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North Atlantic Cringe

State of the Union: A dumb tweet again raises the age-old question, are our foreign policy elites more fatuous or more vicious?

If men are expected to die for a military alliance in trenches, bloodied in a cruel eastern European winter, the least one can expect is for the alliance to not “poast cringe” on social media, as the kids say these days, while ratcheting up support for a potential nuclear war. And yet, some ambitious and driven theater kid working on NATO comms was suddenly filled with a bout of unwarranted optimism and thought it would be a good idea to tweet out a second-person depiction of the war in Ukraine, that reads, “We are Harry Potter and William Wallace, the Na’vi and Han Solo. We’re escaping from Shawshank and blowing up the Death Star. We are fighting with the Harkonnens and challenging Thanos.”  

Other than William Wallace, whose end was—er—not ideal, all those named are imaginary characters, although admittedly, imagining the Ukrainian president as a Na’vi was amusing. This is not the way military men talk, other than, maybe, when they are talking to their kids. Unless compelled by external motives, these are usually not the way any normal men talk. And yet, the world’s preeminent military alliance presumably decided it was prudent to target an audience of 13-year-old dorks. It is a mystery why military recruitment is so historically low


The rot goes deeper. The mindless enlargement of NATO bureaucracy has led to questionable personnel choices, as well as proliferation of political ideologies not palatable to strict military focus and neutrality. In a recent short policy paper, I argued that this woke rot needs to be reversed. I wrote, that “(a) dormant NATO would mean a complete moratorium on activities that do not fall within a strictly military remit and only maintain organizational structures that would be needed and activated in the case of a major war.” Naturally, given that the US is the largest funder of NATO by GNP, it has a say in defunding or at least streamlining such flab. “There are currently over a thousand civilian international staff within NATO, and the alliance routinely founds nonprofit institutions in member countries that aim to maintain support for NATO membership. NATO bureaucrats regularly opine on political issues, either about adversaries or about the domestic policies of allied nations. The US – specifically the US Congress through the appropriations process – should stop funding all this political grand-standing which often undermines America’s national interest.” 

Western academia has always been activist, just that the underlying worldview these days are antagonistic to conservatism, nationalism and any form of realism, whether in biology or foreign policy. The students who are churned out from that system then proceed to man the system of the institutions that are alien and often antagonistic to the way of living of normal people. 

“When the bugles call, the conservative's instinct is to rally to the tattered colours, however boneheaded the government,” Peter Hitchens wrote in 2001, long before anyone ever comprehended what cataclysmic ideological horrors we were about to unleash. The new left understood “what many on the Right have still not grasped, that old names meant new things; that NATO, which they had once hated, was no longer the alliance that had conservatively guarded Western Europe from communism. The new NATO, inclusive and politically correct, was being used to sweep aside obstacles to the interests of the European Union. And the EU had metamorphosed from capitalist conspiracy to multinational, multicultural socialist state — a smiley-badge version of the USSR they missed so much. As the Left awakes to the birth of its new ideas on both sides of the Atlantic, the Right is flummoxed.”

The Right is still flummoxed. It’s difficult to move beyond tribal instincts and see through the real thing, but one must. Major institutions, often bloated, are almost always susceptible to corruption by a combination of ever expanding and self-sustaining bureaucracy and entryism from left wing ideologues. NATO is no different. If one seeks to remedy and reverse the sheer malice of the last quarter century of activist foreign policy one must see through the cynical and revolutionary warmongering of the few, aided by some doe-eyed comms grad from some activist department at a third-rate university. 


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