BUSH in ROMANIA (NATO)
President Bush is in Romania (where I was born) for a meeting with NATO allies, and he is calling for NATO expansion. More specifically – he is trying to convince the other allies that Georgia and Ukraine should be allowed to join. There is opposition both inside and outside. The most vocal opponent – not surprisingly – is Russia. Other countries (e.g. Germany) also seem to be against this expansion – for “the sake of balance.”
In my opinion – Bush is right. The Cold War is over – and the expansion is not a threat to Russia. At least – it is not an offensive threat. The only “threat” is defensive. What do I mean by that?
As a Romanian (and the Georgians and Ukrainians will identify too) – the greatest threat and bully in that region has been Russia for the past 100 years + (reincarnated and growing in power after the fall of Soviet Union). These countries are not afraid of the United States or the rest of Europe. It is big and many times bad intentioned Russia that has caused problems and abused the smaller countries around it. These countries want protection from any future threat.
At the same time, all of Europe and even Russia should benefit from a missile shield that is trying to contain the threat from Iran. All countries in the region should benefit.
Russia is afraid that the days of bullying are coming to a close – and that is not something that a bully likes. Too bad Germany and France do not understand this. It is because they have not been oppressed by Russia, and because much of Europe lives in a dream world where man is basically good and confrontation should be avoided at almost any price.
This expansion is not an offensive threat to Russia, and all of Europe will benefit. NATO should make a common front and do the right thing. Many more people (from Georgia and Ukraine) will feel safer, and they will contribute in the effort in Afghanistan. Afghanistan needs all the help that it can get.