Friday, April 27, 2007

Bush's Finger in Putin’s Eye

As if American foreign policy wasn’t already at its lowest point in half a century, President Bush has chosen this particular moment to stick a finger in the eye of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Not satisfied with the failed testing of America’s missile shield on our own soil, we have elected to install it on the soil of our European NATO allies.

Bushputin As if American foreign policy wasn’t already at its lowest point in half a century, President Bush has chosen this particular moment to stick a finger in the eye of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Not satisfied with the failed testing of America’s missile shield on our own soil, we have elected to install it on the soil of our European NATO allies.
Which is just a bit like Russia doing the same in Canada and Mexico. But, of course, we are the good guys, so how could anyone object?
The excuse? Iran, North Korea as well. Two countries that couldn’t possibly get a missile as far as Europe if they hitched a ride, have to be stopped in Europe. Not for the protection of France or Germany, but so they don’t hit America.
What a great idea for Europeans. America has yet to successfully intercept a missile, except in a fixed test and optimum circumstances. But it will be shooting at a not yet defined target from either of two countries that haven’t the launch capability and no known warheads—all of it happening over European skies.
Rumsfeldviperstyle Rumsfeld is gone, but his Darth Vadar state of mind lives on.
We have selected for this charade, two economically vulnerable, ex-eastern-bloc countries, Poland and the Czech Republic. Each of their civilian populations have overwhelmingly rejected any such hardware on their soil, but their governments are easily bribed.
Looking for the up-side of this stupid and pointless provocation, it has yet to be explained. Halliburton and Lockheed-Martin must be in there somewhere.
Putin One day after Bush (the father) and Bill Clinton helped Vladimir Putin bury his benefactor, Boris Yeltsin, the Russian President went to his Parliament and ripped the hide off the Bush plan. He announced that Russia would suspend its compliance with the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE). That treaty, put together at the end of the cold war (but before Russia fell apart as a republic) defused most of the existing pressures between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
Mr. Putin’s announcement, made in his annual address to Parliament, underscored the Kremlin’s anger at the United States for proposing a new missile-defense system, which the Bush administration insists is meant to counter potential threats from North Korea and Iran. (NYTimes)
Three months and three days after 9-11, George Bush pulled us out of the 30 year Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia.
"I have concluded the ABM treaty hinders our government's ability to develop ways to protect our people from future terrorist or rogue state missile attacks."
Bush said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin "have also agreed that my decision to withdraw from the treaty will not in any way undermine our new relationship or Russian security."
Until now.
Bushrumsfeld Now it seems this unchecked president, whom no one in the nation (apparently) dares check, has had his way. In the presidential my-way-or-the-highway attitude that 9-11 paved for him, his way was to abrogate a 30 year treaty with nothing more than his signature.
That may or may not be constitutional. It was never tested in the courts because this president has yet to have his feet held to the constitutional fire.
Treaties are initiated by presidents, but they are ratified by the Congress. They don't exist until they are ratified. Thus, it would follow (in most minds) that abrogation also requires congressional approval. In this case, we do not and will not know.
So, Poland and the Czech Republic—those precursors of Hitler’s true intentions in WWII, are once again at the forefront of a European confrontation. Who knows what has been promised to their their embryonic parliaments?
They are each of them frozen in the headlights of consumer economies, their attention distracted by mid-rise commercial buildings bearing the logos of Microsoft, Sony and the like. The West will get what it wants from this impoverished part of Europe.
France, Germany, Italy and Spain are adamantly against any self-serving American shield. NATO has no interest, but NATO has no teeth. Like America itself, it has no say over this arrogant American president and will have to satisfy itself that the 21 months remaining in his term will finally be over.
As every first-year medical student learns, all bleeding stops eventually.
Bush and Rumsfeld have scared the bejeezus out of China, Russia and our normal allies with their outrageous claims on the policing of space. Our space policy, as outlined by The Donald (when he was in better standing) carries this 2004 comment by the Arms Control Association;
Of all the risky “transformation” initiatives championed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the one receiving the least media attention is the weaponization of space. Shortly before arriving for his second tour at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld chaired a commission calling for the U.S. government to vigorously pursue “the option to deploy weapons in space to deter threats and, if necessary, defend against attacks on U.S. interests.”
The Air Force is now actively implementing Rumsfeld’s wishes. As General Lance Lord, commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command, explained, “We must establish and maintain space superiority. Modern warfare demands it. Our nation expects it. Simply put, it’s the American way of fighting.”
Well, that would certainly put my mind at rest if I were either China or Russia.
Bear in mind that the Rumsfeld Space Policy was detailed a full ten months before 9-11 and bears no relation to a terrorist response. This policy was in the works, a foregone conclusion of this administration as it took office.
Military domination of space by the United States flies in the face of American opinion that peace in this world will be achieved by economic and political rather than military means. We are a country that defeats aggression, rather than defending it as a national preemptive policy.
Space supremacy as national policy is the first repudiation of that opinion and it came, uninvited, before 9-11. Shortly after the terrorist attack, we got the second rejection of American moral standards, George Bush’s policy of preemptive warfare. But, without so much as a ‘by your leave,’ we found ourselves inexplicably characterized along with Nazi Germany and Japan, two nations sharing one of modern history’s darkest periods.
9-11, what treason has been done in your name?
John Kennedy damned near soiled his pants when Nikita Krushchev tried to install missiles off our southeast coast. Yet Condoleeza Rice feigns disbelief that Vladimir Putin finds our latest European adventure a step back toward cold war and a murderous, mutually bankrupting arms race.
It’s twenty-one months yet before the Wizard of Oz steps down from office. Mixing my metaphors, all through the House (the Senate as well) not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.
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