Homeless pincushions, racist birds, a clown, and the slow burn of a once glorious online landmark.
Following the end of World War II, there were immediate concerns around the potential for expansion in the communist controlled regions of Eastern Europe. Russia had seized territory once controlled by Germany, and neighboring nations feared Soviet forces pushing west in an expansionist campaign. Western nations knew they need to bolster a new defense and empower their allies. In April of 1948, the Marshall Plan, otherwise known as the European Recovery Act was signed by President Truman, affording $15,000,000,000.00 (1.5 Trillion today) to friendly European nations. Those being [Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, West Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom], to aid in the post-war recovery effort. With this gesture of solidarity, the bill’s recipients were provided the means to rebuild their infrastructure and feed their people and spared countries that bordered Soviet territory from taking desperate measures – such permitting occupation by the Soviets in exchange for resources.
In February of 1948, Soviet entities in communist-occupied Czechoslovakia sponsored a coup that usurped that countries democratically elected government, bringing the entire country firmly under the control of the Soviet Union. With their concerns verified by the aggressive overthrow of Czechoslovakia, representatives of the United States and those of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, converged in Washington DC in April of 1949 to sign the North Atlantic Treaty; a mutual defense pact against Soviet aggression and expansion into their boarders. NATO was born. Six years later, as its fractured capital finally recovered finally recovered, West Germany joined NATO and built up its armed forces. The Soviets had warned against this, and in turn, created its own mutual defense alliance, the Warsaw Pact, among its satellite states just two weeks later. Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia , the “German Democratic Republic”, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.
Tensions remained high between the hostile alliances for decades, nearly escalating to the point of a third world war dozens of times. Ultimately, however, it was the Warsaw Pact of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, faced with greater internal strife and mismanagement, that buckled first. Being forced to put down two attempted revolts in Hungary and Czechoslovakia in 1956 and 1968 respectively, the meltdown of Chernobyl’s reactor number four, and being forced into a space-race with the US and its superior economy, the patchwork empire began to crumble. The standoff came to an end in 1991 when the USSR disintegrated and was forced to withdraw from its occupied satellite states.
So…we won, right? The Soviets lost, East and West Germany were reunited, Russia has a new government, mission accomplished. What’s NATO doing now? Just hanging out?
Right now, supporters of the organization assure that NATO is still as necessary as it’s ever been; that NATO deters military action from hostile actors, that it affords intelligence agencies a fluid network for Intel sharing, and that it, in general, creates a sense of fellowship between its members. And while that all may be true to some extent, I can’t honestly say that these supposed net-positives really counteract that organizations shortcomings adequately. Let me explain.
On September 11th of 2001, NATO’s Article 5 – the mutual defense bit – was invoked for the very first time in NATO’s history; at which point military assets from…two other NATO members [UK and Germany]…Jesus, guys, don’t all get up at once. I know more came out later, but come on! Now, it’s great and all that other countries would mobilize to assist an alley in Afghanistan, but my question is this: Was it crucial that we receive help in that fight? Could we not have done this alone? No. I’m fairly confident to the point of absolute certainty that the US could have handled things on its own. Never mind the fact that that we’re STILL THERE.
Now there’s a lot of evidence surrounding 911 that could be used to argue whether or not the invasion into Afghanistan was justified or not, but I think it’s safe to say that the way all that was handled could have been done differently than nearly 20 years of military occupation. Like, say, heavy sanctions and a travel ban? That’s just me though.
Aside from 911, there have been numerous recent attacks on NATO members that HAVEN’T invoked any kind of military action, as well as attacks on NON-NATO members that have, so I guess I’m just a bit confused as to what requisites an attack needs to qualify for a unified international beat-down or not?
Alleged Chemical attack in Syria (not in NATO) supposedly perpetrated by its own government: Yup
Alleged chemical attack in England (NATO OG) supposedly perpetrated by the very nation NATO was established to defend against: Nope
Any of this adding up to you?
Not to mention you have another bloated and ineffective international body essentially importing and defending enemy combatants – but that’s a topic for another video.
B-b-But Scathing, Russia does other bad stuff too! They stole Crimea from Ukraine and they’re fighting right now!
Hmm, well it true Russia’s claimed Crimea as their own, but if I recall there was a referendum that was voted on.
But it wasn’t legitimate Scathing!
I don’t know about that; was Brexit not a legitimate referendum? Was the push for California to be three states not a legit referendum? Was the signing of the declaration of independence not a legit referendum? We had a lot of people here who wanted to remain a British colony, you know. I don’t doubt that there were multiple hands at play in that situation, but if we’re being real about it that’s Ukraine’s business. Also, they aren’t in NATO, so, you know.
As far as the point about intel sharing goes – eh – I don’t know, aren’t there just more chances of sensitive intelligence falling on the floor the more hands it gets passed to? Isn’t the whole point of clandestine operations that as few people as possible know about it? Just seems a bit counter intuitive to me.
And the point about friendship – I mean, if someone was paying ¾ of my bills and I was paying less than I said I would, and I used more AC, water, electricity and internet than they did, I think I’d see them as more of a gullible sucker than a real friend, figuratively speaking, of course.
So what can be done? Is there any hope of making NATO as useful as it used to be? There could be, but I’m not optimistic.
For starters, It’d help if all members actually pay their 2%’s worth of their GDP into the organization like they’re supposed to, and I think their should be consequences when those payments aren’t made: Like, say, ejection from NATO. You wouldn’t NOT pay a security firm and expect them to protect you. To that same point, I think nations that are actually exceeding their 2% commitment – of which there are five – should cut back down to 2% – We in the US are paying close to 4%, followed by Greece, Britain, Estonia, and Poland. No reason we five should be subsidizing the other twenty-three.
Second, it probably won’t hurt to have NATO consider the legitimacy of its current and future members. As is stands, right now, the door for membership into NATO is open for anyone who wants in. Meaning that – in theory – anyone worried about being attacked by anyone else could join and then sit back and let their wars be fought for them for, what amounts to, a small fee.
Just an aside: I don’t like the idea of soldiers, wherever they’re from, fighting and dying on behalf of other countries – countries they didn’t swear to defend, countries that aren’t their home or have even the slightest thing to do with them. If you’re a country that can’t defend itself or at the very least, reciprocate the aid given to you dollar for dollar, than you should have no expectation that help will come. Looking at you, Montenegro.
Also, in the case that a member country is engaged in questionable dealings with our supposed enemies (all of them), they’re membership should be called into question. Most notably, Germany. It recently came to light that Germany is more or less economically dependent upon Russia and has a fuel pipeline between them. And I’m supposed to believe that Germany needs to be protected from Russia? Is that some kind of joke?
In addition, I think it’s worth considering where exactly the money for NATO is going. If Russia is still the big bad as so many seem to think, than wouldn’t it make sense if all that money goes straight into countries like Poland, like Estonia, like Norway, that are geographically next door to Russia? Wouldn’t they be the first line of defense? Do they not have a bone to pick with Russia for invading their lands before, during, and after World War 2: The Greater War?
And finally, if the objective here really is about defending the world from communism rather than just Soviet-communists, than I think a few things need to happen to help with this. NATO members ought to take a close look at their own governments and identify groups representing and sponsoring communist-style policies and candidates – otherwise you’d just essentially be doing the work of the USSR’s ghost for them. With all the ass-backward politics in our midst’s you’d almost think the West actually lost the Cold War.
But again, that’s a topic for later.
And isn’t there this huge Communist dictatorship with a one party government that’s hostile to everyone? I think it funnels money to North Korea, hacks every business on the planet, censors its internet, controls its media, killed tens of millions of its own people, harvests organs from prisoners, steals billions in intellectual property, ignores trade regulations, populates more than any other country, invades Tibet, Threatens Anime-Land and ships in international waters, builds artificial islands in the South China Sea and fills it with military equipment, lobbies in DC, owns multiple Hollywood studios, and eats dogs? No, no that be. Why would any responsible country let such a massive threat fester and grow like that?
And the last thing I can think of, if all else fails, would be to just leave.
There’s no reason to keep pouring time and money into something that doesn’t work like it should. Some brainlets might suggest that the reason something bad isn’t working is because we just haven’t put enough money into it, that thing will magically turn around if you just spend more on it. No. No, that is stupid. Those are stupid people. We here in the US have the biggest, baddest, military there’s ever been. We don’t need protecting. And if most of our so-called allies want to ride us all day, well, then I guess they don’t need protecting either.
If you’ve been following the news cycle for the past few months or even just the past few weeks or even days, then you have undoubtedly heard the name Kavanaugh at one point or another. Yale grad, not that that’s anything to be proud of in 2018, top of his class, mountains of writings and scholarly works, professional reputation that most people in his field could only dream of having, though perhaps not anymore.
After – and only after – he’d been cleared on his judicial record in front of the senate committee and everyone with a television, a certain lady senator from the most esteemed paradise of California, decided to turn her key and deploy what could be considered the most effective and sinister political weapon of the modern age. A groping accusation.
There was breathless coverage of the “leaked” accuser before there was a hearing for both Kavanaugh and one Christine Ford to state their cases. Ford said he did it – and not much else. All of the people she claimed could back her story said they couldn’t – either because they couldn’t themselves remember or their recollection varied from her own. She isn’t sure when, or where the alleged assault took place, be claimed to know with her incorruptible hippocampus that Kavanaugh had tried to rape and kill her.
Kavanaugh said he didn’t do it – in fiery fashion. He echoed a sitting Justice, Clarence Thomas, in calling the hearing a “national disgrace” and that the accusation alone had tarnished his reputation beyond repair. He was pretty damn convincing. About as convincing as one can be while defending one’s self against unsubstantiated claims that can’t be proven or disproven.
So what happened next? Well, your rationale might have you believe the whole debacle was seen for what it was – that Ford really didn’t have anything except her word. No evidence, no corroboration from witness. And for some, that did get through. But others saw fit to then attack his “demeanor” and “temperament”. That somehow becoming emotional about the fact that a bunch of goons are trying to ruin you with a bunch of nonsense claims that don’t go anywhere and don’t hold up to scrutiny or a seventh FBI intervention is somehow disqualifying.
This entire sad episode has several ramifications.
One: The extreme left is complicit in the subversion of the precedent of “Innocent until proven guilty” and that the burden of evidence is on the accuser.
In order to prevent Kavanaugh’s confirmation, they are willing to wave basic jurisprudence to get their way. That anyone making any claim at anytime from however long-ago, with or without evidence can derail someone’s life and career. Unless you agree with them.
Two: Claims like Ford’s are less likely to be taken seriously.
The #MeToo movement has made a lot of headlines in the past year and has taken down some big names. Not many arrests – for the same reasons as this – but a lot of resignations. The movement that began as a simple calling with a simple and noble goal of women (mainly in the entertainment industry) to voice their cases as soon as they happen while evidence is hot and before a cover-up can take place, has apparently been weaponized into a vehicle to take down undesirables with a point of a finger. This makes it very difficult for real victims to come forward out of fear of being paraded around and being made a spectacle of by one side and outright dismissed by the other depending on which way the pendulum is swinging. #MeToo, in its current state, seems to have had the exact opposite of its intended effect over the past few weeks.
Three: Concept of “credibility” in question.
Everyone was so quick to declare how “credible” Ford was, despite the conflicting testimonials from her so called witnesses, the failure of her and her lawyers to present any evidence, and the gaps in her memory. So this is the standard that makes a supposed witness credible? A sad face? A desire to believe they are correct? It’s a real swan song to the law as a profession if this is what it’s come to.
Four: Kavanaugh is pissed.
If someone tried to crucify you in the news and then wanted you to rule with an open mind regarding their cases, would you? Could you, at that point? No. The guy’s probably going to polish that newly minted chip on his shoulder every day for the rest of his professional life – which means he’ll shoot down cases that are important to the left with impunity for the next 30 to 40 years. In short, they created a monster, and one they can’t stop.