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Thursday, November 12

Congress, NATO, White House abroad together: Chaos, Carnage, Calamity

There is a moment during John Batchelor's Tuesday night conversation with Stephen F. Cohen where it sounds as if he's just realized he's wandered into a Batman movie. It's toward the end, after they've zipped through Ukraine, Syria, and the crashed Russian airliner in Sinai and turned to NATO's huge and very realistic war exercises on Russia's border. Those to prepare for Russia's looming invasion of the Baltic countries, there being absolutely no looming invasion and what's more everyone in Europe knows you couldn't pay Russia enough to invade.

John starts talking about how dangerous these very realistic NATO exercises are -- how easily a mistake could happen. He goes to Cold War history and tells Steve about the time there was a NATO war game so realistic the Soviets believed it was the real thing. We came this close to nuclear war, this close do you understand

Yeah, Steve understood and John knew he understood. But you know how it is. When you find yourself in a Batman movie you want to turn to someone and say, 'This isn't real; right?' 

But my favorite Batman moment was in the discussion about Ukraine, beginning around the 5:15 minute mark in the podcast. It turns out Ukrainians never wanted to join the European Union anyhow on account of they can't stand homosexuals. In fact, they famously hate homosexuals. Yet to belong to the EU all your workplaces must accept gays and transgenders and whatever as employees. That too is famously known -- known in Europe.

Now here you might ask: Then what was all the murder and mayhem about? Snipers in Maidan Square? The putsch the White House worked so hard to engineer? NATO standing up to Russia to defend Ukraine's right to join the European Union? 

Why so serious? The Ukrainians are getting off easier than Libyans and Syrians. It's not easy putting together a foreign policy that works. Sometimes you have to go back to the drawing board several times. Just wipe off the blood and get a fresh sheet of paper.

How far is NATO willing to go? How far is Obama willing? The 'Get Russia' crowd in Congress? 

Here is where reality crashes in on the movie set. The thousands of migrants in the Calais "Jungle" are escalating -- kind of a mini-intifada against the nasty police who won't let them into the Chunnel. They've started throwing rocks and stones at the police, going into yards of people who live in the neighborhood, helping themselves to anything they can use to block the roads.

The major EU governments know there is one thing, and one thing only, which stands between them and a full-on invasion by half the world's terrorists: the Russian government. 

The people in the American government and NATO who are playing Tactical Nuclear War Chicken with Russia actually comprise a pretty small group, as do Get Russia counterparts in Europe.

So in a perfect world they're not going to start a war. But mistakes can happen when militaries fool around that close to a danger zone.  
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