Dutch armoured vehicles in a demonstrative display on 300 metres from the Russian border

This morning I had a look at the Dutch daily, De Volkskrant, to see if there was any mention of the fact that Dutch armoured vehicles yesterday participated in a provocative parade in Estonia, which took them to a distance of 300 metres from the border crossing to Russia.
However, although there was a heading ‘We are back’ (in fact, in English), it turned out to be a comment on an advert of the Remonstrant church.
Remonstrants and Counter-Remonstrants back in the 80 Years’ War were engaged in an intense theological and political conflict in the United Provinces. But a conflict at the Estonian-Russian border, in which the Netherlands is apparently eager to be involved, can lead to a nuclear war. So why don’t we hear anything about it?

Our contribution consisted of four Swedish Stridsfordon 90 tracked combat vehicles, in Dutch code CV9035NL Mk III, pictured above. The Humanities division of the University of Amsterdam may be reorganised to extinction, but of the Stridsfordon 90 we are getting 184 pieces, because the military dangers the Netherlands is exposed to are tremendous. So big that we have to go and look for them ourselves.

The parade in which American military vehicles of course led the foreign contribution was on the occasion of Estonia’s Independence Day. Congratulations! One would expect that such a parade would take place in the capital, Tallinn, but instead the choice was made for Narva, a town literally on the border with Russia, in the country’s far eastern corner. By participating the Dutch take the side of the US, which in spite of the Minsk agreement will dispatch a battalion of paratroopers to Ukraine in March, and of Britain, which today has announced to send troops as well. These will be deployed closer to the Minsk truce. As in the early stages of the Vietnam War, all these troops are labelled ‘advisors’.

After the debacle in Afghanistan NATO would perhaps not even exist any longer if there had not been the successful move to label the conflict in Ukraine as ‘Russian aggression’.

In that spirit we will be hearing a lot the coming days about the shameless political exploitation by Russia of the gas supplies to Ukraine (and onwards to Europe). But Gazprom has warned that payment for further supplies has not been forthcoming, although president Poroshenko did turn up in the United Arab Emirates to buy weapons at the large armaments exhibition there.

Of course the Netherlands is present there as well. In spite of protests by the anti-arms trafficking group Stop Wapenhandel, defence minister Hennis and a delegation of civil servants of the ministry of Economic Affairs and Trade have this week travelled to Abu Dhabi to do business there. The companies accompanying her, Thales Nederland, Ten Cate, Allison Transmission Europe, Damen Schelde, DSM Dyneema, Gielissen, Heinen & Hopman, Imtech Marine, KVE Composites Group, Microflown AVISA, NLR, NOVEK Technical Solutions, RVM, Sun Test Systems, TNO Defensie, Airbus and Visionwaves, are hoping to be able to sell their deadly wares to the most unstable region in the world. ‘As if we have landed in the Olympic Games, the Dutch government, jointly with the Dutch defence and security industry association NDIV and the Netherlands Aerospace Group have furnished a veritable ‘Holland Pavilion’ for its own arms manufacturers’, the advocacy group, Ravage, writes on its site.

And don’t think this can be dismissed as ‘Dutch merchant spirit’ or something like it. The Netherlands is a small, vicious frontline formation of the most aggressive military bloc in the world—one that since 1991 no longer has any rivals of consequence.

This is the military arm of a declining civilisation that will not go down without a fight.

We owe it to the media that this determined stance to leave the stage weapons in hand, will not become known too widely.

Kees van der Pijl

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