Russia unimpressed with NATO’s ‘We are the War’ performance

​Al Gurnov
Al Gurnov is a journalist, political analyst and broadcaster. He has presented the news for several Russian national TV channels, and writes for a number of major newspapers and magazines. In the 1990s Al Gurnov was the West European Bureau chief for Russian State TV & Radio (RTR) based in London. Later he hosted several successful TV and radio shows. Winner of numerous professional awards, he has been an RT presenter and TV host since the company was founded in 2005. Al Gurnov regularly appears as a political expert on prime time TV shows on major Russian and international channels. He is a member of the Russian and International Television Academies, and Professor at MGIMO University School of Journalism (Moscow).
Reuters / Ints Kalnins
Let’s consider for a moment what the response would be from Washington if Russia announced the start of international war games near American borders. Impossible you say? Yet that is almost exactly what the Pentagon has announced near Russia.

“The Russian Ministry of Defense has announced that over 350 Russian soldiers and 80 armored vehicles with Air Force cover will begin a 300-mile march across Mexico next week, signaling the start of multinational BRICS war games in the region.”

The above fictional statement sounds a bit like a joke, or something impossible to imagine. After all, for what purpose would Russia oversee the dispatch of international troops near the US border? So how do we explain this other piece of very real news: Over 350 American soldiers and 80 US Army vehicles with US Air Force cover will begin a 400-kilometer march across Romania this week, signaling the start of multinational NATO war games in Romania.

Sounds a bit more believable, doesn’t it? And it proves the simple fact that NATO and the United States have created a reputation for themselves as being an aggressive, trigger-happy lot, while Russia, which last week celebrated the 70th anniversary of its victory over fascism, has declared its intention of never going to war again.

Having assumed the title of "winners" in the Cold War, the US and their Western allies categorically neglected key international laws in a brazen effort to impose their will throughout the world. They have reverted back to the old 20th century practice of dividing the world into friends and foes in a dangerous “zero-sum” geopolitical game. Indeed, NATO pledged its commitment of non-expansion to the East in return for the re-unification of Germany and the Soviet military withdrawal from Europe. However, that promise has turned out to be an even bigger joke than the one opening this article.

In the framework of the so-called “Eastern Partnership,” the infrastructure of NATO continues its eastward march towards Russia's borders. This move has practically destroyed the historical ties that Russia has had with at least a dozen states, which were given an artificial, false choice of being “either against Russia, or against the rest of Europe.” There has also been the construction of a new Iron Curtain - erected this time by the West - which prevents the expansion of trade, economic, humanitarian and cultural relations between people.

For this reason, when NATO foreign ministers, after a banquet in Turkey, let their hair down and sang “We Are the World,” people around the world heard instead the words, “We are the WAR.”

This public act was widely mocked on social media, with one commentator saying that NATO “should stick to singing instead of their usual bombing” campaigns. Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote and performed their epic song back in 1985 in an effort to help raise $6.5 million for those stricken by famine in Africa. The Turkish remake of the 80’s hit strikes a bad chord, celebrating as it does the billions NATO has managed to spend on wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, not to mention thousands killed in drone campaigns and bombing raids under the banner, “War on terror”. And that’s just since the start of the century!

But the biggest achievement of the military alliance of late is making a military conflict with Russia more probable than ever. It’s all in a paper released recently by Russia’s permanent mission to NATO. The ‘Russia-NATO: Facts and Myths’ report investigates in detail the difference between NATO’s declared efforts to maintain peace and security in Europe and historic facts, which expose the alliance’s reason for existence: To confront Russia as its primary adversary.

Here are just a few of the numerous headlines detailing NATO’s recent moves:

- Commitment to NATO: U.S. Army Supports Latvian Special Forces Drill…

- Georgia, Romania: NATO Consolidates Control of Black Sea…

- NATO Naval Group Drills with Moroccan Navy…

- Poland Erects NATO Observation Towers On Russian Border…

- U.S. Launches Yet More War Games in Estonia…

- US Air Force F-15 fighter jets in Bulgaria to join military exercises…

- US Navy guided-missile destroyer Jason Dunham enters the Black Sea…

Reuters / Michael Dalder

And, the latest: “Operation Atlantic Resolve-South: Pentagon Prepares Romania for Conflict with Russia.” According to official sources, troops with the 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment will begin a march from the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base and head to the Romanian Land Forces Combat Training Center in Cincu. There they will be met by their Canadian, British, and Romanian counterparts. The military exercise, involving the participation of 1,500 troops from four NATO countries, will go on until June 6. Washington makes no secret that this so-called cavalry march across Romania is a glaring signal to Russia, which opposes the expansion of the NATO military alliance toward its borders.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO has adopted 12 new member states – all former Soviet allies, from Estonia in the north, all the way to Albania in the south. In the same period of time, NATO has been trying to persuade Russians that in the post-cold-war-world it is no longer a mere military alliance, but rather a political organization aimed at establishing peace, security and understanding. An entity that is eager to cooperate with Russia in order to prevent military conflicts and overcome political problems. But in reality NATO has been turning into a private military business organization, at the service of its main sponsor, the US of A.

In an age when concepts have been completely distorted, ‘aggression’ now stands for the struggle for peace. But NATO will need more than singing “We Are the World” to justify a military budget exceeding $1.023 trillion (of which $735 billion is from the US), compared to Russia’s expenditure, which is 17 times less ($60 billion). That number places Russia as the world’s 40th in terms of proportion of the defense budget to the length of its state borders.

Meanwhile, the role of Europe in this dangerous power struggle between Moscow and Washington is the same as it was in both world wars: Washington considers it is the most possible battleground in case their next military adventure on the continent develops into a full-fledged war. But good old Europe is ‘no country for naïve old men’. So it didn’t take a lot of sophistication to elect the former Soviet bloc states the first candidates to try out their teeth on The Bear. The more so because failed states, like Ukraine, even volunteered to be cannon fodder at a moderate charge.

After Moscow called Ukraine’s bluff at the Minsk summit, Kiev has no other choice than to pretend that Ukraine is part of NATO. This should not be too difficult considering that they now pretend it was Ukraine that took Berlin in 1945, ending the war started by Russia! Today, Ukrainian leaders are continuously talking about defeating the Russians in Donbass – whom no one has ever seen; about an Agreement on cooperation and support with NATO – which no one ever signed; and developing its armed forces, which so far can’t suppress a bunch of rebel guerillas in the South-East. In fact, the hog-wash has reached such a scale that US Secretary of State John Kerry had to publicly advise the Ukrainian President to start using his brain…

In conclusion, I would only like to suggest that NATO politicians refrain from karaoke performances in the future. All the more so because their latest performance made it clear that, as Alex Barker put it, in terms of diplomatic crooning the alliance may be outshined by Vladimir Putin, who in happier times dazzled Hollywood with his polished rendition of “Blueberry Hill”.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.