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  • NATO’s New Not So Legitimate Friend

    NATO chief, Anders Rasmussen, said yesterday that NATO should have closer ties with Russia and that Moscow has “legitimate security concerns.” Which country does not have security concerns? But what does Rasmussen mean by “legitimate?” Does he mean when Russia announces, as it did yesterday, that it would seize any Georgian ship it finds in the territorial waters of Abkhazia, the Moscow-backed rebel region of Georgia?

    Or maybe he means when Russia occupied South Ossetia, essentially annexing parts of Georgian territory illegally? No one except for such radicals as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Hamas, and the breakaway Moldovan region of Transnitria recognizes Russia’s right to do any of these things—not even the United Nations. And yet Moscow claims the actions are “legitimate.”

    Maybe he means the right, as Moscow sees it, to hold European territory completely vulnerable to its nuclear missiles without any interference from NATO missile defenses? After all, Russia has complained mightily about NATO’s “third site” in Poland and the Czech Republic, and many Europeans routinely argue that Russia has a legitimate concern about these defensive systems.

    But what’s so legitimate about wanting a clear nuclear shot at a NATO ally—even though those missile defense sites have no capability whatsoever against Russian missiles? Or maybe it’s “threats” from those pesky Baltic States that Moscow appears to believe should be in its sphere of influence, and not NATO’s? Is Russia’s interest in controlling their destinies more important than their right to self-defense?

    We could go on, but you get the picture: What passes for Russia’s legitimate security interests are often little more than an excuse to deprive other peoples of their rights and security. No one, including the Russians, really believe NATO is about to invade Russia. That’s why vague references to Russia’s legitimate interests from a NATO chief only serves to affirm the legitimacy of what Russia really cares about—controlling countries on its borders.

    But the Secretary General of NATO should know better. Rasmussen also said yesterday that although the alliance needs to get into new areas like climate change and cyber security, its “core” mission was still territorial defense.

    Against whom, we wonder? We doubt he has Ukraine or Moldova in mind.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to NATO’s New Not So Legitimate Friend

    1. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      Ah, just like the good old days, eh comrade?

      Our friends have come a long way from Lenin, Stalin, NKVD, and the KGB.

      And, this is a country we should implicitly trust and abandon an anti-missle defense system for? They are primarily responsible for Iran's march to a NUC and we are worried about offending them?

      What the !!!!!!! is going on!

    2. Dana, Orlando, FL says:

      I have difficulty digesting the apparent reality that intelligent, well-informed leaders make statements like this…sometimes I wonder if maybe I accidentally migrated to an alternate universe!

      What motivates it? How do we change it?

      I'm baffled!

    3. Ron says:

      Well, I think Russia has long way to go to become a real democracy. But what about our friends Saudi Arabia and Kuwait?

      And about South Ossetia and Abkhazia: the West first broke international law by recognzing illegal Kosovo independence.

      Then don't complain if Russia is doing the same in the Caucasus!

    4. Bill San Antonio TX says:

      Dear Ron,

      You cannot be serious.

      We are talking about a permanent member of the UN security council, which will veto any meaningful sanctions on Iran, who is in the process of acquiring nuclear weapons, increased long-range delivery systems (missile) capability, and has just put a satellite in space.

      We are talking about a regime, who for the sake of economics, will ensure that Iran goes nuclear. The Russians are getting ready to sell the Iranians their state-of-the-art anti-air missile DEFENSE batteries to protect their nuclear facilities. Why is that?

      Set the background for this with Iranian Madmen who want to "wipe Israel off the face of the Earth" and chant "death to the West". These people are fanatics like Osama and take the teachings of "The Prophet" and the Koran literally, which means when dealing with "unbelievers" any ends they use will justify the means.

      The Iranians are the primary reason, through their continuous funding of Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorists, that there can be no "peace" in the Middle East. They are also the primary reason thousands of Americans have been killed in Iraq.

      And, you play the moral equivalency card?

      Your Defense of the Russians is indefensible. Read your history and you'll find that Russia was the major supporter of the Muslims who tried to destroy Israel in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Now, they are involved with the stakes much higher. And, since America is such a terrible country what about the 20,000,000 soviet citizens that were killed? Or the Gulags in Sibera? Or Lefortovo Prison run by the "KGB" in Moscow? They practiced TORTUE straight from Dante's Inferno.

      If your name is "Ron" and you are not from Moscow, do you really trust the Russians or is it you do not know history?

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