Obama's Europe doctrine: Too much stupid, not enough serious
Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times/Hong Kong, an analyst for RT and TomDispatch, and a frequent contributor to websites and radio shows ranging from the US to East Asia. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of 'Globalistan' (Nimble Books, 2007), 'Red Zone Blues' (Nimble Books, 2007), 'Obama does Globalistan' (Nimble Books, 2009) and a contributing editor for a number of other books, including the upcoming 'Crossroads of Leadership: Globalization and the New American Century in the Obama Presidency' (Routledge). When not on the road, he alternates between Sao Paulo, New York, London, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
In a previous RT article I called it the “Take it to the Morgue – Quietly”doctrine – as it ostensibly privileges shadow wars instead of “Shock and Awe.”
Then, in another article, I showed how much the still exceptionalist doctrine borrows from prime neo-con (and conceptualizer of the war on Iraq) Robert Kagan – husband of the notorious Victoria, Queen of Nulandistan.
But that was definitely too conceptual. In fact, as peddled off the record by the White House, the “doctrine” is nothing but a prosaic“Don’t Do Stupid S**t,” a denomination fully adopted by The New York Times.
Stupid s**t though, doesn’t even begin to describe Obama’s first act after announcing the doctrine last week at West Point. For those who don’t get the message, one picture is enough to tell the whole story; Obama and the Polish president in front of an F-16 exhibition at a military airport near Warsaw.
Stupid s**t also irretrievably takes a backseat to serious s**t during Obama’s current European tour. We just need to examine what’s in store at the selected pit stops.
First is Warsaw – whose nervous poodle, US vassal government is absolutely hysterical over an imminent Russian “threat.” Then it’s the G7 in Brussels – the “ex-G8,” from which Russia was expelled by the self-proclaimed “great powers.” One of the items in the agenda is the possibility of slapping even more sanctions over Moscow’s “threat” to the Ukraine.
And then there are the ceremonies over the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings. It was the Soviet Union that essentially defeated Nazi Germany; the “West” only finished the job. Stalin’s generals should have easily entered Berlin; they didn’t because Stalin was afraid of ruffling Allied feathers at Yalta (and then the whole post-war scenario would have been a completely different story).
Check it out: the whole, fascinating process becomes quite visible by mixing Vojtech Mastny’s “Russia’s Road to the Cold War. Diplomacy, Warfare and the Politics of Communism, 1941-1945,” with Vladislav Zubok’s and Constantine Pleshakov’s “Inside the Kremlin’s Cold War.”
Now a serious World War II event like the Normandy landings has been marred by – what else – stupid s**t.
Because Barack the First simply cannot be in the same room with Vladimir Putin – as he would have no teleprompter to guide him – French President Francois Hollande must host two dinners in a row on Thursday. This was essentially leaked to American media by one of Obama’s foreign policy advisers, the astounding mediocrity Ben Rhodes.
And the most startling absurdity is that all this is taking place with the background of a Kiev-conducted, Washington-enabled “anti-terrorist operation” – for instance in Lugansk – where civilian “collateral damage” is being framed as the culprit. Neo-Nazis are positively gloating – in their graves or in their contemporary balaclavas.
Just follow the gun-crazy money
Obama’s waltz at Warsaw came with the promise of a $1 billion hammer – as The Saker aptly summarized it. This is being sold – with the US Congress virtually certain to approve it - as a “security plan” for Eastern Europe, code for more deployment of US troops, fighter jets and battleships.
The White House, in yet another classic of Orwellian newspeak, explained this “European Reassurance Initiative” as a response to the (non-existent) Russian “threat” at the Ukrainian border. So the answer must be more US Navy action in NATO patrols across the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea, and more, hazy “aid” to non-NATO members Ukraine and Georgia.
Once again, terminology is key; not only we’re talking about a pleasant “reassurance” in view of those “new security challenges,” but most of all a very religious promise, pronounced by Obama himself, that Eastern European security is “sacrosanct.”
The White House was also careful to stress that all this “sacrosanct” warmongering effort in Europe will not detract from the much ballyhooed “pivoting” to Asia.
It takes a nanosecond to dismiss the renewed exceptionalist posturing on steroids as stupid s**t – which it is. These “measures designed to intimidate Russia” are also a half-baked Plan B, considering that Plan A – repeated provocations trying to draw Russia to “invade” Ukraine – miserably failed.
With American imperial hubris so perversely warped, newspeak becomes a Hall of Mirrors just reflecting itself. Even in the face of daily Kiev bombing of civilians in Eastern Ukraine, Obama insists that Russia is trying to destabilize Ukraine; thus inevitably there will be more “punishment,” as in sanctions.
Don't expect logic in what I called a few weeks ago, before the rise of stupid s**t, the Obama administration’s juvenile delinquent school of diplomacy; I don’t like you, I don’t wanna talk to you, I want you to die.
The counterpart to stupid s**t has been The Emperor ordering his European vassals to get their act together, stop with this silly talk of economic crisis, and shell out way more cash for their NATO protection. If that feels like coming straight from the playbook of Scorsese’s “Goodfellas,” that’s because it is. Only nervous poodle Poland and some other Eastern Europeans – and none of the top EU nations – devote at least 2 percent of their GNP to defense. Washington is acridly demanding an increased pound of flesh – and gold.
And right on cue, NATO’s outgoing secretary-general, the vain, vapid Dane Anders “Fogh of War” Rasmussen, praised The Emperor’s wisdom.
By the way, it’s never enough to remember that all-powerful NATO has had its collective behind royally kicked in Afghanistan by the Kalashnikov-armed descendants of generations of true mountain (and desert) warriors. Still, NATO is assuming that Afghanistan’s new president – to be elected in a runoff by the end of next week – will duly sign a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that will allow a “residual” perennial NATO deployment to be enshrined at NATO’s upcoming summit in September.
What the Don’t Do Stupid S**t doctrine does reveal, so far, is that the 1997 NATO-Russia partnership agreement – which stipulates no “substantial and permanent” troops and bases in Eastern Europe – is now all but dead.
The doctrine also reveals that the only ones “reassured” by the new security initiative will be a bunch of revolving Euro-bureaucrats/plutocrats in Brussels – who will profit from the upcoming showering of green bills out of Uncle Sam’s printing presses. We just need to follow the gun-crazy money to see which way imperial stupid s**t is blowing.
Well, at least the adults are meeting – in another room, to discuss serious s**t. In Normandy on Friday, Putin meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Call it progress, compared to 70 years ago.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.