Russia and NATO

Found on Facebook on . Click to enlarge

Found on Facebook. Click to enlarge.

I found this image on Facebook, on Ron Paul Flix.

Ukraine was not a member of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but the formal basis for NATO-Ukraine relations is the 1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership, which established the NATO-Ukraine Commission (NUC). In 2008, Ukraine was considering NATO membership, but the election of the now-deposed Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych as President ended that; President Yanukovych ended that bid, which the parliament ratified. With Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin’s move to seize the Crimea after President Yanukovych was deposed, there are 28 NATO Presidents and Prime Ministers and Kings and Queens who are very glad that Ukraine opted out of the membership process.

Russia talks tough with Estonia as ‘protecting Russian speakers’ excuse wheeled out again after justifying Crimean takeover
Crimea has fallen. Ukraine is teetering on the brink. Are Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania the next dominoes to fall?
March 20, 2014

Russian officials last night expressed ‘outrage’ at Estonia’s treatment of its large ethnic Russian minority.

It’s a familiar move: The Kremlin defended its seizing of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine a month ago with the pretext it has the right to protect Russian-speakers outside its borders.

It’s by no means the first time this excuse has been heard.

Nearly 80 years ago, Germany began its annexation of nearby states with the widely broadcast notion of protecting marginalised German-language speakers.
Russia is now adopting the same line towards ex-members of the Soviet Union.

A Moscow diplomat told a United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last night that the language policy in the Baltic state of Estonia was comparable to what had caused it to move on Crimea — a move to prevent the use of the Russian tongue.

More at the link. While Ukraine was not a member, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the Baltic states, are members of NATO. In June of 1940, the USSR invaded the the Baltic states, quickly conquered them, and put in place puppet governments, all of which “requested” entry into the Soviet Union. The USSR annexed all of those nations, including the Scheschupe area of Lithuania, which, under the secret protocols of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact was supposed to be given to the Third Reich. In early 1941, the USSR and Nazi Germany agreed on that, with the USSR paying Germany ℛℳ31.5 million.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Mr Putin has called “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century“, the Baltic states regained their independence.

Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty states:

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

Put simply, if Russia invades Estonia, to “protect” the Russophones there, under the North Atlantic Treaty, Russia would have invaded all 28 NATO nations. What would the oh-so-brave Army Specialist pictured above — hiding his face and having removed his name tag from his uniform for the picture, but who has been deployed with the 101st Airborne at some point — say, as part of an Army required, by law and by treaty, about coming to the defense of Estonia? Under the NATO treaty, that would be our business and would be our fight.

Of course, it wouldn’t be that soldier’s decision, would it? It would be the decision of the President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, and President Putin has tested the mettle of our President, and found him wanting. Everyone reading this article knows that, despite the obligations of the NATO treaty, if Mr Putin sent Сухопутные войска Российской Федерации, the Ground Forces of the Russian Federation, rolling into Estonia, our Commander-in-Chief would issue a strongly worded condemnation of that, issue a few more sanctions against the Russian economy, have Ambassador Samantha Power angrily bring up that horrid invasion before the United Nations Security Council, perhaps cancel a round of golf for serious meetings, and that’s just about it.

And Vladimir Putin knows it. If he likes Estonia, he can take Estonia. Let’s face it, we aren’t about to risk a war with Russia, with its huge armies and nuclear weapons, over Estonia, or Latvia, or Lithuania, or Germany or the United Kingdom.

I just hope that Mr Putin doesn’t demand Alaska and California back.

4 Comments

  1. From The New York Times:

    Obama, in Europe, Says Allies Are ‘United’ on Ukraine
    By MICHAEL D. SHEAR, ALISON SMALE and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN | MARCH 24, 2014

    THE HAGUE — President Obama began a four-day visit to Europe on Monday with a quick tour of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, home to many of the masterworks of Rembrandt and other celebrated Dutch painters, before starting a series of critical consultations with allies about the fast-moving situation in Ukraine.

    Mr. Obama’s trip is already being overshadowed by the actions of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. The country’s forces seized another Ukrainian military base in Crimea early Monday, as Mr. Obama and other world leaders gathered in the Netherlands. Mr. Obama has called an emergency meeting of the Group of 7 industrial nations that will convene here Monday evening.

    “Europe and America are united in our support of the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people,” Mr. Obama said in a brief statement after touring the museum with Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister.

    Mr. Obama made the remarks while standing in front of “The Night Watch,” Rembrandt’s depiction of a group of 17th-century militiamen. Mr. Obama called it “easily the most impressive backdrop I’ve had for a press conference.” After leaving the museum, Mr. Obama headed to The Hague for the start of a summit meeting on nuclear security with 52 other world leaders.

    More at the link. But this is how De Morgen, a Belgian newspaper, depicted our 44th President, in a satire column:

    If you look up the (supposedly) more professional media, they carry the story of De Morgen’s satire column, but deliberately exclude the photoshopped picture, saying that De Morgen is hearing complaints about racism, though, oddly enough, similar caricatures concerning President Bush were A-OK.

  2. It’s not that Russia has huge armies (that are employable). It’s that Eastern Europe is filled with countries with armed forces in absolute shambles and NATO countries besides the U.S. have devoted what power projection they have to projects like Afghanistan.

    I just find it funny that it’s considered abhorrent and beyond the pale to, you know, just not be a jerk about allowing the use of spoken Russian for official business in places with high levels of Russian speakers. I like to mention how this would never fly in Quebec and similar places. And just look at the howls of outrage at telling students in Texas to speak English in school. Apparently it’s more important to poke the bear in the eye than to at least try to be civil.

  3. Mr Bourque, given that there is a significant separatist sentiment amongst the Francophone Quebeckers, I’d say that’s not the greatest example; if bilingualism can’t work all that well in a place like liberal, peaceful Canada, how can we expect it to work well elsewhere?

    In the United States, there is a considerable amount of discontent about the surge in immigrants pushing idiotic things like “Press one for English.” Our language is English, and immigrants should learn it, or get out.

    The Russophones in Estonia are there because decades of Soviet policy to “Russify” the outlying “republics” led to that; it’s not a surprise to me that the Balts want to unify their own countries with their own languages, especially given that the Russians were their oppressors for half a century.

  4. Amusing but several years ago a large contingent of Vietnamese immigrants moved into the Logan section of Philly. Their “community organizers” managed to get the weak-kneed City Council to agree to posting the names of streets in Viet. First off, there is no Viet counterpart to “Windrim Ave.” and I don’t know who they thought they were kidding. They were just renaming our streets with their own names. Sorry Charlie (pun intended), this is America, we name the damn streets, not you. They seemed to have forgotten many of us were in Nam and were familiar with their language. When they tried to rename Logan Ave. (Logan being a local signer of the Declaration) to Long Ave. in Viet that ended it.

    I’ve also noticed that of the three main languages spoken in the United States; English, Spanish and Ghetto, most of us speak only one. I saw an African American on the news the other night and though his lips were moving and sound was coming out, with the exception of an occasional pronoun for the life of me I couldn’t understand a damn word the guy was saying. Are these guys the result of trillions in public education?

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