Thursday, April 03, 2008

Russia Living in the Cold War,2933,345514,00.html

Good news. NATO has endorsed Bush’s plan to install a missile defense system in Europe. What has struck me as odd from the beginning of these discussions has been Russia’s response.

“Russia charges the intent of the system would be to weaken its nuclear deterrent capabilities and upset the balance of power in Europe. Bush has repeatedly denied that, saying the facilities are designed to protect Europe against a potential missile attack — or even just nuclear blackmail — by Iran. The dispute has become heated at times, with confrontational, Cold War-style rhetoric from Moscow.”

From some bizarre reasoning Russia has been led to believe that the United States means her harm. Quite frankly, I do not understand this at all. Are we really to believe that the true reason President Bush wants to put a missile defense system in Europe is to weaken Russia’s military ability against the USA and her allies? Could it be that Iran and other Islamic nations might pose a threat? How about North Korea? These are realistic concerns that we cannot pretend do not exist.

Putin has repeatedly charged the U.S. of trying to tip the balance of power in her favor, to which our President has rightly responded that Russia is a friend and not an enemy. This allowed Bush to remove the issues of balance of power from the discussion of our relationship with Russia. We have even invited Russia to be a part of the cooperate effort that will oversee the production and the continued management of this defense network. Unfortunately, Russia’s response has been to seemingly ignore our efforts of extending the hand of peace and friendship by retaliating with hostile words and mild threats. This is not how peace is made. But to President Bush’s credit, he has done nothing but return Putin’s rash comments with calm, well formulated ones.

I will say that, while I am not happy with everything George Bush has done, he has handled this situation wisely, so much so that I am proud to call him my President.



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