From the March 2007 Idaho Observer:
News you might have missed: U.S. resumes Cold War
News you might have missed: U.S. resumes Cold War
Why do we find ourselves feeling like the Bush administration’s post-9/11 "war on terror" does not make strategic, political or economic sense?
Could it be because we are not privy to key details—such as the Bush administration aggressive "Son of Star Wars" missile program in Europe?
The U.S. media may be keeping Americans in the dark about these important developments, but the foreign presses are not. They have been reporting the steady U.S. buildup of military bases specializing in (nuclear) missile first-strike capability since at least 2003.
The obvious U.S. intent of this series of pawn advances on the post-9/11 Grand Chessboard are to militarily control Middle East and Caspian Basin oil reserves while checking any aggressive move by Moscow or Beijing with "the ol’ nuclear first strike ploy."
Suddenly, the "war on terror" makes sense—The U.S. has been mobilizing since Bush #41 to establish sole-superpower status in the power vacuum created by the fall of the Iron Curtain. U.S. plans to dominate the oil-producing regions of the world have become more complicated as Putin has led his nation back from ruin to once again be a military and economic check on U.S. primacy. So now the U.S. is attempting to secure Middle East and Caspian Basin oil reserves through military might and keep the Russians and Chinese from developing a coalition of other willing nations to foil U.S. plans. In a sentence, the Crusades never ended and the Cold War is back on.
Europe dividing Over U.S. missile defense plan by The Idaho Observer
Europe dividing Over U.S. missile defense plan
by The Idaho Observer
German newspaper der Spiegel reported March 5, 2007, that U.S. (three-star) General Henry Obering, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, met with 26 NATO member nation representatives and representatives from Russia in Brussels Feb. 28, 2007. The purpose of Obering’s visit was to explain the "Son of Star Wars" to Europeans whose concerns about U.S. military plans have been increasing since Putin’s candid comments about U.S. hegemony in Munich Feb. 10, 2007 (see story pages 12-14).
Obering "did his best to allay their fears" der Speigel reported. He claimed that the missile system is purely defensive in nature and its main purpose is "to provide protection against a possible attack from Iran. Obering also explained that Russia had nothing to fear and that U.S. officials had met repeatedly with Russian officials to keep them apprised of the developing system.
"The general’s presentation to the NATO-Russia Council was simply the Bush administration’s last attempt to defuse the political controversy surrounding the defense project. But the initiative can be considered to have failed, considering the disgruntled noises which can be heard all across Europe," der Spiegel reported.
Europeans see the U.S. as dividing Europe. Weaker nations, particularly eastern bloc countries like the Czech Republic and Poland, still recovering from Soviet oppression, are supportive of the U.S. missile plan. But other European nations such as France and Germany, many of which host U.S. military bases, are being pushed into deciding whether to side with the U.S. or maintain their trade agreements with Russia (which is now the world’s second largest producer of oil and natural gas).
"Upping the ante is Moscow’s threat to start a new arms race, should Washington continue with the project," der Speigel observed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also currently taking her turn in rotation as the European Union (EU) president. According to der Spiegel, Merkel is facing rising pressure, as the voice of 27 European nations, to place Europe’s position on U.S. missile program plans squarely before the Bush administration.
The three key issues listed by der Spiegel are:
1. Europe has no interest in a new arms race, especially one on its territory. A new round of re-armament must be avoided.
2. The relationship between the EU and Russia must prove itself in just this kind of dispute. The missile defense system is only feasible with the co-operation—and not against the will—of Europe’s eastern neighbor.
3. Sixty years after World War II, the relationship between Europe and the United States clearly needs to be rebalanced with greater emancipation for Europeans.
In Merkel’s own country, even the conservatives are pushing for distancing themselves from the Bush administration and Social Democrats are demanding she put the U.S. missile issue on the agenda at the upcoming EU summit.
One of the major complaints among EU nations is that the U.S. claims to be keeping heads of state apprised of its plans, but the information they are receiving is vague and misleading. "The U.S. ambassador to NATO, Victoria Nuland, notified NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer of the project’s current status in an eight-point memo. The deployment of the defensive systems in Poland and the Czech Republic were ‘options to protect much of Europe and the United States against the increasing missile threat from the Middle East.’ U.S. allies would be informed of ‘meaningful decisions’—however a ‘public announcement’ of Washington’s plans was not anticipated," der Spiegel reported.
Americans are equally in the dark about the Bush administration’s aggressive (expensive) and continentally-divisive missile program. "The missile defense system, an extension of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) or ‘Star Wars’ program, is one of the most ambitious defense projects in history," wrote der Spiegel.
Son of Star Wars
From der Speigel: Massive radar stations in Alaska, Britain, and California are meant to detect any enemy missiles and destroy them with defensive rockets. Sixteen US warships have already been converted to help look for potential threats. Washington wants to deploy 54 intercept missiles by 2013 — with ten of them in Europe. That would close what the Americans see as a giant gap in the defensive shield that would otherwise leave the eastern seaboard of the United States unprotected.
The gap will be filled by stationing missiles in Poland—assuming the equally interested British don’t snap up the project first. The high-security installation with its underground silos would be the size of a football field. Radar equipment currently on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific would be upgraded and moved to the Czech Republic.
The system is intended to work in the following way: After the radar detects a target, intercept missiles are launched from Poland and are directed towards the incoming projectile, presumably launched from Iran. Admittedly the so-called "kill vehicle" has to score a direct hit on the enemy warhead to destroy it—no easy task when the target is traveling at around 25,000 kilometers an hour. And that’s just one of the many open questions and difficulties which have led many critics to doubt the feasibility of the program.
Russia’s position on the U.S. missile plan is quite clear. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov, commander of the country’s strategic missile forces, stated that, If the US missile defense systems were deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic, his own missiles would be "aimed at these targets" and added that Russia could "within a short period" deploy medium-range missiles to disable the U.S. facilities in an emergency.
Regardless of U.S. claims that its European missile program is purely defensive, Putin and his military advisors see the U.S. strategic deployment of American missiles as an unacceptable challenge to its security and reemerging influence on the Eurasian landmass.
Russian response to Putin’s candid view of U.S. plans
Russian political commentator Marianna Belenkaya made the following comments regarding President Vladimir Putin’s bold comments about the U.S. and the shock waves they have sent through the international community. Her comments below were excerpted from an article published Feb. 23, 2007:
Some describe it as a new Cold War declaration, others as Russia’s "long-awaited return to the world stage as a counterweight to the U.S." Both opinions appear equally wrong.
Putin’s message was an appeal to the international community to renounce the Cold War legacy and start building relations of mutual trust. His words, as he made clear to reporters during his Mideast tour, which shortly followed the Munich speech, were mostly addressed to Washington. As Putin himself put it, he just said in public what had long been said in private. While he did not spell it out, it has long been clear that the U.S. didactic tone in foreign policy annoys many nations.
Putin’s message was this: Attempts to impose a unipolar world order have had tragic consequences around the globe. A unipolar model is just impossible in today’s world. There are many centers of power already, in terms of both economic and strategic influence. One nation cannot impose its policies upon the others, even more so because it is far from being a model of democracy or morality itself. Considering all these factors, Russia stands for an equal and respectful dialog with all countries, the U.S. included, but reserving the right to a tough response wherever its interests are infringed.
"We should state our views frankly, openly and honestly," he told the media in Amman [After Munich, Putin visited with leaders in the Middle East, India and China]. "I think that it is through this approach that we can open the road for normal, honest and candid dialogue, and I think that there are people in the United States who will hear our voice and try to build relations with us based on friendly equality and without a lecturing tone."
According to Col.-Gen. Leonid Ivashov, president of a Russian think tank, Academy of Geopolitical Affairs, Moscow is trespassing on the U.S. sphere of influence by expanding its Middle East ties.
Russia is establishing close contacts with all of the world’s centers of power, both existing and potential, provided they are ready for dialog. If one or more of them refuse, Russia cannot be blamed. It will never start a new Cold War, but reserves the right to be ready for this turn of events.
"World opinion is against the U.S. escalation in Iraq. The American people are against it. The Iraqi people are against it. The Iraq government is against it. Can a single man force a nation to expand a war a war it does not want to expand? If he can, is that nation any longer a democracy in any meaningful sense? If not, how can democratic rule and the republican form of government be restored?"
~The Nation, cover,
February 5, 2007.
Home - Current Edition
Advertising Rate Sheet
About the Idaho Observer
Some recent articles
Some older articles
Why we're here
Corrections and Clarifications
Vaccination Liberation - vaclib.org
The Idaho Observer
P.O. Box 457
Spirit Lake, Idaho 83869