NATO: What’s in a name?

BRUSSELS (Rooters agency) – To the surprise of many geopolitical scientists who weren’t paying attention, a big issue at this week’s NATO summit has been names.

NATO of course stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Even when it was first formed – to counter a possible Soviet invasion of Western Europe, in case you’ve forgotten – the name was a bit odd, since it implied that Italy was a North Atlantic country, something that most Italians had probably not previously believed.

A few years later, NATO expanded to include Greece and Turkey. Aside from the inconvenience of a military alliance including members in the habit of shooting at each other, this further implied that the designation North Atlantic included pretty much all of the Mediterranean. Libyans and Serbians therefore couldn’t really say they hadn’t been warned when the bombs started falling – in order to forestall a Russian invasion, just in case the Russians might have been thinking about it.

Over the years, the North Atlantic, according to the US definition of NATO, has expanded to include the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea.

So NATO’s name has been increasingly inappropriate. When this week’s summit heard the proposal of US President Joe Notrump that the South China Sea be included in the definition of North Atlantic, at least one European leader is reported to have raised an objection. While he had no problem about engaging in a nuclear war with China, he didn’t want his country’s children miseducated about geography: If the kids thought parts of Asia were in the North Atlantic, wouldn’t that make it harder to raise fears about Asian refugees?

This leader therefore proposed that NATO stand for North of Antarctica Treaty Organization. With this definition, it would be considered quite normal if NATO decided to set up bases, or drop bombs, just about anywhere.

President Notrump was reportedly attracted by the proposal and sent it for evaluation by his advisors. However, the CIA raised the objection that the proposed name implied that the alliance had no military role in Antarctica itself. But the CIA had already found signs of terrorist propaganda among the continent’s penguins. And, even more seriously, the likely prospect of the Antarctic being ice free in a century or two made it imperative to ensure that the continent had a security environment suitable for the protection of the American Way, which would probably have to relocate there.

President Notrump therefore proposed a name change that also involved a slight change in the alliance’s initials. It will henceforth be NETO – the Nearly Everywhere Treaty Organization. (The “Nearly” was important, the President pointed out, aside from minimizing public awareness of the change. “If everywhere was included,” he asked, “who would be the necessary enemy?”)

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Secretary of State elaborates on right of self-defense

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – Defending the Administration’s refusal to condemn Israeli bombing of Gaza because “Israel has the right to defend itself,” Secretary of State Wynkin Blinkered today argued that “American support for the right of self-defense has a long tradition.”

Think of the settling of the United States West, Blinkered said. “Those brave pioneers in their covered wagons: when they were attacked, they drew into a circle and defended themselves with rifle fire or Gatling guns until the attackers retreated or were dead.”

Earlier in US history, during the American Revolution and even colonial times, Americans firmly exercised their right to self-defense, Blinkered continued, causing surviving hostile Indian forces to retreat westward.

In more recent history, he said, at the end of the 19th century in China, armed terrorists, who initially masqueraded as “boxers”, attacked Europeans and Americans: diplomats, missionaries, soldiers, opium merchants and similar peaceful and lawful residents or visitors. The United States was part of the Eight Nation Alliance that successfully defended international law and the threatened groups, whom the terrorists identified on the basis of race.

In the same period, American troops in the Philippines, who, Blinkered pointed out, were lawfully present to maintain peace and good order in accordance with a treaty between the US and Spain, the previous lawful authority, were attacked by terrorists calling themselves the “Philippine Republic.” The US and its troops defended themselves bravely throughout the subsequent three-year police action that was necessary to suppress the terrorists.

“If you study history,” Blinkered concluded, “America has always stood up for the right of self-defense. Just the last century alone is an almost unbroken record of the United States defending itself against threats and attacks from literally scores of different countries. It would be rank hypocrisy if we were to criticize our ally, Israel, for following our lead in its own, much smaller, way.”

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Business puzzled by part of President’s speech

NEW YORK (Rooters agency) – While President Joe Notrump’s speech marking his 100 days in office was welcomed by many parts of the business community, a new and influential business association has expressed doubts about one passage.

The press officer for the recently established organization Billionaires for Prosperity (BFP) told reporters: “We don’t understand the President’s repeated encouragement to ‘Buy America.’

“Our members already own America; we bought it ages ago. We don’t think it would be fair to make us buy it again. Although, if we have to, of course we will.”

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Hackers send ‘up yours’ to US government

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – The foreign hackers who are believed to have been hacking into US government systems appear to have escalated their activities in what US security agencies call an “impudent” fashion.

This is the conclusion of a careful study of a message that appeared on a new and untraceable web site last week. The site, bearing the name “Gotcha,” listed some of the recent reports about the hacking of US agencies and then added:

“Remember how you reassured US citizens worried about your phone tapping, email intercepting and other spying activities? If you’re not doing anything wrong, you said, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

“But now you’re very worried about people reading your emails. After we’ve had a look at some of them, it’s clear why no one in Washington is repeating that ‘nothing to worry about’ line any more.”

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Surprises on casualties in Pentagon study

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – A still classified study for the Pentagon is reported to suggest some major strategical changes that might significantly reduce American military casualties in the Middle East.

The study, coming after the recent rocket attacks on American forces in Iraq, which provoked President Notrump’s order of retaliatory bombing raids on Syria,* has revealed some surprising information: of all the US service people killed or wounded in Iraq in the last five years, none have been killed or wounded in the United States.

Even more striking is the study’s finding that, during the same period throughout the broader Middle East, the statistics were identical: none of the American casualties occurred in the United States.

According to a source in the Pentagon, the study has not yet been thoroughly reviewed by top layers of the Department of Defense, so it is not known whether the findings will have any significant ramifications for US policy in the Middle East. It is also unknown whether similar studies are planned for other areas of the world.

* At Rooters, we are reporters. We tell you what happened. Don’t ask us to make sense out of it.

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Cryptocurrency rise solves nearly everything

NEW YORK (Rooters agency) – The executives in charge of the cryptocurrency Barnumcoin have announced that they will renounce their entitlement to untold wealth in order to benefit the entire world.

Last week’s speculative rise in the value of Barnumcoins took the total value of all the world’s Barnumcoins to around $270-280 trillion. This is more than three times the annual gross world product – the value of all the economic activity on the planet.

P.T. Bespoke, on behalf of a collective of Barnumcoin investors, has announced that the group, which owns about 60-62 percent of the world’s Barnumcoins, after reserving $5 trillion of the currency for its members, has decided to distribute all the rest of its Barnumcoins equally to the entire population of the Earth.

They calculate that this means every human being will receive Barnumcoins to an approximate value of $30,000. (People who have incomes from other sources would of course continue to receive them.) But that is only the beginning: there is no reason why the bonus to everyone cannot occur annually, provided only that people generally continue to invest in this golden goose.

With every individual guaranteed an income of at least $30,000 a year, there would no longer be any economic compulsion for anyone to work at any task they didn’t want to do. In such a situation, it should be easy to smooth out and eventually overcome hostility and conflicts between groups that in the past often felt the need to compete for economic resources.

It is clear, Mr Bespoke concluded, that we are on the threshold of a perfect world – as long as we all continue investing in Barnumcoins.

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Texan independence raises questions

AUSTIN (Rooters agency) – The House of Representatives of Texas today formally declared the independence of the the Republic of Texas. The unanimous vote was considered a foregone result after the house voted last week to expel all of its non-Repulsican members.

That expulsion measure was explained by the majority party in the introduction to the motion with the words “Nah, nah, nah, we can do it back to you.” Off the record, Repulsicans explained that the action was retaliation for the vote by Demonstratives in the federal House of Representatives to ban Georgian Repulsican Congresswoman Modesty Trumpgang Grene from bringing a Gatling gun into the House chamber unless she first removed all the cartridges (the Repulsicans had rejected a compromise proposed by the Demonstratives to ban “most” of the cartridges).

It is not clear what effect Texan independence will have on either Texan or US politics. The state’s two senators, Texas Crude and John Cornpone, both Repulsicans, have indicated that their “undying support” for Texan independence will not prevent them from voting in the US Senate for “as long as we can get away with it.”

If Texas really becomes a separate country, presumably its current senators would no longer be seated in Washington and the Demonstratives would then have a 50-48 margin in the Senate, which would mean there was no longer such a pressing need for senators to remain awake when votes are being recorded. But the Repulsicans’ ability to block legislation would not be seriously affected, because the Demonstratives would still need 59 votes to pass much of anything. This is due to the filibuster, a rule of the Senate that says, “Democracy requires old white male minorities to have a veto on everything.”

The response to the Texan declaration by the Mexican government has so far been cautious. However, when questioned by Rooters, the Mexican government’s press department pointed out that President Antonio López de Santa Anna had signed the Treaties of Velasco in 1836 under duress. But, in the spirit of cooperation with recent US government positions, Mexico would be agreeable to helping to fund a border wall if it was located along the Arkansas River.

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Exclusive: Text of Presidential letter

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – Rooters has learned the content of the letter that departing President Ronald Dump left for incoming President Joe Notrump.

While not revealing the content of the letter, President Notrump described it as “very generous.”

The text of the letter was given to Rooters by a source that cannot be named for obvious reasons, but which Rooters considers totally reliable. The text is as follows:

“Hi Sleepy Joe,

“For UNITY, let Bygones be. The Country needs Unity and NO BYGONES. So Pardons for me and the Family would be GREAT.

“We would be VERY GREATFUL. It’s worth a Cool Ten Million if you do the RIGHT THING.

“Best Wishes,

“Your Once and Future President”

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Cryptocurrency hits new highs

NEW YORK (Rooters agency) – Investors are rushing to buy Barnumcoins as the popular cryptocurrency hits new highs. The digital currency is seen as a hedge against inflation, as its price has been rising even more rapidly than the debts governments are creating as they pump vast sums into stagnant economies.

Barnumcoins are attractive to people who are bored with the features of ordinary currencies they possess and would like to see something different. Also, because they exist only on computers, they are considered especially secure. (A thief might make off with your wallet full of dollars or euros or other pieces of paper, but even if the thief takes your computer, they can’t steal your Barnumcoins – unless, of course, you have been careless enough to record your Barnumcoin password on that computer.)

The price of Barnumcoins has risen remarkably in the last 10 to 12 months. Economists believe this is due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has shut down much of the economy: since there are many fewer real commodities to buy, people are buying Barnumcoins instead.

Investment analysts generally agree that the price of Barnumcoins will continue to rise for the foreseeable future, unless it crashes instead. Currently, the value of one Barnumcoin has risen to equal three 17th century Dutch tulips, which have recently enjoyed a revival and seller’s market on exchanges around the world.

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President reportedly planning post-January 20 move

WASHINGTON (Rooters agency) – “What? Me worry?” declared President Ronald Dump yesterday. “Why should I when I won the election and people love me all over the world?”

The President was responding to reporters’ questions as to whether he was concerned about facing possible legal problems once he leaves the White House.

Despite President Dump’s apparent confidence, there are indications, including from Administration insiders, that he is considering unusual, even unprecedented, steps to protect himself after January 20. Among them, according to some reports, is seeking political asylum abroad.

Such a move would protect the ex-President not merely against federal charges (which could be blocked more easily by a presidential pardon) but also against state charges reportedly being considered by authorities in New York and possibly other states. It is unclear what effect political asylum might have on the ability of banks, many of them overseas, to obtain payment of Dump’s large debts.

According to one insider, the President is quite confident of obtaining asylum, if he asks for it, in an unnamed “very friendly” and “compatible” country that “doesn’t have fake news media lying about me all the time.”

Which country the President has in mind may or may not be indicated by the puzzlement of another White House adviser, who wondered why he was asked to check “if there’s an extradition treaty between the United States and the Confederate States.”

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