The desperate search to find a reason for NATO’s continued existence goes on. Last year Yugoslavia was smashed to smithereens to demonstrate that only NATO had the wherewithal to inflict so much pointless damage. This year it is the turn of the Russian Bear. Apparently he is back in the woods. So let’s make sure NATO remembers to bring a gun. The media, eager as ever to make themselves useful to the US Government, daily churn out chilling tales of dastardly Russians and fiendish secret policemen. Editorial writers splutter angrily. The Republicans – stupid and opportunistic as ever – seize on an issue they believe they can belabor Al Gore with in the election.
The dishonesty of all of this is patently obvious. Any rational person can see that over the past ten years the Russians have gone out of their way to be as inoffensive as possible – to their own detriment as well as to that of their friends and allies. They gave up an empire, dissolved the Warsaw Pact, cut back on their armed forces and sent the Communists packing. They even embraced the fashionable “market democracy” ideology being peddled by the West. On issue after issue they signed on to NATO’s agenda – for no apparent reason other than weakness or eagerness to please. It is hard to see how much further they could have gone to abase themselves short of inviting NATO in to take over their country. Yet according to the lunatics who run the American imperial metropolis Russia remains as dangerous as ever.