Monday, June 04, 2007

Peace protests against Russia perhaps?

"It is obvious that if part of the strategic nuclear potential of the US is located in Europe and will be threatening us, we will have to respond. This system of missile defence on one side and the absence of this system on the other . . . increases the possibility of unleashing a nuclear conflict" so said Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with The Times.
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Part of the strategic nuclear potential of the US has been located in Europe for decades, but then so has the Russian one, and still is. The missile defence system is aimed mainly at rogue states (Iran in particular) but Russia is, after all, not always that friendly and far from being a friend of liberal constitutional democracy and rule of law. Putin is dreaming if he thinks the US might attack, but then Putin is propping up a Stalinist dictatorship in Belarus and continues to play his strong man card against more open regimes in Ukraine and Georgia.
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I'm looking forward to the so-called peace movement organising protest marches with Russian flags to burn, outside Russian embassies at Putin's sabre rattling. However, it almost never in its history of protesting nuclear weapons would ever confront Russia or the USSR - which spoke volumes about its true agenda, largely hidden to many of its supporters (and well known to Moscow, which in the Cold War delighted to watch protests at Western nuclear facilities, given that any totalitarian regime can avoid such inconveniences).
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The US missile defence system if put in place in Poland and the Czech Republic, should not surprise Russia. After all, the Soviet Union invaded and occupied those countries with its puppet regimes from not long after World War 2 until 1989, when Gorbachev declared they were on their own - and like the meek little cowardly bullies those regimes were, they fell. Poles and Czechs may rightly feel somewhat fearful of the bear to the east, which has done little for it - the liberation from Nazism was like going from the fire to the frying pan.
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Putin concluded "We have brought all our heavy weapons beyond the Urals and reduced our military forces by 300,000. But what do we have in return? we see that Eastern Europe is being filled with new equipment, two positions in Bulgaria and Romania, as well as radar in the Czech Republic, and missile systems in Poland. What is happening? Unilateral disarmament of Russia is happening".
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and Mr. Putin, if you think there is any appetite by the Western world to attack you, you're dreaming. Bulgaria and Romania lost two generations to a previous version of Russian imperialism, why should you be surprised that it is suspicious of Russia?

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