DESPITE BEING the ‘first casualty of war’, the truth about the Ukraine invasion sometimes emerges and from the strangest quarters, however unintended. Recent slips from Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg and Iveagh House mandarins are just further indications that western generals and would-be Irish generals are peddling the most mendacious line to the public since the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ excuse for the Iraq war.
Western politicians and media have explained Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in terms of Vladimir Putin’s megalomania and delusions of an historic Russian empire. Putin and most Russians explain it as a consequence of Nato’s eastern empire-building and breach of promises not to pile pressure on Russian borders by inducing eastern states to join Nato. It now appears that Nato boss Stoltenberg agrees with Putin!
The bloated EU media machine – which sates itself with often trivial statements from MEPs, commissioners and civil servants in Brussels – appears to have missed a very good story told by Stoltenberg himself when he addressed the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee earlier this month.
“President Putin in the autumn of 2021 sent a draft treaty that they wanted Nato to sign, to promise no more Nato enlargement. That was what he sent us and was a pre-condition for not invade [sic] Ukraine. Of course, we didn’t sign that… so he went to war to prevent Nato, more Nato, close to his borders,” Jens Stoltenberg said.
When radical types and a few relatively unbiased journalists try to make a case for Russian insecurity – fuelled by Nato expansionism – as the real reason for Putin’s unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, they are accused of being useful idiots for the mentally challenged Russian president and his power lust. When the Nato boss says it, nobody in the western body politic or media blinks an eyelid.
Closer to home, mandarins at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) made a diplomatic blunder when a freedom of information request resulted in a loose email from DFA secretary general Joseph Hackett being sent to, of all people, MEP Clare Daly. The offending email was an anxious message to other mandarins, such as deputy secretary general Sonja Hyland and even foreign minister Micheál Martin’s political brain, Deirdre Gillane, and media handler Paul Clarkson.
Hackett was reacting to the original statement from the DFA in its prepared questions and answers about the propaganda exercise that was the forum on international security. The Iveagh house boss said: “We need to amend the Q and A on NATO. We cannot say that ‘nothing is off the table’. We need to be clear in briefing that the government has no intention of considering NATO membership. This conference is broad in its remit and is not about NATO membership. If we are not clear on this at the outset it will dominate coverage. At the same time, participants will of course be free to raise any issue during the deliberations.”
Goldhawk does not have access to the original Q & A material but it appears that, for some of the senior civil servants in Iveagh House, nothing is ‘off the table’ when it comes to Nato membership.
What an eye opener.