December 22, 2006

Dec. 22, 2006: Bud Talkinghorn - NATO

The impending death of NATO

To echo the left, "NATO stands for The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, not the world's policeman." I can agree with this summation, as far as it goes. However, the broader sense of American / European security extends beyond continental Cold War scenarios. Now ideological enemies have emerged out of the deserts of the Middle East. Such threats should be familar to Europeans, as they encountered them in the 16th century Islamic thrust into Europe--only stopped at the gates of Vienna. Then came the fascist 30's. Finally, they saw them again in the "iron curtain" that fell over Eastern Europe. By the way, "Iron curtain" was stolen by Churchill from a speech by Josef Goebbels. He said in early 1945, "The Soviets have dropped an iron curtain on Eastern Europe, behind which vast butcheries have begun". As an old Czech friend would testify from experience, that was entirely correct. This current totalitarian menace comes cloaked in veils, ancient grievances, and sharia law. It is wilful, dedicated and patient. It feeds off the wavering, quavering voices of its infidel enemy. It hates social progress, unless it may advance the cause. It can spot a weakling; one that will defeat itself.

The Taliban see the French, Italians and Germans cowering in the north of Afghanistan while their warrior brothers fight the Taliban in the south. They are legal experts in how to abuse the West's tolerance and "diversity edicts", especially,.how to manipulate the liberal media. They rightly assess the moral drift and rampant materialism that more and more characterizes the West. We have reaped the fruits of progress without any sacrifice in the last half century.

To amend Neil Postman's dictum, "We have amused ourselves to death" *

Our ideological enemies have not succumbed to such trivial pursuits. Theirs is the fanatical will to conguer, an animus which also possessed the Vandals and the Ostrogoths. These primitive peoples saw a Rome that had lost its moral compass and which then relied on bread and circuses to survive. These operas of blood and gore had nearly bankrupted the republic. More troops had to be recalled from the territories to finance them. A "Die Hard Nine" had to be produced every week. Flood the colosseum, cue the crocodiles. Eventually, rape by animals had to be inserted to appease the jaded mob--Christians turned into human torches just didn't cut it any more. The loaves of bread catapulted into the stands were still considered a nice touch, however. North Africa had to be denuded of lions to keep the show on the road. Meanwhile, the North Germanic tribes kept sharpening their swords, in anticipation of Rome's eventual collapse from within. Do you ever feel that you are living at the end of the Roman Empire?

Oh yes, NATO. It now resembles the first regiments of the Praetorian Guard to run, when the barbarians breeched their defenses. We are witnessing today a failure to thrive militarily. And the Germans, descendants of the ferocious Ostrogoths and the Einsatzgruppen, have become honorary Frenchmen. Maybe these cowards are saving their troops for the future battle on the home front.

© Bud Talkinghorn

* Book: Amusing Ourselves to Death. Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. by Neil Postman. Penguin Books, 1985



Related:

Please note the date, 2003, but it serves as background to the related articles below. Symposium: European Union and the Death of NATO? , By Jamie Glazov, FrontPageMagazine.com December 12, 2003

www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=11281


Is the European Union slowly becoming a socialist monolith? Does it pose a danger to NATO? To discuss these and other issues related to the EU and the future of NATO, Frontpage Symposium is joined by Vladimir Bukovsky, a former Soviet dissident who spent twelve years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals for his fight for freedom, and whose works include To Build a Castle and Judgement in Moscow; Joel Mowbray, a nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security; Charles Kupchan, a professor at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of The End of the American Era: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Geopolitics of the Twenty-first Century; and Radek Sikorski, the Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Executive Director of AEI's New Atlantic Initiative. [....]



Search: NY Times index: North Atlantic Treaty Organization

nytimes.com

Leaving NATO, Marine General Still Seeks Troops for Afghanistan -- NATO’s 26 members and 11 partners have about 32,000 troops in Afghanistan, including 11,000 Americans.

"The violence in Afghanistan is more than just the Taliban,” he said. “It comes from the drug cartels. It comes from the crime and corruption. It comes from tribe-on-tribe violence."
, Thom Shanker, December 21, 2006, NY Times World News



WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 — The Marine Corps general who just completed a tour as NATO’s supreme commander said Wednesday that NATO’s force in Afghanistan was still 2,500 troops short, but he cited progress in persuading nations that send soldiers to remove restrictions on their combat roles.

[....] Several nations, including some major European nations, imposed restrictions on their troops that commanders say have hampered their ability to move forces or to rescue other troops in trouble.

For security reasons, NATO officers decline to identify those nations or the exact restrictions, although they include conducting missions at night or in certain volatile regions of the country, especially the south, where the Taliban are resurgent. [There are differing accounts of whether the Taliban are "resurgent" or not. In fact, some accounts are quite optimistic but NATO must support them, so the Taliban don't take advantage.]

At the Riga talks, “to our great satisfaction, many countries have responded and removed their caveats,” General Jones said. He said the restrictions put some nations’ troops at greater risk than others’. [....]



France to Pull Troops Fighting Against Taliban in Afghanistan -- "France said it will withdraw its 200 troops from a southern Afghan city, where they are taking part in a counterinsurgency operation." , AP / NY Times, December 18, 2006


[....] France has been reluctant to have its forces in Afghanistan, a total of 1,100 troops, serve outside the relatively safe Afghan capital, Kabul. The decision would remove elite troops based in the southeastern city of Jalalabad.

[....] On Saturday, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said that Afghan, American, Canadian, British and Dutch forces had done most of the fighting in Afghanistan over the past year at a time when ambushes, suicide bombings and other attacks had multiplied. Those nations have also borne the brunt of the casualties. Senator McCain called on NATO nations to send troops into more dangerous areas of Afghanistan. [....]



One War We Can Still Win , Anthony H. Cordesman, December 13, 2006, NY Times


Op-Ed article by Anthony H Cordesman, senior fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies, says that there is very real risk that United States and NATO will lose their war in Afghanistan with Al Qaeda, Taliban and other Islamist movements fighting Afghan government, but that situation, while dire, is not hopeless; notes one cause for optimism is that popular support for United States and NATO teams has been strong and can be rebuilt; says US and allies have to make major increases [....]



Note: Polls often seem to be done right after the public has heard negative news so ... forewarned is forearmed.

The poll in the following article was conducted:

* after criticism from UK SAS officer and "Iraq war planner Peter Tinley" and

* after the US Baker-Hamilton report to the US Congress.

For those reasons, this may not be as negative as the title would make it appear. This does not sound like the attitude of the best Australians. Remember, the left is now globalized. They use a computer network(s), to engage activists to ... activate, to commission polls, and to report when they serve the left's purposes. Use this on CBC and Globe and Mail polls to see if there is a pattern evident.



Aussies and the war in Iraq -- "Most think Iraq war not worth it" , The Australian, Patrick Walters, National security editor, December 23, 2006

www.forumsvibe.com/elwoodpdowd/view
topic.php?t=1487&mforum=elwoodpdowd

[....] The poll follows the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton report to the US Congress, which warned this month of the deteriorating situation in Iraq and called for policy change by Washington. [....]


Read the rest with the note above in mind. This was posted by starboardside; Israelis might dispute the last line which, I think, is a comment, not part of the article.

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