Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Try To Imagine: NATO Unchained With Petraeus At The Helm And Nukes In The Quiver

A multinational team of elderly hijackers is trying to cut NATO loose from its few lawful restraints. If they succeed, NATO would no longer need the consent of its constituent nations and/or the UN before it attacked defenseless countries at the direction of the USA. And furthermore, it would feel comfortable not only threatening to use nuclear weapons in a first-strike role, but actually using them. This is utter madness, of course, and therefore entirely to be expected.

Chris Floyd explains it in a masterful post: "The New New World Order: A First-Strike NATO Über Alles", which you should read in full -- soon.

Coincidentally -- or not! -- there appears in the New York Times a piece by Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt announcing that
The Pentagon is considering Gen. David H. Petraeus for the top NATO command later this year
Gordon and Schmitt explain that this move
would give the general, the top American commander in Iraq, a high-level post during the next administration
but they say the matter
has raised concerns about the practice of rotating war commanders.
I should say so. Plenty of questions here, too.

Why? It's a reward.
A senior Pentagon official said that it was weighing “a next assignment for Petraeus” and that the NATO post was a possibility. “He deserves one and that has also always been a highly prestigious position,” the official said.
How? Congressional approval.
In one approach under discussion, General Petraeus would be nominated and confirmed for the NATO post before the end of September, when Congress is expected to break for the presidential election.
When? Before January of 2009.
He might stay in Iraq for some time after that before moving to the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, but would take his post before a new president takes office.
What are these people thinking?
A NATO post would give him additional command experience in an important but less politically contentious region, potentially positioning him as a strong candidate in a few years to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, several military officials said. They and some others who discussed the potential appointment declined to be identified because they were speaking about an internal personnel matter.
So why are they talking? Just passing the time of day with a few ace reporters?

No, really. What's up?
General Petraeus’s last post in Europe was as a senior officer for the NATO force in Bosnia, where he served a tour in 2001 and 2002. “He did a great job for me as a one-star in Bosnia,” said Gen. Joseph W. Ralston, who served as NATO commander at the time and has since retired. “He would have the credibility to keep Afghanistan focused for NATO.”
I never know what to make of Michael Gordon but I get the impression that whenever anybody in the Pentagon needs to leak some goodies, there's a short list of reporters he might call, and our man at the NYT is on that list.

So this story is probably a trial balloon, but the idea is actually quite perfect, when you think about it. Petraeus gets a reward for the alleged success of the so-called surge, NATO gets Petraeus to put Afghanistan back on the map of GWOT, Petraeus gets additional "command experience" in a leading role in a war designed to last forever, after which he can become chairman of the Joint Chiefs, it puts a pro-Bush general in charge of NATO just in case 2009 brings a new President with new views ... and ... and ... and ... if it's not clear yet, the entire mode of thought expressed here confirms that NATO really is a branch of the Pentagon.

Put this together with what Chris Floyd has written (which is by far the larger story, by the way), and you get a very scary picture: nuclear NATO as a first-strike weapon in the American "quiver of escalation", led by a man who thinks nothing of walling in urban residents behind concrete barriers and bombing their homes in the middle of the night, then calling it "progress" and "democracy".

If anyone could say with a straight face, "We had to nuke the Middle East in order to save it," Petraeus is your man.

Now try to imagine this man leading a nuclear-armed rogue army called "NATO".

Don't take my word for it; read Chris:
The Lords of the West have called upon their elder chieftains of war to chart a course that will preserve their power and preeminence in the face of an ever-more uncertain future. The answer? A meaner, leaner NATO, openly committed to a nuclear first-strike strategy and stripped of all the "consensus" garbage that has sometimes hampered the organization's American bosses.
[and more...]