Monday, May 22, 2006

European-American Missle Defense Shield

Iran seems poised, depending on who you talk to, to become nuclear able soon--two months, two years, twelve years. Any day is too soon for the world.

The U.S., not inclined to "unilateral action" against Iran, waits while European nations dither about what to do. Well most countries dither.... Poland, a staunch U.S. ally, part of the "coalition of the willing", may soon have ten American missle defense shields up on the American base on Polish soil. Both Russia and the rest of "Old Europe" chafe at this situation. The Russians don't like the implications--that the U.S. and especially Poland view these benevolent neighbors as possible enemies. (Hmmm, I wonder why. They were so kind to Poland after WWII.)

The installation of 10 interceptors in Eastern Europe would have no significant ability to defend against Russia's sizable nuclear arsenal. American officials say that the Bush administration sought to assure the Russians that the system is not aimed at Moscow by keeping it informed about the recent visit by American officials to Warsaw. But the Russians are unhappy with the idea and have portrayed it as a step that would jeopardize cooperation between NATO and Russia, including on antimissile systems.

The development of an antimissile site in Poland would have a "negative impact on the whole Euro-Atlantic security system," Sergei Ivanov, the Russian defense minister, told a Belarus newspaper. "The choice of location for the deployment of those systems is dubious, to put it mildly."

In the meantime, the Bush administration has resumed its efforts to sound out support abroad. In early April, Pentagon and State Department officials visited Warsaw to renew discussions about the project, which has been talked about for years. American officials said the Polish government has been receptive.

"They asked us officially if we were still interested in discussing the issue," Poland's deputy foreign minister, Witold Waszczykowski, said last month. "Of course we said yes and we are awaiting details." Poland's defense minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, said recently that he has submitted questions for the Pentagon to answer before formal talks could be convened. Mr. Sikorski, who declined to be interviewed for this article, met in Washington with Mr. Rumsfeld last week to discuss an array of security issues.

The rest of Europe is in a nifty double bind of their own making.Europe despises the notion of the U.S. using some big, bad, bunker busters to blow up nuclear anything anywhere. Europe despises the notion of relying on the U.S. for some defense shield on their property even with warheads within range pointed at their pointy heads....sovereign socialist nations and all. Europe can't fathom the notion that really bad people might want to blow them into oblivian even when they are really, really, really nice to the "uninformed-not-bad" people.

What a pickle. Force is always bad. War is always bad. The U.S. is always bad. Capitalism is bad. Optimism is so banal. It's downright galling to be looking down the business end of the barrel, without the ability to defend oneself because one embraces "peace" (aka diplomacy, aka appeasement) and socialism and realism and sophistication.

Does Europe hope to "contain" Iran with American defense sheilds? The Iranians have mid-range missles after all and are quite a ways away from being able to reach America. Who exactly does Europe think will bear the brunt of the blackmail once Iran is so armed?

No comments: