Billmon used to write on politics at his blog the Wiskey Bar.  He was brilliant.  Like many of the bright angry lights he burnt out; and moved on.  Sad for we who read him, but hopefully good for his mental health.  He has now reappeared with a diary at Daily Klos, which is nice for us.  I hope it’s good for him too.

In his most recent posting he digs into exactly how bloody miserable the hole we find ourselves in with situation in Georgia.

First, recall that NATO is first and foremost a mutual defense pack.  No firewall – if a member is attacked the rest of us go to their aid.  Mutual defense packs are what caused the first world war.  NATO’s reason was to create a clear bright line the Russians would be unlikely to cross.  It is a vistigial organ of that strategic nightmare that seems to have workd – mutually assured distruction.  Joining Nato is not like joining the EU, or the Rotary club.  Each member gets a hand on the cord which can plunge us into that nightmare.

We have been expanding NATO into the former Soviet sphere.  Think about that.

For example Poland joined NATO recently.  The process for this expansion appears to be, well, cavalier.  First the Congress, quite casually, passes a law that allows us to treat a nation as if we have a mutual defense pack with them – but without the pack and without the promise to come to their aid if their attacked.  Mutual defense light – all the arms trading, military bases, joint operations, etc. but yet a bit of the fire wall is retained.

Then if that works out they join NATO.  Apparently at no point in the process do we take to heart what the nature of the promise being made is.  If Slovakia happens to have a disputed border with one of their neighbors that gets heated, we’re there for them.  That’s insane.

If you don’t care what the other guy thinks, and your confident you can get away with this kind of pushing out of our sphere of influence then I guess this makes sense.  But Russia’s not toothless, or are they stupid.  At minimum they hold Europe’s energy supply hostage, at worse they have nukes.  And never ever forget: nationalism always plays well at home.

So having played this process out with countries like Poland, Hungary and others we decided to this with Georgia and Ukraine.  Bleck.

Well I guess it’s nice that Billmon is back.

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