Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dr Strangelove is alive and well (and advising NATO)

"Dr Strangelove was never put back in his box. He is lurking in the shadows waiting for his chance to strike." says Dan Plesch, as quoted in this excellent Comment is Free piece by Martin Butcher on the truly outrageous recommendation by five former military bigwigs that NATO should adopt a nuclear first strike policy.

One of those military bigwigs is Klaus Naumann. The Guardian provides a pen portrait:

"Viewed as one of Germany's and Nato's top military strategists in the 90s, Naumann served as his country's armed forces commander from 1991 to 1996 when he became chairman of Nato's military committee. On his watch, Germany overcame its post-WWII taboo about combat operations, with the Luftwaffe taking to the skies for the first time since 1945 in the Nato air campaign against Serbia."

So the man who was in charge of NATO's military committee when Luftwaffe bombs once again rained down death on the population of Yugoslavia, is now calling for NATO to pre-emptively strike, with nuclear weapons, any states that get in the way of the alliance's global ambitions. As Martin Butcher asks: is this the ultimate end of Tony Blair's 'liberal interventionism'?


Karl Naylor said...

Obviously, we see here the power of inertia. Once a bureaucracy has been set up people are always going to try and pretend something like NATO has a meaning in the post-Soviet era.

It does in the sense that NATO is now an extension of US geopolitics and designed to allow the Us to domiate 'New Europe'. That means Poland and Czech were the Us hopes to habe its nuclear missiles.

70% of Czechs do not want it. Will the governement listen. Czechs are more politically aware than Poles who might just apathetically accept missiles in Poland because of this scaremongering about Russia.

Neil, has to understand why Poles might feel like that after the history of Russian Imperialism.

Yet,most ordinary Poles do not want to be in the firing line. I met my wifes family in Krakow recently and most were locked in a timewarp.

Russsia is STILL the enemy. At Xmas we got into a typical argumant after a bit of vodka and people were divided. Some think the USA is now the main menace, whilst others thought that anything the US does must be right because they 'saved' us from Communism.

I told them the situation had changed and now Poland really should make decisions according to EU notions of opposing unilateral actions by the US.

Neil needs to realise that NATO isn't the EU and that it is possible to oppose the USA on pricipled grounds and not merely through what Orwell called 'transferred nationalism'.

Neil was right to draw attention to the funding of jihadist groups in Yugoslavia but this is no less callous realpolitik than the kind of politics conducted by Milosevic.

The difference is that Western troops do not want to die. We hate dying. Naturally, where 'easy' solutions are found where they die and bot us, then bombing can take place. The jargon is 'fast track'.

The situation in Yugoslavia was complex and I now have earned enough money to have a month off work to look at the Balkans.

Neil mentions the unacceptable side of the crusade but makes it into one long tirade against 'Western Imperialism'. Thought simplistic, it meand he will draw attention to the opportunistic aspect of foreign policy.

But the arming of the KLA was callous realpolitik. And the jihadists who learnt their skills in Bosnia had connections with those who killed on 7/7/.

Free from propaganda, it is now time for somebody to look at the whole course of the wars from 1989 to 1999 and beyond.

Most journalists are mere propagandists. They want to get noticed. But the truth always comes out and often too late. Then it rarely affect the political actors of the day.

The one thing we all must avoid is nihilism. Just trying to bend the fact to make a olemic. All these will be swept away into nothingness and forgotten unless we really establish the facts.

Neil passionately believes that the other side of the case has not been given. The demonisation of the Serbs fits in with the 'one way moral legal screen' Pilger writes about.

Only Pilger is wrong because he hates the US SO much that anyone opposed to the US must be right.

Things are never so simple as that nor as the neocons would have you believe.

Lets establish the facts without trite polemic. Just as Orwell might have.

The future of our own democracy really does depend on that.

BTW, I wrote something agreeing with Neil Clark's Morning Star article on 'turbo-capitalism'

But not all of it. And that's from a Tory. Funny old world.

Anonymous said...

Didnt Russia announce an identical policy within the last fortnight?

Why no comment on that Neil? Or is there a good reason for Russia to preemptively nuke stuff that NATO just doesnt have?


Anonymous Pete