Does Washington Want to Start a New War in the Balkans?

Share

Hits: 1048

With Monday’s procedural vote in the U.S. Senate to allow Montenegro into NATO, the Washington elite proved once more that heightening tensions with Russia might not just be inevitable, but actually desirable. With the exception of Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT), the entire 100-strong body of the Senate rallied behind the motion that would see the tiny Adriatic state admitted into the Atlantic alliance over the objections of many Montenegrins . The vote set off a 30-hour countdown, during which Senators will debate before putting the issue to a final vote.

If you needed more proof that US foreign policy is misguided, just look to what happened to Rand Paul after his earlier decision to block Montenegro’s accession.  The Kentucky senator was subjected to a barrage of insults from fellow Republican John McCain, who flatly accused Paul of “working for Vladimir Putin.” McCain warned Paul that objecting to the tiny Balkan state becoming the 29th member of the alliance would play straight into the hands of the Russian president. While certainly unkind, Paul’s retort that the 80-year-old might be “past his prime” and perhaps “a little bit unhinged” was not entirely wide of the mark.

While Montenegro’s accession to NATO bafflingly enjoys popular support in the Senate chamber and among NATO’s 28 member states, 25 of whom have already finalized their approval of the country’s membership of the alliance, criticism of Paul’s veto is as grossly misguided as any assertion that he is somehow in the pocket of the Kremlin. Correctly arguing that the U.S. is already spread far too thinly militarily in dozens of countries all over the world with little to show for it, Paul questioned the wisdom of expanding the monetary and military obligations of America at a time when it is already drowning in debt. He had previously voted against the matter in a vote last December.

McCain represents a mercilessly hawkish wing of the Republican Party that would be quite happy to risk war with Russia and harm to U.S. interests over such a strategically irrelevant country. Paul, on the other hand, takes a more pragmatic position on the country’s NATO ambitions, as should anyone in full possession of the facts. To begin with, the Montenegrin people themselves display little interest in their country joining NATO. Polls there consistently show that no more than 40% of the public favor NATO membership, with support for accession dropping considerably below that figure among older people. Many remain suspicious of the alliance after it bombed Yugoslavia, of which Montenegro was part, in 1999. Distrust for the military alliance is so strong that anti-NATO demonstrations regularly take place across the country. To press ahead with Montenegro’s NATO accession would fly directly in the face of the will of its people.

Worse, Montenegro’s October parliamentary election was marred with exaggerated charges that a Russian coup was in the works. If it hadn’t been for some last minute intelligence from Serbia and the country’s own agencies, so the story goes, Russian GRU spies would have assassinated Djukanovic and would have installed a puppet government. In fact, the pro-Western Podgorica government has successfully used the specter of Russian influence in order to detain and unlawfully harass opposition leaders. Just last week, Marko Milacic, a pro-neutrality campaigner, was “pre-emptively detained” after campaigning in favor of a referendum that would have allowed Montenegrins to vote on whether they want indeed to join NATO.

Aside from the lack of public support, Montenegro has very little to meaningfully contribute to the alliance. Indeed, its accession would seriously undermine the democratic principles on which the transatlantic community was ostensibly founded. The country’s government is widely accepted to be riddled with corruption. Former Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic was named Man of the Year in Organized Crime by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) in 2015, and has been accused of cigarette smuggling on a grand scale in collusion with notorious organized crime groups from Italy, among a litany of other offences any mobster would be proud to have on their resume. Since standing down from his role as Prime Minister last year, Djukanovic has managed to cleverly maneuver the domestic political sphere by intimidating opposition leaders, while skillfully managing to avoid accusation of a “political crackdown” that would have ignited wide-spread civil unrest.

Montenegro’s accession to full NATO membership should also be viewed as no-brainer from a financial perspective. The fact remains that Podgorica currently spends just 1.6% of its GDP on defense and has a miniscule army. As the Senate Armed Services Chairman, John McCain has been busy campaigning for a greater military budget of $640 billion for 2018 to entangle U.S. forces in further conflicts abroad, proving once more that the former Presidential candidate is stuck in a Cold War mentality, as evidenced by his suggestion that Paul is some sort of Kremlin plant.

Republicans and the White House must look beyond this bluster and carefully consider the ramifications of allowing Montenegro’s NATO accession. Accepting a country with a failing economy and corrupt government into the alliance will do nothing to further U.S interests either at home or abroad. On the contrary, allowing Montenegro to join NATO would jeopardize both regional and U.S. security, and perpetuate the mistakes of past administrations that have been too quick to bomb foreign countries on a whim and play geopolitical games.

McCain’s tired brand of rampant interventionism should be consigned to the dustbin of history, while the rest of the Senate should take careful note of Paul’s important points. He is one of a rare breed of lawmakers brave enough to criticize America’s imperialism abroad.


Originally published on 2017-03-29

Author: David Kowalski

Source: Counter Punch

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.

READ MORE!
BOOK: The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, Politics
On July 11, 1995, the town of Srebrenica fell to the Bosnian Serb army. At the time, I was the highest ranking United Nations civilian official in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In my book, Dubious Mandate,1 I made some comments on that tragedy. Beyond that, I decried the distortions of the international press in their reporting, not only on that event, but on the wars in Yugoslavia (1992-95) in general. I expressed the wish that there could have been, and must be, some balance in telling the story of what actually happened in Srebrenica and in all of former Yugoslavia, if we are ...
READ MORE
There are Real Nazis in Power in Kiev
Most of former Ukraine is now (since 2014) occupied by nazis/fascists and rasists/extreme nationalists. In some cases they are disguised within other political parties but, make no mistake, their ideology does not change just because they change name or party organisation. As is well known, when the nazis made their coup in 2014 (directed and assisted by the CIA), the first "law" they forcefully passed through the rump and unconstitutional rest-parlament was the prohibition of the russian language (the majority language!) from all official institutions, schools, administration and so on.The second "law" they passed was the legalisation of the nazi ...
READ MORE
Does Washington Rule the World?
One of the most disturbing aspects of the past two years of Donald Trump foreign policy has been the assumption that decisions made by the United States are binding on the rest of the world. Apart from time of war, no other nation has ever sought to prevent other nations from trading with each other. And the United States has also uniquely sought to penalize other countries for alleged crimes that did not occur in the US and that did not involve American citizens, while also insisting that all nations must comply with whatever penalties are meted out by Washington.The ...
READ MORE
US Elections: Neither Free nor Fair
Media across the world are literally transfixed by the spectacle of US elections. The Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton, Republicans vs. Democrats battle is captivating enough to distract public attention from other issues.Democracy promotion has been a centerpiece of US foreign policy for over half a century since the days when President Woodrow Wilson crafted a new foreign policy that involved active democracy promotion. The implementation of the «beacon on the hill» concept presupposes that the United States would act as a model of excellence for others to follow is analogous to contemporary soft-power democracy promotion efforts. Lecturing on democracy is a ...
READ MORE
NATO's destruction of Belgrade in 1999
March 24, 2018, marks the 19th anniversary of NATO illegal and illegitimate bombing of Yugoslavia, Serbia and its Kosovo, province during 78 days. It has – one is tempted to say: of course – been conveniently forgotten by the West itself.It was masterminded by the United States under Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright after the so-called negotiations between Serbs and Albanians in Rambouillet outside Paris (the parties never met face-to-face).While Clinton may be best remembered for his relations with Monica Lewinsky and his wife, Hillary Clinton, some of us also remember him (and Albright) for bombing Afghanistan, ...
READ MORE
How to Combat Croatian Revisionists’ Culture of Lies
In early 1944, Mirjana Babunovic-Dimitrijevic, a 22-year-old middle-class woman living in Sarajevo, was arrested by the Ustasa police. After she was arrested along with her mother and aunt, they were all deported to the Jasenovac concentration camp, for refusing to convert to Catholicism. All three women died there in late 1944.These women were among more than 80,000 victims who perished at Jasenovac between 1941 and 1945. While we don’t know precisely how they died nor what happened during their short lives in the camp, two things are certain.First, their deaths were the direct result of deliberate political decisions. Second, they ...
READ MORE
President Erdogan, a Menace to the World
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become a serious danger not only to his own nation, but to many others as well. His actions and statements in recent years should seriously worry his neighbors and the entire world.The last tyrant ignored by the international community was the genocidal butcher Adolf Hitler, who unleashed World War II, invading scores of countries and killing millions of people. Regrettably, Western leaders have tried to appease Erdogan, thereby creating a monster.Strangely, some nations in the Islamic world have treated him respect, while many Western countries consider Turkey as one of their key allies. To ...
READ MORE
The Ultimate War Crime: America’s “Global War on Terrorism”
The Islamic State is not only protected by the US and its allies, it is trained and financed by US-NATO, with the support of Israel and Washington’s Persian Gulf allies.Al Qaeda Affiliated Entities are “Intelligence Assets. Instruments of US Intelligence. The Global War on Terrorism is a fabrication used to justify a war of conquest. The Jihadist terrorists are “Made in America”. They are instruments of US intelligence, yet they are presented to public opinion as “enemies of America”.IntroductionThe Obama administration has embarked upon the ultimate war crime, a Worldwide military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity.The Pentagon’s global military design is one ...
READ MORE
Americans Pay Price for Criminal Wars From Mass Shootings at Home
America’s horrendous gun violence can be attributed to many factors, but there is one factor that is hardly talked about or explored in public discourse – the apparent link between mass shootings and the rampant culture of US militarism.Mass shootings in the US – involving four or more persons – occur on an almost daily basis. The most recent major atrocity was in Virginia Beach last month in which 12 people were killed. The shooter was reportedly a military veteran.Turns out that US military veterans are disproportionately responsible for violent gun deaths among American civilians. Investigative journalist David Swanson has ...
READ MORE
Israel: The Nuclear Hegemon That Poses a Potential Threat to Europe
It is calculated that in addition to the secret arsenal of up to 400 nuclear warheads, according to American Scientists, the Israeli state also reportedly possesses chemical and/or biological WMD, making it a dangerous nuclear hegemon that poses a potential threat not only to the Middle East but also to Europe.  Neither France nor Britain nor Germany can equal Israeli state nuclear weaponisation on both land and sea.This calculation is based on the fact that the state of Israel is the only WMD state to refuse to be a party to either the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) or the Biological ...
READ MORE
A Constant Reminder to a Constant War: Militarism in American Society
The wars in the Middle East continue to rage unabated. Over the weekend a Russian war plane was struck down by an Al Qaeda affiliated group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and once again stoked fears of widening the struggle in Syria between US and Russian proxy forces. It is yet another reminder of the ongoing and seemingly endless wars being waged in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere around the globe.Our transition into this never-ending war paradigm, fashioned out of the events of the post 9/11 era, seeks only to benefit and further cement the pre-existing alliance between the US military ...
READ MORE
The Forgotten Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Kosovo
I come from a member state of the European Union which is meant to uphold the rights of all religions, political ideologies, acknowledge national and cultural rights, and is meant to spread “European brotherhood.”  However, it appears that this does not apply to the Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Kosovo respectively because not only have they been abandoned but outside Islamic powers are stepping up their Islamization agenda in both Bosnia and Kosovo. In Kosovo the de-Christianization of the Orthodox Christian community continues and hundreds of Orthodox Christian churches have been destroyed but little was done to protect this community.  It ...
READ MORE
Srebrenica: Bosnian Muslim Jihad Killings of 3,500 Christian Serbs
The image of Srebrenica tells us more about the reality of the majority of the media and of course the “Muslim victim card” is being used in order to cleanse the Bosniak Muslims. After all, from enslaving Orthodox Christians during their brotherly love with the Turkish slave masters of the Ottoman Empire to having Muslim SS units who supported Adolf Hitler; then “victimhood” is needed in order to justify their history and culture.Of course the wishy-washy brigade will tell us that the Ottoman period was enlightened and that the system of taking the eldest Christian boy (devshirme system) in the ...
READ MORE
Lithuania’s alleged involvement in Maidan contradicts supposed European values
New scandalous information about the 2014 Maidan coup d'état in Ukraine has emerged that implicates Lithuania’s important role in instigating the violent events. David Zhvania, a former Member of the Ukrainian Parliament, revealed on his YouTube channel that the seizure of power in Ukraine was financed in “several ways.”“One of the external sources was the Lithuanian embassy, ​​through which money and weapons were transferred, and the internal channel was Diamantbank. I have documented evidence to support my words,” said the former ally of Petro Poroshenko, the previous president of Ukraine.Zhvania called on Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova to initiate criminal proceedings ...
READ MORE
Bosnia-Herzegovina ISIS in the 1990s: A Short Documentary Movie by the SKY News
Video documentary movie on the first ISIS in Europe in the Islamic Caliphate of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1992-1995.This movie is made by the British SKY NEWS after the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.Similar documentary movies on the ISIS Bosnia-Herzegovina made by the Bosnian Serbs were never shown to the Western audience.The duration of the movie is 8 min. and 17 sec.In the movie are presented and future Al-Qaeda Mujahedeen holy fighters.From the movie is clear what was the real nature of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s.All copyrights reserved by the SKY NEWS.Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, ...
READ MORE
Trump’s UN Speech (September 2017)
I listened to part of Trump’s UN speech this morning. I was so embarrassed for him and for my country that I had to turn it off.I wonder if whoever wrote the deplorable speech intended to embarrass Trump and inadvertently embarrassed America as well, or whether the speechwriter(s) is so imbued with the neoconservative arrogance and hubris of our time that the speechwriter was simply blind to the extraordinary contradictions that stood out like sore thumbs all through the speech.I am not going to describe all of them, just a couple of examples.Trump went on at great length about how ...
READ MORE
Crazed Washington Drives the World to the Final War
John Pilger is the kind of well-informed, hard-hitting journalist with gobs of integrity that no longer exists in the Western mainstream media. He has the most distinguished career of all in the business. In the article below he brings stunning information to one of my own themes–the creation by Washington and its NATO vassals of an artificial reality consisting entirely of propaganda into which Washington has placed the entire Western world and all outside who inspire to be part of it. Westerners live in The Matrix, and the presstitutes keep them there. The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and ...
READ MORE
Neoliberalism and the Globalization of War: America’s Hegemonic Project
Тhe world is at a dangerous crossroads. The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The US-NATO military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.America’s hegemonic project is to destabilize and destroy countries through acts of war, covert operations in support of terrorist organizations, regime change and economic warfare. The latter includes the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms ...
READ MORE
** FILE ** President Bush declares the end of major combat in Iraq as he speaks aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast, in this May 1, 2003 file photo. Democratic congressional leaders on Tuesday, May 1, 2007 sent Iraq legislation setting timetables for U.S. troop withdrawals to President George W. Bush and a certain veto.  On the fourth anniversary of the president's "Mission Accomplished" speech, Senate Majority Democratic Leader Harry Reid said that Bush "has put our troops in the middle of a civil war. A change of course is needed."  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The words “possible criminal actions” by CIA employees are used in the report.The terms unethical and immoral are mentioned. The criminality of those who ordered these actions at the highest levels of government, however, is not acknowledged.The actions directed against alleged jihadists are categorized as ineffective in the process of revealing intelligence. This in itself is a red herring. The objective of torture was not to reveal intelligence.What of course is not acknowledged is that the alleged terrorists who were tortured were framed by the CIA.Known and documented the Al Qaeda network is a creation of US intelligence.The jihadists are ...
READ MORE
All the American Lies About Serbs
In the sea of misinformation sloshing around the Western media during the Yugoslav civil wars, Serbs fared the worst. As a rule, they were accused even of atrocities that never happened, or were committed by others. The real truth would usually emerge several years later, from the mouths of international officials who at the time held important and responsible positions.American press and electronic media have “discovered” that the Serbs weren’t the “bad guys” to the extent the American reporters from the Balkans made them out to be. Even though Jack Kelly, a correspondent of USA Today, resigned years ago because ...
READ MORE
BOOK: The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, Politics
There are Real Nazis in Power in Kiev
Does Washington Rule the World?
US Elections: Neither Free nor Fair
Remembering the 1999 War on Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro)
How to Combat Croatian Revisionists’ Culture of Lies
President Erdogan, a Menace to the World
The Ultimate War Crime: America’s “Global War on Terrorism”
Americans Pay Price for Criminal Wars From Mass Shootings at Home
Israel: The Nuclear Hegemon That Poses a Potential Threat to Europe
A Constant Reminder to a Constant War: Militarism in American Society
The Forgotten Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Kosovo
Srebrenica: Bosnian Muslim Jihad Killings of 3,500 Christian Serbs
Lithuania’s alleged involvement in Maidan contradicts supposed European values
Bosnia-Herzegovina ISIS in the 1990s: A Short Documentary Movie by the SKY News
Trump’s UN Speech (September 2017)
Crazed Washington Drives the World to the Final War
Neoliberalism and the Globalization of War: America’s Hegemonic Project
The Role of 9/11 in Justifying Torture and War
All the American Lies About Serbs
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share