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Posts Tagged ‘Poland’

In the weeks and months leading up to the Iraq War President Bush enunciated a new U.S. defense policy that endorsed the concept of preemptive strikes against potential enemies. He justified this new approach by saying that the experience of the 9/11 terrorist attacks had shown that the U.S. could not afford to stand by and wait to be attacked before taking any action against a possible aggressor. From the ashes of the world trade center was born a new strategy of strike on suspicion of possible attack against the U.S.

Following the massive bombing campaign against Afghanistan and the defeat of the Taliban, the Bush administration turned its attention to Iraq and soon deemed that it was a potential threat because it secretly harbored weapons of mass destruction. These weapons were alleged to be nuclear, biological, or chemical. We probably all remember Secretary of State Colin Powell showing surveillance photos of Iraqi sites to the United Nations. They contained purported evidence of weapons of mass destruction. It was very reminiscent of U-2 photos taken over Cuba during the Kennedy years. The photos clearly showed the presence of Soviet Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles in Cuba. The difference between these photos and Bush’s photos was that in Kennedy’s case the analysis was correct and in Bush’s case the analysis was, to say the very least, completely incorrect.

Nevertheless, based upon this flimsy evidence and in the face of protests from the UN’s own weapons inspector who said that there was no evidence of these weapons in Iraq, President Bush chose to attack Iraq using as justification his newly created policy of preemptive strike. History has shown, unequivocally, that President Bush was completely wrong, and that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. The effect of this reckless policy of attack based upon suspicion must have surely been to make many countries concerned and even afraid of this seemingly out of control President.

A couple of years ago President Bush determined that Iran was becoming a threat to the world through the development of a nuclear weapons capability. Despite Iran’s protests that it was only developing the capability to produce electricity through nuclear power, President Bush pressed Iran strongly to cease all nuclear related research. When Iran persisted President Bush decided to establish a very sophisticated missile tracking radar in Eastern Europe. He has recently signed an agreement with the Polish government to station interceptor missiles on Polish soil that would be guided by this very advanced radar. The radar will probably be located in the Czech Republic. President Bush has said that positioning this system in Eastern Europe is critical to the defense of Europe and the U.S. in the event that Iran launches a nuclear attack. It should come as no surprise that the Russian government is very, very uneasy about this development, especially when you look at President Bush’s track record of preemptive strike.

Here are some things to consider: there is no evidence that Iran possesses any intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Its longest-range missile seems to have a maximum operating range of about 1,250 miles, not nearly enough to reach the U.S., although perhaps able to reach parts of Europe. There is, however, no indication that the Europeans are worried about this since Iran’s most likely target is really Israel. Russia, on the other hand, does have ICBMs, lots and lots of them. For many years they have been aimed at the U.S., just as many of our ICBMs are aimed at them. It’s all part of a stalemate called Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), i.e. neither side can win a nuclear without it being a Pyrrhic victory. This condition of detente has kept the peace in the world for fifty years.

President Bush’s plan to introduce advanced interceptor missiles and a very sophisticated missile tracking radar on Russia’s doorstep will change the MAD equation dramatically because it could negate the possibility of Russia being able to respond to a U.S. nuclear attack. It eliminates Mutual Assured Destruction and that destroys the détente that has prevented global thermonuclear war these past fifty years. President Bush wants to change the equation using the excuse that Iran might be building a nuclear weapon and maybe someday they will have an ICBM that will reach the U.S. Given President Bush’s cowboy tendency to fire from the hip, wouldn’t you be a little nervous if you were in Vladimir Putin’s shoes?

Here’s something else to wonder about: given the President’s already clearly stated policy of attack upon suspicion, which worked so effectively in Iraq, why doesn’t he just bomb the Iranian nuclear facility and be done with the issue? That would be nothing compared to the massive destruction we rained down upon Iraq. It could all be done with a single B-2 stealth bomber if he is really that worried about it. And besides, it’s all entirely justified under the Bush Doctrine of attack upon suspicion. So what’s going on here? Why the convoluted step of basing our most advanced radar and missile interceptors right next to Russia and then telling them not to worry because the missiles are really meant to save the world from Iran in about ten years or so.

Does this scare anyone besides the Russians? It should, because this out of control President is needlessly moving us closer to nuclear confrontation with Russia than we have ever been since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Maybe someone should tell our President the meaning of the word Pyrrhic.

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