Monday, February 11, 2008

Mr. Gates and the NATO

monday 11 2008

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has complained that some european nations: Germany, France, Italy, and Turkey (not a member of the European Union), aren't sending enough troups to Afghanistan.

They're risking the NATO alliance.

Well, that's again a nice example of how little is known about the European mind and about european politics, as far as it excists.

We Europeans might be living on the same continent, and we even might have a Union, it's not as in the United States.
Our nations have their own governments and they all decide independently and in a very democratic way what they want to do and what not.

Threatening with the downfall of the NATO is not a wise thing to do, as many nato-partners lack a back up of their decisions by the people in their country.
One can put the bonds of the alliance as far under stress as one wishes, put there will be times governments have to choose for their own country. How nice the goal of the NATO might be.

In his speech he contradicted his own words, stating that all the allies are meeting the commitments.
But he wants more.

The way the armies in Europe are put under pressure might mean in the future that the NATO will loose it's positive image altogether.
Most countries here keep an army for defence purposes only.
The mission in Afghanistan was intended for humane missions only.
And in fact... they are still called that way.

But soldiers die in battle, and the risks involved in the missions are high.
So high we can't speak about defense anymore.

We all know the missions are not humanitarian anymore.
So in fact these missions are against the constitutions of the countries involved.

Mr. Gates was speaking "directly to the people of Europe".

Well, that's very nice. He'd better come over and talk directly with the people.
Even though America acts as if the world is theirs and they want to rule the world, we in Europe see it very differently.
We don't want to be bossed around and certainly not on false arguments.

Mr. Gates spoke about terrorist attacks in Amsterdam.

Well we have a different view on the murder of Theo van Gogh.
This was not a worldterrorist issue, but people reacting on a serious insult of their religion.
An insult that went too far behind the normal borders of free speech, and insult that was meant to hurt and to stir trouble.
It simply backfired.
I never agree with murder, that must be very clear here.
But this was not a terrorist attack.

Or did Mr. Gates speak of the fool who went into a policestation with a knife?
The guy was angry because he didn't qualify for social security anymore.
That was not a terrorist attack, but an angry fool wanting others to life in the same hell as he lived in.

Maybe it's time we Europeans get the respect we deserve.
We have succesfully dealt with terrorists in the past.
But I'm sure the American historybooks don't mention those.


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