Is NATO suffering political psychopathology?

Jul 18, 2023
NATO text and logo on a AWACS E-3 Sentry radar.

Even as the war in Ukraine is raging, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg is now turning to Asia in an attempt to fan the flames of dissension in the region.

In an article by Brad Lendon (CNN, Updated 4:54 AM EDT, Tue July 11, 2023) on the 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, he said: “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg summed up their collective concerns that what is happening in Ukraine today could occur in Asia tomorrow.” He went on to quote Stoltenberg from the Foreign Affairs website that “The Chinese government’s increasingly coercive behaviour abroad and repressive policies at home challenge NATO’s security, values, and interests.” Both are misleading statements straight out of the books of Western propaganda. What is happening in Ukraine does not have to occur in Asia unless NATO and the US succeed in provoking a war over Taiwan. If he sticks to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 passed on the 25th of Oct. 1971, Taiwan is part of China, then the Chinese are correct in saying that what happens between China and Taiwan is their internal affair. Setting up a NATO office in Tokyo further stokes the flames of dissension.

One has to wonder what he means by “China’s increasingly coercive behaviour abroad…” Without specific examples, such a sweeping statement is nothing more than the attempt to “Give a dog a bad name and hang him”. As for his allegations of China’s “repressive policies at home” one could only refer him to the much cited Harvard University survey which says, “In 2016, the last year the survey was conducted, 95.5 percent of respondents were either ‘relatively satisfied’ or ‘highly satisfied’ with Beijing.” Just how these allegations “challenge NATO’s security” defies logic. Instead NATO challenging the security of the Asia (his word) region is closer to the truth.

In another figment of his imagination, he says, “Beijing is threatening its neighbours and bullying other countries.” Anyone who is reasonably informed would know that China is winning friends in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America as never before. China’s success as the world’s manufacturing hub, a trading nation and in its ability to sell its services (e.g. Belt and Road Initiative, Huawei, etc) cannot come about by threatening and bullying its neighbours and other countries.

The clue to such vilification is embedded in the his next sentence: “Chinese threat extends directly into the homelands of the 31 countries in the alliance as the ruling Chinese Communist Party attempts ‘to take control of critical supply chains and infrastructure in NATO states.’” Here it becomes clear that he is feeling insecure about China’s success in selling products and services to countries in NATO. The despondency is on display. It is mirrored in the statement that China employs a “broad range of political, economic, and military tools to increase its global footprint and project power, while remaining opaque about its strategy, intentions and military build-up.” This is exactly what the US and its European allies have been doing to dominate and hegemonies the world. The NATO communique called on Beijing “to abstain from supporting Russia’s war effort in any way.” After issuing threats of “consequences” and trawling through the same grounds for more than one and a half years they have not found anything to support their concerns.

NATO leader’s communique castigating China for its military build-up are words that, one would imagine, an imperium uses on a subordinate state. How else can one rationalise the relationship when Europe (France and the UK) has 515 nuclear warheads and their main ally, the US, has 5,244; while China has only about 410. This works out to a ratio of 14:1. Within NATO and the United States, democracy is practiced and guarded jealously. On the International arena, NATO and the US practice a transatlantic autocracy where they play a game of “Heads I win, tails you lose”, using their military and economic might to enforce “a rules based international order.”

Social psychologist, Richard A. Koenigsberg, in analysing the the behaviour of German Nazis during WWII who willingly kill, torture, and sacrifice themselves in the name of nationalism or any such factional ideologies, calls that state of mind “political psychopathology

He speculates that “Perhaps human beings have created the sphere of political history precisely to establish a domain in which people are released from ordinary laws and forms of human behaviour. Within this privileged place, strange and crazy things can occur – but people don’t call them strange and crazy. Within this split-off dimension of human existence, shooting, bombing, killing, torture, etc. – are rendered normative.” Tragically, the Ukrainians are mired in this domain, driven by their nationalism and persuaded by the US and NATO who promise to have their back.

I find NATO’s attempt to extend its activities to the Asian region very disquieting. The reason why NATO is eager to pivot East is that the war in Ukraine is a proxy war. NATO and US soldiers are not engaged. A number of analysts believe that NATO has to delay President Volodymyr Zelensky’s request to join the group until the war is over because they do not want to have to commit their own troops to the war according to NATO policy.

The war mongers, military industrial complex and abetting mainstream media are attempting to render normative the idea of war as part of our lives. One good example is the “Red Alert” call for preparation for war with China in the next three years by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (March 2023). Koenigsberg says that “In the domain of politics, mass murder and destruction are rendered normative. Normative, yes but also profoundly pathological”. To a large degree, they have succeeded. We have a relatively compliant public that does not seem to be outraged by the government committing $368 billion dollars to buy eight nuclear submarines. The government seems to be beside itself in glee over its $19 billion budget surplus this year. This works out to be a bonus of $19 billion per year for the next 18 years if we do not blow $368 billion on submarines in our state of “political psychopathologic” fever.

When the Red Alert happened, our ex-Prime Minister, Paul Keating, called them out on it. He also expressed his displeasure over the setting up of a NATO office in Tokyo. He is still doing his best to look after the welfare of the Australian people. Thank you, Mr Keating.

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