An Ignorant Wolf Thinks Poking The Bear With NATO is Good Policy

by lizard

The Polish Wolf has broken months of silence to produce a pile of pro-western drivel bashing the BRICS development bank and doing a little NATO cheerleading:

While the international attention is focused on Ukraine and Gaza, something of arguably larger consequence occurred recently: the ‘BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) launched a development bank to compete with the World Bank. This is indeed exciting – while the post-Breton Woods era has produced some impressive economic gains, especially after end of the Cold War, the World Bank is far from living up to its potential, and could surely use some competition. But as far as an antidote the that mythical demon of ‘neo-liberalism’, the New Development Bank doesn’t have a very good chance.

The recent crisis in Ukraine has caused some contrarian-leaning liberals to embrace Russia as a counterweight to American ‘neo-liberalism’; China has long been viewed in the same way. But even a cursory glance at the numbers indicate that this is far from the case. The weighted (by nominal GDP) average Gini coefficient (a method for comparing economic inequality in countries internationally) of the BRICS countries is a whopping 46.2 – by comparison, the US comes in at 36.7, and Mexico, the least equal of the OECD nations, is at 47. In terms of workers’ rights, the environment, or corruption of Democracy, the other prime accusations hurled at ‘neo-liberal’ institutions, the BRICS nations again fail to distinguish themselves as substantially better than the OECD or leading World Bank states.

The lesson? Those who see the US as the cause and center of globally exploitative economic system ought to look twice before assuming that America’s nominal ‘rivals’ represent a better, or even substantially different, system. While there are some truly ground-breaking programs for fighting poverty coming out of Brazil, and some successes as well in the ever-challenging realm achieving democratic governance in a highly multi-ethnic states in India and South Africa, by and large those countries competing economically with the “Washington Consensus” are running parallel to it, using largely the same methods (indeed, with a greater emphasis on state power and centralization), not innovating in some kinder, gentler system. A rival organization to the current global economic norms will not lead to a global system more responsive to inequality and the needs of the poor unless it helps motivate the World Bank/IMF system to reform itself.

First, the crisis in Ukraine is cited without any context as to who instigated the coup and subsequent slaughter and why. Preserving the petrodollar and pivoting to Eurasia isn’t something PW wants to talk about because it exposes why contrarians like myself hope the multi-polar reality represented by Russia will halt the psychotic “Washington Consensus” from sparking WWIII.

Now that Obama’s pivot project has been decimated by Eastern Ukrainians resolve to defend their cities and towns from the murderous coup regime in Kiev, the US has even fewer cards to play. Nuland’s Nazi pals and Porky the chocolate billionaire utterly failed and now must negotiate with Russia with tail tucked between legs.

The lesson? Poking the bear has consequences.

The resolve will now be to keep pushing for NATO expansion, which is insane. Here’s Hagel describing the need to get Georgia under the NATO umbrella:

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says “Russia’s blatant aggression in Ukraine” has made the United States and Georgia determined to build stronger military ties.

Speaking on September 7 in Tbilisi after talks with Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, Hagel called NATO’s September 4-5 summit in Wales “an important milestone in Georgia’s efforts to join” the alliance.

He said the United States would help Georgia fulfill its goal of joining NATO, stressing that “deepening ties between NATO and Georgia are especially important given the dangerous and irresponsible actions” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In addition to luring Georgia into the NATO fold, the big news out of the NATO summit was the announced intention to create a Rapid Response Force:

As Ukrainian leaders warned on Monday of “a great war” with Russia, NATO leaders meeting in Wales this week were expected to endorse their most concrete response yet to increased Russian military intervention in Ukraine: establishing a rapid-reaction force capable of deploying quickly to Eastern Europe, officials of the alliance said.

The new force of some 4,000 troops, capable of moving on 48 hours’ notice, will be supported with logistics and equipment pre-positioned in Eastern European countries closer to Russia, with an upgraded schedule of military exercises and deployments that are intended to make NATO’s commitment of collective defense more credible and enhance its deterrence.

Pair this with the Russia Aggression Prevention Act and what we have are the conditions for the new Cold War to go hot.

In the comments of PW’s idiotic post, he describes his love of NATO thusly:

NATO’s value is its predictability. Mutual defense is a powerful and much needed idea; it sends a clear signal to both NATO members and those who threaten them that the most powerful military in the world is watching and assessing any potential infringement. The salutary effects are two-fold: on the one hand, it has kept NATO members safe from encroachment, ending Russia’s periodic incursions into Central Europe as well as keeping peace (to an extent) between Greece and Turkey. On the other hand, it has left member countries relatively secure, to the extent that they haven’t needed to build up dangerous arsenals or maintain enormous armies. Turkey’s continuing status as a non-nuclear power (and likely Italy’s, as well) is likely a result of the conventional security it enjoys as part of NATO. If Ukraine and Georgia become full members of NATO, we can expect threats to their sovereignty AND belligerent actions arising from those feelings of threat to decrease. Russia may be frustrated, but the actual potential for conflict will be greatly lessened.

Before the Libya intervention this statement might not seem so ridiculous, but after watching NATO exploit a no-fly zone to empower militias to overthrow Gaddafi, sane people can see the craziness of continued NATO expansion.

Also, the lesson of Libya for despotic regimes like North Korea is simple: NEVER GIVE UP THE DETERRENCE OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. From the link:

Of all the lessons to draw from the ignoble end to Muammar Qaddafi’s brutal regime in Libya, the one about nuclear weapons proliferation is probably not the first tutorial that comes to mind.

But you can believe it is not lost on countries that feel vulnerable, including Iran. And for the sake of global security, the international community must consider what it’s like to be in their shoes.

The lesson is elementary. Eight years ago, Libya agreed to dismantle its infant nuclear program. More than five months ago, NATO began enforcing a no-fly zone in support of Libyan rebels. Would NATO have launched a bombing campaign against Libya if the unpredictable Mr. Qaddafi had possessed nuclear weapons?

Qaddafi’s forceful downfall will make acquiring nuclear weapons all the more justifiable to states that feel threatened by outsiders. In turn, that will erode the vision of nonproliferation that held such promise in the post-cold-war era.

PW sees Ukraine joining NATO as a good thing. Stephen Cohen sees it as a sure path to war with Russia. Here is Cohen discussing the situation on Democracy Now. It’s a must watch.

Western apologists like The Polish Wolf should be shouted down as ignorant warmongers. They are dangerously deluded about the true nature of US hegemony.

  1. I am curious about PW beyond your words here, for a couple of reasons: One, he is obviously drawing on unattributed sources to put his writings together. The tone is intellectual, but more than that, professionally so, as if he is citing the Council on Foreign Relations or some other think tank for both his data and smug self assurance. That’s classic poseur behavior, hitting you with a wall of arrogance.

    Secondly, he has adopted the behaviors of others who simply cannot take the heat and hide behind banning and other forms of insulation – people like Rob Natelson, James Conner, and Pogie. It’s at once infuriating and telling, as if he were to come out from behind the wall, he must know he’d get a school yard beating.

    I’m slow only coming around to thinking the guy just ain’t got the chops, ain’t worth the trouble. He lacks courage.

  2. steve kelly

    This is run-of-the-mill intellectual dishonesty. These sock puppets never actually do anything constructive, but constantly chirp about what should be done, and how somone else should do it.

    These self-appointed crossing guards are low-level thought police with no supervisor. Any real leader with potential to displace the pathetic and corrupt ruling class is a secondary target to constant bashing of the other wing of the (neoliberal/neocon) same political party. Sadly this Whack-a-Mole strategy to bash true leaders and potential leaders before they emerge seems to be working.

  3. JC

    PW may want to hide behind some obscure and uncited data generated by uncritiqued calculus methods and draw conclusions that inevitably will lead to war. But I prefer to resort to go all Swede and do the visual thing.

    Here’s Episode 13 of “The Unknown War: Liberation of the Ukraine.”

  4. lizard19

    Steve W brought up Libya in the comments of PW’s post, and his eventual reply is stunningly delusional:

    Sorry Steve, I have things to do besides argue about Libya. But here I’ve got second. Libya did NOT have the highest standard of living in Africa before NATO intervened. Libya had the highest standard of living in Africa until the rebellion started. Hundreds of thousands were already displaced, militias already controlled a huge portion of the country, and thousands of people were already dying, before the UN approved an intervention which Russia did not veto. Before NATO intervention, civilians were violently dying at approximately 100 per day. Libya still has severe problems, but these were not caused by NATO intervention. If NATO had not intervened, there is no reason to believe the situation would be substantially different. If NATO did not exist, there is no reason to believe that Sudan, the UAE, and European nations wouldn’t be intervening right now. Without NATO intervention, in fact, what powerful evidence do you have that Libya would be in a substantially different situation than Syria is today? Libya is in a bad way, but that’s not NATO’s doing; NATO can’t fix what’s wrong with it (but it does seem they averted the far worse possibility that occurred in Syria).

    But on a broader level, I do think it’s worth questioning whether it was worth it – in Libya, or Afghanistan, or any where else NATO has stretched beyond its immediate goals of keeping the North Atlantic safe. If NATO intervention in Afghanistan and Libya could have been replaced by NATO expansion into Georgia and Ukraine, they would have been doing their jobs a great deal better. And no, I don’t opt for a full on confrontation with Russia. But if they insist they aren’t arming the rebels, they can’t admit that we’re in a confrontation with them if we provide weapons to Ukraine. Ultimately, Ukraine has to give up its claims to the Crimea. It may not effectively control the Donbass again for a long time. But putting a real roadblock in the way of Russian revanchism is still worthwhile, and the addition of Ukraine and Georgia will put an end to the sort of geo-strategic uncertainty that creates situations ripe for violence.

  5. Steve W

    PW is living in a fantasy world. His departure from reality and fact to fiction and BS is scary.

    I guess that’s what it takes to not feel the guilt for all the suffering needlessly brought down on tens of thousands of people.

    PW needs to cite where he’s pulling his numbers from. Or maybe he just made them up. The Republicans do the same thing. They just make up stuff. PW isn’t any better.

    According to PW : ” Hundreds of thousands were already displaced, militias already controlled a huge portion of the country, and thousands of people were already dying, before the UN approved an intervention which Russia did not veto. Before NATO intervention, civilians were violently dying at approximately 100 per day. Libya still has severe problems, but these were not caused by NATO intervention. If NATO had not intervened, there is no reason to believe the situation would be substantially different.”

    This is provably poppycock. I give PW an F in world affairs.

    As it turns out, the roots of ISIS et al was right there being nurtured and strengthened by stupid policy which always, remarkably, seems to call for lots of bombs and missiles and rockets. So we armed and grew ISIS and now we have to pay more taxes for that crap?

    PW never saw a group of violent people he wouldn’t arm and deliver ordinance for if they said they are anti-Russia or anti-qaddafi. He’s a regular Richard Pearl heart and soul. And the civilians keep dying.

    • JC

      If I were to offer an uncited anecdote with no facts, I might add that if PW is stating that Libya went from a state with the highest living standards in Africa to one that needed intervention by NATO, it begs the question: what destabilized Libya?

      The answer is easy: CIA

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