Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Washington In Reality Denial

If only the world worked the way Washington wished it would.  The United States could then do whatever it wanted and then spin it as either benign, or inconsequential.  In that fantasy world, what Washington did would comport with what it said it was doing.  Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.  Though more and more of the world's countries are voluntarily entangling themselves in Washington's mega-military pact, NATO, there are still a few holdouts, among them, Russia.  Moscow has been incorrectly interpreting U.S. actions, prompting Washington to set the record straight.   

Unless you're a news junkie, you're probably not aware the Russians and Americans are trying to hammer out a fresh treaty to reduce their strategic nuclear arsenals.  The new pact would replace the START Treaty that expired in December. 

Nuclear disarmament is a feel-good, fuzzy issue that Barack Obama has taken up as one of his righteous causes. 

A noble cause, no doubt.  But it doesn't mean Washington can't pursue empiral ambitions on the slide.

As the Informant has reported, Romania has signed up eagerly, it might be added, to be used by the United States for its slimmed-down, still slightly vague, missile defense shield.  You can read about that Romanian decision here.

In Washington's weird world, Moscow --  wary of any U.S. military plans in former Warsaw Pact nations -- should pay no attention, and move along.

But it doesn't work that way. 

Russian General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian armed forces, said the nuclear arms reduction talks were stuck on the missile shield plans. 

"The development and establishment of the [U.S.] missile shield is directed against the Russian Federation," Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Silly Russians.  What's a few missiles?  It's not like U.S. warships have cruised the Black Sea.  Oops, they have.  Not like the U.S. has set up fresh military bases in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia, Kosovo, plus Central Asia.  Oops they have.  But it's all benign, not aimed at encircling Russia, or snatching up the region's fossil fuel booty.  Nah. 

But when its Washington you simply deny, no other explanation needed.

So in the case of Mr. Makarov, the White House simply denied reality.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the quoted remarks by a Russian official, military at that, explaining why negotiations were bogged down were "untrue."

So, Mr. Makarov was lying?  Who cares, move on. 

Washington's decision to dragoon Romania into its missile defense scheme has sent ripples throughout the region, not least of all in Europe's poorest of the poor, tiny, Moldova, where the main exports are human organs, and desperate people.

This posting nicely encapsulates the potential problem miniscule Moldova could pose, including, no kidding now, war.

Moldova was the scene of a so-called Twitter Revolution in April last year, one modeled after earlier "color" uprisings in Yugoslavia, Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan from 2000-2005, and now has a new government ready to merge with Romania, which would mean dragging the former Soviet republic into NATO.

Moldova also has an unresolved, "frozen," conflict with Transdniester where Russia deployed peacekeepers in 1992 after thousands were killed and injured in fighting between the two states. There are still 1365 Russian troops in the republic and last month a Transdniester official requested more Russian forces in anticipation of increased tensions with Moldova's new pro-NATO government.

Were Moldova to join NATO, either in its own right or as part of an expanded Romania, the Alliance would be in a de facto state of war with Transdniester, which is supported by Russia. Romania is a NATO member and if it intervened on behalf of Moldova against its neighbor could invoke NATO's Article 5 against Transdniester - where, again, Russian troops are based.

So, there's some background here.  Washington wants to end this "frozen" conflict.  That means kicking the Russians out, and bringing the Slavs in Transdniester under the heel of the Romanians in Chisinau, and possibly, into NATO.

So, Moldova, believe it or not, is a potential powder keg. 

Moldova's former Communist President Vladimir Voronin gave voice to fears probably many in Moldava have, saying Romania's decision to jump aboard the U.S. anti-missile express puts its poor relation Moldova "onto the frontline: of any future confrontations.

Enter the Washington diplomat to kick in White House reality.

The U.S. ambassador to Moldova, Asif Chaudhry, said instead of creating instability, the planned U.S. missile defense plan would 'enhance' the region's security.

How will it enhance the region's security?  Mr. Chaudhry left that one to the soothsayers. 

Explanation?  Nah. 

In the heady hubris days of Bush, a former aide put it best and bluntly to Ron Suskind.

"We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’"
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