The Independent bravely stepped up to the plate yesterday to try and sell the tired, discredited meme of “NATO as defender of freedom” to its readers. But, just as with the Guardian, most of those readers weren’t buying. The Indy declared in its opening para:
Scores of ships and aircraft from 13 countries will take part in war games, in an unprecedented show of military strength.
The Nato exercises off Scotland involve at least 55 warships, 70 aircraft and 13,000 sailors and will include submarine hunts, amphibious landings and ship against ship attacks.
And then added without any blush or trace of irony
They take place against a background of rising concern about Russian expansionism
Russian expansionism? Really?…
It doesn’t take a Gore Vidal or a Chomsky to spot the holes does it? Especially given the fact that in addition to “Operation Joint Warrior”, latest and “biggest ever” NATO shindig in Scotland, more NATO hardware is tooling through eastern Europe in a “show of solidarity and strength”, US A10s are currently (April 11) arriving in the Czech Republic for “training flights”, and last month NATO ships were ““300 kilometres” off the coast of Crimea doing yet more “defensive” manoeuvres.
The Indy’s readers lost little time in making their views clear. At the time of writing around 80%+ of those comments demurred from the ATL line. Here’s a sample of some of them:
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Mark Urbain of the BBC also shares his worries about the western military loosing its edge and cutting defense expenditure. Not a squeak that NATO’s wars of choice have been the biggest factor in degrading the military of course. Most of the interviewees are a veritable role call of pro-NATO hawks.
As I commented over at the Stooge, maybe he too is seeking future employment with NATO like former colleagues Mark Laity & Ioana Lungescu..
You can’t ignore facts that NATO has expanded to Russia’s borders despite agreements and repeated protests.
Richard sakwa makes the point that NATO has been the destabilising force in Europe.
Glad the readers are clearly seeing the facts on the ground and not listening to the propaganda.
You see the same thing at the Guardian, the vast majority of the commenters make much more sense. There is a huge and widening gap between the media and political elites and the general public.