No longer of any use

As NATO commemorates it's 60th birthday, it has become clear that the organisation that once was the bulwark against Soviet communist conquest of Europe is now a frail old man, too weak to be of any use.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen will be the new Secretary General of NATO. Turkey protested the nomination but, rather unexpectedly, gave up it's resistance. Now we know why. Elsevier reports that as part of a deal, Rasmussen will be forced to apologize for the Danish cartoon brouhahah:
NATO will pay a heavy price for Turkish consent of the nomination of Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the next Secretary General after Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. Among others, the Dane will have to make his apologies for the controversial Danish Muhammed cartoons.

Sources report that several muslim countries, all of them not NATO member, have put pressure on [Turkish prime-minister] Erdogan to block the nomination.

That pressure, according to Germany's biggest paper Bild [link in German - KV], has been richly rewarded. To start Rasmussen will make is apologies, tomorrow in Istanbul, for the very controversial Danish Muhammed cartoons.

In addition, the Turks demands that Danish justice initiate prosecution of the Kurdish broadcaster Roj TV, according to Ankara the voice of the Kurdish PKK.

And finally, Erdogan gained three high NATO posts. For instances, Rasmussens replacement will have to be a Turk.
And to put insult to injury, Obama the Messiah urged the European Union on Sunday to accept Turkey as a full member.

Maybe I will have something intelligent to say about all this in a couple of days. Right now, I am just seething with anger and disappointment for this graven betrayal of the principles NATO was founded to defend.

[UPDATE001] So did he, or did he not apologize? Hot Air seems to think Rasmussen deftly danced around the issue by offering a non-apology. Over at Poligazette, Michael thinks the 'non-apology' was an apology after all. And mr. North thinks the brouhaha was the crowbar for securing a Turkish place in NATO command. Esther has more on the non-apology apology, as does Gates of Vienna.

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