DEYAN RANKO BRASHICH was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, and is an Op-Ed columnist for Connecticut's Litchfield County Times.  He writes the monthly Letter From America column for Romania’s Scrisul Romanesc, a literary magazine and is the Editor-at-Large for  The Country and Abroad, another literary/art magazine where he authors the Dispatch from Abroad column. He is a frequent contributor to Pecat, the Belgrade, Serbia weekly news magazine, Britić, a magazine published in the United Kingdom, Ekurd Daily, a multinational Kurdish news portal and Passport, a lifestyle quarterly. He resides in New York City and Washington, Connecticut.

 

 

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Monday
Apr242017

“NQW” ■ NATO’S NOT-QUITE-WHITE DILEMMA

PUBLISHED EKURD DAILY [TURKEY IRAQ SYRIA] AND LIBERTY [UNITED STATES] ON APRIL 25, 2017. FRONT PAGE OPINION BRITIĆ [UNITED KINGDOM] APRIL 27, 2017. 

America’s recent Presidential election demonstrates that xenophobia and racism is alive and well in the United States. Before the European Union starts congratulating and patting itself on the back let me remind you of Britain’s 2016 Brexit vote where another version of xenophobia and racism carried the day. France voted for President last Sunday and a local version of the same political malady catapulted Marine Le Pen into the run-offs. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece and Austria all have major political parties with the same tainted philosophy. Xenophobia and racism dwells on the Continent as well.       

At the height of the Raj, when Britannia ruled the world, it became clear to the people in control of the Empire that they were vastly outnumbered by people of different hues and color. To remain in control the British system of class was superimposed upon the already racist Indian caste system. You had the “haves”, the white ruling class and the subservient “have nots”, the “not-quite-whites” who in their passport had “NQW” appended to their names.

The United Nations was created to maintain world peace, prevent wars and check rogue nations in 1945. The victorious nations, some with dismal colonial histories, were not ready to share command and control with the world’s not-quite-white population of other races and colors. The Security Council with its veto mechanism was the regime that assured that power and control remained where God had ordained, where God and not Allah meant it to be.    

After the war, Russia went rogue pursuing the Communist dream of world domination. In response, the other allies in need of an alternate regime to exercise political, military and economic power established the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. NATO at its inception was a lily white, Christian, western alliance of like-minded states.

One has to keep in mind that NATO’s founding members, but for Italy, shared the North Atlantic. That focus was soon lost and it became an alliance that exercised military power far afield. It expanded into the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas by admitting Greece and Turkey thus controlling access to the Black Sea and denying Russia the Mediterranean.  

Greece was admitted to full European Union membership in 1981. To this day, Turkey is still a candidate, still a bridesmaid but never a bride. No wonder - Turkey is 75% Turkic and 18% Kurd, with 98% of the population Muslim. It is not “European”, not “not-quite-white” enough.

Russia, faced with West Germany’s admission to NATO, realizing that its exercise of power using the Security Council could likewise be vetoed, established its own European, whites only, no NQW’s need apply - the Warsaw Pact [“Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation, and Mutual Assistance”, with Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, Poland and Romania as members]. Notably the Mongolian People’s Republic, definitively not a not-quite-white player, was denied membership in 1963.

Over fifty years the two competing camps fielded armed forces far from their respective geographical sphere of influence. NATO did so in Egypt, Lebanon, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, ex-Yugoslavia and Macedonia. The Warsaw Pact did so in Afghanistan, Cuba, Hungary, Poland and any number of former Soviet Republics.

 With the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia could no longer maintain the Warsaw Pact alliance. NATO seeing room for expansion absorbed, one by one, the former Soviet vassal states. Russia had to seek new allies - in the Middle East it turned to and supported Iran and Syria. It is toying with and wooing Turkey, supporting Recep Erdogan, a despotic Putin wannabee. In the East, it is closely aligned with India and its 1.2 billion in population as a bulwark against China. Then you have members of its old sphere of influence Kazakhstan, Belarus et al. What is clear is that Russia’s white European power base is no longer white. Russia’s power has now become not-quite-white.

NATO may well be unravelling. Donald Trump announced that “NATO is obsolete” demanding full financial support by all member states to assure continued US support. Greece, Portugal and Spain may not be able to pay NATO dues; others, Croatia and Montenegro, may find it an expensive luxury they do not want to pay.

England is on its way to Brexit which may not signal NATO withdrawal but has put the whole experiment of European Union in question.  Depending on the outcome of the final round of Presidential elections in May France may be next to demand an exit visa. Other member states may be expelled for failure to meet fiscal benchmarks. Turkey, shunning democratic safeguards may move permanently into Russia’s orbit.  

This is now NATO’s dilemma: adapt or die. NATO needs to shed its all white image and acquire some not-quite-white third world allies in order to remain meaningful and competitive. If NATO fails to do so, and fails to follow Russia’s lead, it will become, as Donald Trump noted, obsolete, of no further use. The European Union and by extension the United States will have only the Security Council card to play, with China and Russia exercising veto power.

 

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