Friday, October 26, 2007

Ballistic Missiles in Cuba = Anti-Missile System in Europe?

Granted, the Soviet Union is a hard act to follow. Now that it's Russia, the temptation to make people think it's the good old days must be enormous.

Just the same, I think but Russia's President Putin went straight over the top today, even by the notoriously flexible standards of accuracy enjoyed by politicians.

At a news conference, capping a European Union-Russian summit in Portugal Putin said that the American plan to put an anti-missile system in Europe is like the Cuban missile crisis. ("Caribbean crisis" is the Russian name for the event.) "Analogous actions by the Soviet Union, when it deployed missiles in Cuba, prompted the 'Caribbean crisis,'" he said.

I'll give Putin credit: He doesn't expect people to believe that the international situation is as tense now as it was back in the sixties. On the other hand, he says it's because he's in charge now, and able to make American leaders understand how serious things are.

In a way, this wacky statement is a sort of relief. In this pre-election season, at least American politicians aren't the only ones spouting nonsense.

On the other hand, Putin's disinclination to have a missile defense system in Europe is troubling. This could be a simple political issue: the Czech Republic and Poland used to be part of the Soviet Union. Putting a radar base and 10 interceptor missiles in those now-independent countries must rankle.

The anti-missile system, which is supposed to keep missiles from Iran from reaching America, wouldn't be ready until 2011, at best.

An argument against this system is that Iran doesn't have missiles, with nuclear warheads, yet. Since there's no threat, there's no reason for setting up a defense, yet.

Fair enough.

In a way, I could see the wisdom of waiting until Iran lobs a few nuclear bombs into this country. There aren't any high-value targets in my part of America, and nothing upwind for a thousand miles or so. New York, Washington, D.C., and Miami could be reduced to radioactive dust, and I wouldn't be directly affected.

Even so, I would prefer that such an attack be stopped, even if Putin doesn't like it.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.