It sounds callous, but I am going to write about the personalities. Jens Stoltenberg is in the center. President Biden, Johnson, Erdogen. Macron is kind of a hanger-on. Trudeau on the left, Fiala, Czech Republic. Orban, Hungary, is in the orange tie on the right. I thought I spotted Morawiecki (Poland) but now I am not so sure. The dark-haired woman on the right is perhaps German foreign affairs minister Annalena Baerbock; there is no news about German participation at all.
Many countries, you can Google it and the NATO meeting and find out what they’re up to.
These are the most powerful people in the
room world and that is the best I can do without more work. Of course Japan (G7) and Australia are there in spirit, and the latter is there in terms of defense too.
Poland’s schools are among the best in the world. When I was a kid there was such a thing as “Polish jokes.” They were the first, or at least biggest, to say our home is yours. Poland, and probably Morawiecki, were behind the creative MiG deal–look, they can have them! We just need to… Why not park them at Ramstein and then, oh look, they were stolen! It was a good idea.
Now we have a month of data–it is about what you do, not what you say. I Googled “French troops Nato” and came up with zero.
There it is for those of us who are mostly ignorant about the former eastern block. Nicolae Ciuca, Romania. Checks trusty picture above, not sure but I think I see him. I just wouldn’t mess with these people. Those, “don’t mess with us,” were the exact words of the Latvian prime minister when he invited U.S. and NATO troops. He also mentioned, “we’ll pay you.”
I can sit here in Colorado. NORAD is about two hours away by car and you can only imagine how long it takes a military jet. I can watch vidoes until I completely run out of bandwidth; I don’t know. These people in Eastern Europe, formerly, western Soviet Union, know.
To be honest, people in the former “Eastern Block” were stigmatized in the U.S.
The meetings in Brussels include G7 and EU members. I give up on who’s in the picture. Joe Biden (and Blinken) are worthy representatives. In terms of the meetings, you can tell who the most powerful, and possibly the most experienced, man is.
I’m grateful to be able to spend hours educating myself. That was the main point I was getting to earlier: It is all about information and education. That is why I am so fascinated by Latvia, and Romania, etc. Those people know, and continue to learn while those behind the varying curtains do not. Imagine a world with only “state” videos, news, meetings, protests, and everyday life. It is that cliche, they never had a chance.
Fifty percent of Russians support the war, some 65% supported annexing regions… I can’t forget that one woman. She is in a more Russian part of eastern Ukraine. These people are so well-spoken, so composed. Paraphrasing, she said ‘If we didn’t have the army to protect us, what would we do?” She feels Russia protects her. She feels Russia provides the protection she needs. She has a very different perception of the world than, for example, most people in the former Soviet republics.
It is all about making people think you are protecting them.
And that is Putin’s influence.