Thursday, April 26, 2007

Now the Moron's idiocy threatens Europe

Putin Ups Ante in U.S. - Russia Missile Shield Row

OSLO (Reuters) - A row between the United States and Russia over U.S. plans to build a missile shield in eastern Europe escalated on Thursday when President Vladimir Putin declared a moratorium on a key European arms treaty.

Putin's announcement to the Russian parliament came hours before NATO and Russian officials were due to discuss a project U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said was no threat to Moscow, dismissing such suggestions as ``purely ludicrous.''

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said he would ask Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to explain Putin's decision to suspend the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treatyand rejected Putin's accusation that NATO was ignoring it.

``I expect Foreign Minister (Sergei) Lavrov to explain the words of his President,'' de Hoop Scheffer told a news conference in Oslo ahead of a meeting between NATO foreign ministers and their Russian counterpart in the Norwegian capital later on Thursday.

``The NATO allies attach great importance to the CFE treaty and are of the opinion that it is important that the adapted CFE treaty will be ratified. There are a number of hurdles in the way, the Istanbul commitments,'' he added.

He was referring to NATO's longstanding insistence that Russia withdraw its remaining troops from Georgia and Moldova before its members ratify a revised version of the CFE.

The CFE Treaty was negotiated in the months after the Cold War among the then-22 member states of NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries with the goal of achieving verifiable reductions in conventional military equipment. It was adapted in 1999.


Putin's move to freeze the CFE treaty was the latest broadside from Moscow against the U.S. plan to base missile interceptors in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic.

Putin accused NATO allies of ignoring clauses in the CFE, but also said the U.S. shield plan had made matters worse.

``(NATO countries) are ... building up military bases on our borders and, what's more, they are also planning to station elements of anti-missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic,'' Putin said.

``In this connection, I consider it expedient to declare a moratorium on Russia's implementation of this treaty -- in any case, until all countries of the world have ratified and started to strictly implement it,'' Putin said in his annual address to both houses of parliament.

``I propose discussing this problem in the NATO-Russia Council, and, should there be no progress in the negotiations, to look at the possibility of ceasing our commitments under the CFE treaty,'' Putin said.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice earlier dismissed as nonsense on Thursday concerns in Moscow that the shield could pose a strategic threat to Russia.

``The idea that somehow 10 interceptors and a few radars in eastern Europe are going to threaten the Soviet strategic deterrent is purely ludicrous and everybody knows it,'' she told a news conference.

The United States had cited progress in winning skeptical allies round to the project, with alliance diplomats saying there was a growing awareness in NATO that Washington would move ahead with the shield anyhow.

However, German Deputy Foreign Minister Gernot Erler told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper in an interview published on Wednesday that at least six unnamed allies including Germany, raised doubts about the project at a NATO meeting last week.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere also said his country was skeptical in a joint news conference with Rice.

``I am still in listening mode and I am still to be convinced about the threat,'' he told reporters on Thursday.

Original article posted here


Anonymous said...

I can't imagine why Russia would object in any way to our missile silos on their borders in Chechnya or Poland, after all we never gave any resistance to Russia putting missiles in Cuba. I guess 9-11 and the Patriot Act overrides the Monroe Doctrine as well as our civil rights.
Didn't we say that if you don't fuck around in our hemisphere we won't fuck around in yours?
It is no wonder that countries that we (Regan) made peace with, are now reconsidering the wisdom of doing so, with the inconsistent and Cowboy actions that our current leaders have shown the world.
We the people voted for something different in the last election, and the Democrats take this as a mandate to push their agenda and pork barrel spending. They have all missed the point.
I can't speak for the country, and don't want to, but I think what the people voted for was something different.
If there was ever a time for an independent party to step up with a decent candidate, not even great or good, decent would win the election hands down as well as restoring our integrity with the other nations of the world.
Like Hawkeye on MASH, bang your silverware on your plate and demand."WE WANT SOMETHING DIFFERENT"
Enough is enough.

Da Weaz said...

I agree completely, especially with the idea that the Dems have missed the point. But have some scepticism about how different other candidates are likely to be. Namely, is it quite certain that nearly nobody else would be pushing to install this "missile defense" in Europe (at least not as boldly), on some other issues, the AIPAC pressure, the defense industry pressure, and the oil company pressure would force many a hand. And there are some candidates out there with pretty good positions, like Kucininch. But people are drawn more to cults of personalities than policies, and he has no chance of winning. Another example is Ralph Nader, who has contributed more to the improvement of American lives than almost any American in US history. But he is not taken seriously for the most ironic of reasons: he's too serious.

But yes, we should bang for something else. Unfortunately, it is likely that no one is listening. Then we have to thing, where to we go from there.