The United States has pulled back from a plan to build a missile defense system in central Europe that had enraged Russia, after downgrading the threat of a missile attack from Iran, officials said Thursday.
Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer said he was told in a late-night call from US President Barack Obama that the shield would not go into place in the Czech Republic and that Poland had been given a similar message.
The Czech Republic and Poland are unhappy about this because they're still scared shitless of Russia, probably for good reason. I don't think they were ever worried about an attack from Iran, which was Bush's excuse for calling for putting missiles so close to Russia.
The fucking missiles didn't work anyway, and this will ease tensions with Russia, so good for Obama.
The best indicator that this is a good idea is that the neocons are panicked over it.
The right-wing regimes of the "new Europe" -- that is, the post-Soviet governments in eastern Europe that emerged, during the Bush administration, as the staunchest backers of American empire -- are yelping over the decision by the Obama administration to cancel Bush-era plans to build a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Predictably, the neoconservative Weekly Standard is outraged*, calling it a "complete capitulation to Russia's Vladimir Putin," and adding:
"The consequences of this action in Eastern Europe, especially in Ukraine and in other countries that feel vulnerable to Russian power, will be disastrous. It is a major American retreat in the face of Russian bullying. And we will get absolutely nothing for it."
What reality-based folks call 'diplomacy' and 'common sense', the neoimperialists call 'capitulation'.
Note to the neocons: You lose, fuckers. Go away.
*Normally I wouldn't link to that neobirdcageliner, but it's just too much fun not to go see them get all apoplectic and blow their safeties. Heh.
The truth is that the decision to put a missile defense system was both stupid and needlessly provocative. Stupid, because the system doesn't work and because the threat from Iran is nonexistent. And provocative, because it was part of the Bush administration's neo-Cold War effort to bolster and expand NATO, pressure Russia militarily in south and central Asia, back adventurist states such as Georgia, and otherwise poke the Russian bear with sharp sticks. Obama wants cooperation with Russia -- on energy policy, on Iran, on terrorism, and above all on disarmament and de-nuclearization -- and he's willing to put his money where his mouth is.
President Obama deserves high praise for this action.