear-eyed choice about which friendships to pursue. Their decision, and their evident success with it, speaks volumes.

      •  Mindful... (7+ / 0-)

        I think you need to be a little more open to the possibility of another side.  I have just posted a diary about former CIA agent Ray McGovern's understanding of the history of NATO, Russia, and the former member states of the USSR since 1989.  Ray McGovern, btw, was the  CIA agent who delivered the Daily Brief to President H.W. Bush at the time in question.
        You can find it at Ray McGovern Discusses Segei Lavrov.

        Thanks for looking at it.

        "...a silent coup has taken place in Washington and rampant militarism now rules..." Daniel Ellsberg via John Pilger

        by dharmasyd on Sat May 17, 2014 at 08:12:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The UN? The organization that couldn't stop (9+ / 0-)

      a cookie fight at a Brownie Scout meeting? At least some of the countries in NATO will actually fight.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:43:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  US picks up 70% of NATO's tab, meanwhile, China... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976, bnasley, gjohnsit

    ...is setting up shop on land that belongs to our allies in Southeast Asia.

    Very little is at stake in the continent of Europe.

    Everything is at stake in Southeast Asia, specifically the South China Sea and East China Sea, through which 40% of global commerce travels.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

    by PatriciaVa on Sat May 17, 2014 at 12:51:24 PM PDT

  •  Right now NATO is sort of (13+ / 0-)

    the enforcement arm of the IMF/Washington Consensus, that and a spur for arms sales among its members. I agree that it has outlived any legitimate purpose. We really don't need a New Cold War.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Sat May 17, 2014 at 01:05:52 PM PDT

  •  We are alive. (31+ / 0-)

    NATO's existence during the Cold War had a lot to do with that. You may have a laundry list of things wrong with NATO, but it is an essential element of mankind's constant struggle to avoid nuclear war. We talk about a lot of important issues on this site, from racism to gay marriage to Iraq to climate change. But no threat compares to that of a single thermonuclear device going off, let alone a nuclear war. The "Let's get rid of NATO" meme is beyond irresponsible and diminishes the serious nature of this site.

    •  So what exactly does NATO do (8+ / 0-)

      to prevent thermonuclear war?  Seems to me its purpose is to run roughshod over largely defenseless countries that our contractors want to profit from.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Sat May 17, 2014 at 01:31:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good grief. Provoking Russia repeatedly (8+ / 0-)

      and fomenting a coup right on her doorstep, these you suppose to be actions that mitigate the threat of nuclear war?

      •  Some folks might quibble about your description (7+ / 0-)

        It remains to be seen if reintegrating the parts of the old USSR or Russian Empires is a really good thing.  

        I'm not sure what US national interests are, long run, in this process.  I'm not sure who the winners and losers, vis a vis rights of smaller national and ethnic groups would be.  I'm not sure if the lack of large scale war in most of Europe that's lasted almost 70 years benefits or loses from this.

        I'm as aware as anybody else that US interests are not benign much of the time.  Where I may differ from you is to note that neither is anyone else's national interest.

        fomenting a coup right on her doorstep
        is a pretty one-sided way to describe the process.  And "on her doorstep" is a pretty one-sided way to describe a sovereign country that is, well, not Russia.  Especially since Russia has felt free to intervene in the politics of its neighbors, Ukraine included.

        Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

        by mbayrob on Sat May 17, 2014 at 04:45:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The US is in the process (6+ / 0-)

          of taking over Ukrainian assets.

          Blackwater [under it's new name that I can't recall] is over there and Biden's son and some relative of Kerry's have gained board seats on a major energy company over there that originally opposed the overthrow of the elected guy.  The company now sees the light in favoring the overthrow.

          The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

          by dfarrah on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:15:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow (4+ / 0-)

            I had no idea Biden's son and John Kerry relatives are our enemies. Of course you have proof of their sinister activities regarding their seats on a major energy company and being part of a conspiracy to usurp the energy policy in Ukraine. I mean you wouldn't be making this up just to throw mud at a few people who can't defend themselves here. Or are you going to link to some website that makes that accusation without proof either.

            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

            by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:18:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gerhard Schroeder and Gazprom . . . (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tazz, aimeehs, Justanothernyer

              on the other hand.  Not hypothetical example.

              I guess the Russian assumption is because they do it, everyone else must too.

              The guy has netted almost $215 million -- a huge chunk of it after his time in politics.

              It's almost like he's auditioning for the role of Albert Speer in the Putin biography.

            •  Typical reading (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fran1, truong son traveler

              comprehension problems at DK.

              Here's one link to the story - this info is not that new:

              Night of the Hunter: Family Values in American Foreign Policy

              Maybe you haven't heard that the US is considered worldwide to be the biggest threat to world peace.  

              Sleep well with your fantasies.

              The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

              by dfarrah on Sun May 18, 2014 at 06:54:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I sleep very well thank you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                realnrh

                Not sure you do though. You seem to be very angry at America. If that the case, that's your problem. The nice thing about being an American is I have criticized it, marched against the government, but it is my home. It is where I live, where I raised my kids, bounced my grandchildren on my knee. I don't hate my home. There are things I'd like happen to improve my home, but I know I'm far from perfect, and so is everyone else's home.

                Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

                by tazz on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:43:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Blackwater —> Academi. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            native

            Here's an article (in German) in Der Spiegel about the ramifications of Vice-President Biden's son Hunter taking a key position on the board of that Ukrainian gas company.

            http://www.spiegel.de/...

            The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

            by lotlizard on Sun May 18, 2014 at 11:23:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not only has NATO outlived its original purpose, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fran1, BigAlinWashSt, Johnny Q, native

          but its new purpose is an exploitative one: 1) NATO provides a cover and excuse for US efforts to maintain American hegemony, missiles, and military bases across Europe; 2) NATO obliges member states to contribute to US imperialist projects outside Europe, in Iraq and Afghanistan; 3) member states are required to "standardize" military forces by spending more of their GNP buying US arms and command-and-control systems.

          The Warsaw Pact no longer exists. Neither should NATO. NATO has fastened upon the EU like a lamprey in order to extend its own power. Ukrainians were happy to join the EU to obtain economic aid; but Yanukovich was told Ukraine would also have to join NATO, even though this would obviously provoke their neighbor Russia. (Most Ukrainians still reject entering NATO).

          An interesting historical parallel can be found in Thucydides' Peloponnesian War. The Greek city states formed a Delian League to resist the Persians, and an important element of the Delian League was the Athenian fleet. But after the Persians were defeated the Athenians turned the Delian League into a mechanism to pursue Athenian naval empire; they embezzled the League's treasury, turned League taxes into forced tribute, and they even raided and massacred cities that tried to throw off League obligations. This heavy-handed exploitation eventually estranged most of the member cities from Athens. Athens was ultimately isolated and destroyed by the Spartans.  

      •  Provoking Russia? (12+ / 0-)

        Look, Russian occupation was so fucking brutal that as soon as Russia lost its grip, practically all of Eastern Europe bolted to join Western Europe.

        That's not "provoking Russia" for small countries to seek defensive security, unless you presume an imperial right of Russia to dominate its neighbors.  That is pure cold war imperialist thinking.

        •  You seem unaware of global geopolitics, (7+ / 1-)

          in the sense that Russia, like the US and like China, have spheres of influence that they insist upon maintaining. You also seem unaware of the fact that Russia under Putin bears little resemblance to Russia under Stalin.

          You seem to dismiss out of hand the indisputable fact that Putin has raised the living standards of ordinary Russians enormously, and so earned their loyalty. You ignore the fact that he has (partially) reined in the oligarchs and criminals who were stealing Russia blind under Yeltsin (with the full approval and cooperation of the USA) and that he has instilled a sense of national pride and optimism among his countrymen.

          Your arguments contra Russia are consistently prejudicial, ill-informed, and more emotional than logical. You assume that Russia has ambitions to militarily invade eastern Europe, without a shred of evidence to substantiate your assumption. You fear monger against Russia, in company with Neocons like McCain and Lindsay Graham, inciting animosity where none is justified, or required.

          You refuse to recognize the consistent, on-going role of EU/US transnational banking and industrial interests in overthrowing foreign governments, and buying their way into positions of dominance. You refuse to accept the validity of Putin's efforts to free Russia from their control.

          Are you not aware that the present government of Ukraine is in no way legitimate? That its own army is not loyal to it? That it must rely upon right-wing militia to enforce its dictates upon the eastern peoples of Ukraine? Have you seen the way these militia operate?

          Don't you see that it is Putin and Lavrov who are seeking a solution to Ukraine's divisiveness, and that Kerry and Nuland are exacerbating the conflict, quite intentionally?

          You are blind as a bat, Mindful Nature. You are not paying attention.

          •  in no way (0+ / 0-)

            1) Russia just invaded Ukraine.  I think we can safely say that not only does Russia have interests in invading its neighbors (polling bears out substantial sentiment suggesting Russians think all or parts of their neighbors belong to Russia), but it actually has done so

            2) Prime minister Yatsenyuk was legally elected by the legally elected parliament.  That makes him absolutely the legitimate PM.  You have a thin argument regarding the President (arguing that a 72% majority doesn't give a democratic mandate or legitimacy).  YOu're free to make that argument, but you'd be wrong

            3) Putin has "reined in" the oligarchs largely by imprisoning any who would challenge him and allowing only oligarchs friendly to him to retain their strangelhold of the economy.  Kleptocracy isn't exactly "reining in" any oligarchs, only shifting who the oligarchs are

        •  A lot of pro-Putin comments here (11+ / 0-)

          apparently being Progressive only applies within the US, not to other countries.

    •  The cold war (4+ / 3-)

      was based on a myth.

      That myth was "the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming!!"

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:10:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You made two false assumptions (5+ / 0-)

      1) MAD kept us from thermonuclear war, not NATO. In fact, that wasn't even NATO's mission.

      2) You seem to imply that without NATO existing today we would all be killed in nuclear war. Why? It is an assumption without logic behind it.

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:30:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Formerly Socialist or overrun by the Soviet Army? (17+ / 0-)
    Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
  •  this is an increasingly important issue (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, dfarrah, Johnny Q, fran1

    The problem with NATO is that it is a powerful standing army that is not kept in check by the safeguards of civilian command and control.

    The president of the United States can use it as his private army to do a regime change--as Obama did in Libya. That was a frightening precedent, which alarmed many in the world community, including Russia and China. Of course, in the US information bubble, people simply bleated that Obama was in the right, that it was the Republicans' fault for not defunding the war, and thought no more about the bigger picture.

    If you think Bush's invasion of Iraq was bad, just think what could happen if a president used NATO forces for his own personal crusade--without even the tiny pretense of restraint that Obama maintained in Libya. You would have WWIII.

    The longer NATO just sits around, the greater the chance that it will be used. Someone is going to come along, pick it up, and do something horrific with it. What Obama did should be a warning of what lies in store.

    NATO should transition to a Europe-wide defense organization, and its forces should be placed under the control of democratically elected European politicians.

    But is not clear how this can be done until Europe-wide political institutions reach a much greater degree of maturity. And since Euroskepticism seems to be growing in strength, the day when a strong, democratic Europe-wide government could take charge of European security seems even further off. To hand over NATO assets to individual European governments when the likes of Golden Dawn and Jobbik are increasing in strength is a very dicey proposition. The last two European arms races ended in world war; we might not survive a third.

    In the end the simplest solution might be simply to have Russia join NATO. Putin himself suggested it was a possibility, many years ago. If given enough room to maneuver and save face domestically, he might be pragmatic enough to do it. The question is whether our politicians are pragmatic enough to make the offer before WWIII kicks off.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:12:46 PM PDT

  •  A few points... (18+ / 0-)
    The United States has had the leadership role in NATO since its inception as part of the United Nations.
    NATO is not, and has never been, part of the United Nations organization. It doesn't even hold observer status at the UN, as do several other intergovernmental organizations.
    The U.S. government has handled accession agreements and ratification procedures.
    That's true only in the mechanical sense; new members deposit their accession agreements with the US government, and existing members do the same with their acceptance documents ratifying changes to the North Atlantic Treaty, but that's it.  The US has no say in "ratification procedures," because those are carried out by each prospective member nation in accordance with its own laws. Neither, to be sure, does the US alone dictate who may or may not join; invitations are extended by unanimous consent the North Atlantic Council. The first line of Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty spells it out:
    The Parties may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty.
    See that "by unanimous agreement"? That isn't just fluff. Several nations have been blocked from NATO membership by one or two nations; Cyprus and Macedonia have been blocked for years, by (respectively) Turkey and Greece. It should be noted that the US voted in favor of both nations' invitations; I don't think that a system in which Greece or Turkey can veto such things is a slave to US policy.
    Its objective to expand to, and over, Russia's borders is also clear.
    The US wanted to offer Membership Action Plans (one step below formal invitations to join - often seen as a 'fast track' to membership) to both Georgia and Ukraine, but the Council refused to do so.
    Hudson also writes that "NATO's last leaders' summit in Portugal in November 2010 took the NATO vision beyond Eurasia, releasing a new strategic concept entitled 'Active Engagement, Modern Defense.' It recommitted to an expansive and interventionist military agenda with projected global reach."
    You quote Hudson's article, but her article is as unsourced as it is vituperative. She also makes leaps of "logic" that are ridiculous at face value:
    But in reality, NATO's nuclear policies conflict with the legal obligations of the signatories to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Articles 1 and 2 of the NPT forbid the transfer of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear weapon states, and US/NATO nuclear weapons in Europe are located in non-nuclear weapons states.
    This is an almost deliberate misreading of plain fact; a US nuclear weapon under US control has not been "transferred" to any other state, regardless of its physical location.  That's just one quick example of poor argument; read her article and draw your own conclusions.

    As far as the NATO Strategic Concept is concerned, again I say this: read it for yourself and draw your own conclusions. The simple fact of the matter is that, from terrorism to cyberattacks, security is a global issue for all nations.

    You also cite Hudson here:

    "Vigilante-style, [NATO] can ride roughshod over the qualms of the United Nations - and often the restrictions of international law - to assert its own view off peace and freedom."
    It's certainly an inflammatory quote, but it's wild speculation in the face of the history of cooperation between the UN and NATO. Hudson makes this "oh, they can run roughshod over the qualms of the United Nations" assertion and immediately cites NATO's role leading ISAF in Afghanistan--but omits the rather important fact that ISAF was explicitly created/authorized by the UN Security Council! The same is true of the NATO-led operations in Bosnia; the UN explicitly requested NATO assistance in that case as well.

    There may well be a legitimate, factual argument to be made on the question of NATO's usefulness and/or intent in the 21st century - but neither this diary nor its primary source do a very good job of presenting one.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:15:57 PM PDT

    •  ISAF has had a pretty considerable tension (0+ / 0-)

      all along, I think, from NATO members outside the US block not liking how the mission had diverged from the original UN-authorized one.

      The aggressive Taliban-hunting mission, not really what the UN had intended or authorized, is one of our major mistakes. Lack of disarmament of the armed groups (from the US dealings with the warlords, more or less), is another. Botched reconstruction is a third.

      So here we are, a decade later, trying to withdraw, but with severe problems created by old mistakes. And not much desire to look at them, and revisit how it all came about.

    •  Thanks for pointing out the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      realnrh

      ahistorical nature of this diary. It is free from from historical facts and so it easily jumps to conclusions based on fantasies.

      There are many systems began after WWII that are in need of review and revision. NATO is one of them, but this conversation needs to be reality based. Somehow, I don't think reality-free talking points like the ones in the diary will be very successful in starting that conversation.

      I might recommend the recent book Bloodlands, Fear Itself and Postwar for those  who wish to have a better grasp of the facts when they discuss these issues. There are many other credible sources as well.

      Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

      by dengre on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:17:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The way I see it, truth be known, (5+ / 0-)

    Putin is more willing to use military force than Obama is. Putin has more pressure from the Russian population to "save Soviet pride" by going around infiltrating foreign lands militarily, as he did in Crimea. Invade Crimea, and his popularity at home surges. The Russians are not doing well in comparison to the Western Europeans economically. The Russians want to believe that they are still a superpower, so they depend upon Putin to throw their military might around with their neighbors. Right now, NATO serves as a counterweight to Russia's military ambitions.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Sat May 17, 2014 at 02:22:56 PM PDT

  •  The original NATO made more sense (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, gjohnsit, Johnny Q

    I think we have very few useful allies and with the exception of Australia most were included in the original NATO.  I also believe that NATO shouldn't be used outside of its original purpose of mutual defense.  

  •  Here is Rasmussen last year (8+ / 0-)

    advocating a strike against Assad, in response to that chemical attack:

    http://www.rferl.org/...

    which as it turned out, was likely a false flag operation. The guy is parroting US neocons, on an issue that has little or nothing to do with defending Europe.

    •  "false flag operation" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      realnrh

      This was a fun argument last year, and was fun while it lasted.

      There are folks that lack skepticism about what the US Dept. of State says is going on.

      There are people who lack skepticism of what they hear from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

      And there are those of us who watch both groups and laugh our heads off.

      You don't have to be a US neocon to think both sides are idiots.

      Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

      by mbayrob on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:05:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This has called for popcorn (0+ / 0-)

      Half my right wing friends want Obama to intervene against Assad.

      And the other half want Obama to intervene to protect Assad against the Rebels.

      Meanwhile conspiracy theorists on the Left continue to be disconnected from reality.

      It would all be humorous like the great Marx Brothers movie, "Duck Soup" except that tens of thousands are dying.

  •  NATO should have declared victory and disbanded (8+ / 0-)

    after the fall of the Soviet Empire, which removed its primary reason for existence.  Obama's flagrantly illegal war in Libya convinced me that NATO has become worse than useless.  It's an agent of mischief that imperialists in both parties use to throw a sheen of international legitimacy over American military adventures.   Watching so-called liberal Democrats point to NATO to legitimize the Libyan war was nauseating.

  •  Not Entirely Sure I Agree. (4+ / 0-)

    I don't think Russia is capable of re-enacting the Cold War, and I doubt Putin really wants to try. Russia can't recapture all of its lost republics or all the nations of the Warsaw Pact, and can't afford politically or militarily to try. But Putin does want to isolate Russia, make it a stronger regional actor, and start weakening Europe.

    And that's the main reason why I think we can't afford to drop NATO: The EU is, as an aggregate, the US' largest trade partner. We literally can't afford to hang them out to dry with respect to Russia, which holds most of the cards in terms of petroleum/gas supply, and is a single, unified actor on the playing field. I do think the Europeans should do more to shoulder the expense, despite their economic issues right now, but our economic integration is a huge part of this story.

    As Europe's economic integration with Russia is a huge part of the Ukraine story, and the main reason why they have so little leverage against Putin--but of course, without Europe buying Russia's gas, he's bankrupt. But I don't see a world without NATO quite yet.

    •  How do you see Putin trying to weaken Europe? (4+ / 0-)

      Establishing a degree of national independence from (Western) global economic behemoths, yes I see that. But I don't know why that should necessarily entail "weakening Europe".

      •  Cutting off the Natural gas, for one. (4+ / 0-)

        No better way to destabilize the weaker countries of Europe, Especially if you do it in the dead of winter.... right around Orthodox Christmas.
        Russia's done that before.

        “The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves”- Lincoln

        by commonscribe on Sat May 17, 2014 at 04:08:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          charliehall2, NotGeorgeWill, realnrh

          He can play nations off against one another, as he's doing right now, for example, with South Stream. With the EU already hobbled, he can (and probably would like to) help kill it. Basically, Putin wants to, and can, exacerbate differences between different countries. It's a variant of divide-and-conquer, though Putin isn't looking to conquer Europe. Strengthening Russia's position by promoting division amongst European countries, and isolating rivals like Poland, most definitely is something he wants.

        •  That is not trying to "weaken Europe", it's just (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fran1, Johnny Q

          practical business sense. Putin wants to do business with Europe. He needs to do business with Europe, and in fact he is doing business with Europe -- but for Russia's benefit, not for the benefit of EU/US oligarchs and bankers.

          Putin has no desire to cut off anyone's natural gas. He wants to sell it, as should be plain to see for anyone with half a brain.

  •  In other words, Russia should have freedom . . . (9+ / 0-)

    to reinvade the Baltics and Poland.

  •  Disagree (16+ / 0-)

    NATO has many functions, but there's one of them that's entirely excluded here. NATO acts in many ways as a transatlantic bribe. "Europe, you stay peaceful and don't fight each other, and the US will make sure no one else fights you either." Maintaining a large economic area as a war-free zone is an amazing benefit both to the US and to Europe - and it's given western Europe the longest period of peace in more or less its entire history. There have been violent groups, yes, like the Basque separatists and the IRA, but those were groups - not nations at war. Maintaining that security guarantee means that a unified Germany, for example, does not have incentive to develop a world-power-level standing army of its own, which would enable it (even if it never used that capability) to once more have designs on the rest of Europe.

    As for 'virtual market satellites' - there are quite a lot of countries that would dearly love to be 'virtual market satellites' in exchange for the kind of security guarantees that come with NATO membership. I'm quite sure that Ukraine and Georgia dearly wish they could have been NATO members before Russia decided to usurp large chunks of their land - and their failure to do so may in fact encourage other potential members to hurry up with the internal reforms and stabilization efforts that it takes to qualify for such membership.

    'Freedom from external invasion' is an enormous carrot for prospective members and an incredible economic and ethical boon to NATO members. Far from dissolving NATO, it should expand to encompass more states, discouraging those states from building large self-defense armies of their own and instead participating in the collective self-defense efforts in more specialized roles. Just imagine how much more crippled the US economy would be if every US state had to maintain its own armed forced to a sufficient extent to defend its territorial integrity against its neighbors. It would be economically devastating - however much of the US GDP is going to the armed forces now, it would be a higher percent from a smaller pie if it was fifty aggregated states instead of one nation.

    NH4JL DIT '04, NHDP DIT '08!

    by realnrh on Sat May 17, 2014 at 03:38:28 PM PDT

  •  As the Lithuanian President observed a few weeks (12+ / 0-)

    ago it's at times like this you find out who your real friends are - and its not the Germans and French. Since I dispute most of the diarist's interpretations of recent history I'll simply lay out a positive case for the relevance of NATO - including the obvious fact that an organisation that can act only through consensus is a very poor tool of imperial overreach.

    First we all need to recognize the severity of what Russia did in engineering a grab of Crimea. Crimea is no more inherently Russian than it is Turkish (by way of the Ottoman Empire) or heck - even Mongolian. That's at the heart of the challenge posed by Russia's actions - the "ownership" of virtually the entirety of Eastern Europe through the Caucasus to Central Asia is disputable, hence the overwhelming need to simply let borders stay where they are short of genocide.

    Russia cites as justification for their Crimea intervention the role of NATO in Kosovo. There is no comparison whatsoever. In Kosovo there was a clear effort by Serbia to ethnically "cleanse" Kosovo, and Serbia also had a clear record of doing just that in Croatia and Bosnia. Furthermore the outside intervention was done with support from UN resolutions. This meant the intervening powers had to make a case before the international community (no matter how we regard the UN). NATO and subsequent stabilisation forces are gone from Kosovo - and they held an internationally supervised referendum on seeking independence from Serbia.

    In the Crimean "intervention" Russia simply took over, organized an absurd referendum inside 2 weeks with no international oversight (OSCE monitors were forbidden access). It looks like less the 30% of the populace turned out to vote for something, and Russia then annexed the territory. There was no imminent "cleansing" going on, no attempt by Russia to seek any international sanction for this intervention and no attempt to justify this on any higher principles than:

    • Crimea used to be Russian (in Tsarist times)
    • The Russian "senate" gave its permission to go anywhere to protect Russians and Russian interests

    Crimea is not over - and 250,000 Tatars are going to start giving the Russian authorities a bad case of imperial indigestion.

    Which brings us to the point about NATO. Ask Poland or any of the Baltic states how they feel, and right now they are very glad they made it inside the club as quickly as they could. They know Russia - and the sky-high approval ratings Putin has domestically for doing this makes it all the more vital for these countries to belong to an entity like NATO - because the normal democratic checks on a liberal imperial power aren't going to work in Russia.

    Whether we want to deal with it or not, in very many respects Russia has emerged as a xenophobic, fascist power attempting to dominate Eurasia. I don't think it will have much staying power since Russia is essentially a corrupt petro-state (unlike its 20th century German predecessor) - so I think we can get by simply limiting it's influence, and protecting borders - but post-Crimea NATO has become very relevant to Eurasia.

    •  Do you really think (5+ / 0-)

      that Putin engineered the Maidan coup so that a new Ukrainian government would flirt with NATO so that Russia would have an excuse to annex Crimea ? That's some engineering.

      The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

      by Azazello on Sat May 17, 2014 at 04:56:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Maidan "coup" . . . (5+ / 0-)

        was an expression of popular will -- at least in a large part of western Ukraine, especially after the Ukrainian PM flew to Russia, got his marching orders, and started killing civilians.

        I'm sure that Russia would have preferred an invasion and "annexation" with fewer finger prints.

        •  Like the referendum (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BigAlinWashSt, Johnny Q

          in Eastern Ukraine!

          Read the European view at the European Tribune

          by fran1 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:22:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The referendum in Eastern Ukraine (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            realnrh, aimeehs

            was conducted outside of normal political channels, on short notice, without any credibility third party monitoring the results.  It's about as credible as a poll conducted on the Fox News website.

            In the case of Maidan, even members of Yanukovych's party turned on him, and a clear majority of members of the parliament supported his removal.

            The election in Eastern Ukraine was a sham.  

            The removal vote in the Ukrainian parliament may not have been popular in Russia, but the membership at least has some claim to representing the country.  And the removal votes didn't just come from one part of the parliament either.

        •  Wait ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fran1

          What ?  If I understand correctly, you are asserting that Yanukovitch flew to Moscow where Putin told him to open fire on the protesters knowing that this would cause a pro-NATO government to be put in place so that he would then have an excuse to invade Crimea. That just doesn't make any sense. Why would the Russians have to wait for, or precipitate, a coup in Kiev to invade Crimea ?

          The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

          by Azazello on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:39:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It may not affect many outside the region (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott5js, realnrh

      I agree with your basic analysis, although it isn't clear what the US should be doing about it, if anything.

      Russia imperialism is a very old trend in their history that started with the Czars, survived the revolution, and is reviving now.  But expansion also brings in people who do not want to be under what they see as foreign rule; it isn't clear that Russia will benefit long run from becoming less a unified state and more of a multi-ethnic empire.

      I'm not clear, however, how much it matters if you're not Poland or in the Baltics.  I'm not sure if it matters that much if Russian or American plutocrats get to divide up oil or natural gas resources.  And I'm not sure if this has much long run security implications for Western European states.

      But if it does matter, collective security is a good tool for keeping the area stable, and for protecting the independence of the buffer states.  And to that end, NATO is a good means of doing that.

      Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

      by mbayrob on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:22:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Humans that think we have to live that way are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Azazello, Johnny Q

    humans we need to leave behind.  

    "Fragmented and confused, we have no plan to combat any of this, but are looking to be saved by the very architects of our ruination."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:03:32 PM PDT

  •  Good lord! (11+ / 0-)

    read some history!  Next year will mark 70 years of peace in Europe.  These are countries that gave us the Thirty Years war AND Hundreds Year War.  

    How exactly is an alliance that involves England, Germany and France ever bad?

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Sat May 17, 2014 at 05:33:02 PM PDT

  •   Can we dissolve the United Nations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NotGeorgeWill

    While we're at it?

    http://jasonluthor.jelabeaux.com/

    by DAISHI on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:21:13 PM PDT

  •  I would modify the thesis somewhat. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fran1, Tony Situ

    NATO has damaged European security in recent decades, because it has made the continent too dependent on US power. This has hampered European defense. The spectacle of Europe wringing its hands while genocide in Yugoslavia was underway was disgraceful. Only when the USA decided to act did NATO kick into gear. The effort to create an all-European rapid reaction force of 60,000 soldiers later in the 90's foundered. There is a significant Russian threat now and Europe lacks any real independence from the USA in confronting this threat. What is needed is not so much for the USA to disengage as for Europe to decide to defend itself independently of America.

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:24:07 PM PDT

    •  Would anything have happened . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      realnrh

      absent NATO action in the Balkans?

      Russia blocked action via the UN.

      Even now, Russia has been pretty adept at buying off key politicians in western Europe and creating division.  The difficulty in coordinating action with respect to Ukraine, for example, isn't because Europe is too dependent on the U.S. -- western Europe has largely ignored the U.S. and hasn't even gone as far as the U.S. with respect to sanctions.

      Think more likely absent the U.S. you would have countries pitted against one another.

  •  Your view is narrow (10+ / 0-)
    There are now 28 member nations in NATO, 11 of which were formerly socialist: Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Thus, rather than its function as a defensive force, NATO has been blatantly expansionist. Its objective to expand to, and over, Russia's borders is also clear. Its actions have spoken louder than its rhetoric.
    NATO is only 'expansionist' because the vast majority of Russia's former client states have eagerly pivoted toward NATO and the EU. One has to be pretty dense to not understand why these nations feel safer in NATO, especially given recent events.

    There has indeed been talk of Russia joining NATO. Even Putin mentioned it some time ago. Tell me why this is a problem again? How is over a billion people rejecting warfare as a means of resolving internal disputes a bad thing? If we're lucky the organization will grow so aggressively there'll be no one left to fight.

  •  Sovereign nations choosing to join NATO... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, tazz, NotGeorgeWill, Tony Situ

    ...is not expansionist.  That said I would have put a moratorium on expansion and pursued a new paradigm to include the US, Canada, and the EU.

  •  There are times I read things on this (9+ / 0-)

    blog that I wonder what agenda is behind the demonizing of certain groups or individuals. Since most blogs like this are open to anonymous bloggers as long as they tout a somewhat progressive theme, I am sure there are those who use this forum to drum up support for certain issues that surreptitiously may in fact be sinister in nature. It is then I start to wonder who exactly is behind the agenda, such as drumming up support to dissolve NATO.

    I'm sorry, I am not going to list all the positives and important national and international security reasons for NATO, but just the timing of this type of post during the events unfolding in Eastern Europe is just too coincidental. And to see so many Kossaks just jump on the bandwagon like this should shock the hell out of veterans like Kos himself. I can just imagine how republicans can make hay out of this and the positive reaction to it by one of the leading progressive blogs. I'm surprised the author didn't call for the end of the Navy Seal Team 6 or the FBI. There are definitely things that should be done to correct much of NATO's negative aspects, but this post smells fishy.

    Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

    by tazz on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:45:41 PM PDT

  •  I respectully reject the entire premise of this (9+ / 0-)

    diary.

    What the Right Wing calls "being politically correct" is what my mama used to teach me was "being polite".

    by Walt starr on Sat May 17, 2014 at 09:23:43 PM PDT

  •  Given Vladimir Putin's recent expansionist (7+ / 0-)

    actions, the justification for NATO appears stronger than ever!

    •  I am convinced if the US (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      had not interfered in the Ukraine the Crimea would still be part of the Ukraine. So mabey Putin should say thank you to Vicky.

      Read the European view at the European Tribune

      by fran1 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:27:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because the entirety of Ukraine . . . (4+ / 0-)

        would be under de facto control from Moscow.

        That was part of the issue with Yanukovych; he took Russian money, and then started killing Ukrainians.

        The problem that Russia has is that people have long memories.  Most want to be independent of Russian domination; they want independence in their domestic affairs and a degree of independence in international affairs -- they have even been willing to make accommodations in this area in order to not antagonize their neighbor.  For Putin and his inner circle that is still not acceptable.  They want absolute control over Ukraine's interactions with other countries.  

        Inevitably there was going to be a crisis.  

        The U.S. and Europe were a lot less important than Ukraine's own domestic factors -- including its own oligarchs who don't want to be subordinate to Putin and his thugs and Ukrainian nationalists who also have no desire to return to the Russian yoke.  The distant ally is a lot less of a threat than the near enemy who has a history of genocide in the country and who just as recently as 10 years ago tried to assassinate the country's elected head of state.

        How exactly do those actions endear Russia to their neighbors?  The intimidation may work up to a point, but eventually there is going to be conflict if the bully keeps pushing.

  •  Huh (6+ / 0-)

    This article definitely reads as Russian style propaganda, unfortunate as there's legitimate discussion to be had regarding NATO.

  •  Articles like this are why Americans don't trust (8+ / 0-)

    liberals on issues of national security and foreign policy as much as they trust wingnuts, despite wingnuts being a complete disaster on such matters over decades of time.

    •  Don't know if this is actually true anymore. (7+ / 0-)

      This article doesn't strike me as "liberal".  It reads more like Russian propaganda.

      I doubt American's generally care about a diary on a liberal site.  Most Americans don't really care that much about foreign policy unless it directly impacts them anyways.  

      To the extent that the diary has found a favorable audience, it's marginal.  

      •  I'm not saying this article itself affects how (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dackmont, sviscusi

        Americans view liberals' ability to handle national security, I'm saying that the mindset of this diary is voiced by too many on the ultra-left, or who at least wear that label, and as a result Americans think liberals are weak on national security as a result.  Americans think, "Sure the wingnuts screw up foreign policy by being too hawkish, but at least they don't blame the US/NATO for Russia's invasions".

        I think the distrust of liberals on national security has changed since Obama became president, but the perception of liberals as weak "blame America first" folks hurt Dukakis.  And hurt the party as a whole in 2004, because in a desire to counter that perception, Dems nominated Kerry ("He's a war hero, so GOP can't attack him on national security or patriotism") who was a rather weak candidate (other than his being a war hero; and GOP, with the help of MSM, still attacked his patriotism anyway).

        •  I see what you are saying . . . (0+ / 0-)

          but I'm not as worried about the perception right now.  

          The older perception I see as a legacy from the red-baiting era and as a hangover from Vietnam.  How many mainstream "liberal" columnists fall into that category these days?

          These kind of voices exist, but I wouldn't identify them as strongly with the Dems -- especially post-Iraq.

          The bigger challenge is the tendency towards isolationism, which is perhaps even stronger in right-wing circles post-Iraq with the rise of more "libertarianish" voices.  

          Rather than conceding the foreign policy area post-Iraq, they simply deny the existence of the government.  After all, if you start from the premise that there should be a minimal central government, what role can it have?

    •  As a friend put it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Peace Missile

      if youre being mugged and theres 1 guy on the other side of the street who might either come to your aid or call for help, or just pretend he doesnt see anything and walk away, whod you rather that stranger be? A Cambridge MA liberal, or a redneck from Texas?  George Clooney, or Rob Zombie?

  •  You didn't mention NATO's main original purpose (10+ / 0-)

    Sorry, but this diary reflects a complete lack of historical understanding of NATO.  I don't think it's worth the time to refute most of this, but for others, I would just like to point out the original purpose of NATO.

    It was not so much to keep "the commies" out.

    It was to prevent European countries from going to war ever again, especially France and Germany from going to war ever again -- a perpetual conflict that had destroyed Europe over and over.

    NATO was an implementation of the doctrine of collective security, the same doctrine that is behind the UN.  The idea is not just that countries make military alliances -- the kind that led to WW I and 19th century wars.

    The idea behind the UN, NATO and collective security is that they are "all in" alliances.  They don't divide countries into blocks but create one block, eventually the entire world, what vows not to start wars against each other.  

  •  NATO in Yugoslavia (5+ / 0-)

    Your facts are completely wrong. First of all, there was never a Yugoslav Civil War. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Macedonia broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991/1992 and all we're recognized by the international community, including Russia, as independent states before NATO ever got involved. This was no surprise as Yugoslavia started breaking apart in the 80's after the death of Tito. Serbian rightwing nationalists, supported by Belgrade, then set up separatist republics in Serbian dominated areas in Croatia and Bosnia in 1992, which were independent countries. All of this happened before NATO got involved in 1994/1995. Yugoslavia wasn't really a country after 1992, as it was only Serbia and Montenegro by then, and Montenegro eventually broke from the loose federation in 2006. NATO did not destroy Yugoslavia, Yugoslavia destroyed itself.

    NATO did help to end the war in Bosnia though in 1995, but that wouldn't fit your false narrative you're trying to push about NATO in Yugoslavia.

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Sun May 18, 2014 at 07:52:29 AM PDT

    •  Yeah.... I sense some Commie propaganda in this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      realnrh, killjoy

      diary, and I mean that without snark.  "Commie" as in Putin and Red China.  Who are on the whole worse than NATO for sure.

      "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

      by dackmont on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:52:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My goodness (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tazz, Peace Missile, dackmont, realnrh

    there is a lot of re-writing and forgetting history these days.

    When I was in the army, I was part of NATO back in the 1990s.  Both in Kosovo (as part of the KFOR peacekeepers) and briefly in the ARRC (Allied Rapid Reaction Corps).   We worked TOGETHER - Americans, Brits, Germans, French, Poles, Turks, Hungarians  etc.  

    A main reason to keep NATO is that it promotes a sense of understanding and peace between allies.  Countries can solve problems and conflicts together rather than having those suspicious isolationist states that Europe once had.  We don't have individual countries in Europe today feeling the need to build huge standing armies to defend their sovereignty.  Do we really want to go back to that?  

  •  The Warsaw Pact is dead - long live the SCO, i.e. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    realnrh, Anna M

    the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.  Russia and China are not our friends, and together could rival the power of the EU alone, or eventually even the US alone.  It makes sense that the US and Europe stick together.  Sure NATO is screwed up, but I'd mend it before I'd end it.  I'd rather NATO than the SCO dominating the globe.  I'd rather have neither, but if I had to choose....

    And come on, it's not as if NATO expanded into former Warsaw "Pact" countries forcefully.  Those countries were stoked to join NATO.  No, I don't think it's a good idea to line Russia's borders with missiles, but again, that behavior could end without NATO ceasing to exist.

    Odd that you put scare quotes around "breakup" when speaking of Yugoslavia, which was never that cohesive to begin with.

    I'm no neoliberal, and imperfectly informed on global politics.  But I'm not at all sure that much of what you write is as obviously aligned with progressive principles as, e.g. Occupy Wall Street's agenda, or genuinely democratic economic socialism, and so on.  The commies in Russia and China were evil; Putin is on balance evil, as are the Communist Chinese.  I'm not at all convinced NATO is worse than Russia and China, or that taking away NATO would make us safer given a rising SCO.

    "Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so." - Robert Ingersoll

    by dackmont on Sun May 18, 2014 at 09:48:50 PM PDT

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