July 12, 2023 – the day NATO’s Vilnius Summit ended.
NATO is not going to let Ukraine in as a full member. Probably never. All the statements about getting it in and its rightful place in NATO is sugar-coating. NATO cannot say that but knows now that its ill-considered promise in 2008 to make Ukraine a member is as dead as the promises made to Gorbachev that the alliance would not expand one inch.
All the NATO words about military packages, G7 security assistance, reform path to be drawn up but no timetable, the new NATO-Ukraine Council with so-called ’equals,’ long-term commitments, etc. – all were words of cruel diplomacy serving to soothe a very disappointed Zelensky.
The Ukrainian president will also have understood by now that the US has achieved what it wants: Economic deals with Ukraine about its resources, huge debts and a very high price to be paid by Ukraine and European NATO countries – weapons and energy, the move towards a wartime economy and the cutting off of Russia also by the destruction of Nord Stream. Ukraine will be a dependent country for generations – and, as destroyed, of less value to Russia as a future partner.
It is no wonder that the Russian flagship RT right after the Summit published Timofey Bordachev’s spot-on article ”Here’s why the US may never allow Ukraine to join NATO. Kiev has to face up to some bad news – for the first time, NATO enlargement has become a threat to Washington itself.”
Neither is it to wonder that President Biden joked with Zelensky: ”The bad news is we’re not going anywhere. You’re stuck with us!”
Not the least pushed by Biden, NATO has finally recognised what scores of US and other experts have said for more than 20 years: You may break your promise about not expanding NATO because Russia is a dwarf but don’t ever try to include Ukraine. Autism and hubris anyhow compelled NATO to pursue its biggest blunder since 1949.
How do we know? Because now the words of these warnings are repeated by those who wouldn’t listen: Getting Ukraine into NATO would mean full war with Russia, the second largest nuclear power on earth that also possesses enormous resources and has quite a history-based resilience.
So the alliance – never burdened by ethics or intellectualism, not to speak of long-term impact assessment – will now, at the highest level of cynicism, use never-NATO Ukraine as a tool to weaken/defeat Russia (and have no NATO soldiers wounded or killed).
NATO piles up assurances and kind words in support of Ukraine but have now added civilian ”conditions” that are not defined, and it can do so for as long as it takes – to use the phrase about supporting Ukraine militarily.
NATO has recognised – again behind the scene – that arming Ukraine to weaken/defeat Russia is simply not going to happen – no one in Vilnius seems to have mentioned the ongoing militarily unsuccessful Ukrainian offensive.
Ukraine and its president Zelensky are puppets on the US/NATO string. When on his way to Vilnius, Zelensky wrote the words ’absurd’ and ’unprecedented’ about there being no date for his country’s membership. With a bit of normal empathy, it was quite humanly understandable. Things are going wrong for him at home, and he’s not receiving what he thinks he needs to fight for Ukraine, yes – but, more importantly, to fight NATO’s war on Russia. However, diplomats clearly stated that he had gone too far, and he was cut down to the size he displayed at the press conference with Stoltenberg – full of praise and merely a subdued hint at not getting what he had hoped. The actor in him knew how to handle it quite well.
From what I have been able to see online, the predominantly Western mainstream media people never asked one critical question; several questions a the press conference were rather more in the direction of: Why doesn’t NATO do more to help Ukraine militarily? How significant of the Military-Industrial-MEDIA-Academic Complex, MIMAC.
Against all predictions, President Erdogan of Türkiye changed his mind three times on July 11 and turned around 180 degrees to accept Sweden in NATO. One must wonder what he got in exchange – we know about F-16s from the US and some openness in the EU – while he probably doesn’t care about the EU anymore. But what did he get from little Sweden’s PM Kristersson? Time will tell. This type of horse trading does not exactly serve to boost the dignity and trustworthiness of the alliance.
Delusions and deceptions were unlimited! In his concluding remarks, Stoltenberg said that ”Ukraine is now closer to NATO than ever.” Not true. This meeting was about NATO’s cold feet and not wanting to pay the price of making it a member, as it promised 15 years ago.
He said that ”NATO is more united than ever.” Not true. It’s a self-boosting formulation that Stoltenberg – a man who never tires of repeating himself – has used a zillion times before.
He said that “NATO is a regional Alliance, but we face global challenges.” NATO’s own treaty does not contain as much as one provision to engage outside the transatlantic region. The rest, including developing ’partners’ (another word that does not exist) and planning to set up a NATO office in Tokyo is 100% outside that Treaty, and its legality should be investigated by an expert commission ASAP.
He said that ”Beijing’s global assertiveness and Moscow’s war against Ukraine require even closer coordination between NATO, the EU and Indo-Pacific partners, and that they will work even more closely together, standing strong for the rules-based international order.” Not true. Knowledgeable people without a political mandate know that China is not assertive in the sense of threatening NATO anywhere.
They also know that the ’rules-based order’ means US rules – from which it can always exempt itself whenever it wishes – in stark contrast to if NATO had referred to the UN Charter (which NATO’s Treaty is based on and is supposed to support) or international law. Stoltenberg must be instructed by (Brain)Washington to say ’rules-based order.’
Russia can relax a bit now – but will, of course, say what it must anyhow say.
Contrary to what has been announced, there is no new military expenditure pledges made – the bizarre 2% of GDP goal is maintained by being called a minimum. Why bizarre? Because a military budget is professionally decided according to comprehensive threat analyses and prioritising and not by economic performance. But such is the level of NATO, members and media.
Expect the war in Ukraine to slowly but surely fade in the Western MSM from now on. It’s not going the West’s way. And the US/NATO members know how to leave countries in chaos – say Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen… The media also know when to drop wars, as they did after Eastern Aleppo’s liberation in December 2016, which marked the end of the regime-change attempt in Syria.
Words like ceasefire, negotiations, peace, peacekeeping, the UN, the OSCE, reconciliation, common security, European peace and security reform, keeping channels open to the Kremlin – you name them – were never mentioned. Except, that is, in a sophisticated manner by Hungary’s PM Orban, who in Vilnius stated his full support of a defensive treaty-bound NATO that doesn’t exist anymore.
If, in substantive terms, NATO cannot use such words and the thinking it implies, it simply has no future. No conflict of this type can ever be solved on the battlefield.
The Vilnius Communique contains no less than 90 articles with the – strange – sub-heading that ”The NATO Invitee associates itself with this Communique” – Ukraine that has not been invited to the alliance, or who is it?
It contains an almost unlimited, unbearable self-praise, statement of its own noble goals, demonisation of China and others – while telling that Russia has no reason to see NATO as a threat…
It repeats that NATO will ”ensure our collective defence from all threats, no matter where they stem from, based on a 360-degree approach, to fulfil NATO’s three core tasks of deterrence and defence, crisis prevention and management, and cooperative security.” This of course, means NATO going global… just call somebody a threat and outdated NATO can begin to fulfil its only contemporary mission/raison d’etre: To expand for the sake of expansion.
Having been written by educated people and endorsed by all NATO leaders (and that Invitee), the number of contradictions and repetitions of old mantras are truly mind-boggling. A sign of political fatigue, the same old routine phrases, lack of theoretical-conceptual innovation, lots of groupthink and increasing blindness to or denial of the changing world.
There is not one new thought and no hints at NATO seeking to adapt to a conception or vision about the future multipolar world in which it is to operate. With a series of psycho-political projections, it comes across as basically repetitive and brain-dead.
Let me conclude my – to some MSM consumers, surely surprising – comments thus: Vilnius will be seen in the future as a milestone on NATO’s dangerous decay into self-spun, rampant militarism on the one hand and intellectual and moral disarmament on the other. The world’s realities and NATO’s words and policies now belong to different realms.
It’s time for NATO’s abolition and then an all-European peace and security ’perestroika’!
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