Thursday, August 14, 2008

The continued notion of Nato

US missile launch, Russia blog asks, does E stand for Expansion? Exclusion? Engagement?

Adrian Hamilton argues that the West, after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the coming down of the Iron Curtain, continued its Cold war mindset by trying to expand eastward and accepting and/or opening up towards new states post USSR. In his "We Are Still Fighting The Cold War" he dismisses EU minister Jim Murphy (in charge of the foreign policy announcements) when Murphy says; "[that] Georgia, or anyone else, had the right to apply for membership of Nato and the EU without Russia asserting a veto."

In fact, Hamilton argues it is the institutions themsevles that ought NOT to allow Georgia and some of the other nations into Nato or the EU:
"Georgia has no contiguous border with the EU and meets none of the economic requirements for membership of an organisation that has already got itself into enough problems with trying to absorb Bulgaria and Romania prematurely without a new member lacking even common borders."

"Nato membership is even more problematic. The US wants Georgia as an inroad into the Russian sphere of influence, Georgia wants membership to give it a military backing against Russia. Yet, as Chancellor Merkel keeps pointing out, it is not in Nato's interests to be dragged into the kind of territorial squabble that we have just witnessed."

Let me repeat what I put in bold and italics;

The US wants Georgia as an inroad into the Russian sphere of influence.. do I need to say it again?

"Punishing Russia for its actions would only serve further to damage our own interests for the sake of disguising our impotence. The military co-operation now halted was primarily concerned with disabling nuclear arsenals. The EU-Russian economic association discussions have as a main spring talks on energy security of crucial importance to ourselves. Worst of all is the step of holding G7 meetings without Russia. The G8 is an association of industrialised nations aimed at improving international co-operation on economic issues. Never has that co-operation been more needed."

Not that he sees no problems with Russia, but he's putting the onus on the EU and the US to behave rationally and approach it with Europe's 'reality-based' politics.. not the US's neocons' version that allows for invasions of oil countries and expects to get away with fooling around in someone else's backyard.

Read his whole commentary and do not leave out the comment section. So many people are having their eyes open it's nice to see that more and more do not follow the official BBC and CNN and (blech) Fox lines of Russia bad, Georgia good. Punish Punish Punish!!

While you're at it, check out 'Why Russians Feel Squeezed by Nato Expansion.

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