Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
My thoughts.

While there is a vocal spat going on between the US and Russia, I think the actual chances of military conflict between the two are about zilch at the moment, while it seems the US Administration is still keen on bombing Iran.  

So far as Doomsday scenarios go, I don't think Russia is promoting this rhetoric but reacting to US policy by making obvious comparisons.  It's the US who started this.  I think if Russia were installing missile shields on the Mexican border, we'd be rightly pissed off.  And that Russia has every right to respond to military build up along its borders with parallel measures of their own.  One would think that their pointing out this obvious fact would serve to deter US plans, but instead, people are interpreting it as some kind of provocation.  It is a rational response, not a provocation.  

I mean, can anyone explain what is the purpose of US missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic?  People afraid those Soviet tanks are going to roll back into town?  Well, it is not 1968.  It is 2007, and Russia has shown no imperialist tendencies for years.  They are too busy trying to keep their own federation from breaking apart.  More importantly, they are no longer beholden to a political ideology which mandates political evangelism (Communism).  No.  It's the US who is running around the planet invading countries with their arsenal of democracy, trying to convert the world at gunpoint with no thought of the consequences of our actions.  So Russia pipes up and points out the consequences, and the onus is on them?  BS.  

Well-informed readers may wonder why the Russians are painting a picture of the US and Russia on the brink of nuclear war, aligning themselves with Iran, abrogating treaties, and in general making such a fuss about ABM installations, even though virtually every ABM test ends in total failure.

Well informed readers hopefully see this situation in less simplistic and cliched terms.

I don't know what the solution here is, but since we know Bush is a madman and Putin is no push-over, one would hope that the er, uhm, CZECH and POLISH folks would realize how stupid this idea is, that the EU might intervene (I think that might go a long way towards mitigating Russian "sabre-rattling" over there) and that people could get their acts together and agree that relying on the US to protect you from unlikely threats is insane.  I mean, don't bitch about out defense budget and then turn to us for ... defense!  Insane!

Meanwhile, I hope people like us can remain calm and not buy into this neo-Cold War hysteria.  Let's not forget why it was called a "Cold" war.   And let's try to make sensible and informed arguments without relying on rhetoric like "hair-trigger," "nightmare," and "doomsday."  This isn't a Hollywood movie.  This is foreign policy.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Dec 20th, 2007 at 11:53:51 AM EST

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