Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hell in Brussels – The NATO Spring

Dr. Strangelove

Excerpt from The War Diary of ISAF's Media Operations Centre NATO Headquarters Blvd Leopold III 1110 Brussels, Belgium. Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:30 AM Au Repos de la Montagne, Montagne de Saint-Job 39. Coffee en route to work. Urgent phone call from Chief.  It’s back!  The Chief is practically giddy.  Just when things were the pits for NATO, war is in the air.  Belgium is full of tulips and Ukraine is full of weapons. Urgent meeting in the wine cellar of Le Wine Bar du Sablon, Rue Haute 198.  11:00 AM in wine cellar. Just like the good old days. Property prices are up and flocks of military publicists are migrating to Brussels for the Cold Messaging War that is inevitable.  The Chief said as much to us in the morning briefing. “This is a proper war,” he said with relief through a fog of champagne and cigars.  “This is the war NATO was built for:  Steppes! Tanks! Enemies that wear uniforms!  Missiles!  Good Guys and Bad Guys!  Except for the Germans.  They seem unenthusiastic for some reason. But this time,” he continued, beaming at us, “new technology means we can shape public perception at light speed.”

 “Any thought at all to take Stalingrad?” somebody asked. 

“We’re looking forward not back,” said The Chief darkly.  “As you know, NATO’s position is that political problems can’t be solved by military means, but it's all we know so all options are on the table.” 

 “Where IS the table, Chief?”  

“It’s in a supersecret room at NATO HQ marked NATOPTABLE.” 

“And what options are on it now?” 

“All of them.” 


“Look, I don’t want to get into specifics…” 

“What do we say when people ask us the question?” 

“Tell them you don’t want to get into specifics.” 

"Can we get a picture of the table?"


"You can redact the options."


“What if they ask who’s making NATO policy?” 

"The North Atlantic Council." 

"Who are they?" 

"It's not clear."

4:00 PM The bar opened.