Monday, June 25, 2007

The Elephants of Missile Defense

The Elephants of Missile Defense -

"In Albania, nearing the end of his six-nation tour of Europe, President George W. Bush hopped out of his limo to have his head rubbed and his cheeks kissed by an adoring crowd in what The New York Times called a “virtual mosh pit” of enthusiasm.

Surely, he was delighted and relieved to be warmly welcomed in the mostly Muslim nation. It was a tough week in Europe: the president endured long meetings, pointed criticisms, huge protests, and an upset stomach that took him out of some of the Group of Eight Summit meetings.

Toughest of all perhaps was the sharp war of words with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the weeks leading up to the G8 Summit. At issue: the Bush administration’s plan to put nuclear missile interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. President Putin had repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction with encroachment into his territory. At one point he accused the United States of “filling eastern Europe with new weapons.” In a risky but very clear show of force, Russia also tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile at the end of May. Of Bush’s plans to use European territory to detect and intercept Iranian long-range missiles, Putin said: “we are being told the anti missile system is targeted against something that doesn’t exist.

Doesn’t it?

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