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Noam Chomsky on NATO...

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Noam Chomsky offers some penetrating insights on the nature of NATO...

 

https://www.azquotes.com/author/2834-Noam_Chomsky/tag/nato
 

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What's the purpose of NATO? Well actually we have an official answer. It isn't publicized much, but a couple of years ago, the secretary-general of NATO made a formal statement explaining the purpose of NATO in the post-Cold War world is to control global energy systems, pipelines, and sea lanes. That means it's a global system and of course he didn't say it, it's an intervention force under US command, as we've seen in case after case. So that's NATO.



It has been known for some time that a major nuclear war might lead to nuclear winter that would destroy the attacker as well as the target. And threats are now mounting, particularly at the Russian border, confirming the prediction of George Kennan and other prominent figures that NATO expansion, particularly the way it was undertaken, would prove to be a "tragic mistake," a "policy error of historic proportions."



[Mikhail] Gorbachev said that he would agree to the unification of Germany, and even adherence of Germany to NATO, which was quite a concession, if NATO didn't move to East Germany. And [George] Bush and [James] Baker promised verbally, that's critical, verbally that NATO would not expand "one inch to the east," which meant East Germany. Nobody was talking about anything farther at the time. They would not expand one inch to the east. Now that was a verbal promise. It was never written. NATO immediately expanded to East Germany.



[Mikhail] Gorbachev complained. He was told look, there's nothing on paper. People didn't actually say it but the implication was look, if you are dumb enough to take faith in a gentleman's agreement with us, that's your problem. NATO expanded to East Germany.



Okay, NATO expanded to East Berlin and East Germany. Under [Bill] Clinton NATO expanded further, to the former Russian satellites. In 2008 NATO formally made an offer to Ukraine to join NATO. That's unbelievable. I mean, Ukraine is the geopolitical heartland of Russian concern, quite aside from historical connections, population and so on.



Right now, where do we stand? Well right at the Russian border, both sides have been taking provocative actions, both sides are building up military forces. NATO forces are carrying out maneuvers hundreds of yards from the Russian border, the Russian jets are buzzing American jets. Anything could blow up in a minute.



Around 2008 and again in 2013 NATO officially offered the Ukraine the opportunity to join NATO. That's something no Russian government is ever going to accept. It's right at the geopolitical heartland of Russia.



Right at the beginning of all of this [Ukraine to join NATO], serious senior statesmen, people like [George] Kennan for example and others warned that the expansion of NATO to the east is going to cause a disaster. I mean, it's like having the Warsaw Pact on the Mexican border. It's inconceivable. And others, senior people warned about this, but policymakers didn't care. Just go ahead.


 

 


If you don't have very strong emotions or very intense thoughts about something, you cannot get depressed. ~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them. ~ Eckhart Tolle

The most beautiful moments in your life – moments of bliss, moments of joy, moments of ecstasy, moments of utter peace – were moments when you were not thinking about anything. You were just living. ~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

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Posted (edited)

It is an important question he asks because other people are asking it now. How the identity will change after this war. Same with the EU for example. Will it be more a defensive organization than deterrent. I think that answer is obviously yes, there have been a lot of changes being made right now. How much the EU will support it as its own organization has been discussed just a couple of days ago for example, and is changing.

It had become largely dormant and was actually in decline, same with the EU. Its purpose was to ensure democratic countries are not overrun by Autocratic regimes. He understands, but here doesn't mention that those in Eastern Europe joined NATO out of fear of Russia. Because Russia is a scary county that has a stupidly large military that arms dictatorships around itself, topples governments around itself and sometimes invades its neighbors. 

The more Putin goes towards what Stalin was the more that democratic countries will want to cooperate against Russia. Putin has made steps in that direction, but he's still a way to go. He is certainly an autocrat at this point.

*But I just noticed I wrote one of the possible changes which has already occurred, - 'to cooperate against Russia' - rather than to defend against Russia. So you see how the identity is already shifting.

**And by the way Eastern Europe not America, are the ones pushing for further interventionist policies for example. I think the closer to the refugee crisis we are, the more we have that opinion.

Edited by BlueOak

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15 minutes ago, BlueOak said:

It had become largely dormant and was actually in decline, same with the EU. Its purpose was to ensure democratic countries are not overrun by Autocratic regimes. He understands, but here doesn't mention that those in Eastern Europe joined NATO out of fear of Russia. Because Russia is a scary county that has a stupidly large military that arms dictatorships around itself, topples governments around itself and sometimes invades its neighbors. 

The more Putin goes towards what Stalin was the more that democratic countries will want to cooperate against Russia. Putin has made steps in that direction, but he's still a way to go. He is certainly an autocrat at this point.

 Putin's invasions of Georgia and Ukraine came up after they expressed willingness to join NATO.  U.S-NATO can deploy wmd alongside Russian borders which can give them a decisive strategic advantage over Russia.  The Americans have a strategic document that emphasizes pre-emptive strikes on Russian missile bases, and deployment alongside Russian borders greatly falicitates that .

This is the main reason why Putin guided by his security experts is against neighboring countries like Georgia and Ukraine joining Nato.  He considers the deployment of wmd on Russian borders as a threat.

The U.S went to the verge of all out nuclear war and mutually assured destruction with the U.S.S.R to get rid of nuclear weapons aimed against it in neighboring Cuba in 1962. The U.S.S.R finally showed self-restraint in taking off its nuclear weapons and missiles off Cuba.

Now when the roles are reversed, U.S.-NATO forces are not showing any similar restraint in keeping off the border states of Russia, knowing fully the regional instability their encroaching into such regions would create.

A fully blown out nuclear war is obviously a lose-lose scenario for both sides.

I am not fond of Putin myself, whom I see as a mediocre statesman and excellent politician with an hawkish air around him, cleverly exploiting the insecurities of Russians upon the encroaching U.S-Nato alliance.

It was the Russians themselves who deposed of Napoleon's dictatorship, ended feudalism and created the russian republic, ended the Nazi war machine permanently, and deposed off the communist hardliner coup in favor of democracy.

Left alone by the U.S.-Nato, similarly the russians will soon get tired of Putin and get rid off him from office as well.

Last year, the independent Russian newspaper Novaya gazeta, and Maria Ressa of the Filipino news website Rappler won the Nobel peace award “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said when announcing the prize in 2021.

I think, given proper space and time, democracy and freedom has a better chance of evolving to their full potential in Russia than in the U.S. and Europe, where plutocratic entities dictate government policies under the guise of democracy.


If you don't have very strong emotions or very intense thoughts about something, you cannot get depressed. ~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them. ~ Eckhart Tolle

The most beautiful moments in your life – moments of bliss, moments of joy, moments of ecstasy, moments of utter peace – were moments when you were not thinking about anything. You were just living. ~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

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Posted (edited)

People can deploy WMD to Russia from anywhere on earth. I think the concern was shorter range ballistic missiles, which are obviously more abundant. I understand Russia's position, i've had a huge education on it. The fear that Russia has of NATO getting closer. What I don't see reflected in many Russian's is them seeing Eastern Europe's position. I understand they have demonized the US and we in Europe are in the process of demonizing Russia. To look past that demonization you'll see the fear driving a lot of decisions from everyone, and why Russia caused this to itself. - Just as much as why NATO caused this to itself. People want to join NATO because they fear Russia, Russia pulls back because it fears NATO. So these two fears are what causes the problem for both.

When I spoke about this previously I didn't clearly state that you can have fear and also a strategic mind. Its not just one or the other. 

I also understand and to be frank really appreciated until very recently how direct Russians were. To me they were strength, they were honest, blunt. I value those things. To see the complete opposite a denial of reality in things like losses, like armies fighting each other being a war to achieve a dream. It reminds me of the things I hate most about western society and in myself. The creation of a reality people want to see rather than what is there. We want it to be this way so we'll say it is. I hate that so much to my core.
 

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I think, given proper space and time, democracy and freedom has a better chance of evolving to their full potential in Russia than in the U.S. and Europe, where plutocratic entities dictate government policies under the guise of democracy.


With how autocratic Russia has become that completely depends on one man alone. You are very top heavy as a country and many of the minds that would make that democracy happen are leaving. Its going in the opposite direction and in part this is because that's what happens in wartime. I see people complaining about Ukraine cracking down on political opposition in a war, but it's what happens, people become more nationalist.

Outside of war that one man's autocracy is a problem. No leader can be everything to all people and is always going to be flawed as an individual trying to run 100 million people. The Americans have the same problem by the way but at least they have a lot of voices balancing that single individual out. There are not yes men fearing for their lives as much, although people still lie to save their careers publicly. People can speak more freely to their president and he can use that feedback, so can the supporting bodies around him. Also for example at least in China personal corruption is removed the higher that leader goes, in Russia (and in the west) its often the opposite.

As you can see there are many problems with Russia as with all countries. The biggest though is you've given up your biggest strength, a cold hard reality for a dream. An ideology of what used to be.

Edited by BlueOak

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55 minutes ago, BlueOak said:

The fear that Russia has of NATO getting closer. What I don't see reflected in many Russian's is them seeing Eastern Europe's position. I understand they have demonized the US and we in Europe are in the process of demonizing Russia. To look past that demonization you'll see the fear driving a lot of decisions from everyone, and why Russia caused this to itself. - Just as much as why NATO caused this to itself. People want to join NATO because they fear Russia, Russia pulls back because it fears NATO. So these two fears are what causes the problem for both.

 This is insightful and well-articulated. Obviously the security concerns of both eastern europe and Russia should be taken into consideration.

  Eastern european countries can create an alliance among themselves if needed, against Russia , similar to NATO in western europe.

However, inviting both U.S-NATO to Russian borders through alliance is a threat which the Russians cannot be passive to. ( It will also be reneging on promises made to Gorbachev and Russia at the end of the cold war by the U.S. and Nato.)

 This in turn creates the threat of a nuclear holocaust wiping out the U.S, Europe and Russia, which the rest of the world cannot remain passive or indifferent about.

This is why I stated that impartial entities like the UN and NAM should get involved in this crisis, so that a mountain is not made out of a mole-hill.

 


If you don't have very strong emotions or very intense thoughts about something, you cannot get depressed. ~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them. ~ Eckhart Tolle

The most beautiful moments in your life – moments of bliss, moments of joy, moments of ecstasy, moments of utter peace – were moments when you were not thinking about anything. You were just living. ~ Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

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If Russia isn't a thug, then it has no reason to fear Nato.

Anyone who has more than two working brain cells understands this.

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5 hours ago, Blackhawk said:

If Russia isn't a thug, then it has no reason to fear Nato.

That's ridiculous.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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https://bylinetimes.com/2022/03/07/putins-invasion-of-ukraine-reveals-the-moral-and-intellectual-rot-of-the-anti-war-left/

“Here’s something every scholar of international relations knows to be true about Chomsky: when you read him as a college sophomore, you think he’s the most profoundly brilliant man on the planet. When you re-read him as a graduate student, you come to regard him as an individual blinkered by his own myopia.

In the mind of Chomsky – and, by extension, the collective minds of the anti-US imperialist and anti-war movements he has inspired around the world for the past five decades – there exists only a single imperialist power: the United States.

And while that may have been a somewhat reasonable but not entirely accurate assessment of the period spanning the collapse of the Soviet Union and the first major US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, the recent emergence of a multi-polar international system – one comprising three great powers and more than a dozen middle powers – has made the Chomsky view of the world obsolete.

In fact, Russia’s imperialist ambitions in Europe and central Asia, along with China’s military expansionist policies in Indo Pacific, has made him and his anti-US imperialist and anti-war brethren appear thoroughly delusional – if not downright dangerous. 

Europe has been reawakened by the well-known Latin proverb ‘si vis pacem, para bellum‘ – ‘if you want peace, prepare for war’, as noted by Foreign Policy columnist Caroline de Gruyter. As every student of international relations understands, the international system rewards nations that prepare for war and punishes those that don’t.

Were you to condense a four-year undergraduate degree in international relations into a single paragraph, it would read like this: an international system absent a global authority or police force, or what scholars call a state of anarchy, leaves each country responsible for its own security, and because no country can never truly know the intent of its neighbours or rivals, it must accumulate as much power as possible to safeguard its sovereignty. 

Tragically, this realist lens of the world not only encourages arms races – but also invites both insecure and ambitious states to do awful things to their neighbours, rivals and pesky minorities. This is not the way the world should be, but it is the way it is. 

More to the point, it explains the conditions that produce war and peace. It gives reason, not justification, to China’s occupation of Tibet, persecution of Uyghur Muslims along its north-western frontier, and military aggression in South China Sea, along with its recent and ongoing military threats against Taiwan. It also explains, not justifies, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Buying into Russian Propaganda

This simple reading or understanding of the world as it is is one lost on large segments of the anti-war left, specifically those who continue to wrongly believe that US foreign policy is the root of all evil. This includes veteran Australian journalist John Pilger, who has won numerous awards for exposing injustice and promoting human rights.

His commentary during the Russian military build-up typified the anti-war left’s response to the war in Ukraine. Pilger – not once, but five times – mocked the US for warning of a Russian invasion tweeting that “Russian aggression in Europe is a fraud”, while accusing the US and UK Governments in an article on selling a fictitious war for the “restoration of imperial mythology” and “permanent enemy”.

Worse, he parrots Kremlin propaganda by smearing and dehumanising Ukrainians as a land of “Nazi cultists” – a bogus claim that has been regurgitated across the leftist blogosphere, which serves only to undermine global solidarity for the besieged Ukrainian people.

Unsurprisingly, they tend to be the same individuals and outlets that parroted Kremlin propaganda and conspiracy theories during the Syrian civil war, including those that dehumanised opponents of the Assad regime as ‘violent jihadists’, civilians killed under Russian aerial bombardment as ‘crisis actors’, and first responders in rebel-held territory as ‘al Qaeda propagandists’.

Ibrahim al-Assil, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, says progressive millennials are facing an “intellectual dilemma” because they have never lived with a threat from another great power, having grown up in a US-dominated international system. Their world views were shaped under Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, when the US did whatever it wanted, unchallenged.

“The main global event for progressive millennials was the invasion of Iraq,” says al-Assil. “While they spent their adult life criticising it, it left them with a deep sense of guilt and shame… The sense of guilt, coupled with a distorted view of global politics, where the US is always secure and dominant, resulted in progressive millennials buying into two notions they loath: American supremacy and tolerating imperialism as long as it’s anti-US dominance.

He believes that this view – which posits the US as the sole bad actor – has left progressive millennials blind to crimes committed by rivals to American power, which explains why many ignore and even whitewash the “horrible and unprecedented human suffering” caused by Russia in Syria and Ukraine; Iran in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon; and China in Xinjiang.

“They saw the war in Syria as a pure foreign power intervention, ignoring the main role of Assad and how much Syrians didn’t want to live under him no matter what,” he observes. “In Ukraine, many argue that it was the West’s fault ignoring that Ukrainians made their decision to look West.”

They ignore that polls conducted in 2014, 2017 and 2022 showed that an overwhelming majority of Ukrainians wished to join the EU and NATO and to shun Russia. They ignore NATO is a voluntary association. They ignore that eastern European countries Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia pleaded to join NATO to protect themselves from Russian aggression. They ignore that Russia has 3,000 combat tanks, 1,900 warplanes and one million soldiers within uninterrupted walking distance to the Ukrainian border. Most significantly, they ignore that there wasn’t a single NATO soldier on Ukrainian soil prior to the Russian invasion.

In other words, there is no legitimate reason to excuse Russia’s criminal actions against a sovereign country that posed zero threat.

Europe has been jolted wide awake to the necessity of hard power to resist Vladimir Putin’s imperialist ambitions, having learnt the hard way that ‘soft power’ – ideals, culture, and persuasion – isn’t enough to counter kinetic and hybrid military threats and attacks.

But to attain and maintain peace, Europe will need to commit to building an even stronger military alliance and spending more on defence – as the US has long demanded – which means that the Chomsky, Pilger and their ilk should quietly take a back seat. Their time has now passed.”

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8 minutes ago, Carl-Richard said:

That's ridiculous.

Why are you using cheap insults instead of addressing someone’s argument? And you’re a mod? ? 

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Chomsky is very right on this, but it still doesn't excuse what Putin is doing now. Putin lost the moral high ground with such a brutal solution to this problem.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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21 minutes ago, no_name said:

Why are you using cheap insults instead of addressing someone’s argument? And you’re a mod? ? 

Saying "Russia is a thug" without clarifying what you mean is not much of an argument.


Intrinsic joy is revealed in the marriage of meaning and being.

 

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17 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Putin lost the moral high ground with such a brutal solution to this problem.

Does he need that morality stuff? Old fox knows he can get away with that and his timing was precise. 

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54 minutes ago, no_name said:

Why are you using cheap insults instead of addressing someone’s argument? And you’re a mod? ?

That's not an insult at all lol. It's a statement that accurately reflects how absurd the position is.

"Just have completely different behavior and ignore geopolitics and historical dynamics Russia. Then everything will be fine."

It says nothing and is naïve.


I'm not an alarmist..... but someone should break the glass. And pull that red T-lever down!

To get their attention, start lobbing the Light Grenades that burst and blind them with the truth!

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth!

 

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Posted (edited)

@Roy @Carl-Richard to me it’s very clear what they meant - Russia is doing shady shit and so it doesn’t want to potentially be “policed” by NATO or “others”. That is a legit argument and you need to learn to respect other people’s POV even if it doesn’t align with Leo’s POV, whom you’re all just parroting instead of developing your own understanding of the situation.

Edited by no_name

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1 hour ago, Sucuk Ekmek said:

Does he need that morality stuff? Old fox knows he can get away with that and his timing was precise. 

Actually the moral high ground is important in this case because now most of the civilized world and history itself will be against Russia for its barbarism.

Even if Putin wins Ukraine he will lose the long-term game of raising Russia's prestige and influence in the world -- which a great nation must have to be great. You cannot bully your way into greatness and love.

Putin's turning his back on the West is going to hold Russia back.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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54 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Actually the moral high ground is important in this case because now most of the civilized world and history itself will be against Russia for its barbarism.

''Civilized world'' this is the golden word here for the opposition.

58 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Putin's turning his back on the West is going to hold Russia back.

Yeah absolutely, unless he separates the West in itself.

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48 minutes ago, Sucuk Ekmek said:

''Civilized world'' this is the golden word here for the opposition.

Yeah absolutely, unless he separates the West in itself.

Dude, if anything he’s brought the west closer together than it has been in years. Putin with his actions strengthened Ukrainian identity. Before it was sorta just an offshoot of Russian identity and the language is basically just a different dialect of Russian. 

Putin believes Ukraine and Russia are one people and he isn’t necessarily wrong here. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia are basically one civilization. Thing is he’s kinda done the opposite of reuniting these pieces together and driven Ukraine to establish itself now as it’s own identity. 

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Posted (edited)

55 minutes ago, Lyubov said:

Before it was sorta just an offshoot of Russian identity and the language is basically just a different dialect of Russian. 

That is russian propaganda, Ukraine always had its own separate identity and with that logic all the Slavic languages are just a dialect of russian…. Man russians are doomed thinking the world revolves around them…

Ukraine and russia are not the same, never were and never will be. I suggest you study some Ukrainian history because you have a huge gap there, like many russians. History is taught in a completely deluded way in russia.

Edited by hello1234

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11 hours ago, Blackhawk said:

If Russia isn't a thug, then it has no reason to fear Nato.

So, if you don't have anything to hide, I then can have access to all your private messages? ;)


Presence. Goodness. Feeling.

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5 hours ago, Carl-Richard said:

That's ridiculous.

So you think that Putin isn't a thug? You think what he's doing now and has done before is ok?

37 minutes ago, Loving Radiance said:

So, if you don't have anything to hide, I then can have access to all your private messages? ;)

Yes.

But that analogy isn't good.

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