Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Firing a Shot Across the Blowhard's Bow

EU president, Jean Claude Junker, delivered a one-liner to Donald Trump in advance of this week's NATO summit.
"Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don't have that many."
That must have gotten under the Mango Mussolini's skin. As he boarded Air Force One, Trump boasted that America has loads of allies. Yeah, sure Don, and how many of them answered America's call after the 9/11 attacks and fought along side the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or elsewhere?

How many of these supposed allies joined America's PermaWars as the United States demonstrated, to friend and foe alike, that All the King's Horses and All the King's Men consistently failed to deliver successful military or political outcomes even when they were up against illiterate Afghan farmboys with Korean War vintage assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades?

When America's Blowhard in Chief starts heaping scorn on  NATO members he needs to be reminded that, in the Alliance's history, NATO's beating heart, the Article 5 "mutual defence" provision, has been invoked just once - by America - and the NATO membership (old NATO mainly) answered the call. Yet it was Trump who undermined Article 5 by suggesting America might not come to the defence of other NATO members should they be attacked - you guessed it - by Russia.

Thanks to Trump, the Europeans have understandably come to see America as their less-than-reliable ally. Trump has also undermined the confidence of America's traditional allies in Asia Pacific.

Unfortunately Trump has a lengthy history of sketchy deal making and cheating those who trust or depend on him. That was the story of his business career and he's shown no sign that his presidency will be markedly different.

Trump is a grifter. He's always been a grifter. Now, at 72 years old, he's not capable of meaningful change. There's a reason, several of them, that explain why he gets along best with people named Erdogan, Duterte, Orban, Kim and, of course, Putin. They see enough in him that is their own.


Northern PoV said...

NATO should have been disbanded in 1989-1991 as a reaction to the fall of the Soviet Union.

Instead they expanded to the Russian borders and attacked all kinds of far flung places.

Instead of dropping out of NATO we are (under warmonger Freeland) doing provocative stuff in countries that border Russian - doing the hegemon's bidding.
NATO has become the hegemon's tool and the hegemon should pay for all of it.

Anonymous said...

Once he's done undermining NATO, Comrade Trumpov will be off to Helsinki for a private meeting with his handler. I'm sure he'll want his review to go well.

That said, I won't be shedding any tears for NATO. NATO should have been disbanded after the fall of the Berlin wall since it had achieved its purpose of protecting Europe from attack by the Soviet Bloc. Instead, it survived by repurposing itself as America's foreign legion, a role that few of its members really want to play. If the U.S. no longer wants a foreign legion, I say good riddance. Let the EU organize the collective defence of its members.


Deacon Jester said...

Mound you may be interested to know that Chris Hedges will be speaking at Capilano University on Oct 10 as part of the Unis 50th anniversary celebrations.


Jay Farquharson said...

Treason Tribble Трамп's first visit to "Russia" was back in 1987, when it was still the Soviet Union and on his immediate return, started taking out ads and op-eds attacking NATO, NORAD and the EU.


So, Treason Tribble Трамп seamlessly made the transition from Soviet KGB Agent, to Russian FSO Agent, despite the chaos and terminal* retirement policies during the break up of the Soviet Union.

* see what I did there? ; )

While there were "better" policy paths existing in theory, towards Russia in the aftermath of the break up, such as the democratic aid, financial aid, restructuring assistance given to Poland and the Baltics,

You have to remember who was in power in the West at the time,

While the former Warsaw Pact Countries were given aid and assistance, it was to corral Diaspora votes at home, by the same people who were busy hollowing out the social, economic and democratic safety nets at home.

So alt-policies are a nice mash up of Alt-History fantasy and Russian State "Whataboutism" agit-prop.

NATO was formed as the "military arm" of the Atlantic Charter. The goal of the Atlantic Charter was to prevent a Third European World War, by binding "The West" together around commonly shared values, (Democracy, Human Rights, Rule of Law, etc). NATO added shared defence against an external attack and using interoperability to reduce internal conflicts.

(I love the SovCit's alt-history anti-NATO agit-propof having the Soviet Union/Russia joining NATO. As if the Soviet Union/Russia would ever sign an adhere to the Atlantic Charter, LMFAO).

Funny how Putin, his horde of Useful Idiots in the West, Treason Tribble Трамп and the Rethug's are making NATO's original mission relevant again.

Jay Farquharson said...

"Abraham Newman
Thread: Just back form 3 weeks in Europe. Takeaway -- The transatlantic partnership is in deep trouble.
7:15 AM · Jul 9, 2018"

17 tweets in total,


And another interesting read:


Jay Farquharson said...


At the end of WWII, Stalin pushed all the Eastern European borders west, pushed Soviet Union borders west, and pushed the Russian SSR borders west.

All of this included brutal acts of genocide and massive ethnic cleansing.

So, for example, Poland 1945 doesn't sit where Poland 1939, or even Poland 1936 sat. The Poland of today, consists of parts of the western part of 1939 Poland, eastern parts of 1939 Germany, small chunks of 1936 Czechoslovakia and the 1939 Ukrainian SSR.

A key reason for the gradual eastern expansion of the Atlantic Charter member states, NATO and the EU, was to prevent irridentionist territorial claims, old grudges, isolated minorities and resurgent ethnoNationalism from sparking new wars by binding the former nations of the Warsaw Pact into a "common community" with shared values, just as it did Western Europe.

These of course, have been the very "tools" that Nationalist leaders like Putin and others, have used in Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, etc to spark off brutal, violent wars.

Lorne said...

Just to see someone take the U.S. down a notch with such a lacerating statement does my heart good, Mound. No doubt though, consequences will ensue.

Jay Farquharson said...

The "dig" will have no impact on Hair Twitler at all.

He doesn't believe in "Allies", or "Win-Win",

He only believes in Win-Lose and Lose-Lose.

We have also seen that the so called "Adults", "The Generals" are just as batshit Nazi as Treason Tribble.

Several decades ago, this would have been a "heads up" to the GOP, but as we saw with the whole "Freedom Fries" and "cheese eating surrender monkee's" incidents, the GOP hasn't been sane in a long while, and these days, they are the Nazi/Trump/Putin Party.

The way forward for everybody, from Governments to Multinational Agencies, is to:

- ignore Trump and don't provide him with a grandstand,
- remind US Officials that they don't know the policies, they don't set the policies, so their words and "input" is useless,
- remind US Government "employee's" seconded to International Organizations who they actually "work for" and where the door is,

Basically act as if the US no longer exists, and has never existed.

Karl Kolchak said...

How many troops does the EU president command?

Seriously, it is way past time for the EU to end its complicity inn American war crimes around the globe and order all U.S. troops and bases off its soil. If they don't do that, they are nothing more than ineffectual yapping poodles, of no more concern to Trump than a mosquito buzzing about the Oval Office.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with neoliberals. It's the neocons like Hillary, the old State Dept fogeys, the CIA and the writers of Project for a New American Century who are upset with Trump. He's ruining their Master Plan.

If we can get past the utter irrationality of US foreign policy past, there are still more questions than answers, and dumbfucks who use capitals and mislabel the people responsible need to do some reading. Like you, mate.

The US has invaded 70 countries since WW2 starting with Korea and the twin Dulles dunces/nasty fuckers. All under the banner of "Defense". As if people in rowboats could threaten the US with invasion - how idiotic could the public be in believing this phantasmagorical bullshit for seven decades?

The USSR was the only real threat and that ended in 1990. Having subdued Grenada with mighty forces and still swaggering, the '90s brought us the Balkans war run by Daddy Clinton for the benefit of the military and Raytheon.

Then Afghanistan and Iraq. If any sane person can tell me why the US invaded those places in the name of "defense", let me know. Or ruined Libya like the mad cackling hen Hillary did.

No defence involved, just steps on the mad neocon road to US world hegemony per PNAC.

Now that Trump sees no reason to have stupid wars, all these so-called progressives' collective brains rattle around, quoting the NYT as if its old style neocon slant and Trump-baiting made sense. To me, it's utter horseshit, and longing for the military industrial complex to continue. It's the only thing Trump gets right, and then only partially.

It's apparently screed around here that Putin would invade everywhere if the US backs off. Somehow the Ukrainian idiots who wouldn't pay their natural gas bills are AOK by Freeland, a dunce of the first magnitude. To me, Ukraine is punk alt-right.

Meanwhile, Trump assaults NATO partners for not paying up for defence! That's where he's off the rails. Defence against whom exactly? Russia? Indoor toilets? Vodka?

Yet JT has troops guarding the Latvian border as if hordes of Cossacks are about to appear. Utter BS. Ruined Iraq needs military training? Why? NATO is best at running on the spot doing fuck all, saluting generals and keeping the US war machine in high gear. Trump wants increased NATO military spending merely for US corporate ends. Because it makes no sense to defend against Russia. It's all a con game to promote US business.

There is precious little thinking here on either side. Logical thinking is bypassed. It disgusts me. Bullshit for bullshit's sake.


Owen Gray said...

It's incredible that a President of the United States could be so ignorant. But, every time he opens his mouth, he confirms that observation.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Northern PoV said...

On Canadian military affairs ... a segue from NATO to IRAQ.
"PM Justin Trudeau announces new Canada led training mission in Iraq"

I read only the headline, too weary to read in detail the latest folly.

When the enemy is local, why does 'our side' always need so much training?

"We" have been in Iraq for a long time. The 'trained' troops seem to run away from trouble then the untrained militias come to the rescue (ISIS takes over most of Iraq, then Kurds and other militias take it back.)

The only thing 'useful'that I can think of, is how they might be ground support for asymmetrical warfare (Bombing by rocket, drone or plane.)

I met a Brit travelling. Nice guy except he hated "them". "If only they'd stop bombing us," he said.
Me: I wonder if "we" stopped bombing "them", what might happen?

The Mound of Sound said...

A brief word to the trolls. Sorry but your screeds are gone. I appreciate the time and effort you put into your silly rants but it's nap time for anonymice. Sleep well.

Jay Farquharson said...

He's not ignorant.

He's a malign, narssacistic serlal abuser and Soviet/Russian agent.

He's run the same MO all his life.


John B. said...

I'm not stating any conclusions but I understand by what some have concluded that when the Soviet Bloc and then the Soviet Union collapsed it should or could have been taken as a kind of end-of-history moment for Europe. Was there more yet to lose? Absent the pressures exerted by NATO might Russia never have contemplated regaining the parts of it's empire that it lost in the collapses? And anyway, why should the US and the members of old NATO have cared if it did? How would the Commission have handled it?

Jay Farquharson said...

"Absent the pressures exerted by NATO might Russia never have contemplated regaining the parts of it's empire that it lost in the collapses"

Absent NATO and the Atlantic Charter, and the EU, the Warsaw Pact would have "broken up" like Yugoslavia, Georgia, Azerbajan.

John B. said...

Thanks Jay. Beyond the questions of its eventual collapse and of Russia specifically, the existence of the western alliances was a factor that kept the Warsaw Pact intact for as long as it was. Am I getting it?

Trailblazer said...

Nato has become nothing more than a USA attempt to sell arms and privatise war for the corporate boardroom whose members and their offspring are unlikely to see active service that would put their lives at risk.



Jay Farquharson said...

Nope. All of the Warsaw Pact "national borders" were created by Stalin.

Genocide, State terrorism, ethnic cleansing and forced assimilation was used to move people to try to align populations with borders.

Former Warsaw Pact countries that wanted "in" to the Atlantic Charter, NATO and the EU, realized from the "get go", that they had to:
-accept their borders,
-accept their minorities,
- abandon past "grudges"
If they wanted in.

The quick form of the history of Europe is:

- War, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war,
-Atlantic Charter, NATO, EU,
- then 70 years of Bureaucrats arguing about the shape of bananna's.

Anonymous said...

The Mound is our Good Shepherd and we shall not want
He is the protector of our progressive souls
He shields us from the dangerous information
The Devil would otherwise consume us with

Jay Farquharson said...

In Western Military doctrine, it takes:

- 6 months to train a basic recruit who already has a Grade 12 and a Drivers lisence,
- 2 years to train up an Officer, who ususally starts with some University or Colledge,

It takes 6 months of training after that to turn them into a platoon.

It takes a year of training, to turn a collections of Platoons, into a Company,

And a year of training to turn Companies into Brigaides.

It takes 2 years to turn Brigaides into a Division.

So, 5 years in a Western nation to create an effective Division from scratch, ignoring logistics, maintenence and CnC.

That process is greatly aided in a Democracy, with education, the rule of law and minimized corruption. In places lacking that, the process can take a generation or more.

The Soviet Model, was professional Officers, semiprofessional NCO's, and 2 year horribly abused draftee's. Draftee's had to fear their Officers and NCO's more than the enemy. As a result, other than a few Specialist Units, tactics and strategy relied on overwhelming mass. As a result, the masses had to be controlled, indoctrinated and directed.

Quantity vs Quality. So in Korea, for example, at the battle of Kapyong, one mixed under strength brigade of Brits, Canadians, Ozzies and Kiwi's, with South Koreans and US Cavalry in a supporting role,

4,400 men

defeated a Chinese Division, 25,000 men, in a multiday battle,

taking 47 dead and 99 wounded, while the Chinese Division left behind over 1,000 dead alone.

In insurgencies, a large variety of methods are used to create formations, but training isn't one of them other than the basics.

In Afghanistan for example, Allied fatalities total 43,362 to date, almost 89% have been Afghan Security Forces, almost 5% have been "Contractors".

Taliban, ISIS, Haqqianni Network fatalities are between 51,000 and 61,000.

Given that the insurgents and terrorists control the time and place of the majority of the engagements, and the state of the Afghan Security Forces, Government, corruption, education and all the other supporting factors, one would think the Talib et al would be doing better.

While the term "Contractors" conjours up visions of Eric Prince, Betsy DeVos and Blackwater, most of the Contractors deployed and killed in Afghanistan, fall into two different groups,

Non-security contractors ranging from cooks, maids, truck drivers, to engineering and medical specialists.

Security contractors varying from "Black Ops" to Commisionaires.

Both groups consist of a range from exploited 3rd Worlders, brough in because they still have a higher level of skill and education than most Afghans, and this difference can be used to leverage the wage gap/power inequity/endemic corruption that makes Afghan "Contracts" so lucrative,

through to highly paid "experts".

Guess which ones make up most of the fatalities?

Given the Soviet Afghan War, the Warlord Wars, the Taliban Wars, then the War in Afghanistan, ( 34 years of war and conflict), building Afghanistan into a democratic well regulated peaceable society was always going to be a multigenerational International project.

Having Chimpy McStagger hand the country back over to the WarLords, War Criminals and Drug Lords at the First Loya Jurga, ( rather than the reformers), then bugger off to Iraq, added at least two more generations to the project.

Having the US SOF and CIA Black Ops run amuck and start Gitmo-ing the Talib who had taken the Truce, in their gung ho "Hunt for Bin Laden",
( who was already safely residing in Pakistan, next door to the Pakistani ISI by that time), caused the resurgence of the Taliban, and added another generation to the project.

Funny thing is, the Taliban are going to be easier to defeat than the Warlords.