More than ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, NATO forces, as always led by the Americans, are dancing more than the “Texas Two-Step” in their role of self definition and sought after justification, on the world stage. NATO’s image is that of a crippled man with his rear aflame; in great fear that his head will follow suit.
Why is my aforementioned reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall a salient opening line of this article? Some of us may actually be old enough, or studious enough, to comprehend and reflect, retrospectively, why NATO was formed. It was to halt the spread of Communism throughout the world, and particularly in Europe, following World War II. Berlin, of course, has always been considered “ground-zero” as to where the illusive freedom in the West, and the gray oppression of the East, buttressed each other for so many years.
Recently, I had the rather sadly laughable opportunity to observe an American television show. The gentlemen who presented the show was the respected celebrity, Jay Leno. One of the features of his show is to canvas the sidewalks of Los Angeles and ask, seemingly intelligent people, questions about history and world issues. In so doing, Mr. Leno asked seven Americans, ranging in age from sixteen to twenty-eight — one, in fact, being a school teacher — where the Berlin Wall was. Not one of the polled intellectuals had a clue, even when he enunciated …”Berlin Wall”! Answers ranged from, “somewhere in China,” to “the wall they build around some city in Missouri so that river would not flood them out in the Spring,” to “that fence they put on the border with Canada.”
Being bombarded with a plethora of idiotic answers tweaked the fertile waves of suspicion in my mind. I was compelled to ponder the terminally anemic intellectual prowess of the average example of, “America’s Future.” Could this rapidly spreading lack of illumination be one of the factors that seems to have affected NATO, and its apparent illogical understanding of its role and mission? Is NATO suffering from stupidity that creeps like an incipient computer virus? It appears that it may well be. The Cold War is over, NATO, it is time to go away, and take your host of “strap-hanger” countries with you!
Ah, alas, even the Russians know the Cold War is over. After years of planning and execution, they have extricated scores of thousands of Russian soldiers from Eastern European enclaves. This, speaks nothing of all the equipment they took home, sold to the highest bidder, or just left behind. Now, if the Russians know the Cold War is over, and took their toys and returned home, why are the Americans, and their lackadaisical buddies, still clinging to the Ground, mostly in Germany, and constantly searching for another reason to remain and believe in their worth to the world?
Even the less powerful Russian satellite states, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, and others, know that the Cold War is over. Country names have changed and freedom springs eternal. The lustration of Eastern Europe has been long and costly, however now nearly complete. Pillars of old resistance; such as Lech Walesa in Poland, and Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia, no longer wallow in dank jails for being independent thinkers. Nevermore will these men wonder how much their next interview will hurt. So, again, why hasn’t NATO gotten the message? It is time for the United States Military, and the NATO shield, steadfastly allied against the yoke of oppressive Communist expansion, to get a life.
So, this brings us to the present day and NATO’s adventures, and misadventures, within the European Community. We, like NATO, shall not focus on such places so impalpable, for example, as Rwanda and such. NATO has not expressed particular interest in intervention in that venue.
NATO prefers to bully its way around continental Europe. As in the past eight years, it has sought to redefine itself and has determined that it has a key role as a humanitarian protector. This is a catchy, and believable justification, if I do say so myself. However, NATO speaks with a forked tongue, humanitarian actions and material actions are not one-and-the same, but material actions make NATO’s heart flutter like an adolescent in Spring.
It is curious that NATO has become such a close monitor of all European countries, just as the risky Euro currency implementation is about to take place across Europe. Of particular interest to NATO are those countries that are on the fringe of the European Community, or those who have not yet acquiesced or become NATO members.
Yet, at the same time why are five year old children in Ulster being harassed, pelted with garbage, and receiving threats of bodily injury and death. All this, whilst they make their ways to kindergarten classes. Does the “stuffy nosed” Lord-God of pulchritude George Robertson, not know about the civil unrest in Ireland? Perhaps, Javier Solana could take his American friend, James Pardew, Chief Threatener to the Macedonian government, and they could both descend on Londonderry or Belfast and show them “what’s for”!
If one cannot read between the lines, as to how NATO and cronies, et. al., are dealing with rogue, or basically non-compliant states and nations, then I strongly suggest that the observer study the Macedonian capitulation, and its incestuous marriage under NATO’s grip, for the past eight months. This wedded bliss that Macedonia has with NATO, will soon find itself bifurcated and in conflict. The necessary inertia is well ensconced, now, for the overthrow of the sitting Macedonian government.
This writer does not require assisted vision to realize what nature of underhanded, greedy inspirations, have gripped NATO. The wherefore and the why, as to NATO’s dalliances in Europe, a full decade after the end of the Cold War, as the “Big Goon Standing Under The Corner Streetlight,” are, and ought be, quite obvious. It is not freedom that is ringing the bell this time, rather, it is the ring of the new Euro Currency and its success, at all costs.
These costs to be borne even include the deaths of NATO soldiers, who in their youthful exuberance do not make light of NATO’s failed pursuits. As in the traditions of Vietnam and the actions of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. McNamara, and Lyndon B. Johnson, the old men march the youth of today to their death.
I am heartsick because as a society we have learned nothing, we are led about like a horse to water, only to die and die again. Fifty-seven years ago, when he was twenty-two years of age, my father was riddled with German machine gun bullets, in order to bring democracy to Europe. My father survived. As well, thirty-one years after I, and many others, fought valiantly in Vietnam, we have learned nothing. On September 17, 1969, I held my best friend in my arms and watched him die. He bore three holes in his chest, all large enough to put my fist through. Just before he lapsed into a coma, death shortly thereafter, Bobby asked me, “why are we here”? Bobby’s question to me remains unanswerable, to this day. I was lucky, I survived.
Now, here comes the young British Paratrooper, Ian Collins, murdered by those whom he was sent to Macedonia to protect. Shame on you NATO leaders, you continue to march young soldiers to their death, completely without justification. Shame on you NATO!
This article is dedicated to the memory of soldier, Ian Collins. May you be the last, young Ian, may the grief of your family be assuaged by your innocent dedication and faith in your fellow troopers. ~ JDG