Geopolitics of the "missile shield": our readers write
Our June issue featured the story "Resisting the New Euro-Missiles: Czech Dissidents Stand Up Again—This Time to the Pentagon!" by WW4 REPORT contributor Gwendolyn Albert, noting the emergence of popular opposition to US plans to build a radar base for the new "missile shield" in the Czech Republic. The "missile shield" has opened a new rift with Russia, and is surely topping the agenda in the Bush-Putin meeting underway at the Bush family estate in Kennebunkport, ME. Our June Exit Poll was: "Is the 'missile shield' actually intended to protect the US and the world from 'rogue' nations like Iran and North Korea, or is the 'real' enemy still Russia?" We received the following responses:
The most surreal response came from Margery Coffey in Rosalie, Nebraska:
Nah, the real enemy is Dumbfuck Iowa. They voted for George Bush in all elections. Even registered their cows and chickens except for Ol' Red who refused to vote because pigs is more equal that the rest.
WW4 REPORT responds: Been dipping into the loco weed out there in Nebraska, have we Marge?
From Richard Lyman, somewhere in cyberspace:
TO PARAPHRASE WALT KELLY "WE HAVE FOUND THE ENEMY AND HE IS US".
WW4 REPORT responds: That's a quote, not a paraphrase—more correctly rendered "We have met the enemy and he is us." And while we love Pogo, that sentiment only goes so far. We don't know about you, but nobody ever asked us if our government should be building a missile shield. To quote (not paraphrase) the Wobblies, "The working class and the employing class have nothing in common." Which brings us to the next point...
From Joe Wetmore, Ithaca, NY:
The Real Enemy is, and always has been, the have-nots.
WW4 REPORT asked via e-mail: How does building a missile shield keep down the have-nots? That's what police are for. The missile shield is to maintain US superiority over rival states.
It is a way of moving money from us to those with money. The war is always against us.
They have their little spats, but the gentleman's agreement still stands:
Those in power are special and the masses shall always be the masses.
WW4 REPORT responds: We agree with the second point, but not the first. Wars between rival powers are real, and could well end the world. All the fancy weapons are not just a means of wasting money, unfortunately...
From Marcia Slatkin, Shoreham, NY:
The "missile shield" isn't intended to protect the US from anyone/anything. It is allowing more military/industrial spending, and raking in profits for corporations in that sector. And it is creating a symbolic presence whose threat hovers over the globe, a reminder of the bombs we dropped at the end of WW II, the mad fury with which we attacked Korea, Vietnam, the Sandinistas, and Iraq. Whether or not we won any of these conflicts is irrelevent. It says, remember! We are willing and able to unleash horror wherever and whenever we choose, the consequences be damned.
WW4 REPORT responds: Who is this "we" of whom you speak? Once again, did anyone ask you if "we" should build a missile shield...
From Tim Slater in Bavaria, Germany:
It should be obvious that (at least in the form presently proposed) it is neither!
Simple common sense is enough to tell us that there is no conceivable situation in the foreseeable future in which the North Korean or Iranian government would choose to attack the USA with a handful of missiles, unless everbody in the ruling political and military circles had gone stark raving mad.
Nor is it anywhere near enough to block a Russian missile strike.
If you ignore the propaganda of the war criminals in Washington and their equally criminal mouthpieces in the U.S. mass media for a moment, and ask yourself what military purpose such a system could serve, the answer is obvious enough: It is to enable the United States to wage all-out war on countries like Iran or North Korea while minimizing the risks from a last-ditch counter-attack from their (potential) nuclear deterrent.
WW4 REPORT responds: So, apart from the self-serving rhetoric about "protection," you think the "real" enemy actually is upstart rogue states like Iran and North Korea, and not traditional imperial rival Russia. Our next respondent disagrees...
Our prize for most astute response goes to Ivo Skoric of the Balkans Pages, writing from Rutland, VT:
The missile shield is, of course, not intended to protect anybody from anything, because the anti-balistic missile system simply does not work, as tested so far. In all the [tests] conducted, the US anti-missile missiles either missed the target completely, or failed to launch. And even if it would be working, it certainly would not be used to protect against the threat of Iranian nuclear threat, for the simple reason that Iran has no nuclear weapons, and no missiles with the range long enough to deliver them. In detterent terms, 10 missiles is a rather pitiful number: i.e. if indeed they would be deployed as a shield against Russia's nuclear might, they'd be outnumbered about 100:1, which makes them completely useless (if they could stop just 1% of incoming ballistic missiles, the West would be faring very badly in nuclear confrontation with Russia, wouldn't it?).
So, why the hell this administration, unbelievably recalcitrant in its idiocy, wants to deploy them????
I think their deployment has as much to do with military logic as Gonzales's attorney appointments have with justice logic. This is purely political deployment, aimed at placating political leaders of Eastern-European countries that practicaly until yesteryear were colonized by Soviets: they feel that by accepting an expensive, cutting edge, politically crucial military system from the world's omnipotent super-power, they will more firmly assert themselves as the members of the club of friends of that same super-power, which in their eyes protects them from falling prey to Russia again.
It doesn't matter that the system is not working and that it protects them from nothing and nobody. It just matter that Americans want it, and Russians don't, and that Czechs and Polacs want to be seen wanting what Americans want. They may even give Americans more troops to die for oil in Iraq and elsewhere, for this useless gift of political posturing.
On the other hand, the deployment is also aimed to anger Russia, again, politically. I doubt anyone in Russian military would consider ten untested missiles a threat. But Putin can and will make a big deal of the US missile deployment expansion across the former iron curtain border, fortifying his political might on the cheap. The deployment is certain to further strain the relationship between Russia and former Warszaw Pact countries, making the later (even more) dependent on the U.S. economically and militarily. The missiles deployed behind NATO and EU back and in Russia's face, regardless of their military obsolescence, are likely to divide Europe politically, making it weaker and easier for US to manipulate, which is, perhaps, the real reason for this missile deployment.