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Selling Son of Star Wars Missile Defense To Europe Threatens New Cold War

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"We have a growing Iranian missile threat and we need to be able to deal with that." -- Secretary of State Condi Rice, Feb 21 in Berlin Dick Cheney in Sydney yesterday, took it upon himself to complain about China's 'military buildup' and their shooting down of an old weather satellite last month. Cheney wasn't really concerned with any actual threat from China. He was just carrying water for his military industry benefactors, like Lockheed and Boeing who are shopping around Europe for governments willing to buy into their 'missile defense' protection scheme they've mapped out with the military industry executives who've infected the Bush regime even before his ascendance to office. "Last month's anti-satellite test, China's continued fast-paced military buildup are less constructive and are not consistent with China's stated goal of a peaceful rise," he said. Cheney was well aware of efforts reported underway for years to sell missile defense systems in Central Europe which accelerated this month, including reports today about a deal underway with Britain's Blair to take his country's defence dollars in return for the false security of hunkering his citizens underneath a U.S. missile 'umbrella', hiding from anticipated reprisals from Bush's continuing and increasing militarism. The reasoning behind the Bush administration's planned deployment of these 'missile interceptors' to Europe has nothing at all to do with some Cold War threat from Russia or China, according to Secretary of State Condi Rice, who told reporters during a trip to Germany February 21 that, "There is no way that 10 interceptors in Poland and radar sites in the Czech Republic are a threat to Russia or that they are somehow going to diminish Russia's deterrent of thousands of warheads." Even General Peter Pace, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said last week in Jakarta that he wouldn't directly tie China's satellite shooting to any threat. "We should not assume anything about the Chinese anti-satellite test (last month) other than they now have the capacity to shoot down a satellite," he told reporters. What is it then which compels the U.S. State Dept. and the Pentagon to ramp up the peddling of these missile systems to these European countries, unsettling decades of peaceful cooperation with their communist neighbors? There is a familiar theme which accompanies this latest round of fearmongering militarism by the Bush regime. Secretary Rice spelled it out after claiming Russia had nothing to fear from the new, planned expansion of U.S. military influence in their backyard. "I think everybody understands that with a growing Iranian missile threat," Rice said in Berlin yesterday, "-- which is quite pronounced -- that there needs to be ways to deal with that problem, and, that we're talking about long lead times to be able to have a defensive counter to offensive missile threats," she said. However, Iran has no intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the U.S. continent. Iran's longest range missile is the Shahab-3, which has a target radius of 620 miles. The Pentagon has been claiming for almost a decade that Iran is developing up to three new generations of the Shahab to increase its range. There is absolutely no evidence that Iran even possesses missiles threatening the U.S or has threatened the U.S. with missiles, yet, this entire escalation of concern which has supposedly prompted the Bush regime to step up the hawking of these dubious systems throughout Europe is predicated on their claims of an Iranian threat. It's not enough for the U.S. to illegally invade and occupy a sovereign nation in the face of Russian and Chinese objections, now the Bush regime is intent on pressing their aggression and military posturing against Russia and China's economic ally, Iran, to the point of destabilizing the balance of weaponry in Europe which had allowed the decades-old deescalation of tensions and relative peace to prevail. And, they want us to believe that the target of their own destabilizing aggression is the most pernicious threat. It suits the Bush regime's short term agenda to isolate Russia and China in hopes of forestalling the coming shift in energy resources away from the U.S. as Russia and China bargain for a bigger share of the world's oil, and have made multi-billion dollar deals with oil-rich Iran, to the consternation of the U.S. and their Saudi benefactors who are desperate to stifle the influence of the Iranian oil on the world market. The trip Cheney made to Saudi Arabia a few months ago, as Bush met with his Iraqi puppet in Jordan, featured an appeal from the Saudis for some action against what they claimed was Iranian interference in Iraq. Their message to Cheney was apparently received by Bush as he's ramped-up his rhetoric against Iran in the past month to a degree which would portend imminent war. Then comes the transparent fearmongering against Iran, in concert with the trumped-up UN sanctions restricting Iran's ability to follow through on its trade commitments. The Bush regime sees the prospect of Russia's shifting alliances as threats to the U.S. 'national security'. The administration would like nothing more than for Russia and China to be regarded as pariahs in the world community, especially now that their UN influence will likely be a determining factor in Bush's scheme to force even more action against Iran out of the U.N. Security Council. Bush and Cheney (and Rice) would be more than satisfied to isolate Russia, and China with a manufactured pall of suspicion and fear, making oil-producing nations reluctant to do business with them out of fear of U.S. retaliation and making existing deals with Iran appear sinister and threatening. The 'Chinese military buildup' reports from the Pentagon, which have surfaced in the past week, are old and deliberately released to discredit China, isolating them and their vote in advance of Security Council action against Iran that the Bush regime expects to increase as the deadlines for action on the sanctions already in place approach. The weapon's systems the Pentagon and US analysts have cited are no secret and have been under development for years. There is no surprising new threat. The Financial Times reported in March 2006 that, "it was unclear what aspects of Beijing's development of its nuclear missile forces had surprised US analysts. The report merely cited information about the introduction of new weapons such as the solid-fueled, road-mobile DF-31 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which has been under development for decades. The level and intensity of our government's manipulation are astounding, and should give a pause to those who continue to let the Bush regime set the agenda at the U.N.. Further, there is an astounding disregard from the Bush administration about their own historic escalation of our own nation's military budget for Bush's own destabilizing militarism in Iraq and elsewhere. Under consideration for the deployment of 'missile interceptors' are sites in countries like Poland and the Czech Republic. Estonia agreed Thursday to accept a short-range missile system from the U.S.. The prospect of these former Soviet satellites aligning with the U.S. against a major economic ally of Russia's is a retreat from the cooperation that marked the security agreements made between Russia and NATO after Sept.11. Cheney visited Kazakhstan last spring to coerce them into bypassing Russia with their oil pipeline and supply the West directly through Turkey. He did this right after trashing the Putin government at a conference in Lithuania, right in the midst of U.S. efforts to punish one of Russia's major oil partners, Iran, for 'unanswered questions' about its nuclear program. It's not clear what Cheney got from Kazakhstan, but it was reported that the former Soviet republic had begun to supply China through its pipeline which links the two countries. China, the world's number two oil consumer next to the U.S., is poised to receive 20 million metric tons of oil a year. The most revealing argument that the Bush administration has made against Iran is their reference to Iran's oil and the influence Iran gains by trading with regional actors like Russia, Pakistan and China. U.S. Intelligence Director John Negroponte said in a Feb. 2006 Senate Intelligence committee hearing, that a combination of rising demand for energy and instability in oil-producing regions is increasing the geopolitical leverage of key producing states. "Record oil revenues and diversification of its trading partners are further strengthening the Tehran government." Negroponte warned. Does this administration want a new cold war? They're angling for one. These brainless, unschooled megalomaniacs see a short term plus in their agenda to isolate Iran and those who would dare to trade with them. The Russian military has, predictably, responded to the Bush regime's militarism by threatening to train their country's missiles on Poland. Gen Nikolai Solovtsov, commander of Russia's Strategic Missile Forces, also warned that the Russia would pull out of a Cold War treaty restricting production of intermediate range missiles. Putin responded earlier this month to the Bush regime's militarism with a 'Strangelove' type boast that "Russia . . . has tested missile systems that no one in the world has." ITAR-Tass, Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies quoted Putin as saying that, "These missile systems don't represent a response to a missile defense system, but they are immune to that. They are hypersonic and capable of changing their flight path." Cheney and the rest of the Bush regime are unleashing new, unnecessary fears between the nations of the world as they dissolve decades of firm understandings about an America power which was to be guileless in its unassailable defenses. The falseness of our diplomacy is revealed in their scramble for 'usable', tactical nuclear missiles, new weapons systems, and new justifications for their use. The Bush regime wants other nations to respond to their strident advance across sovereign borders like adolescents to their paternalistic imperialism. Nations of the world should reject their coercive protection scheme and reject these missile 'umbrellas' which will do little to shield against the administration's stoking of their new "ideological" Cold War they're intent on provoking with their continued militarism.

 

Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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Since World War II, the Military Industrial Comple... by rabblerowzer on Sunday, Feb 25, 2007 at 6:20:29 AM