Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, an economist, former government official (Assistant Treasury Secretary under Reagan), journalist, member of France’s Legion of Honor, and currently one of the most distinguished online voices of sanity, also sees the irony in NATO’s name:
Those old enough to remember know that NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was an alliance between Western Europe and the US against the threat of the Red Army overrunning Western Europe. The North Atlantic is a long, long ways from the Black and Caspian Seas. What is the purpose of Georgia being a NATO member except to give Washington a military base on the Russian underbelly?
In “Can The World Survive Washington’s Hubris?,” Dr. Roberts gives a quick summary of Washington’s/NATO’s “idiocy” since the end of the Cold War, ending by pointing out that “The evidence is simply overwhelming that Washington–both parties–have Russia and China targeted.” Washington seems to want to prevent the rise of any power – be it Russia or China – that could rival the US’s “full-spectrum domination”, as articulated in the PNAC‘s Statement of Principles in 1997:
“We need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.”
Never mind that that prosperity seems to depend heavily on the existence of a military/security/petroleum complex that wreaks destruction around the world, and that despite – or because of – its efforts to maintain that “friendly international order”, the US economy is headed for disaster:
In the thrall and under the control of Wall Street and other special interest business groups, Washington is unable to rescue the US economy from its decline. The short-run gambling profits of Wall Street, the war profits of the military/security complex, and the profits from offshoring the production of goods and services for US markets have far more representation in Washington than the wellbeing of US citizens. As the US economy sinks, the Chinese economy rises.
Needless to say, the only focus of the PNAC was on continued militarization – “Rebuilding America’s defenses” – as if that were all that was needed to secure that prosperity and that friendly international order. In a way that’s understandable, since as we’ve pointed out before, the US has basically been on a war economy since 1942. But is creating another Cold War and ensuring that emerging world powers drag themselves down with us in a never-ending, spiraling arms race the way to do it?
Dr. Roberts goes on to trace the US’s efforts to “corral” China as well as Russia (the Cold War term was “contain”), and draws the obvious conclusions as to where such a “strategy” can lead:
For a country incapable of occupying Iraq after 8 years and incapable of occupying Afghanistan after 11 years, to simultaneously take on two nuclear powers is an act of insanity. The hubris in Washington, fed daily by the crazed neocons, despite extraordinary failure in Iraq and Afghanistan, has now targeted formidable powers–Russia and China. The world has never in its entire history witnessed such idiocy.
In the name of “preserving our prosperity,” the US, Dr. Roberts feels, is preparing to drag the world into apocalypse. The former Reagan cabinet member ends with a characterization that takes on chilling weight coming from him:
The psychopaths, sociopaths, and morons who prevail in Washington are leading the world to destruction.
We’ve bookmarked Paul Craig Roberts’s site. He promises a follow-up to a recent article on the US economy in which the former Assistant Treasury Secretary for Economic Policy and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week will “examine whether the US economy will complete its collapse before the war criminals in Washington can destroy the world”.