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Today, we have to get rid of the notion that the US military protects us in any way. All it does is create, inflame and perpetuate enemies on our doorstep, ie it actively endangers us.

Looked at on a purely military basis, could the EU prevail, without any US involvement, in any conceivable conflict with Russia? If that be the case, why do you put up with NATO?  Are your leaders under some evil spell?  Or is it that you are so fragmented that this power cannot be effectively brought to bear?  Is adequacy of European military power the general perception of the European population?  How is it that Europe does not more effectively thwart insane US activities that are detrimental to your own interests?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Aug 16th, 2008 at 07:22:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If that be the case, why do you put up with NATO?

habit? sentiment for bygone days?

both?

the premise that the evil bear would eat europe for breakfast is long gone, we're their cash cow, why eat your milk supply?

great diary, J.

we are very fortunate russia's leaders have cool heads, considering the abuse they've put up with from our idiotically patronising attitudes.

 we are almost as bad as the yanks when it comes to illusions of entitlement, sigh...

and as for georgia, we should not be trying to take too much responsibility for their fate, especially if they are so foolish as to poke a sullen bear.

 U.S. posturing is, as usual, unhelpful, even damaging to all interests.

the west has betrayed russia, we owe an apology, and we should be grateful to them for treating us correctly.

their first affair with capitalism brought organised crime and social anarchy, that was america's contribution...

one window of opportunity, for russia to emulate a more democratic system, lying in shards on the ground.

now it's our turn as europeans, we would be wise not to repeat the same mistakes, especially the hypocrisy of pretending we know better than they do how to run their country, or even where to place their borders. we should be feting medvedev, for example, as a pro-western, moderate leader, thereby encouraging him to be more so, instead of winding him up like a clock.

 very. very. dumb. indeed...

let's treat our own minorities with more dignity, then politely ask russia to observe and share better values, not before.

or we risk looking even more stupid than we do now!

yes, and reduce demand, become sovereign of our own supplies of what we need, because energy is the new capital, and the sun, wind and tides will extract less rent in the long term than russia.

we have to identify, name and shame those fossil fool interests that are keeping us in thrall, and continue to raise public awareness about the vulnerability we suffer because of the narrow interests of a very few, but still powerful, bad-faith actors in this global drama.

the MSM will not be our friends in this endeavour, they will come late, if ever, kicking and screaming all the way.

so it's up to us, cheerful thought, as TBG might say!

beats 'we are so doomed' anyway...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 01:49:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, even if we didn't have the Americans to help us out we would still need NATO to get a common military system, to coordinate our actions.

Furthermore, without the Americans we would se huge nuclear proliferation in Europe. To put it bluntly, most people don't think the French or British are as aggressive and badass as the Americans when it comes to the nuclear posture. Does anyone seriously think they'd risk Paris or London for Tallinn or Bratislava?

Europe would not be a safer place with Hungarian, Polish, Swedish and German nuclear weapons.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 05:07:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you really think that the US would risk nuclear war with Russia more than France if a European country were attacked?

If you take a narrow view of national interests, then neither will. If you ask which one is the most likely to act, I'd still say France, today.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 18th, 2008 at 11:55:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I do. That's what NATO was all about for almost 50 years.

France isn't even a full member of NATO. This does create a certain image when it comes to solidarity.

Of course Sweden is even worse, but we don't claim to protect anyone else with our non-existant nuclear weapons.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Aug 19th, 2008 at 05:55:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the point is NOT to look at purely military basis as the first and only solution to any conflict.  

That seems to be the USG single-source (tank) thinking because it guarantees their mil/ind friends permanent source of income:  They spread fear daily through the media, interfering everywhere and causing unnecessary threats that otherwise would not exist.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 07:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the lesson from the past fifty years is pretty clear: If you try to occupy someone else's turf, you usually lose. Viet Nam, Vietraq, Afghanistan (twice), Grenada, Cuba, what did I forget? Chechnya? Tibet is a counterexample, but I can't find many more.

'Course, the locals whose turf you occupy usually lose even more. But that's beside the point from a Grand Chessboard perspective.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 22nd, 2008 at 04:16:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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