The NATO Scam

Joe Sylvester over at The Federalist has an article yesterday about the welfare state called NATO. It’s rather interesting.

It has been 27 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but American foreign policy has not evolved to fit the new world. We have more military bases in Europe than we did post-World War II. There seems to be no coherent answer as to the necessity of such bases and, worse, no justification of the burgeoning costs.

Who are these bases designed to protect? Which European countries have an actual or even a perceived threat of foreign invasion, and by whom? Why can’t economic powerhouses such as Germany provide for their own defense?

In short, Germany can, but won’t. Agreements among North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) nations stipulate that if one member is attacked, the others must come to their aid. This agreement acts as a one-way insurance policy for Europe. The United States pays the premiums—the costs of maintaining bases across Europe. If a member nation is attacked, however, the United States, in practice, will end up shouldering a majority of the burden of defense.

That is not an alliance, it is at best a protectorate, at worst a colony. But it’s a misshapen colony, colonies are supposed to exist for the benefit of the mother country, not the mother country exist for the benefit of the colony. What is really amounts to is welfare. The Europeans subsidize their citizens, and all those Muslim ‘asylum seekers’ on the backs of the taxpayers – the American taxpayers. And like all welfare systems, it has bred dependence on the state, in this case, Europe’s dependence on the United States.

[…] This agreement not only forfeits the rights of the United States to decline participation if it is not in American interests, it is not and cannot physically be reciprocal. Germany and a majority of the rest of the member nations cannot aid the United States in times of conflict. Even if they wanted to, they are not capable of aiding in any meaningful way. This is a contractual obligation that these countries are in default of, which should render it unenforceable and void.

In January, the German Parliamentary armed forces commissioner, Hans-Peter Bartels, issued a shocking report that stunned the German parliament, the Bundestag. In it, he wrote that Germany’s military personnel are at an all-time low of a 170,000-man army. To put this in perspective, if this were hand-to-hand conflict, Germany would be evenly matched against the militaries of Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

It takes new German recruits approximately 45 weeks to get uniforms, and many are trained with broom handles instead of guns and passenger vans in place of armored vehicles. Only one-third of their jet-fighters and a staggering five of their 60 transport helicopters were operational. To make matters worse, after a slight increase in spending in 2018, defense spending will again regress to an all-time low in the following year.

In June of last year, news of a German withdrawal from NATO exercises after less than two weeks into a four-week exercise caused international embarrassment. Rules limiting overtime by German military officials highlight their attitudes about meeting their commitments to the European Union to bolster their defense forces to appropriate levels and see to their own well-being. German attitudes on defense can be summed up by saying, “American pays for our defense, so why should we?”

A couple of things about that last link, the Bundeswehr is only allowed to work 41 hours a week, and there is no provision for overtime. Does that sound as imbecilic to you as it does me? Overtime for the army! And a forty-one hour work week maximum. Any of you civilian Americans ever had it that good? Yeah, usually I got overtime unless I owned the joint, in which case my normal week was 60-80 hours, but 48-60 hours was a normal week most of my career. I’d guess our army is higher than that.

Then there is this part…

Germany is the largest economy in Europe by a long-shot, the fifth-largest economy in the world, and the number one exporter of goods around the world. Forty-six percent of the German economy lives on exports, compared to China at 20 percent. Nine percent of German exports are bought directly by U.S. markets. In 2016, the United States had a trade deficit of $65 billion with Germany, which was only America’s third-largest deficit after China and Japan.

We acquiesced to this type of deal, long ago, when we had ~80% of gross world product, shortly after World War II to help Europe recover from the war. The time for that has passed, as has the Soviet Union.

When you think of Russia, think of Italy with a lot of (mostly) old nukes. That’s about the size of its economy. And it is dependent on one product: Oil. And the corrupt German government is its best customer, while we spend our money defending them. Quite the scam isn’t it.

Russia fails at our will, all we have to do is glut the oil market, which is exactly how we destroyed the Soviet Union, we drove them to their grave economically, while outproducing them militarily. Remember when they put their entire missile fleet on the negotiating table to stop SDI? They did, at Keflavik. Think they might be a bit worried about the US Space Force? I don’t know how well planned it is either, but I like being stronger than the rest of the world put together. It’s a feeling Putin will never know.

But the real problem for the US (actually what passes these days for the free world) isn’t Rusia, it is China. And as long as we’re spending all this money in Europe, we are ignoring the real problem to focus on a  minor annoyance.

Time to get our eye on the ball, before we strike out.

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The Week

Well, we haven’t made the UK look all that good this week (from the US perspective) but that’s not completely fair. From Fox News.

Fox also says that this chant thundered through the crowd.

Oh Tommy Tommy, Tommy Tommy Tommy Tommy Robinson

As it should and should be cheered to the echo by Americans

I think a pint might be in order.

Even in England

John Hinderaker from PowerLine comments:

The New York Post says that protesters “by the tens of thousands” staged a “massive” demonstration against President Trump today. Perhaps so. But what you see in the photo is Parliament Square. If there were tens of thousands, they must have been somewhere else.

 

We don’t do kittehs here, but all rules have exceptions

From PowerLine and elsewhere

Hell in a Handcart

Steven Hayward over at PowerLine posted yesterday on how Europe is falling apart.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hanging on by her fingernails in Germany right now, as the backlash against migrants reached a critical mass in recent weeks. The cabinet minister who confronted Merkel and forced immigration concessions, Horst Seehofer of the “conservative” CSU party based chiefly in Bavaria, has seen his own poll ratings collapse in the aftermath of the political crisis. But this is just as likely to be the result of his not having gone far enough with his attempts to get Merkel to reverse course on her disastrous immigration policy. The supposedly Trumpian “Alternative for Germany” party is now expected to rack up big gains in upcoming regional elections. Merkel’s chances for survival in office don’t look very good at the moment.

Indeed so, and Britain is just as bad, as we spoke of yesterday. The Visegrad countries are in almost open revolt against Brussels, and this:

Meanwhile, this story from The Express in London:

‘Italy has caused a MELTDOWN’ 700,000 migrants waiting to cross into Europe from Libya

A BOTTLENECK of 700,000 migrants is waiting in Libya to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, the National Crime Agency has said. The number – greater than the population of Leicester – highlights the difficulties facing the EU in controlling migrants seeking a new life in Europe.

Senior members of the NCA, dubbed Britain’s FBI, revealed the figures as they detailed the increasingly tough battle they face to stop people smugglers. NCA directors warned of a sharp rise in attempted illegal sea crossings from Africa to Europe this year, with 300 people drowning last week.

Migrants are then crossing Europe and using increasingly devious ways to evade detection, including hiding in “coffin-sized” secret compartments in vehicles. . .

Tom Dowdall, NCA deputy director of organised immigration crime, said the problem was growing. Attempted crossings to Greece and Turkey are up by 47 per cent on last year, with those to Spain and Italy up by 75 per cent. They have not reached the peak levels of 2015, caused after Mrs Merkel made a controversial decision to open Germany’s borders and allow a million refugees in.

And the ‘Deep State’ is still attempting its coup against Donald Trump in the US. And as Steve notes, you’ve read almost nothing of this in this in the papers, which carry more propaganda that than the Völkischer Beobachter would have ever dared to. So what is going on?

Here what it looks like to me. The ‘New World Order’ is real. Oh, it may not be really organized, although parts may be, it’s a group of people with the same aim and methods, working to the same goals.

It’s the Deep State, the fake news media, the Democratic Party, the corporatist big businesses, and probably more in the US. It’s all the center-left parties, including the Tories, in Britain along with their media. The same across Europe.

But I think they’ve already lost. Brexit and Trump defeated them. Not on the battlefield, but because they brought to the fore men and women who will fearlessly tell the truth.

Men like President Trump, whose election forced them to move perhaps a generation early, and the rowdy Americans stifled the movement, with many thanks to the Constitution.

And men like Tommy Robinson, a hero who stands for the indigenous people of Britain, and quite a few others, in all our countries.

Where the Americans lead, others take heart, and follow. And thus, in one state after another, all across Europe, we see nationalists taking heart and defending against this new threat.

Well, it’s not really a new threat, it’s really the old order, one variety of feudalism or another.

Will we win? That remains to be seen. I’m reminded that the main character of Herman Wouk’s World War II romance, War and Remembrance, was at the Army-Navy club for the New Year’s Eve party on 31 December 1942. When asked how the war was going his comment was, “Plenty of hell behind us, and plenty more ahead of us.”

Churchill called the El Alamein, Midway, Guadalcanal, Stalingrad axis of victories The End of the Beginning. He was correct. Before we never won a battle, after these we never lost one. This is like that. What we have done so far is to identify (most of) the enemies of freedom and independence for all of us, now it remains to destroy them for another generation.

If you wondered why Trump commented that of his meetings in Europe this week, Putin may be the easiest, this is why. Putin puts Russia first, not some nebulous group like the EU. He’s a nationalist, as is Trump. That means that rational negotiations are possible. His goals are not our goals, but they are rational. Which is something that cannot be said of most of our opposition.

So, once again, perhaps exceptional America, allied with Britannia, our traditional, stubborn, quiet, Anglo-Saxon partner, may lead Europe to the broad sunlit uplands of freedom. The only promise is that we will give it our best shot. Otherwise, Yeats will be the herald of a new dark age.

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, 
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

BRINO

So what is going on in Britain? If you’re paying attention, you’ll note that the people who want to leave the EU (and are referred to as Brexiteers) are very angry at the Prime Minister. Why? Because of what she tried to do last weekend. Here is what Martin Howe QC has to say about it.

From Euro Guido, who summarizes as such:

  • The Chequers proposals would involve the permanent continuation in the UK of all EU laws which relate to goods, their composition, their packaging, how they are tested etc etc in order to enable goods to cross the UK/EU border without controls. All goods on the UK manufactured in the UK for the UK domestic market, or imported from non-EU countries, would be permanently subject to these controls.
  • There would be a general obligation to alter these laws in future whenever the EU alters its own laws, with a mechanism for Parliament to block such changes which is probably theoretical rather than practical.
  • This would put the EU in a position to fashion its rules relating to goods so as to further the interests of continental producers against UK competitors, when we will have no right to vote on those rules.
  • The obligation to follow the EU rulebook for goods would gravely impair our ability to conduct an independent trade policy. In particular, it will prevent us from including Mutual Recognition Agreements for goods in trade treaties and this is likely to destroy the prospect of successfully achieving meaningful agreements with some of the prime candidates such as the USA and Australia.
  • These proposals therefore lead directly to a worst-of-all-worlds “Black Hole” Brexit where the UK is stuck permanently as a vassal state in the EU’s legal and regulatory tarpit, still has to obey EU laws and ECJ rulings across vast areas, cannot develop an effective international trade policy or adapt our economy to take advantage of the freedom of Brexit, and has lost its vote and treaty vetos rights as an EU Member State.

In other words, it leaves Britain worse off than before the vote, subject to the rules of the EU, which is well on the way to killing Europe, but without a vote. In other words a colony of Germany. It’s not going down well.

From David Davis (The Minister for Brexit)

From Guido

From Boris Johnson (The Foreign Minister)

Also Guido

There are a few more, that you likely have never heard of. Then there is this.

And

What MS Jenkyns is talking about is the fall of Theresa May’s government. Possibly to be replaced with somebody else, most of my friends are hoping Jacob Rees Mogg will step forward, and I think he may the best on offer. Here is Kathy Gyngell of TCW explaining.

It could also trigger an election, if no Tory can form a government. At the moment, and in a major change over the weekend, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party leads. By the way, Corbyn makes Obama look conservative

In other words, Theresa May has dug herself into a hell of a hole and is still digging. By the way, Nigel Farage says that he may well re-enter British politics because of this fiasco sell out. I’m not smart enough to know what happens next, not sure anybody really is. But what I’m hearing from my conservative British friends is a quote from “Old Noll”, Cromwell himself.

“It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter’d your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!”

 


So who exactly is Trump meeting with on Thursday? Probably still Mrs. Dismay, but her authority is weakened badly.

Busy Week Ahead

So NATO meets next week, right after the Supreme Court nomination, and then Trump will visit Britain meeting with May and the Queen, then spending the weekend in Scotland before going to Helsinki to meet Putin. Quite the schedule isn’t it?

I’d love to be a fly on the wall at the NATO meeting. Just as much to hear what is not said as what is. NATO is unraveling, because Europe will not pay for its own defense, even a fraction of it, preferring to let Uncle Sugar do it.

Well, that is not so true for Eastern Europe, who mostly are trying, but Germany and France are simply useless these days, couldn’t mount a decent parade.

There is a report that the British government has forbidden President Trump from meeting with Nigel Farage, now that is cheeky, and if I was Trump, I’d make damned sure I did, but it’s a small thing.

What is not a small thing is Iran, Melanie Phillips has that story.

Britain and the EU regard the Iranian fanatics as people with whom they can to do business – both diplomatic and economic. But the only reasonable, moral and self-defense position is to regard them as a regime beyond the pale which must be destroyed.

No one wants war; the aim should be to prevent the terrible war that is almost inevitable unless the Iranian regime is removed. The best and most likely way to achieve this is for the people of Iran to rise up against it. […]

The result is popular demand for an end to the regime itself. In stark contrast to uprisings that have erupted in the Arab world, the Iranian demonstrators support Israel and the West. The Iranian regime regularly pronounces “Death to Israel.”

The protesters have been shouting instead “Death to Palestine” and demanding that the regime stops funding Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria’s President Assad and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Suddenly, what seemed impossible is now being talked about as a distinct possibility: that a regime which until now has been strutting across the region imposing increasing control may in fact collapse.

So what’s changed? In two words: President Trump. By withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear deal, he has changed the entire power dynamic within Iran and in the region. Now sanctions have been reimposed and are about to bite far more severely.

With tacit backing by both the US and Russia, Israel has been attacking Iranian military assets across Syria.

The game is now afoot to achieve what until now no one contemplated as a serious possibility: to pry Russia away from Iran and squeeze Iran out of Syria, thus smashing the fulcrum of Iranian power in the region. […]

Clearly, much remains murky and alarming about such a complex dance of deterrence.

America’s ultimate strategic goal, however, is clear: to weaken, stymie and ultimately destroy the Islamic regime in Iran.

Yet, incredibly, Britain and Europe are still attempting to support it. This weekend, the five powers still party to the nuclear deal – Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia – are meeting Iran’s foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif in Vienna to discuss how it might continue without US support.

This, even though earlier this week, six people were arrested in Belgium, France and Germany, including an Iranian diplomat posted to Vienna, over an alleged Iranian terrorist plot to attack an Iranian-opposition rally in a Paris suburb this weekend.

Britain, France and Germany may realize very soon that they will need to choose between trading with Iran and trading with the US. The State Department has threatened to punish sanctions violators, while major European companies such as Peugeot, Siemens and Total are reportedly preparing to halt their dealings with Tehran.

Both Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have made a point of telling the Iranian people that they have American and Israeli support and that the fight by the US and Israel is merely against the regime that oppresses them.

Quite. There is a real chance here, like the one that Obama ignored to rid the world of Iran’s odious government, and Europe is attempting to sabotage it. With allies like this, who needs enemies?

Melanie thinks much of this is down to anti-Semitism. It may be so, I don’t know, nor does it matter, really. It exists, and it must be dealt with.

I pay more attention to Britain than the continent as all know. It’s an unbelievably dark landscape these days, dissidents in jail for political speech, the will of the people subverted by the government with regard to Brexit, the government conspiring to demonstrate against the President of the United States, and divers horrid things.

American ideas about rights and responsibilities which we celebrated this week, almost all came from (no longer great) Britain, but they have been evicted from the ancestral home, no doubt for Muslim immigrants.

An entire century ago American troops were attacking Imperial German troops in France. Three times in the last hundred years we have kept Europe free. It’s a fool’s errand, they have no inclination to keep themselves free. Time to move to the east, or come home.

The time may well have come to write off Western Europe, including the United Kingdom. And yet, we often said much the same about Obama’s America. And you know, there are the same stirrings going on in May’s England as there were in Obama’s America.

Once again it was true here, as Kipling said

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.

It was the undoing of Kaiser Bill, Hitler, Tojo, and the Soviet Union, and the Radical American left and I hear it stirring today in England. Or one hopes, anyway.

Mütti and the CSU

Have you been paying attention to Germany? You (and I) should be. It appears that Merkel’s immigrants are causing her problems with the Germans. About time, but perhaps better late than never. From Vijeta Uniyal writing on Legal Insurrection.

Just three months into her fourth term, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel faces the biggest crisis of her career. Her Catholic conservative Bavarian ally, the CSU, has threatened to abandon the coalition government over immigration policy.

Germany’s Interior Minister and long-time CSU leader, Horst Seehofer, wants to push for tougher immigration laws, which will include refusing entry to illegal immigrants at the border. According to German newspaper reports, if the country’s Interior Minister goes ahead with the new restrictions without Merkel’s consent, she will be forced to fire him, putting an end to her freshly-baked coalition government. Her political future hangs in the balance, as CSU leaders meet on Monday to decide the future course of action.

The standoff threatens to end the 60-year-old alliance between Merkel-led Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Bavaria-based CSU.

Catholic conservative CSU party’s new-found zeal to curb migration may have lot to do with the upcoming state elections in Bavaria, where the party faces stiff challenge from the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD party. “I can’t work with this woman,” Seehofer said referring to Merkel, German newspaper Die Welt reported.

Frustrated with Merkel’s refusal to compromise on her policy of open doors for illegal immigrants, CSU’s Seehofer is seeking to create a European alliance against unregulated migration. As German business daily Handelblatt reported on Wednesday: “In a dangerous swipe at Chancellor Angela Merkel, her own interior minister is siding with the Austrian and Italian governments to forge a right-wing “axis of the willing” to curb immigration.”

“Is Merkel’s reign nearing a frustrated end?,” asked the left-wing UK newspaper The Guardian.

“Chancellor [Merkel] Needs to Turn Around,” demanded the editorial published in the German mass-circulation daily Bild‘s Sunday edition. Explaining the severity of the standoff, the newspaper wrote:

On Monday, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer will present measures to turn away asylum seekers to a safe third-country.

Chancellor, so far, has been strictly against such a move. If Seehofer goes ahead with it, Merkel will have to fire her Interior Minister. That will be the end of the government.

This is pure madness.

Angela Merkel is thereby risking the political stability of the country, the elected government, the unity of her proud party, and a new election with further rise of the radical forces. And all this for a policy that vast majority of people in Germany and her party don’t want anymore.

These are drastic words, coming from a newspaper that ran a #RefugeesWelcome campaign in the autumn of 2016, rising money and public support for Merkel’s open borders policy.

Do read it all. And yes, Merkel is a competent politician, who has been around the block a time of three but I think she let this one get out of control. I also think it is going to cost her (and her party dearly). It could blow up today, it could take a few months, or she might weather it, but I don’t think so.

The tide has turned, the migrants have been too obvious, and especially, too lawless, for an orderly country like Germany to accept.

I welcome Herr Seehofer’s initiative but would caution him that they need a different name, Germany, Austria, and Italy should not be involved with anything having Axis in its title. Just doesn’t have a good sound in these parts, however laudable.

What does this all mean? Maybe nothing, maybe anything. It could easily mark the beginning of the end for the EU, thus backhandedly solving the UK’s Brexit problem, it could easily mean the end of NATO, since a lot of British and American opinion thinks that overdue, anyway. Always remember that NATO is above all a pledge (by the victors, US and UK) to defend western Europe. And mind, NATO needs to not be quite as aggressive, Ukraine was a step too far likely.

It cannot but help but to encourage the Balts, Poland, the Visegrad countries, and yes, Italy, to further distance themselves from the Berlin-Brussels axis, which is hurting Europe in much the same ways as Obama’s presidency damaged the American heartland in favor of the coastal bubbles.

Not much for us to do here, really, except watch and see what happens, but it will affect us.

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