The war in Ukraine trudges on, but the world has become safer with the imminent expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Recognizing the expansionist aspirations of Dictator Putin’s Russia, Sweden and Finland have decided to request formal admission to the peacekeeping alliance. Their reception has tentatively been approved, although just today another dictator, Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is threatening to “freeze” them out if they don’t support his efforts to suppress Kurdish independence.
I have my own experiences with NATO. Foremost among them was the small part I played in helping bring about the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (I even served as one of the “escort officers” for a Soviet verification team when it visited RAF Greenham Common.)
I mentioned the treaty on Mere Inkling and lauded its success.
The great thing about NATO’s cruise missiles is that they were deployed to bring the Soviet Union to the negotiating table, where the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty led to the elimination of all such munitions from Europe!
Alas, this monumental treaty has expired.
It is a casualty of Russian Federation dreams to restore the Soviet Union’s former borders in Europe. Combined with the “defection” of the former Warsaw Pact nations, it is easy to understand why a suspicious Russia postures so aggressively.
Which, of course, encourages the democratic nations to draw closer in mutual defense.
How are the Finns Celebrating
Not quite what you would expect. Many people – certainly most Americans, the ones who are not totally geographically ignorant – mistakenly think Finland is a Scandinavian country. Not quite. True, they are a Nordic nation, but Nordic Perspective offers an insightful discussion, replete with great maps, on the subject.
Being a Nordic people, it comes as no surprise many Finns are welcoming their entry into NATO with a beer. In fact, a brewing company named “Olaf” has opted to use the French acronym for NATO – OTAN – as a play on words. “The beer’s name is a play on the Finnish expression ‘Otan olutta,’ which means ‘I’ll have a beer…’”
Good for them. (So long as they remember to drink in moderation.)
Now, this OTAN-business raises a question in my mind. Is it merely a coincidence, or might the French have a passive aggression purpose in mind with this heteropalindrome?
After all, the headquarters of NATO had to be moved from Paris to Belgium when Charles de Gaulle withdrew from the military alliance.
Wondering about French subliminal messages got me thinking about C.S. Lewis’ thoughts on the subject. Lewis loved all people, but was no one’s fool. He understood many of the influences exerted upon culture are destructive. Decadent societies (e.g. pre-war Berlin) sow seeds that ultimately bear tragic fruit.
As the Second World War was just beginning, and Lewis’ brother Warnie had safely returned home after the Dunkirk evacuation, Lewis mentioned France in one of his 1940 letters to his veteran brother. It is quite entertaining, as long one is not an über-Francophile.
I am also working on a book sent me to review, Le Mystere de la Poesie*by a professor at Dijon, of which my feeling is “If this is typical of modern France, nothing that has happened in the last three months surprises me” – such a mess of Dadaists, Surrealists, nonsense, blasphemy and decadence, as I could hardly have conceived possible.
But one ought to have known for, now that I come to think of it, all the beastliest traits of our intelligentsia have come to them from France.
Well, that’s enough of that. It’s time to pop the tab on an OTAN and toast the NATO, and its expanding protection of world democracies.
* Volume two of The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis has a footnote reading “This work cannot be traced.” I believe the likely object of Lewis’ disdain may have been written by André Vovard and published in 1951 in Paris and Montreal by Fides.