JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: D-DAY COMMEMORATION AND THE CURRENT STATE OF THE NATO ALLIANCE – NO SUCH THING AS A FOREVER ALLIANCE – NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF COUNTRIES CHANGE – IMPORTANT COMPARISONS OF OF D-DAY LANDINGS AND THE RUSSIAN FRONT – REASON FOR AMERICA’S POOR RECORD AS AN ALLY   2 comments

John Chuckman

COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN CBC NEWS

“75 years after D-Day, has the old alliance fallen apart?

“The united front that cracked open Fortress Europe isn’t what it used to be”

No, it has not fallen apart, yet.

But it is aging, starting to fray considerably around the edges.

And why expect anything else?

It’s simply not the same world that it was three-quarters of a century ago. Every actor has changed, some dramatically. And new important actors have taken a bow.

Indeed, the alliance is beginning to be quite counter-productive in some areas. The aspirations of many Europeans to become what they have the potential for being, a major competitive and geo-political force in the world, is compromised by what amounts to American occupation with a smile.

And, of course, America is now off on new tears all over the planet, many of which are not in line with Europe’s hopes and ambitions  – eg, the insane, unilateral start of a trade war with China, a country many in Europe have started working with, something they intend to do more of with the New Silk Road and other big projects, including building nuclear power plants, something at which China is very good, especially in bringing them on at competitive cost.

Indeed, America has pretty much, over recent decades, changed the meaning and purpose of NATO, each step of the way exploiting the sentimental old attachments to get its way. You can only do so much of that before your allies start asking questions. NATO is barely recognizable. I think I’ve outlined that nicely here:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/john-chuckman-comment-trump-walk-away-from-nato-why-it-will-not-happen-even-if-he-has-the-authority-which-is-not-clear-natos-changed-purposes-serve-american-interests-so-why-shouldnt-it-pay/

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There has never been such a thing as a forever alliance.

It’s almost a childish fantasy to expect that there should be.

If you read history, especially for Europe, you know there has been immense change over the centuries, with the rise and fall of alliances, including some quite grand ones.

Just as is the case with the rise and fall of nation-states and empires.

God, modern Italy and Germany only came into existence well into the 19th century.

We’ve just seen states like Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union simply disappear.

The Austro-Hungarian Empire disappeared only in the early 20th century.

The very fact that almost everything about NATO has changed – its purpose, its constituents, its external environment – should tell us something.

People who speak of it, in terms of, say, the 1950s or 1960s, only display a lack of understanding, perhaps a dangerous lack.

It smacks a little of speaking of the days of America’s Red Scare and McCarthyism in sentimental terms. Of course, inside the United States, that is very much something we still see being done by some, so thorough was the indoctrination of decades ago.

Powerful institutions grounded in lack of understanding and old emotional attachments are indeed dangerous.

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Response to a comment about the importance of D Day:

Yes, I accept all of that, but it not only doesn’t speak to our future, it is a bit careless with the past.

D Day, despite its importance, including symbolic importance, quite simply was, I’m sorry to say, a drop in the bucket compared to the Eastern Front.

I believe nothing is more important for history and the later decisions based upon it than perspective, accurate perspective.

23 American divisions, 14 British, 3 Canadian, 1 French and 1 Polish.

The Germans had 228 divisions fighting desperately on the Eastern Front, battle-hardened and originally equipped as the finest army ever fielded.

Had even a fraction of those German divisions been freed-up to turn towards Normandy, D Day either would not have taken place or been a tragic fiasco, a larger-scale version of Churchill’s terrible failure at Gallipoli in WWI.

About three-quarters of all German soldiers killed in the war were killed by Soviet armies.

The Soviets themselves lost 27 million people, the most terrible toll in all of recorded human history.

For comparison, America’s entire losses in the war, including the Pacific, were about 300 thousand.

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Response to a comment that “America has never been a good ally, asking for help in every war that is important to America but only belatedly and reluctantly joining conflicts with worldwide significance”:

That is absolutely true.

It has a lot to do with “the indispensable nation” deciding on its own what is important to fight for and what is not.

Virtually every war and intervention by the United States since WWII, has had nothing to do with defense, either of itself or of its allies.

It has been a piteous, brutal record of imperial conquest and eliminating those whom it disliked.

Estimates vary for the number of people America has killed over that period and for those purposes.

It cannot be less than 8 million, and may well indeed be as many as 20 million, as some have estimated.

It killed at least 3 million alone in Vietnam. It caused another million or more to die in Cambodia because it destabilized the neutral government there during its Vietnam War. At least a million souls died in the illegal invasion of Iraq.

2 responses to “JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: D-DAY COMMEMORATION AND THE CURRENT STATE OF THE NATO ALLIANCE – NO SUCH THING AS A FOREVER ALLIANCE – NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF COUNTRIES CHANGE – IMPORTANT COMPARISONS OF OF D-DAY LANDINGS AND THE RUSSIAN FRONT – REASON FOR AMERICA’S POOR RECORD AS AN ALLY

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