[Cross-posted from @EuroTrib … with Update-1 below

Unbelievable … Jaap De Hoop Scheffer[

“The West should respect the red lines of Russia.”

Yep, just recently I met the former NATO secretary general while buying a book as Xmas present for a friend. JDHS is a former acquaintance long before he became Dutch foreign minister of the Iraq War fame.

Ever since I have seen the SG become more entangled in the web of right-wing intrigues of an aggressive NATO policy of the West. Just very recently a so-called independent policy group advised the Rutte cabinet on Dutch foreign policy issues. I was saddened by its neoconservative attitude. I was even more surprised to find JDHS as chair for the foreign policy forum, hardly an independent thinker after all those years of supporting military AngloSaxon policy for the West.

Here are a few snippets from his interview …

‘NATO should not have committed to membership of Ukraine and Georgia’

NATO has driven Vladimir Putin into a corner, making him more radical. These are not the words of Russia, but those of NATO’s former Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

According to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, the West must respect the Russian red line. The speed of NATO enlargement has contributed to Putin’s aggressive stance in the former Soviet Union.

NATO should not have committed to Ukraine and Georgia in 2008, the former NATO executive said. He calls it understandable that Putin has opposed it. “He said to me, after the communiqué came true: mister secretary-general, this will not be. This is not going to happen!”

More below the fold …

The NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 was a breaking point in the relationship between Russia and the West. NATO opened the door for Georgia and Ukraine. Both countries were allowed to join, even though no date was mentioned. That was the wish of the American President Bush. The German Chancellor Merkel resisted. But NATO decided to leave the door ajar. That was unspeakable for Russia and Putin also said that afterwards.

The former Secretary General now says that he underestimated the response and that he should have done more to keep the parties on the same level. According to De Hoop Scheffer, the decision led to a radicalization at Putin.

From my diary during the Georgian War in South Ossetia – Russia to Cut Military Ties with NATO .

Norway: Russia to cut all military ties with NATO | Reuters – Aug. 20, 2008 |

OSLO, Norway – Norway’s Defense Ministry says Russia has informed it that it plans to cut all military ties with NATO.
Ministry spokeswoman Heidi Langvik-Hansen says the country’s embassy received a telephone call from Russia’s Defense Ministry, saying Moscow plans “to freeze all military cooperation with NATO and allied countries.”

Norway was told in the telephone call a written note about this would be sent out shortly.

Russian officials were not immediately available to confirm the information and officials at NATO headquarters said they have not been informed of any such moves.

NATO foreign ministers suspended formal contacts with Russia as punishment for sending troops into Georgia.

NATO SG Jaap de Hoop Scheffer puts blame on Russia

NATO Visit to Georgia Condemned | Moscow Times – Sept. 18, 2008 |   [cached]

The Foreign Ministry issued an unusually harsh condemnation of NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer’s visit to Georgia, saying it showed a Cold War mentality and would further destabilize the region.

NATO’s support for Georgia after last month’s war with Russia can only be seen as “encouraging Tbilisi to engage in new reckless ventures,” the ministry said in a statement.

De Hoop Scheffer and envoys from all 26 member countries were in Georgia this week. Georgia is eager to join the Western military alliance, a step Russia strongly opposes.

The NATO delegation visited the central Georgian city of Gori, which was occupied by Russian troops during the war.

“Yankees Go Home!” – Sevastopol, Crimea

It’s been a stubborn fallacy to place blame on Russia as Georgian troops attacked a peacekeeping force in South Ossetia under leadership of Saakashvili.

Georgian Attack Killed 1,600 S Ossetians

A selection of diaries on this topic …

Putin’s Denunciation of US policy at Munich Conference
NATO Summit of Bucharest – A Declaration of War – Part 2
NATO and Soros Crossed Russia’s Red Line in Europe
Bundesdag On NSA Spying :: Seeking Opening Towards Russia


[Update-1] Separatists Movement for Independence

Great question Don!

Would work great to divide some blue and red regions in the United States … certainly to satisfaction of its citizens and return a feeling of being represented. The forming of a coalition government with more than two grand parties may be a first step … overhaul the elitist Electoral College. Giving women a vote plus the African Americans was a great step backward for the AngloSaxon imperialist empire. See suffragettes events at Carnegie’s Peace Palace in The Hague. See my diary – Women’s Suffrage Archive Film Clip 1915 .

    Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem “The White Man’s Burden” was published in 1899, during a high tide of British and American rhetoric about bringing the blessings of “civilization and progress” to barbaric non-Western, non-Christian, non-white peoples. In Kipling’s often-quoted phrase, this noble mission required willingness to engage in “savage wars of peace.”

    Three savage turn-of-the-century conflicts defined the milieu in which such rhetoric flourished: the Anglo-Boer War of 1899–1902 in South Africa; the U.S. conquest and occupation of the Philippines initiated in 1899; and the anti-foreign Boxer Uprising in China that provoked intervention by eight foreign nations in 1900.

    The imperialist rhetoric of “civilization” versus “barbarism” that took root during these years was reinforced in both the United States and England by a small flood of political cartoons—commonly executed in full color and with meticulous attention to detail.

    H/T Dutch version here

Apartheid: made in Britain: Richard Dowden explains how Churchill, Rhodes and Smuts caused black South Africans to lose their rights
High tide of British and American rhetoric about bringing the blessings of “civilization and progress”

It’s my understanding both South Ossetia and Abkhazia seek independence from Georgia, not Russia.

John McCain’s remarks on Georgia were derived from Wikipedia by Frank Schnittger @BooMan on Aug. 14, 2008
McCain’s Ties with Lobbyist Scheunemann and Georgia
Hegemon Hold ‘Em by Jeff Huber @BooMan on Aug. 25, 2008
Abkhazia and S Ossetia Claim Independence

As far as Spain’s Catalan separatist movement … Europe is enforcing unity. Some may prefer an United States of Europe … wishful thinking. 🙂

If Catalonia goes independent, these places could be next | CNBC |

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